Verso Book Club: June, July, August

Vbc_june_to_august_blog-

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 summer we have books from Kristen Ghodsee, Paris Marx, Walter Rodney, Vivek Chibber and Olivier Guez.

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. 
 

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


JULY Book Club Selection

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

Red ValkyriesRed Valkyries: Feminist Lessons From Five Revolutionary Women  by Kristen Ghodsee. Red Valkyries explores the history of socialist feminism in Eastern Europe. By examining the revolutionary careers of five prominent socialist women active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—the aristocratic Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai; the radical pedagogue Nadezhda Krupskaya; the polyamorous firebrand Inessa Armand; the deadly sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko; and the partisan turned scientist turned global women’s activist Elena Lagadinova—Kristen Ghodsee tells the story of the personal challenges faced by earlier generations of socialist and communist women.
 

Road to NowhereRoad to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation by Paris Marx. Exposes the problems with Silicon Valley’s visions of the future and argues that we cannot allow ourselves to be continually distracted by technological fantasies that delay the collective solutions we already know are effective. Technological solutions to social problems and the people who propose them must be challenged if we are to build cities and transportation systems which serve the public good.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Against BordersAgainst Borders: The Case for Abolition by Gracie Mae Bradley and Luke de Noronha. Bradley and de Noronha tell what should by now be a simple truth: borders are not only at the edges of national territory, in airports, or at border walls. Borders are everyday and everywhere; they follow people around and get between us, and disrupt our collective safety, freedom and flourishing. Against Borders is a passionate manifesto for border abolition, arguing that we must transform society and our relationships to one another, and build a world in which everyone has the freedom to move and to stay.
 

The Poverty of EthicsThe Poverty of Ethics by Anat Matar, translated by Matan Kaminer. Appealing to philosophical ideas on the essence of language, on meaning, on understanding and persuasion, this book scrutinises the system of concepts and attitudes informing our common view of the relationship between the moral and the political. It argues that the traditional conception of morality is far too narrow to form a basis for political thought and political action. Its carefully unfolded argument concludes that none of the current philosophical accounts of morality can be translated into terms of political will, much less into direct political action.


All Book Club members will also receive these new ebooks:
 


 

SIGN UP TO THE VERSO BOOK CLUB HERE.


AUGUST Book Club Selection

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

Decolonial MarxismDecolonial Marxism: Essays from the Pan-African Revolution by Walter Rodney. Early in life, Walter Rodney became a major revolutionary figure in a dizzying range of locales that traversed the breadth of the Black diaspora: in North America and Europe, in the Caribbean and on the African continent. He not only witnessed a Pan-African and socialist internationalism; in his efforts to build mass organisations, catalyse rebellious ferment, and theorise an anti-colonial path to self-emancipation, he can be counted among its prime authors.
 

The Disappearance of Josef MengeleThe Disappearance of Josef Mengele: A Novel by Olivier Guez, translated by Georgia de Chamberet. For three decades, until the day he collapsed in the Brazilian surf in 1979, Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death who performed horrific experiments on the prisoners of Auschwitz, floated through South America in linen suits, keeping two steps ahead of Mossad agents, international police and the world’s journalists. In this rigorusly researched factual novel—drawn almost entirely from historical documents—Olivier Guez traces Mengele’s footsteps through these years of flight.


 

Verso Comrades will also receive:

Confronting CapitalismConfronting Capitalism: How the World Works and How to Change It by Vivek Chibber. Why is our society so unequal? Why, despite their small numbers, do the wealthy dominate policy and politics, even in democratic countries? Why is it so difficult for working people to organise around common interests, and how do we begin building a more equal and democratic society? Award-winning sociologist Vivek Chibber answers these questions.
 

Hegemony NowHegemony Now: How Big Tech and Wall Street Won the World (And How We Win it Back) by Jeremy Gilbert and Alex Williams. Today power is in the hands of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. How do we understand this transformation in power? And what can we do about it? We cannot change anything until we have a better understanding of how power works, who holds it, and why that matters. Through upgrading the concept of hegemony—understanding the importance of passive consent; the complexity of political interests; and the structural force of technology—this book offers an updated theory of power for the twenty-first century.


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!