Edward Stourton, writing for the Financial Times, recommends readers take Wu Ming's latest novel Altai on vacation to Venice, Stephen Abell for The Telegraph is delighted by this "swashbuckling romp dreamed up by four Italian anarchists," while Stewart Home visits Bologna to discuss politics and history with the elusive writing collective for Art Review.
Who would have thought? Jonathan Clark has just reviewed Ellen Wood’s Liberty and Property for the TLS. It may be that the TLS intended mischief. Clark is, after all, a pretty conservative, if idiosyncratic and iconoclastic, historian. He’s been called probably the most distinguished ‘revisionist’ historian of the long 18th century who has made it a personal mission to attack Marxism, and Marxist historians in particular. But here he is, telling us:
Wood’s book may signal the rebirth of Marxism, hitherto, he tells us, definitively dead. It shows us that Marxism still has much to offer on questions like ‘interactions between property and the state, how self-interest worked alongside professions of principle, how material goals marked out social constituencies, why polities differed in their long-term political trajectories’. Wood, it seems, not only represents a major challenge to the dominant school in the historiography of political thought, the so-called Cambridge School. More than that: ‘there is now the nagging fear that Marx's spectre may return to be the ghost of revolutions yet to come.’ Well, whatever it takes…
‘This is a notable book, wide-ranging and perceptive, by an eminent North American Marxist scholar…. I disagree with much of it. But that is not the point.’
After reading Shlomo Sand's The Invention of the Jewish People, President Moncef Morzouki of Tunisia asks about the lessons Sand's book might have for other nations and peoples.
Do we, too, have a fabricated history?
There is no doubt about it - the book The Invention of the Jewish People by the Jewish Israeli historian Shlomo Sand, which stirred up great controversy in Israel and was translated into 26 languages in less than a year, came as a pleasant surprise to all its Arab readers, including to the author of these lines.
What this historian, whose hostility towards Zionism cannot be dismissed as mere Anti-Semitism, establishes very clearly is that the Zionist claim to their right to the lands of Palestine is void. He proves, relying on a vast amount of sources – many of them Jewish – that the forceful expulsion of the Jews from Palestine after the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans is a myth.... that the preservation of a pure race during years of exile is a myth... that the claim that the ones who returned to conquer Palestine were the grandchildren of those exiled thousands of years earlier is a myth... And even the exodus from Egypt and the Kingdom of David and Salomon, all of these are legends upon legends.
Andy Merrifield, Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, has written a glowing review of Eric Hazan's Paris Sous Tension, where he goes in great detail about Hazan's incisive analysis of modern-day Paris:
And, possibly, its future:
What’s happening in Paris, then, is a revealing microcosm of a larger macrocosm. Paris is a cell-form of a bigger urban tissuing that’s constituted by a mosaic of centers and peripheries scattered all over the globe, a patchwork quilt of socio-spatial and racial apartheid that goes for Paris as for Palestine, for London as for Rio, for Johannesburg as for New York. […] Nowadays, the poor global South exists in North-East Paris, or in Queens and Tower Hamlets. And the rich global North lives high above the streets of Mumbai, and flies home in helicopters to its penthouses in Jardins and Morumbi, Sao Paulo.
Like Occupy, Hazan’s notion of insurrection represents a hypothesis, a daring hunch that, for people who care about democracy, for people who know our economic and political system is kaput, change is likely to come from within, from within excluded and impoverished communities, through collective experimentation and struggle, through action and activism that overcomes its own limits, that experiments with itself and the world.
provide a masterful century-long history of US corporate activity and state economic strategy. Insofar as capitalist states are where class interests are codified, their spicy reading of dry officialdom’s milquetoast narratives is absolutely vital to our knowledge about power.
Furthermore, Bond emphasizes the resoluteness of thier political commitment to Marxian principles that critique liberal reformism whilst defending "socialist aspirations."
Visit Red Pepper to read the review in full.