Verso Gift Guide!

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End all your gift-buying woes with our gift guide! We have book suggestions for all the readers in your life, from hard-to-buy-for theory fans to those looking for some fully automated luxury communism (whether they realise it or not). You will find reading on Empire and indigenous resistance, gestational justice, our digital dystopian (or utopian?) futures, powerful literature from our new Fiction series, and an inspiring blast from the (Italian radical) past.

Discover radical and visionary ideas that interrogate existing thinking, and re-imagine a world after capitalism.

Don't forget, we have bundled ebooks with every print purchase (where available) — meaning you can gift the print book (if you want to!) and start reading the ebook straight away!

ALL our books are 50% off until January 1 as part of our end-of-year sale! See full details here, as well as our End of Year Highlights, Top 10 Books of the Year, and our best short reads.

THE 2020 VERSO RADICAL DIARY is a beautifully designed week-to-view planner for keeping track of the year ahead. Alongside illustrations and book excerpts, it features significant radical dates from throughout history—including the English Civil War and Black Panther movement, through to the protests of 1968 and feminist emancipation, touching on the lives of revolutionaries such as Angela Davis, Rosa Luxemburg and Martin Luther King Jr.

Much has been written on how colonized peoples took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. Insurgent Empire sets the record straight in demonstrating that these people were much more than victims of imperialism or, subsequently, the passive beneficiaries of an enlightened British conscience—they were insurgents whose legacies shaped and benefited the nation that once oppressed them.

In the twenty-first century, new technologies should liberate us from work. Automation, rather than undermining an economy built on full employment, is instead the path to a world of liberty, luxury and happiness—for everyone. In Fully Automated Luxury Communism, Aaron Bastani conjures a vision of extraordinary hope, showing how we move to energy abundance, feed a world of 9 billion, overcome work, transcend the limits of biology, and establish meaningful freedom for everyone. 

“Want to know why the rent’s so high? Samuel Stein meticulously documents and analyzes the rise of the rip-off ‘real estate state,’ the instruments of its power, the invidious ‘plansplaining’ arguments of its defenders, and, above all, its accelerating ethnic and class cleansing of American cities, gentrification-frenzied New York in the vanguard. This superbly succinct and incisive book couldn’t be more timely or urgent.” – Michael Sorkin, author of All Over the Map

Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: feminism shouldn’t start—or stop—with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fight for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist.

In this radical and visionary new book, McKenzie Wark argues that information has empowered a new kind of ruling class. While techno-utopian apologists still celebrate these innovations as an improvement on capitalism, for workers—and the planet—it’s worse. Drawing on the writings of a surprising range of classic and contemporary theorists, Wark offers an illuminating overview of the contemporary condition and the emerging class forces that control—and contest—it.

Workers and Capital is universally recognised as the most important work produced by operaismo, a current of political thought emerging in the 1960s that revolutionised the institutional and extra-parliamentary Left in Italy and beyond. Five decades since it was first published, this classic text of Italian workerism is finally available in English.

Females is Andrea Long Chu’s genre-defying investigation into sex and lies, desperate artists and reckless politics, the smothering embrace of gender and the punishing force of desire. Drawing inspiration from a forgotten play by Valerie Solanas—the woman who wrote the SCUM Manifesto and shot Andy Warhol—Chu aims her searing wit and surgical intuition at targets ranging from performance art to psychoanalysis, incels to porn. She even has a few barbs reserved for feminists like herself. 

“Astra Taylor is a rare public intellectual, utterly committed to asking humanity’s most profound questions yet entirely devoid of pretensions and compulsively readable. Now she plunges deep into the crisis that underlies so many others: the sorry state (and the exhilarating promise) of this thing called democracy. At once richly historical and immediately relevant, this wise, lucid and unflinchingly honest book deserves to be at the center of public debate.” – Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough

In his brilliant work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.

