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    Arundhati Roy

    “The fierceness with which Arundhati Roy loves humanity moves my heart.” – Alice Walker
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    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    “The young James Joyce of the hip-hop generation.” — Walter Mosley 

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    Ann Pettifor

    “Coolly authoritative, soberly trenchant, unexpectedly compelling.” – Zoe Williams, Guardian
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    Juliet Jacques

    “Powerful and engaging.” — New York Times

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    Angela Y. Davis

    “Angela Davis taught me that I did not have to tolerate the racism I was suffering in the playground, she told me that I was not alone.’” 
    – Benjamin Zephaniah
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    John Berger

    “One of the most influential intellectuals of our time.” — Observer




  • How We Wrote Armed Insurrection

    The first English-language edition of Armed Insurrection was translated from French and Germany by Quintin Hoare and published by New Left Books in 1970, as "classic document" of the Third Period. Written in 1928 under the direction of the Agitprop division of the Comintern, the book was to be a tactical manual for insurrection — containing detailed studies of uprisings in Reval (Tallinn), Hamburg, Canton (Guangzhou), and Shanghai — to be used by communists around the world. 

    A work of illegal propaganda written by a collective of Comintern military and political specialists (a group which included Palmiro Togliatti and Ho Chi Minh), the book's authorship was attributed to the pseudonym "A Neuberg." In the excerpt below, published as a preface to the NLB edition, one member of the "Neuberg" group — Erich Wollenberg, a KPD functionary and military leader of the Bochum rising in North Germany in 1923 — explains the process of the book's composition, identifies the authors of some of its sections, and highlights some distortions to the accounts contained within it and the motivations behind them.   

    1. Background

    In the spring of 1928 Piatnitsky [An Old Bolshevik who was liquidated during the Stalinist purges (1936-8)], the Organizing Secretary of the Comintern, called me into his office. I was at that time on the technical staff of the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, in charge of its military bureau, and taught in the military schools in which German communists were trained as specialists in insurrection.

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  • President’s Day: Patrick Wolfe on Settler-Colonialism, Genocide, and the Foundation of the United States

    To de-commemorate President’s Day, an annual holiday created to honor George Washington, we bring you an extract from Patrick Wolfe’s Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Racism. Here Wolfe explains how the founding of the United States spelled disaster for native populations. From the beginning, the American legal system treated natives as non-citizens that were, nevertheless, subordinate to the federal government; it was precisely this theory of law  vigorously supported by Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson (among others)  that made the nation one built on settler-colonialism.

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  • Translation and Conflict: The Violence of the Universal — a conversation with Étienne Balibar

    Jean Birnbaum's interview with Étienne Balibar about his new book Des Universals was first published in Le Monde. Translated by David Broder. 

    You recently published a book on the question of the universal (Des Universals, Paris: Galilée, 2016). This notion, which seems so familiar, however often remains rather unclear. If you had to give a definition to a class of 17 year olds, what would you say?

    I would say that it is a value that designates the possibility of being equal without necessarily being the same, and thus of being citizens without having to be culturally identical.

    Indeed, in our era universalism is often associated with consensus, and first of all with a bien pensant Left, presumed to be weak and naïve… Yet in your view universalism is anything but an idealism.

    First of all, my objective is not to uphold a "left-wing position," but to debate universalism as a philosophical question. Of course, I am on the Left, but the Left itself is is traversed by all the conflicts inherent to the question of the universal. The universal does not bring people together, it divides them. Violence is a constant possibility. But I first of all seek to describe internal conflicts.

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  • Playing Oppression Against Class: the Neoliberal Legacy in the Age of Trump

    This post by Tithi Bhattacharya is adapted from a longer essay forthcoming in Cultural Dynamics.

    Trump and basketball coach Bobby Knight at an Indiana campaign appearance.

    The morning after Trump won, the Washington Post led with the story that the president elect had won 58 per cent of the White vote, outperforming “in majority-white areas." Similarly, the Guardian embellished on this bete noir of the “white working class”: Apparently it was the “angry” white working class that helped Trump to a “stunning win”.

    Undoubtedly sections of the white working class voted for Trump. The day after the election results, in an effort to document the moment, I spoke with a range of working class women in Indiana. Some of their comments on Trump capture the deep veins of contradiction that ran through sections of the US working class who voted for Trump.

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