Socialist Review issue

January 2021 #464


by Eliza Gearty
In November of last year, there was a brief moment of light amid the darkness that was 2020. Scotland became the first country in the world to make...


Alex Callinicos

The 2020 crisis we’ve endured isn’t an aberration of the system but, as Alex Callinicos argues, an aspect of its permanent crisis.

Simon Gilbert and Adrian Budd

China’s rulers have, for the past four decades, sought to increase the country’s global role, particularly via their Belt and Road Initiative. Simon Gilbert reviews three recently published books...

Weyman Bennett and Julie Sherry

Anti-racists took a big step forward this year but, as Weyman Bennett and Julie Sherry argue, we still face major threats from the establishment as well as the far right and fascism.

Mark L Thomas

Despite the passivity of the traditional leaders of the working class, there are signs of growing combativity. Mark L Thomas looks at the role of People Before Profit in taking these forward.

Barry Pavier

A series of political and economic crises, plus the effects of Covid-19, have opened huge opportunities for socialists to rebuild their strength. Barry Pavier asks if they will seize them.

Phil Turner

A miner from Rotherham was one of Poland’s secret heroes during the Nazi occupation. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day this month, Phil Turner tells the inspiring story.


by Martin Empson
On 4 November last year, when many of us were watching the aftermath of the American presidential election, the US formally left the Paris Climate Agreement. Written in 2015 at the United Nations’...
by Amy Leather
To say 2020 was dramatic would be an understatement. The world situation has been completely transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the inadequacy of governmental and state responses. As we head...
by Yasser Abu Jamei

A combination of Israel’s brutal blockade of this small patch of Palestinian land alongside the ravages brought by Covid-19 has produced an enormous level of stress and mental distress for tens of...

by Mark Brown

The clichés about Diego Maradona being the “half-devil, half-angel” of world football deliberately overlook his passionate, anti-imperialist politics, writes Mark Brown.


by Simon Hester
The article “Can the Labour right destroy Corbyn and muzzle the left?” (December SR) misses the mark. It does not attempt to answer the question posed by the headline. Instead, it exaggerates the...
by Kevin McCaighy
I greatly enjoyed the interview with John Molyneux ahead of the publication of his new book The Dialectics of Art (November SR). However, I was taken aback by his contention that ‘on average, high...
by Sasha Simic
David John Moore Cornwell, better known as the novelist John le Carré. He leaves a remarkable body of work. Le Carré came to prominence during the great spy craze of the early sixties. But what...
by Sabby Sagall and Lee Humber
Simon Hester’s letter in the January SR Labour Left the Building takes us to task for exaggerating the Labour Left’s resistance to Corbyn’s expulsion and ‘taking a toothcomb to the EHRC report on...


by Brian Richardson

A Promised Land, the first volume of former US president Barack Obama’s memoirs, reveals a politician determined to preserve the US’s global power. Brian Richardson praises Obama’s eloquence, but...

by Liz Wheatley

Start your preferred method of listening to music. Set it up to play the whole of the album. Turn off the phone. Press play. Sit down and listen without doing anything else.

It’s tempting...

by Jo Holland and Paul Holborow

The movement against the far right in the 1970s was made at gigs and on the street. Jo Holland reviews White Riot and Paul Holborow, tells the story of building the Anti Nazi League.

by Mike Barton

“The only reason why the negro has not been killed off, as the Indians have been, is that he is so close under your arm, that you cannot get at him.” So said Frederick Douglass, fugitive slave and...

by Glyn Robbins

Rentier Capitalism is an autopsy report for a decomposing corpse. Christophers clinically dissects a corrupted body, before arriving at a probable cause of death. Of course, capitalism is still...

by Leila Correa

This is a must-read for anyone looking to develop a deeper understanding of European history. Most of us are aware that it has been whitewashed to some degree, but this book will definitely give...

by Miriam Scharf

The Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF) bombing of Gaza in 2014 killed thousands of civilians. Some 95 percent of Israelis justified and supported the operation. Such atrocities by the state disturb...

by Maggie Falshaw

The year 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of two important events in the struggle for women’s liberation: the first women’s liberation conference at Ruskin College, Oxford, and the disruption of...

by Jessica Walsh

Marxist geographer David Harvey’s latest offering promises to be a ‘handbook for activists’ in the crisis-ridden landscape of 2020. Compiled from a series of podcasts, Harvey’s accessible use of...

by Nick Grant

Jamaica was the main source of sugar in Britain’s food, drink and pantries for three centuries. Roughly 860,000 kidnapped Africans survived the middle passage between 1600 and 1807.


by Lisa Tunnell

Max Haiven’s central idea is that revenge is inherent to capitalism, particularly late capitalism, which he describes as a “vengeful tyrant”. While Marx and Engels recognise the legitimate...


2020 has been a tough year for the arts with cinemas and theatres closed and festivals and gigs cancelled. Despite this there has been an outpouring of creativity much of it inspired by the...