An engaging, polemical romp through economic theory, computational complexity, and the history of planning, The People’s Republic of Walmart revives the conversation about how society can extend democratic decision-making to all economic matters. With the advances in information technology in recent decades and the emergence of globe-straddling collective enterprises, democratic planning in the interest of all humanity is more important and closer to attainment than ever before.

The first book in our Verso Fiction series, Will and Testament published earlier this Autumn to critical acclaim. A lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into twenty languages. 

“Like Knausgaard, Hjorth is writing against repression, against the taboo on telling things as they really are. But he urges us to look at dead bodies; she forces us to regard bleeding souls. Hjorth seems to have formulated from her experiments with living models a model for living, in which exposure—of the self and of others—serves a larger purpose.” – Lauren Collins, New Yorker

A Planet to Win explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal. It calls for dismantling the fossil fuel industry, building beautiful landscapes of renewable energy, and guaranteeing climate-friendly work, no-carbon housing, and free public transit. And it shows how a Green New Deal in the United States can strengthen climate justice movements worldwide.

Speaking from a growing global sex worker rights movement, and situating their argument firmly within wider questions of migration, work, feminism, and resistance to white supremacy, the book makes clear that anyone committed to working towards justice and freedom should be in support of the sex worker rights movement.

What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it? Erik Olin Wright has distilled decades of work into this concise and tightly argued manifesto: analyzing the varieties of anticapitalism, assessing different strategic approaches, and laying the foundations for a society dedicated to human flourishing. 

Injustice should not simply be accepted as “the way things are.” This is the starting point for The Xenofeminist Manifesto, a beautifully-illustrated, radical attempt to articulate a feminism fit for the twenty-first century. See inside here!

“An extraordinary book, as nuanced as it is provocative. Lewis delivers an incisive analysis, combining sensitivity to the material conditions faced by gestational laborers with a radical utopian vision for what surrogacy might become. It’s an exhilarating read and is likely to have a substantial influence on the field. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” – Helen Hester, author of Xenofeminism

Socialism was pronounced dead when the Soviet Union collapsed. But with the success of Jeremy Corbyn’s left-led Labour Party and increasing economic inequality, the politics of class struggle and wealth redistribution is back on the agenda. In The Socialist Manifesto, Bhaskar Sunkara offers a primer on socialism for the twenty-first century, outlining where it came from, what it is, and what a socialist political system might look like.

A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present.

In Our History Is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. It is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.

An urgent challenge to the prevailing moral order from one of the freshest, most compelling voices in radical politics today.

In this groundbreaking book, Holly Jean Buck charts a possible course to a liveable future. Climate restoration will require not just innovative technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but social and economic transformation. The steps we must take are enormous, and they must be taken soon. Looking at industrial-scale seaweed farms, the grinding of rocks to sequester carbon at the bottom of the sea, the restoration of wetlands, and reforestation, Buck examines possible methods for such transformations and meets the people developing them.

Lefebvre's classic analysis of daily life under capitalism in one complete volume, presented in this beautiful edition.

John Berger, one of the world’s most celebrated art writers, takes us through centuries of drawing and painting, revealing his lifelong fascination with a diverse cast of artists.

Landscapes, the companion volume to John Berger’s highly acclaimed Portraits, explores what art tells us about ourselves. In this brilliant collection of diverse pieces—essays, short stories, poems, translations—which spans a lifetime’s engagement with art, John Berger reveals how he came to his own unique way of seeing. 

What makes a fascist? The Authoritarian Personality is not only one of the most significant works of social psychology ever written, it also marks a milestone in the development of Adorno’s thought, showing him grappling with the problem of fascism and the reasons for Europe’s turn to reaction. 

All of Marx’s essential political writing in one volume.

Neoliberalism is fracturing, but what will emerge in its wake?

In this theoretical tour-de-force, renowned scholar Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls on us to recognize the imperial foundations of knowledge and to refuse its strictures and its many violences.

