9781844674480-frontcover-max_221 more images image image image image

The Verso Book of Dissent: From Spartacus to the Shoe-Thrower of Baghdad

A sparkling anthology of revolt and resistance to orthodoxy and repression.
Throughout the ages and across every continent, people have struggled against those in power and raised their voices in protest—rallying others around them and inspiring uprisings in eras yet to come. Their echoes reverberate from Ancient Greece, China and Egypt, via the dissident poets and philosophers of Islam and Judaism, through to the Arab slave revolts and anti-Ottoman rebellions of the Middle Ages. These sources were tapped during the Dutch and English revolutions at the outset of the Modern world, and in turn flowed into the French, Haitian, American, Russian and Chinese revolutions. More recently, resistance to war and economic oppression has flared up on battlefields and in public spaces from Beijing and Baghdad to Caracas and Los Angeles.

This anthology, global in scope, presents voices of dissent from every era of human history: speeches and pamphlets, poems and songs, plays and manifestos. Every age has its iconoclasts, and yet the greatest among them build on the words and actions of their forerunners. The Verso Book of Dissent will become an invaluable resource, reminding today’s citizens that these traditions will never die.

Reviews

  • “A delightful anthology to dip into if you are or have ever been disgruntled with the status quo ... for radicals everywhere.”
  • “A very right-on compendium of opposition to authority.”
  • “Reading the [The Verso Book of Dissent] is like encountering the best version of our angry selves.”
  • “A near-definitive anthology.”
  • “The anthology's editors excerpt the writings of a wide array of historical figures, including Socrates ... Martin Luther King ... [and] the Marquis de Sade.”
  • “An anthology of quotes and excerpts to commemorate Verso's 40th anniversary.”
  • “A unique anthology.”
  • “Almost a Leftist coffee-table book ... a good gift for budding activists and writers.”

Blog

  • Costas Lapavitsas: "We are clearly at a critical turning point"

    As a deal between Greece and its lenders begins to look increasingly unlikely, Costas Lapavitsas outlines the respective parties' proposals and argues that the "institutions" have left Greece with little choice: accept public defeat—and still no solution to the debt—or default. Visit the Jacobin to read the original piece. Translated by Wayne Hall.


    Continue Reading

  • Remembering Chile's bloody coup, 40 years on



    Today marks 40 years since the US-backed coup d’état in Chile, which forced socialist president Salvador Allende out of office and installed Augusto Pinochet’s brutal military dictatorship.  40 years later, Chileans remember the thousands who were murdered or disappeared, and continue to fight against impunity for those involved in the regime's atrocities.

    We commemorate this watershed historical moment and its enduring legacy by recalling the final words of Allende and musician/poet Victor Jara.  Both Allende’s official Farewell Speech and Jara’s final poem, “Estadio Chile,” can be found in The Verso Book of Dissent alongside 4000 years of texts, poems, and speeches by dissenting voices around the globe.  

    Continue Reading

  • Verso editors read from The Verso Book of Dissent, in English and Chinese

    Verso editors Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim recently gave readings during the event “Into East River(s): Chinese / American Artists and Asian American Poets” at City University of New York. Both read from The Verso Book of Dissent.

    Because The Verso Book of Dissent features writings and speeches from around the globe spanning centuries, some appearing in English for the first time, it wasn’t difficult for Hsiao and Lim to find choice selections to read for the event.

    Hsiao went back to 1887 to channel “one of the greatest of great New York smart-asses,” Wong Chin Foo, affirming Wong’s designation by recounting the time Wong challenged anti-Chinese populist and Tea Party forebear Denis Kearney to a duel to the death, with chopsticks. Hsiao read from “Why Am I A Heathen,” Wong’s response to Christian attacks against Chinese immigrants:

    Continue Reading

Other books Edited by Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim Preface by Tariq Ali