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Ebook Highlights from Verso’s Archive from $1/£1

Verso Books 2 September 2016

Ebook Highlights from Verso’s Archive from $1/£1


We’ve come to realize that our 90% off ebook sale has placed our readers in a dual crisis of both shortening time and expanding options, leaving many paralyzed or uncertain on how to navigate this vast terrain of radical ebooks. The task is certainly daunting. With a diverse list of authors ranging from Rosa Luxemburg, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Fredric Jameson, David Harvey, and Benedict Anderson to Patrick Cockburn, Liza Featherstone, John Berger, and Richard Seymour, choosing the right bundle can be a challenge. 

To help guide you through this paradox of choice, a true moment in ebook history, we present a select list of Verso ebook highlights that are currently only $1/£1. Here, you can discover some of Verso’s best, featuring both recent titles and various classics pulled from the archive. Your e-reader will thank you.

Pushed into the dustbin of history, electoral socialism has returned as a political force in the capitalist heartlands. These books will help readers grasp the character of socialism in the 21st century, pointing to its possibilities as well as its limits. 

ABCs of Socialism
Edited by Bhaskar Sunkara

A slim, accessible, inexpensive, irreverent introduction to socialism by the writers of Jacobin magazine

Written by young writers from the dynamic magazine Jacobin, alongside several distinguished scholars, The ABCs of Socialism answers basic questions, including ones that many want to know but might be afraid to ask. 

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
By Richard Seymour

“One of our most astute political analysts turns his attention to Corbyn, and the result is predictably essential: not just to make sense of how we got to this unlikely situation, but for his thoughts on what the left might do next” – China Miéville

Politics in a Time of Crisis: Podemos and the Future of Democracy in Europe
By Pablo Iglesias 

“Iglesias and his Podemos party are radically shaking up Spain’s political establishment.” – New York Times
  “Iglesias is an outspoken critic of political elites in Spain and Europe, and their austerity-led response to the recent financial crisis.”
– Financial Times

Outsider in the White House
By Bernie Sanders 

“Bernie’s been in the forefront of all the crucial environmental fights of recent years.” – Bill McKibben, cofounder of

“A clear, compelling and comprehensive vision for reinvigorating democracy, reducing poverty, rebuilding the middle class and restructuring our health care and education systems. Sanders gives us a vision of the day when ‘we will no longer be outsiders in the House.’”
Novels, songs, and the contexts they’re composed in; these books force us to rethink histories of sound, narratives of migrant labor, and the lives of philosophers.

The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness
By Walter Benjamin

“Benjamin was the interlocutor of all the demons and angels of storytelling. And this is why he knew its endless secrets. Listen to him.” – John Berger

"This elegant and moving volume is beautifully edited, including an introduction that shows how these collections of short tales and dream sequences are already doing the critical work of the essay form. This volume is a marvelous gift that will reorient our reading of Benjamin in startling ways.” – Judith Butler

We Want Everything: A Novel

By Nanni Balestrini
Introduction by Rachel Kushner

“[We Want Everything] is probably the most important Italian literary work of the 1960s.” – Franco 'Bifo' Berardi

An explosive novel of Italy’s revolutionary 1969 by leading Italian novelist— It was 1969, and temperatures were rising across the factories of the north as workers demanded better pay and conditions. Soon, discontent would erupt in what became known as Italy’s “Hot Autumn.”

Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality
By Fredric Jameson

“Fredric Jameson is America’s leading Marxist critic. A prodigiously energetic thinker whose writings sweep majestically from Sophocles to science fiction.” – Terry Eagleton

“Probably the most important cultural critic writing in English today … it can truly be said that nothing cultural is alien to him.” – Colin MacCabe

A Philosophy of Walking 
By Frédéric Gros

“Life-affirming stuff.” – National Geographic Traveler

“A long walk, Gros suggests, allows us to commune with the sublime.”
– New York Times

Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution
By Michael Denning 

“An instant classic. It utterly revises the history and geography of modern music.” – Vijay Prashad
  “Which of the senses was decolonized first? In making a case for the ear, Denning has given us a brilliant, audacious guidebook to the sly but unruly insurgencies of sound that coursed through the port cities of the Black Atlantic, the Polynesian Pacific, and the Gypsy Mediterranean.”
– Andrew Ross
From high-stakes testing to high-tech security systems, these books explain how schools reproduce class society.