Since 1843, the Economist has been the single most devoted and influential champion of liberalism anywhere in the world. But what exactly is liberalism, and how has the liberal message evolved? Liberalism at Large presents a history of liberalism on the move, confronting the challenges that classical doctrine left unresolved: the rise of democracy, the expansion of empire, the ascendancy of finance. Confidante to the powerful, emissary for the financial sector, portal onto international affairs, the bestselling news weekly shapes the world its readers—and the rest of us—inhabit. This is the first critical biography of one of the architects of a liberal world order now under increasing strain.

The story of the Jewish ex-servicemen who fought against Oswald Mosley after World War II. The history of the 43 Group is not just a gripping story of a forgotten moment in Britain’s postwar history; it is also a timely lesson in how to confront fascism, and how to win.

An exemplary work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis.

Considering the egalitarianism of the comrade in light of differences of race and gender, Dean draws from an array of historical and literary examples such as Harry Haywood, C.L.R. James, Alexandra Kollontai, and Doris Lessing. She argues that if we are to be a left at all, we have to be comrades.

A giant of the political left, Rosa Luxemburg is one of the foremost minds in the canon of revolutionary socialist thought. In this beautifully drawn work of graphic biography, writer and artist Kate Evans has opened up her subject’s intellectual world to a new audience, grounding Luxemburg’s ideas in the realities of an inspirational and deeply affecting life. Perfect reading as we approach the 100th anniversary of her death in January 2019.

Acclaimed fantasy author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down.

A major new manifesto for the end of capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms.

Urgent, timely and compelling; a narrative history of council housing—from slums to the Grenfell Tower.

This book is essential reading for those who want to know where Corbynism comes from: the policies, personalities and moments of resistance that have produced this new horizon. This includes the story of power struggles within the Labour Party, and the eventual defeat of New Labour. And the powerful influence of international groups that have shaped the potential for a global progressive politics.

In The Origin of Capitalism, a classic work of history and republished in this new edition, Ellen Meiksins Wood offers readers a clear and accessible introduction to the theories and debates concerning the birth of capitalism, imperialism, and the modern nation state.

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was met by the deepest mourning of the twentieth century. Two and a half billion people worldwide watched the funeral on television, floral tributes flooded London’s royal parks and sprung up, too, in small towns in Texas, conspiracy theories ricocheted around the Internet, commemorative stamps were issued in newly communist Hong Kong.

For those perplexed by the events surrounding Diana’s death, this book provides some answers. Insisting that all aspects of the affair are open to investigation, that nothing (and especially not royalty) is sacred, it brings together a group of distinguished writers whose primary interest is to analyze the death rather than lament it.

Contributors: Mark Augé, Jean Baudrillard, Sarah Benton, Homi K. Bhabha, Mark Cousins, Alexander Cockburn, Richard Coles, Régis Debray, Françoise Gaillard, Peter Ghosh, Christopher Hird, Christopher Hitchens, Linda Holt, Sara Maitland, Ross McKibbin, Mandy Merck, Tom Nairn, Glen Newey, Naomi Segal, Dorothy Thompson, Francis Wheen, Judith Williamson, and Elizabeth Wilson.

In Dreams of Leaving and Remaining, Meek meets farmers and fishermen intent on exiting the EU despite the loss of protections they will incur. He reports on a Cadbury’s factory shut down and moved to Poland in the name of free market economics, exploring the impact on the local community left behind. He charts how the NHS is coping with the twin burdens of austerity and an aging population.

Jenny Brown uncovers a century of legal abortion in the United States until 1873, recalls women’s experiences in the illegal days, and shows how the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s really won abortion rights. She draws inspiration and lessons from the radicals of Redstockings, the Army of Three, and the Jane Collective, putting together a road map for today’s organizers from the black feminist argument for reproductive justice, the successful fight to make the morning-after pill available over the counter, and the recent mass movement to repeal Ireland’s abortion ban.

Moving between Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know.

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ALL our books are 50% off until January 1 as part of our end-of-year sale! See full details here, as well as our End of Year Highlights, Top 10 Books of the Year, and our best short reads.

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