Verso Book Club: March, April, May

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In July 2020, in our 50th year of radical publishing, we launched the Verso Book Club. This subscription offers our readers the chance to get the most essential books that we publish each month and the steady support allows us the security to keep expanding our revolutionary publishing program. 

Every month we’ll offer a carefully curated selection of our best new titles; this spring we have books on combating climate change, valuing care, labor and machines, the Algerian War, female desire, and free speech under surveillance capitalism. Each month we email all members with more details about next month's book club selections—including a letter from the editor—so that you can choose which one you want to receive.

You can choose between three options: the Verso Reader digital subscription, Verso Subscriber for print and digital, and Verso Comrade to receive even more books in the mail (including one new work of politics or theory every month, as well as a classic from Verso’s backlist). Learn more about the different member options here. All Book Club members will also get 50% off everything on our website, for as long as you are a subscriber. Each member tier is 50% off for the first three months.
 

MARCH Book Club Selection

Verso Subscribers and Verso Comrades can choose their Book Club mailing from these two titles:
 

Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good AgainTomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent by Katherine Angel. In this elegantly written, searching book Katherine Angel surveys medical and psychoanalytic understandings of female desire, from Freud to Kinsey to present-day science; MeToo-era debates over consent, assault, and feminism; and popular culture, TV, and film to challenge our assumptions about female desire. Why, she asks, do we expect desire to be easily understood? Why is there not space for the unsure, the tentative, the maybe, the let's just see? In contrast to the endless exhortation to know what we want, Angel proposes that sex can be a conversation, requiring insight, interaction, and mutual vulnerability—a shared collaboration into the unknown.
 

Silicon ValuesSilicon Values: The Future of Free Speech under Surveillance Capitalism by Jillian C. York. In Silicon Values, leading campaigner Jillian C. York looks at how our rights have become increasingly undermined by the major corporations’ desire to harvest our personal data and turn it into profit. She also looks at how governments have used the same technology to monitor citizens and threatened our ability to communicate. As a result our daily lives, and private thoughts, are being policed in an unprecedented manner. Who decides the difference between political debate and hate speech? How does this impact on our identity, our ability to create communities and to protest?



Verso Comrades will also receive:
 

Liberalism at LargeLiberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alexander Zevin. 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.

 

The Emancipated SpectatorThe Emancipated Spectator by Jacques Rancière and translated by Gregory Elliott. The theorists of art and film commonly depict the modern audience as aesthetically and politically passive. In response, both artists and thinkers have sought to transform the spectator into an active agent and the spectacle into a communal performance. In this follow-up to the acclaimed The Future of the Image, Rancière takes a radically different approach to this attempted emancipation. First asking exactly what we mean by political art or the politics of art, he goes on to look at what the tradition of critical art, and the desire to insert art into life, has achieved. Has the militant critique of the consumption of images and commodities become, ironically, a sad affirmation of its omnipotence? 


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.


APRIL Book Club Selection

Verso Subscribers and Verso Comrades can choose their Book Club mailing from these two titles:
 

Planet on FirePlanet on Fire: A Manifesto for the Age of Environmental Breakdown by Mathew Lawrence and Laurie Laybourn-Langton. Building on the debates surrounding the Green New Deal, debates that both authors have been central to, Lawrence and Laybourn-Langton argue that it is not enough merely to spend our way out of the crisis. Instead we need to rapidly change the shape and purpose of the economy, away from the emphasis on endless growth and towards creating a healthy and flourishing environment for everyone. Planet on Fire is a radical and achievable manifesto for a new politics and a new economics capable of tackling environmental breakdown.

Terminal BoredomTerminal Boredom: Stories by Izumi Suzuki. Nonchalantly hip and full of deranged prescience, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Neuromancer to The Handmaid’s Tale. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always grounded in the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.



 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Prophets of DeceitProphets of Deceit: A Study of the Techniques of the American Agitator by Norbert Guterman and Leo Löwenthal. A classic book that analyzes and defines media appeals specific to American pro-fascist and anti-Semite agitators of the 1940s, such as the application of psychosocial manipulation for political ends. The book details psychological deceits that idealogues or authoritarians commonly used. The techniques are grouped under the headings "Discontent", "The Opponent", "The Movement" and "The Leader".
 

Being NumerousBeing Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life by Natasha Lennard. Being Numerous shatters the mainstream consensus on politics and personhood, offering in its place a bracing analysis of a perilous world and how we should live in it. Beginning with an interrogation of what it means to fight fascism, Natasha Lennard explores the limits of individual rights, the criminalization of political dissent, the myths of radical sex, and the ghosts in our lives.
 


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.
 

MAY Book Club Selection

Verso Subscribers and Verso Comrades can choose their Book Club mailing from these two titles:

 

The Last Man Takes LSDThe Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution by Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora. In May 1975, Michel Foucault took LSD in the desert in southern California. He described it as the most important event of his life which would lead him to completely rework his History of Sexuality. His focus now would not be on power relations but on the experiments of subjectivity and the care of the self. Through this lens, he would reinterpret the social movements of May ’68. He would also come to appreciate the possibilities of autonomy offered by a new force on the French political scene that was neither of the left nor the right: neoliberalism.

White Skin, Black FuelWhite Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism by Andreas Malm and The Zetkin Collective. In the first study of the far right in the climate crisis, White Skin, Black Fuel presents an eye-opening sweep of a novel political constellation, and reveals its deep historical roots. Fossil-fuelled technologies were born steeped in racism. None loved them more passionately than the classical fascists. Now right-wing forces have risen to the surface, professing to have the solution—closing borders to save the climate. Epic and riveting, White Skin, Black Fuel traces a future of political fronts that can only heat up.


Verso Comrades will also receive:
 

Neither Vertical nor HorizontalNeither Vertical nor Horizontal: A Theory of Political Organization by Rodrigo Nunes. Nunes redefines the terms of organisational theory, and argues that organisation must be understood as always supposing a diverse ecology of different initiatives and organisational forms. Drawing from a wide array of sources and traditions Nunes develops a grammar that eschews easy oppositions between ‘verticalism’ and ‘horizontalism’, and offers a fresh approach to enduring issues like spontaneity, leadership, democracy, strategy, populism, revolution, and the relationship between movements and parties.
 

Edward SaidEdward Said: His Thought as a Novel by Dominique Eddé. In this personal portrait of Edward Said written by a close friend, Dominique Eddé offers a fascinating and fresh presentation of his oeuvre from his earliest writings on Joseph Conrad to his most famous texts, Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism. Eddé weaves together accounts of the genesis and content of Said’s work, his intellectual development, and her own reflections and personal recollections of their friendship, which began in 1979 and lasted until Said’s death in 2003.
 


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:


SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.

Learn more about the Verso Book Club—including more detailed information on all the membership tiers. Confused or have any questions? We hope our FAQs will help, but you can also email us at bookclub@versobooks.com—we would love to get your feedback!