From scaling the very highest rooftops to political scandal through the eyes of Alexander Cockburn, we bring you our seasonal highlights for 2013.
THE CITY / URBAN EXPLORATION
Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City
Bradley L. Garrett
"Garrett perceives the city like no one else I know. Seen through his eyes, it is newly porous, full of “vanishing points”, “imperfect joinings” and portals – service hatches, padlocked doorways – that you wouldn't usually notice... The city's accessible space extends far down into the earth (sewers, bunkers, tunnels) and far up into the air (skyscrapers, cranes), with the street level only serving as a median altitude." – Robert Macfarlane, Guardian
"[Combines] erudite references (Montesquieu, Walter Benjamin) with compelling photographs of men in hoodies in strange places." – Rowan Moore, The Observer Architecture Books of the Year
After the fall of Spanish military dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Spain suffered a series of blows that crippled its economy. By the end of the decade, poverty and food shortages plagued the country and the unemployment rate hovered at 60 percent.
Today Spain faces another massive economic crisis, with overall unemployment hitting around 26 percent and youth unemployment reaching 56 percent. But in the village of Marinaleda, the self-proclaimed communist utopia at the center of Dan Hancox's The Village Against the World, unemployment sits between 5 and 6 percent.
Two recent reviews of Hancox's book, by Belén Fernández for Jacobin and Nomi Prins for Truthdig, wonder if the small Andalucian cooperative-style village of Marinaleda is immune to the larger economic crisis, and if it is a viable alternative model of living and governance.
Dan Hancox’s recently published The Village Against the World, an important new book on the communist utopia of Marinaleda, continues to receive attention in the first weeks of its release.