A British politics reading list
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It's been a landmark year for this rainy island. Labour coup attempts, Brexit chaos, rising poverty, thriving right-wing politics, and yet! we've seen more outrage over a potential marmite shortage than the spike in racially motivated attacks.
Beyond that, there's been an accelerated rise of the far-right throughout Europe (and, of course, the horror in the US), a refugee crisis so poorly managed that an even worse humanitarian crisis awaits us in 2017, and a global climate catastrophe that isn't going away but continues to be (largely) ignored. Capitalism is still doing it's bit for the rich, whilst failing everyone else, creating a wealth divide so large that it's hard to see where it will end.
Our British politics reading list includes books that look at these very issues, as well as the historical contexts and political conditions that have allowed them to thrive in the last year. Until Jan 1: all our print books are 50% off (with free shipping worldwide and bundled ebooks), all our ebooks are 90% off.
The Levellers have recently taken on a sudden political topicality. First, Theresa May accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a Leveller, and then UKIP's only MP Douglas Carswell attempted to claim the Levellers for the populist right. How can we situate the legacy and contemporary relevance of the Levellers?
In this piece John Rees, author of the recently published The Leveller Revolution, looks at the history of this 400 year old political insult.
The Leveller Revolution is currently 50% off as part of our end-of-year sale, with free shipping.
Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn (centre) with John Rees and Cllr Rania Khan at the unveiling of the plaque to Leveller Thomas Rainsborough in Wapping, 2013.
This discussion between Nancy Fraser and Andrew Arato, Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor of Political and Social Theory at the New School, first appeared at Public Seminar.
Andrew Arato: Nancy we have had a conversation about the elections a week ago in Great Evremond, Mass, and one thing you said really struck me. If I can paraphrase you, you said something like ” the worst thing about this election is that because of Trump’s wild claims and assertions, and the attacks that focus on these, we are now completely neglecting the genuine issues that have merged with his candidacy, and with that of Sanders previously. What exactly did you have in mind? Can you outline what these issues are or were?
Nancy Fraser: Yes, you’ve captured my point exactly. I am struck by the sharp contrast between the invigorating debates of the primary season, which challenged the reigning neoliberal commonsense, and the lockstep moralizing of the present, which has shut down all such questioning under the guise of the need to combat the “grave danger” represented by Trump. I find this both demoralizing and infuriating.