The curious world of apostate radical intellectuals still awaits the irreverently absurd satire of a Woody Allen. In the meantime, we are fortunate to have the books of Richard Seymour to skewer the predictable platitudes and puncture the sanctimonious pretensions of the “Pro-War Left.” This was a transatlantic confederacy of journalists, public intellectuals, and bloggers that championed the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as a “humanitarian intervention.”
The Second World War remains a matter of controversy. Two recent books - Donny Gluckstein’s A People’s History of the Second World War (Pluto, 2012) and James Heartfield’s An Unpatriotic History of the Second World War (Zero, 2012) - have argued powerfully that the war was a struggle between empires rather than a crusade against fascism. But what these books failed to give was any account of those who held such a position at the time, and how they put their theory into practice.
The tale of Wang Fan-Hsi’s life – Wang Fan-Hsi Chinese Revolutionary Memoirs 1919-1949, (Oxford University Press, 1980) – is very much a tale of China in the twentieth century, especially the early to middle period of that century.
John Lister’s new book is an impressively researched 346-page book with 64 pages of bibliography. It is a comprehensive update of his first book on this subject published by Middlesex University Press in 2005 – Health Policy Reform – driving the wrong way?
Is the Arab Spring heading towards what more than one commentator has called ‘Libyan winter’? Was it after all worth it, given the bloody civil war in Syria, the Islamic government then army coup in Egypt and the mayhem presided over by reactionary militias in Libya? Indeed it has been on the socialist and liberal left that disappointment with the outcomes has often been strongest, and where the feeling that once again we are watching a people’s uprising stolen by imperialism and reaction.
Life is hard for the Palestinians. It isn’t a picnic for leftists in LGBT movements either. So a book that brings good news on both fronts is a definite reason for celebration.
OVER THE PAST decade there has been a flowering of critical, unorthodox and revisionist historical writings that examine the armed conflict that raged between 1969 and 1997 over Britain’s occupation of the north of Ireland — a period commonly referred to as “The Troubles.” For decades historians and journalists, even those with diametrically opposed political sympathies, mostly relied on a handful of established political tropes to tell the story of the war. But the plot has thickened in recent years as a new wave of historical works, many of them by authors with personal histories in social movements, have intently shined a light on many previously under-explored aspects of the war.
China’s Rise: Strength and Fragility by Au Loong Yu (with contributions from Bai Ruixue, Bruno Jetin & Pierre Russet)6 May, by
No one who reflects seriously on the changing economic and political world developments can over-estimate the importance of China. It seems to have suddenly emerged as the second biggest economy in the world. Many project it to overtake the US economy by 2020 or 2030 depending on how one values the Chinese GDP. China has become one of the most important factors in geopolitics. It affects everyone on the globe.
An accessible introduction to the relationship between the workers’ movement and the women’s movement. The first part is historical, the second theoretical. Historical examples range from the mid-19th century to the 1970s and include events, debates and key personalities from China, Russia, the USA, France, Italy, Spain and Britain.
In At the Dark End of the Street, Wayne State University historian Danielle McGuire persuasively and powerfully argues that the history of Black women’s anti-rape activism must be understood as an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement, but that standard accounts of civil rights have neglected the significance of these women’s efforts.