Kim Nielsen tackles two different tasks in A Disability History of the United States: telling “the history of people with disabilities,” and also telling “the history of the concept of disability.” Her book traces how communities assigned value to individuals from precolonial times to today, and how individuals collectively challenged the rhetoric, paternalism, and outright hatred hidden behind the ideals of individualism and independence. In the process, Nielsen’s book actually elaborates the history of labor in this country. A Disability History is a valuable contribution to understanding the labor movement of Black, white, immigrant, and women workers who participated in work, school, child rearing, and war—despite the increased institutional forces that attempted to make them invisible and to exploit them. In this sense, Nielsen’s contribution to a growing body of disability studies and to labor history is much needed and highly recommended.
It is now too late to stop global warming. Even if greenhouse gas production stopped today, two centuries of emissions will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans will rise, with increasingly severe effects on climate and weather, no matter what we do.
Eric Toussaint believes that the recently published Capital in the Twenty-First Century  is an indispensable book for anyone interested in learning more about the unequal distribution of wealth in the world today. Eric argues that as one reads this major 950-page study, which is supplemented by a large amount of statistical data and tables available on Internet ), it becomes obvious that the Occupy Wall Street movement is completely right to target the richest 1%.
Daniel Bensaïd (1946-2010) was one of the most respected theorists to emerge from the 1960s radicals of Western Europe. Always inclined to think “outside the box,” waving aside venerable dogmas and shrugging-off standard formulations, he found fresh ways, energized with the aura of unorthodoxy, to express and apply truths from the revolutionary Marxist tradition.
European Trotskyists writing recently about this movement tend to give short shrift to Trotskyism in North America, in the US and Canada. An example is An Impatient Life by French leader Daniel Bensaid, who died this year.
This absorbing, affecting memoir is a beautiful testament to a richly productive and dignified life. Daniel Bensaïd spent over forty years as a partisan of the revolutionary left in France, writing, campaigning, organising and agitating. Drawn into Communist politics as a young man and then radicalised, along with a significant section of his generation, by anti-colonial struggle abroad and the events of 1968 at home, Bensaïd was a leader and theorist in the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire, a Trotskyist party that emerged, as a libertarian, free-thinking and inventive gathering together of the best of 1968. He represents so much of what is admirable about the militants of his generation. As well as being a fine writer, if David Fernbach’s elegant translation is any indication, Bensaïd was a thoughtful and reflective strategist. Too many memoirs of 1968 grub about in complacent nostalgia; Bensaïd’s interest was always in our possible future.
This book ought to be read — or better, studied — by every socialist interested in the Middle East. On second thought, cut out the last five words; that part of the world is of vital interest to every socialist. As the author puts it in the book’s final paragraph:
There are several problems with the use of the term, ‘the sixties generation’. To begin with, it tends to play into the dubious narrative of youthful rebellion followed by gradual conservatisation in the face of of career, family life and disappointed hopes. It’s a narrative that sees the sixties as both defining – ah, the glories of youth! – and long left behind. By linking the generation with the decade (or even the year: a ‘68er’ or soixante-huitard ), the term suggests that those years were the apogee of the participants’ lives. The most recent cinematic expression of this view is Olivier Assayas’ nostalgic 2012 film, Apres Mai.
Jane Shallice reviews An Impatient Life: A Memoir (Verso, 2013) by Daniel Bensaïd and considers what the Left can learn from these beautiful memoirs March 2014.
This book lives up to the description on the tin, but goes rather further. Daniel Tanuro examines why green capitalism is an oxymoron, noting that nature and capital speak different languages. Capitalism requires ever increasing economic growth, because firms need to compete against each other to survive, seeking new profit to reinvest in new capital, so they are not eliminated by rivals. Nature is reduced to monocultures by ever increasing growth and ever increasing growth tends to disrupt ecological cycles. We live in a market based world, so attempts to deal with the climate crisis have used market mechanism such as carbon trading. Tanuro shows that these have failed to halt emissions. and plans for a so called ‘green economy’ aim to commodify nature, yet such commodification values short term exchange value, not long term sustainability.
 Thomas Piketty, Le capital au XXIe siècle, Le Seuil, 2013, 970 pp. (Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard University Press, 2014 996 pp. As the English version is not yet available, we have translated the citations ourselves from the French.) Several interesting reviews of this major work have already been published. Therefore, I will not cover a whole series of points analysed in those reviews, preferring instead to begin with some practical information. Among the reviews already published, see: 1. "Réflexions sur « Le capital au XXIe siècle » de Thomas Piketty" (in French—“Reflections on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century”) by François Chesnais http://cadtm.org/Reflexions-sur-Le-... in the journal Les Possibles published by ATTAC France (and "Éléments de réponses à François Chesnais" (in French—“A response to François Chesnais” by Thomas Piketty http://cadtm.org/Elements-de-repons...); 2. Jean-Paul Petit in the journal Inprecor: http://gesd.free.fr/jppetit.pdf; 3. Robert Boyer:http://gesd.free.fr/boyerpik.pdf; 4...