Reading in a time of self-isolation


Like many of you, at Verso we are practising self-isolation and social distancing for the foreseeable.

Over the coming months, we will all experience huge changes to the way we live – changes that will impact people in many different ways, and we are yet to know how the longer term consequences of this virus will play out. More than ever, in times in crisis, we see the most marginalised and vulnerable pushed to limits, and governments using this pandemic to accelerate their own long-term agendas.

Pushback can start at home, with books that hold our governments to account and reimagine society as something that values people over profit. Fuck the Tories is a good place to start, and American politics in a time of crisis

Until April 8 (23:59 EST), we have 80% off all our ebooks, and 40% off all our print books.

We are also giving away 6 free ebooks, looking at what might be possible in the fractured wake of this global crisis. Download your free reading here.

We hope you find new reading to help you through this period, and inspire ideas that you can take into the future. Keep safe and take care of yourselves and one another.

See all our reading lists here, and a selection of some of our most powerful and radical reads below.

What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it?

A deep dive into Joe Biden’s history and the origins of his political values.

Juidth Butler's new book on aggressive nonviolence.

Classic study of Marx by Japan’s leading critical theorist.

In Revolting Prostitutes, sex workers Juno Mac and Molly Smith bring a fresh perspective to questions that have long been contentious. 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, they make clear that anyone committed to working towards justice and freedom should be in support of the sex worker rights movement.

How Trump got to the Oval Office—and how both parties and the mainstream media are keeping him there.

The most comprehensive collection of feminist manifestos, chronicling our rage and dreams from the nineteenth century to today.

Why every worker should join a trade union.

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.

A damning indictment of a safety net so compromised it strangles many of those it catches and a passionate demand for an end to austerity, which hits hardest those most in need.

American history told from the vantage of immigration politics.

How migrants became the scapegoats of contemporary mainstream politics.

A post-capitalist manifesto for conservation.

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.

The Case for the Green New Deal argues that economic change is wholly possible, based on the understanding that finance, the economy and the ecosystem are all tightly bound together. Pettifor offers a roadmap for financial reform both nationally and globally, taking the economy back from the 1%. This is a radical, urgent manifesto that we must act on now.

It’s not capitalism, it’s not neoliberalism—what if it’s something worse?

Democracy is in crisis. In every major company it has been stole by elites or in the hands of strong men. In democracy’s name we see a raft of policies that spread inequality and xenophobia worldwide. It is clear that democracy—the principle of government by and for the people - is not living up to its promise. 

Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone offers a better understanding of what is possible, what we want, and why democracy is so hard to realize.

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.

Fully updated new edition: Why we cannot afford the rich in post Brexit Britain.

The great French Marxist philosopher weighs up the contributions of the three major critics of modernity.

What is the “populist moment” and what does it mean for the left?

The classic text of Italian workerism finally available in English.

Bernie Sanders’s political autobiography.

When people say “comrade,” they change the world.

This reader reconstructs the history of US antifascism the twenty-first century, showing how generations of writers, organisers, and fighters spoke to each other over time.

How climate change will affect our political theory—for better and worse.

A passionately urgent call for all of us to unlearn imperialism and repair the violent world we share.

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

The story of the Jewish ex-servicemen who fought against Oswald Mosley after World War II.

A different kind of politics for a new kind of society—beyond work, scarcity and capitalism.

Where pregnancy is concerned, let every pregnancy be for everyone. Let us overthrow, in short, the “family”.