Verso Book Club: September, October, November, December

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Last year, 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 fall we have books on how modern jihad echoes the crises of western liberalism, how Amazon shapes contemporary fiction, the politics of work, and more. 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.
 

SEPTEMBER Book Club Selection

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

The Apocalypse and the End of HistoryThe Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism by Suzanne Schneider. Written with the sensibility of a political theorist and based on extensive research into a wide range of sources, from Islamic jurisprudence to popular recruitment videos, contemporary apocalyptic literature and the Islamic State's Arabic-language publications, the book explores modern jihad as an image of a potential dark future already heralded by neoliberal modes of life.
 

The Spoils of WarThe Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine by Andrew Cockburn. In the last decades, America has gone to war as supposed defenders of democracy. The War on Terror was waged to protect the west from the dangers of Islamists. US soldiers are stationed in more than 800 locations across the world to act as the righteous arbiters of the rule of law. In The Spoils of War Andrew Cockburn brilliantly dissects the intentions behind Washington’s martial appetites. Based on years of wide-ranging research, Cockburn lays bare the ugly reality of the largest military machine in history: squalid, and at the same time terrifyingly dangerous.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Ever Closer Union?Ever Closer Union? Europe in the West by Perry Anderson. Sixty years after the founding treaty, what sort of structure has crystallised, and does the promise of ever closer union still obtain? Against the self-image of the bloc, Perry Anderson poses the historical record of its assembly. He traces the wider arc of European history, from First World War to Eurozone crisis, the hegemony of Versailles to that of Maastricht, and casts the work of the EU’s leading contemporary analysts—both independent critics and court philosophers—in older traditions of political thought. Are there likenesses to the age of Metternich, lessons in statecraft from that of Machiavelli?
 

2022 Verso Radical Diary and Weekly Planner2022 Verso Radical Diary and Weekly Planner by Verso Books. The 2022 Verso Radical Diary and Weekly Planner is a beautifully designed week-to-view planner where you can keep track of your coming year. Alongside illustrations, it features significant dates in radical history, drawn from events such as 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., and includes movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Suffragettes.


 

All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE


OCTOBER Book Club Selection

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

Everything, All the Time, EverywhereEverything, All the Time, Everywhere: How We Became Postmodern by Stuart Jeffries. In this brilliant history of a dangerous idea, Stuart Jeffries tells a narrative that starts in the early 1970s and still dominates our lives today. He tells this history through a riotous gallery that includes, among others: David Bowie, the iPod, Madonna, Jeff Koons’s the Nixon Shock, Judith Butler, Las Vegas, Margaret Thatcher, Grand Master Flash, I Love Dick, the RAND Corporation, the Sex Pistols, Princess Diana, Grand Theft Auto, Jean Baudrillard, Netflix, and 9/11.
 

Everything and LessEverything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon by Mark McGurl. With an eye on the longer history of the novel, this witty, acerbic book tells a story that connects Henry James to E. L. James, and Faulkner and Hemingway to contemporary romance, science fiction and fantasy writers. In opening the floodgates of popular literary expression as never before, the age of Amazon shows a democratic promise, as well as what it means when literary culture becomes corporate culture in the broadest but also deepest and most troubling sense.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

RevolutionRevolution: An Intellectual History by Enzo Traverso. This book reinterprets the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century revolutions by composing a constellation of “dialectical images”: Marx’s “locomotives of history,” Alexandra Kollontai’s sexually liberated bodies, Lenin’s mummified body, Auguste Blanqui’s barricades and red flags, the Paris Commune’s demolition of the Vendome Column, among several others. It connects theories with the existential trajectories of the thinkers who elaborated them, by sketching the diverse profiles of revolutionary intellectuals—from Marx and Bakunin to Luxemburg and the Bolsheviks, from Mao and Ho Chi Minh to José Carlos Mariátegui, C. L. R. James, and other rebellious spirits from the South—as outcasts and pariahs.
 

Work Without the WorkerWork Without the Worker: Labour in the Age of Platform Capitalism by Phil Jones. Recent years have seen a boom in online crowd-working platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Clickworker, and these have become an increasingly important source of work for millions of people. But what happens to work when it makes itself obsolete. In this stimulating work that blends political economy, studies of contemporary work, and speculations on the future of capitalism, Phil Jones looks at what this often murky and hidden form of labour looks like, and what it says about the state of global capitalism.


