Steve Henshall

We Created Chavez

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George Ciccariello-Maher

I've been looking for this book for years. There are a whole number published that chart the life and political development of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Some are just romantic stories, others bungle together analysis of the exciting social movements and consequent social policies, rather than looking at the deep contradictions facing the people.

What Causes Boom and Bust?

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Gordon Brown used to endlessly repeat the mantra that, thanks to New Labour's policies, there would be "no return to boom and bust".

That looks laughable given recent events. At least it would be funny if people's lives were not being savaged by recession and cuts.

In reality, the history of capitalism is one of successive expansions followed by collapse. Today's apologists will have to choose their words more carefully given the objective reality of the crisis. Yet during booms when new buildings go up on a grand scale, high street sales increase and unemployment falls, enthusiasm towards the market seems to correspond to an extent with reality.


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Stephen Murdoch, Duckworth Overlook, £8.99

Stephen Murdoch follows the development of IQ tests, their rise to prominence and the way they have been used to attack groups within society. Such tests have come a long way since the Victorian street booths filled with bizarre gadgets to test the public, but the goal remains the same: to categorise humans by something known as intelligence.

Bolivarian snub

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The cutting of diplomatic ties with Israel by Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales has been an inspiration to the rest of the world. Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets, calling upon their own governments to take such action. Yet again the projects taking place in Venezuela and Bolivia are standing out from the crowd.

However, as highlighted by Mike Gonzalez (Socialist Review, January 2009), the movements in Latin America face great challenges. As the global economic crisis deepens, the working class and poor are the ones suffering as the battle over the continent's natural resources increases. The breadth and intensity of the resistance are what will define their future.

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