Verso Book Club: April, May, June

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The Verso Book Club 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 from Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Tariq Ali, Ben Tarnoff, and Jonathan Crary.

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.
 

APRIL Book Club Selection

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

Scorched EarthScorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World  by Jonathan Crary. In this uncompromising essay, Jonathan Crary presents the obvious but unsayable reality: our ‘digital age’ is synonymous with the disastrous terminal stage of global capitalism and its financialisation of social existence, mass impoverishment, ecocide, and military terror. Scorched Earth surveys the wrecking of a living world by the internet complex and its devastation of communities and their capacities for mutual support.
 

Half-Earth SocialismHalf-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change and Pandemics by Drew Pendergrass and Troy Vettese. In this thrilling and capacious book, Vettese and Pendergrass challenge the inertia of capitalism and the left alike and propose a radical plan to address climate disaster and guarantee the good life for all. Consumption in the Global North can’t continue unabated, and we must give up the idea that humans can fully control the Earth through technological “fixes” which only wreak further havoc.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Passages from Antiquity to FeudalismPassages from Antiquity to Feudalism by Perry Anderson. A sustained exercise in historical sociology that shows how the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome eventually became the feudal societies of the Middle Ages. In the course of this study, Anderson vindicates and refines the explanatory power of historical materialism, while casting a fascinating light on the Ancient world, the Germanic invasions, nomadic society, and the different routes taken to feudalism in Northern, Mediterranean, Eastern and Western Europe.
 

We Want EverythingWe Want Everything: A Novel by Nanni Balestrini. A young worker from the impoverished south arrives at Fiat’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, where his darker complexion begins to fade from the fourteen-hour workdays in sweltering industrial heat. He is frequently late for work, and sells his blood when money runs low. He fakes a crushed finger to win sick leave. His bosses try to withhold his wages. Our cynical, dry-witted narrator will not bend to their will. “I want everything, everything that’s owed to me,” he tells them. “Nothing more and nothing less, because you don’t mess with me.”

Russia without PutinRussia without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War by Tony Wood. In this timely and provocative analysis, Wood explores the profound changes Russia has undergone since 1991. In the process, he challenges several common assumptions made about contemporary Russia. Against the idea that Putin represents a return to Soviet authoritarianism, Wood argues that his rule should be seen as a continuation of Yeltsin’s in the 1990s. The core features of Putinism—a predatory elite presiding over a vastly unequal society—are in fact integral to the system set in place after the fall of Communism.


 

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:
 

Abolition GeographyAbolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation by Ruth Wilson Gilmore. Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s work from over three decades, Abolition Geography presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, offering scholars and activists ways of seeing and doing to help navigate our turbulent present. Abolition Geography moves us away from explanations of mass incarceration and racist violence focused on uninterrupted histories of prejudice or the dull compulsion of neoliberal economics.

Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes by Tariq Ali. The Churchill cult is completely out of control. In its present form, explains Tariq Ali, it was created during the Thatcher period, marked by the Falkland/Malvinas war and further embellished during the more recent conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. The cult today overshadows everything that existed during Churchill’s lifetime and the Second World War. Then, he was seen by many as an indomitable class warrior at home and abroad.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Climate Change as Class WarClimate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet by Matthew T. Huber. In this groundbreaking class analysis, Matthew T. Huber argues that the carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted for producing climate change. Yet, the narrow and unpopular roots of climate politics in the professional class is not capable of building a movement to face this challenge. For an alternative strategy, he proposes climate politics that will appeal to the vast majority of society: the working-class.
 

Taking A Long LookTaking A Long Look: Essays on Culture, Literature, and Feminism in Our Timeby Vivian Gornick. For nearly fifty years, Vivian Gornick’s essays, written with her characteristic clarity of perception and vibrant prose, have explored feminism and writing, literature and culture, politics and personal experience. Drawing on writing from the course of her career, Taking a Long Look illuminates one of the driving themes behind Gornick’s work: that the painful process of understanding one’s self is what binds us to the larger world.


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.
 

JUNE Book Club Selection

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

 

Internet for the PeopleInternet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future by Ben Tarnoff. Leading tech writer Ben Tarnoff offers an answer. The internet is broken, he argues, because it is owned by private firms and run for profit. Google annihilates your privacy and Facebook amplifies right-wing propaganda because it is profitable to do so. But the internet wasn't always like this—it had to be remade for the purposes of profit maximization, through a years-long process of privatization that turned a small research network into a powerhouse of global capitalism.

Bad GaysBad Gays: A Homosexual History by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller. Part revisionist history, part historical biography and based on the hugely popular podcast series, Bad Gays subverts the notion of gay icons and queer heroes and asks what we can learn about LGBTQ history, sexuality and identity through its villains and baddies. From the Emperor Hadrian to notorious gangster Ronnie Kray, the authors excavate the buried history of queer lives. This includes fascist thugs, famous artists, austere puritans and debauched bon viveurs, imperialists, G-men and architects.


Verso Comrades will also receive:
 

Humanitarian BordersHumanitarian Borders: Unequal Mobility and Saving Lives by Polly Pallister-Wilkins. What does it mean when humanitarianism is the response to death, injury and suffering at the border? This book interrogates the politics of humanitarian responses to border violence and unequal mobility, arguing that such responses mask underlying injustices, depoliticise violent borders and bolster liberal and paternalist approaches to suffering.


 

The Future Is DegrowthThe Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to a World beyond Capitalism by Matthias Schmelzer, Aaron Vansintjan, and Andrea Vetter. Economic growth isn’t working, and it cannot be made to work. Offering a counter-history of how economic growth emerged in the context of colonialism, fossil-fueled industrialization, and capitalist modernity, The Future Is Degrowth argues that the ideology of growth conceals the rising inequalities and ecological destructions associated with capitalism, and points to desirable alternatives to it.
 

Without ApologyWithout Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now by 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.


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!