Verso Book Club: January, February, March

Vbc_jan_to_march_blog_%281%29-

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 winter we have books from The Nation's John Nichols, renowned cultural critic Raymond Williams, South African novelist C.A. Davids, French radical feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne, and acclaimed political scientist Adolph L. Reed, Jr. 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.
 

JANUARY Book Club Selection

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

Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic ProfiteersCoronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis by John Nichols. Hundreds of thousands of deaths were caused not by the vicissitudes of nature but by the callous and opportunistic decisions of powerful people, as revealed here by John Nichols. Nichols closes with a call for a version of the Pecora Commission, which took aim at what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the “speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, and profiteering” that stoked the Depression. There must be accountability.
 

Britain's EmpireBritain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt by Richard Gott. Contrary to nationalist legend and schoolboy history lessons, the British Empire was not a great civilizing power bringing light to the darker corners of the earth. Richard Gott’s magisterial work recounts the empire’s misdeeds from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the Indian Mutiny, spanning the red-patched imperial globe from Ireland to Australia, telling a story of almost continuous colonialist violence.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Culture and PoliticsCulture and Politics: Class, Writing, Socialism by Raymond Williams. Raymond Williams was a pioneering scholar of culture and society, and one of the outstanding intellectuals of the twentieth century. In this, a collection of difficult to find essays, some of which are published for the first time, Williams emerges as not only one of the great writers of materialist criticism, but also a thoroughly engaged political writer.


 

ImperiumImperium: Structures and Affects of Political Bodies by Frédéric Lordon. What should we do with the ideals of internationalism, the withering away of state and horizontality? Probably start by thinking seriously about them. That is to say, about their conditions of possibility (or impossibility), rather than sticking to the wishful thinking which asserts that for them to happen it is enough to want them. Humanity exists neither as a dust cloud of separate individuals nor as a unified world political community.


 

All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE


FEBRUARY Book Club Selection

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

The Trial of Julian AssangeThe Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution by Nils Melzer. Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture. Melzer’s compelling investigation shows how—through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference—unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.

How to Be a RevolutionaryHow to Be a Revolutionary: A Novel by C. A. Davids. Connecting contemporary Shanghai, late Apartheid era South Africa, and China during the Great Leap Forward and the Tiananmen uprising—and refracting this globe-trotting and time-traveling through Hughes’ confessional letters to a South African protege about the poet’s time in Shanghai—How to Be a Revolutionary is an amazingly ambitious novel. It’s also a heartbreaking exploration of what we owe our countries, our consciences, and ourselves.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

The SouthThe South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives by Adolph L. Reed, Jr. The last generation of Americans with a living memory of Jim Crow will soon disappear. They leave behind a collective memory of segregation shaped increasingly by its horrors and heroic defeat but not a nuanced understanding of everyday life in Jim Crow America. In The South, Adolph L. Reed Jr., New Orleanian, political scientist, and according to Cornel West, “the greatest democratic theorist of his generation," takes up the urgent task of recounting the granular realities of life in the last decades of the Jim Crow South.
 

RacecraftRacecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life by Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields. Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call “racecraft.” And this phenomenon is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed.


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.
 

MARCH Book Club Selection

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

 

Feminism or DeathFeminism or Death: How the Women’s Movement Can Save the Planet by Françoise d’Eaubonne. Originally published in French in 1974, radical feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne surveyed women’s status around the globe and argued that the stakes of feminist struggles were not about equality but about life and death—for humans and the planet. Never before published in English, and translated here by French feminist scholar Ruth Hottell, this edition includes an introduction from scholars of ecology and feminism situating d’Eaubonne’s work within current feminist theory, environmental justice organising, and anticolonial feminism.

Mistaken IdentityMistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump by Asad Haider. A powerful challenge to the way we understand the politics of race and the history of anti-racist struggle. Drawing on the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralization of its movements. It marks a retreat from the crucial passage of identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to the collective struggle against an oppressive social structure.


Verso Comrades will also receive:
 

The Politics of ImmunityThe Politics of Immunity: Security and the Policing of Bodies by Mark Neocleous. Our contemporary political condition is obsessed with immunity. The immunity of bodies and the body politic; personal immunity and herd immunity; how to immunize the social system against breakdown. The obsession intensifies with every new crisis and the mobilization of yet more powers of war and police, from quarantine to border closures and from vaccination certificates to immunological surveillance. Engaging four key concepts with enormous cultural weight—Cell, Self, System and Sovereignty—Politics of Immunity moves from philosophical biology to intellectual history and from critical theory to psychoanalysis to expose the politics underpinning the way immunity is imagined.
 

The Benjamin FilesThe Benjamin Files by Fredric Jameson. The Benjamin Files offers a comprehensive new reading of all of Benjamin’s major works and a great number of his shorter book reviews, notes and letters. Its premise is that Benjamin was an anti-philosophical, anti-systematic thinker whose conceptual interests also felt the gravitational pull of his vocation as a writer. What resulted was a coexistence or variety of language fields and thematic codes which overlapped and often seemed to contradict each other: a view which will allow us to clarify the much-debated tension in his works between the mystical or theological side of Benjamin and his political or historical inclination.
 


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!