The May/June issue of New Left Review is out now, featuring the following essays:
Susan Watkins: Another Turn of the Screw?
Beneath the rolling surface of the Euro-crisis, a further chapter of the EU integration project is underway. Susan Watkins on the institutional machinery Berlin is imposing across the Union, and the political stakes – and hypocrisies – laid bare by the struggle.
Global economic turmoil has exposed the structural flaws in the single currency. Amid deepening divergences between industrial north and debt-laden south, Michel Aglietta assesses the Eurozone’s chances of recovery, and the impact of its continued travails on the world economy.
Michel Aglietta is author of A Theory of Capitalist Regulation: The US Experience.
Tribute to the author of Blood of Spain, locating the impulse behind his oeuvre in a commitment to explore lived experience. Reconstructions of work, war, politics and subjectivity, from Napoleonic era to post-Fordist present.
Amongst others, Perry Anderson is the author of The New Old World and Spectrum.
How are collective mobilizations refracted through the prism of personal experience – and in what conditions can individual histories be constituted as history? Ronald Fraser reflects on memory, method and militancy.
Ronald Fraser is author of In Hiding, In Search of a Past and Napoleon's Cursed War: Popular Resistance in the Spanish Peninsular War, 1808-1814.
Alèssi Dell’Umbria: The Sinking of Marseille
The recent fate of France’s second city – post-war decline followed by modish resurgence – seen in the longe durée by its radical historian. A social and political archaeology of Marseille, amid the steady dismantling of its urban worlds.
Brazil’s foremost literary critic engages with the autobiography of Caetano Veloso, its best-known musician. The dense wave of relations between 60s counter-culture and left movements, and its rending by years of dictatorship and capitalist triumph.
Roberto Schwarz is the author of forthcoming Verso book, Two Girls
The issue also features the following book reviews:
Fredric Jameson on Francis Spufford, Red Plenty. A documentary-cum-fable reconstructs the lost future of the Khrushchev era.
Visit NLR to read the review.
Amongst others, Fredric Jameson is the author of Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One.
Tom Hazeldine on D. R. Thorpe, Supermac. Lengthy apologia for Harold Macmillan from a serial Tory biographer.
Visit NLR to read the review.
Paul Buhle on Frank Bardacke, Trampling Out the Vintage. Chronicle of the United Farm Workers and their mercurial leader, Cesar Chavez.
Visit NLR to read the review.
Paul Buhle is author of It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest.
Visit the New Left Review to access the new issue or subscribe.
Lucio Magri's The Tailor of Ulm: Communism in the Twentieth Century is "a perfectly sound account" of the history of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), writes Donald Sassoon for the Observer. The book tells how the PCI evolved from "a small, ineffectual, persecuted sect" under Fascism to an organization with more than two million members after World War 2. In the post-war years, Italian Communists "thrived as a responsible opposition under the democratic constitution they had helped to shape." The city councils that were under Communist control "gave Italians a feel for what Swedish social democracy might look like." The trajectory of the Party came abruptly to an end after 1989. In the last two decades, Italian post-Communists have changed the name of their political organizations several times, "as if to bury neurotically all traces of the past," Sassoon points out.
In Sassoon's view, The Tailor of Ulm can be described an "insider's history" of the PCI. Magri was one of the foremost "critical voices" in the party until 1969, when he was expelled with the fellow members of the Manifesto group. Nonetheless, the Manifesto people "never became one of the groupuscules that infested the far left," and eventually rejoined the Party in the 1980s. Despite the misunderstandings between Magri and the orthodox Communist leadership, The Tailor of Ulm is not "a rancorous memoir", but instead "an honest effort to be judicious and balanced," Sassoon notes. Magri's narration at times sounds quite "intimate"
One can feel the pain of a life spent fighting for a better Italy ending up facing such a ridiculous opponent as Silvio Berlusconi, brought down not by the masses but by the markets.
Visit the Observer to read Donald Sassoon's review in full.
The November/December issue of the New Left Review has been released, and includes the following essays:
Mike Davis: Spring Confronts Winter
Against a backdrop of world economic slump, what forces will shape the outcome of contests between a raddled system and its emergent challengers? Mike Davis examines echoes of past rebellions in 2011's global upsurge of protest.
Mike Davis is author of Planet of Slums.
Robin Blackburn: Crisis 2.0
Internationally, austerity measures have resulted in unemployment, stagnation, the imposition of technocracies, the destruction of welfare systems and a collapse in global demand. Robin Blackburn outlines some radical transitional policy responses that could address the underlying causes of the financial crisis.
Perry Anderson: Magri's Farewell
Perry Anderson looks back upon the life and work of Lucio Magri, the Italian revolutionary and writer who died last year. An incisive critic of the PCI from both inside and outside of the Party, Anderson traces Magri's unique synthesis of theory and popular struggle from the Hungarian Revolt to the Iraq War, including his last work, The Tailor of Ulm.
Visit the New Left Review website to read the essays in full (subscribers only)
In the week of Lucio Magri's tragic passing, The Tailor of Ulm: Communism in the Twentieth Century is reviewed in the British press. Magri's book is "one of the most significant and important books I've read on the history of communism during the 20th century," writes John Green in the Morning Star. In Green's words,
Magri's assessments and ideas are not only fascinating for those who are themselves Marxists or communists but would be invaluable to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our recent history and for ways of overcoming the present global and systemic crisis. Even though the author develops his perspectives from his experience within the Italian communist party (PCI), they have much wider implications and significance.
The Tailor of Ulm sheds light on the centrality of the figure of Gramsci in the history of Italian Communism, a thinker who "can still offer a vital source of creative Marxist praxis—the realisation of theory in practice," Green notes.