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.
 

NOVEMBER Book Club Selection

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

 

Ending Fossil FuelsEnding Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero is Not Enough by Holly Jean Buck. Around the world, countries and companies are setting net-zero carbon emissions targets. But “net-zero” is a term that conveniently obscures multiple futures. There could be a version of net-zero where the fossil fuel industry is still spewing tens of billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and has built a corresponding industry in sucking it back out again. Holly Buck argues that focusing on emissions draws our attention away from where we need to be looking: the point of production.

Space ForcesSpace Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space by Fred Scharmen. For the Russian cosmonauts of the 1890s space was a place to pursue human perfection away from the Earth. Today, the market has arrived into outer space and exploration is the plaything of superrich technology billionaires, who plan to privatize the mineral wealth for themselves. Are other worlds really possible? Bringing these figures and ideas together reveals a completely different story of our relationship with outer space, as well as the dangers of our current direction of extractive capitalism and colonization.


Verso Comrades will also receive:
 

The Anthropocene UnconsciousThe Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe in Contemporary Culture by Mark Bould. Tracing the outlines of the Anthropocene unconscious in a range of film, television and literature—across a range of genres and with utter disregard for high-low culture distinctions—this playful and riveting book draws out some of the things that are repressed and obscured by the term “the Anthropocene,” including capital, class, imperialism, inequality, alienation, violence, commodification, patriarchy and racial formations.
 

DarkwaterDarkwater: Voices from Within the Veil by W.E.B. Du Bois. The distinguished American civil rights leader, W. E. B. Du Bois first published these fiery essays, sketches, and poems individually nearly 80 years ago in the Atlantic, the Journal of Race Development, and other periodicals. Part essay, part autobiography, Darkwater explicitly addresses significant issues, such as the oppression of women and Eurocentric standards of beauty, the historical rise of the idea of whiteness, and the abridgement of democracy along race, class, and gender lines.
 


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:


DECEMBER Book Club Selection

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

The Forty Year War in AfghanistanThe Forty Year War in Afghanistan: A Chronicle Foretold by Tariq Ali. Ali has been following the wars in Afghanistan for forty years. He opposed Soviet military intervention in 1979, predicting disaster. He was also a fierce critic of its NATO sequel, “Operation Enduring Freedom.” In a series of trenchant commentaries, he described the tragedies inflicted on Afghanistan, as well as the semi-Talibanization and militarization of neighbouring Pakistan. Most of his predictions proved accurate. The Forty Year War in Afghanistan brings together the best of his writings and includes a new introduction.
 

Feminism and Nationalism in the Third WorldFeminism and Nationalism in the Third World by Kumari Jayawardena. For twenty-five years, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World has been an essential primer on the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century history of women’s movements in Asia and the Middle East. In this engaging and well-researched survey, Kumari Jayawardena presents feminism as it originated in the Third World, erupting from the specific struggles of women fighting against colonial power, for education or the vote, for safety, and against poverty and inequality.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Democracy Against CapitalismDemocracy Against Capitalism: Renewing Historical Materialism by Ellen Meiksins Wood. Historian and political thinker Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that theories of “postmodern” fragmentation, “difference,” and contingency can barely accommodate the idea of capitalism, let alone subject it to critique. In this book she sets out to renew the critical program of historical materialism by redefining its basic concepts and its theory of history in original and imaginative ways, using them to identify the specificity of capitalism as a system of social relations and political power.
 

The Pristine Culture of CapitalismThe Pristine Culture of Capitalism: A Historical Essay on Old Regimes and Modern States by Ellen Meiksins Wood. In this lively and wide-ranging book, Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that what is supposed to have epitomized bourgeois modernity, especially the emergence of a “modern” state and political culture in Continental Europe, signaled the persistence of pre-capitalist social property relations. Conversely, the absence of a “modern” state and political discourse in England testified to the presence of a well-developed capitalism. The fundamental flaws in the British economy are not just the symptoms of arrested development but the contradictions of the capitalist system itself. Britain today, Wood maintains, is the most thoroughly capitalist culture in Europe.


 

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!