Class War: The Privatization of Childhood
By Megan Erickson

What America has at stake when some children go to school hungry and others ride in $1,000 strollers
  “Megan Erickson knows the classroom is not a solvent for class society. But she remembers that it can be about something more than class reproduction. There may be no more trustworthy a guide to schooling in capitalist America than this book.” – Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind and The History of a Political Idea
Strike For America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity
By Micah Uetricht

“Brilliant political analysis." – The Nation
  “A finely bound pamphlet and a piece of old-fashioned socialist pedagogy, written in a modern, accessible style.” – Richard Seymour, teleSUR

Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse
By Annette Fuentes 

  A riveting report on the overblown fear of violence that turns American schools into prisons and students into suspects.
  “[A] well-argued book ... packed with the anecdotally eye-catching and hard, persuasive data. Fuentes's detailed and daunting investigation ... is a wake-up call.” – Publishers Weekly
On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses 
By Louis Althusser

“Redefined the concept of ideology.” –Los Angeles Review of Books

“One reads him with excitement. There is no mystery about his capacity to inspire the intelligent young.” – Eric Hobsbawm

Oil paintings, graphic novels, and built environments. This cluster of titles explores power and visual culture, remembering John Berger’s aphorism, that “the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.” 

By John Berger

Editor’s Choice of the New York Times

“A volume whose breadth and depth bring it close to a definitive self-portrait of one of Britain’s most original thinkers” – Financial Times

“Berger writes about what is important—in contemporary English letters, he seems to be peerless; not since Lawrence has there been a writer who offers such attentiveness to the sensual world with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience. He is a wonderful artist and thinker.” – Susan Sontag

“Shows the 88-year-old British art critic at his bristling best.” – Wall Street Journal

Planet/Cuba: Art, Culture, and the Future of the Island

By Rachel Price

“A rich revelation of Cuban art today; it will amaze, fascinate and instruct.” – Fredric Jameson
  “This brilliant book charts the cultural life in Cuba from the coming to power of Raúl Castro to the ‘normalization’ of relations with the US. What could be more timely than a cognitive map of this already heterogeneous island, once a trigger point in the Cold War, as it is vectored by new forces that are planetary in reach—neoliberalism, climate change, and pervasive surveillance?” – Hal Foster
Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space 
By Keller Easterling 
  “A provocative study of infrastructure, the operating system governing everyday life.” – Jay Owens, Icon

Extrastatecraft is an essential text for anyone with a stake in the built environment, architect and citizen alike, in articulating the forces that shape our nation-states, and cataloguing—in a precise and readable style—the strategies of an otherwise unaccountable global order.”
– Jack Self, Architectural Review
Last Futures: Nature, Technology, and the End of Architecture
By Douglas Murphy 
  “Provocative and compelling.” – Macleans
  “A fluent, chronological narrative in which oddities from the recent past form sequences in an unfolding drama … Murphy deploys his storytelling with great effect.” – Architecture Today

Is heralding multiracial, working class unity a sufficient approach to anti-racism? This collection probes the relationship between race and class in the United States and elsewhere. 

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter

By Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton

 “This book is the best analytical and political response we have to the historic rebellions in Ferguson! Don’t miss it.” – Cornel West

“A brilliant and provocative collection of voices that compels us to see the Black Lives Matter Movement in the larger context of twenty-first-century racial capitalism and the growing carceral state.” – Barbara Ransby

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life 
By Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields 
  “I love the simple elegance with which they hammer home that race is a monstrous fiction, racism is a monstrous crime.” – Junot Diaz
  “Barbara and Karen Fields show that racism creates race, not the other way around. So correct. So on point.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Seizing Freedom: Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All
By David R. Roediger
  "It brilliantly brings together disability studies, race in the Civil War, and the disappearance of the gold standard. A worthy supplement to Du Bois'sBlack Reconstruction.” – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
The Invention of the White Race, Vol 1 & 2
By Theodor W. Allen 

  “A monumental study of the birth of racism in the American South which makes truly new and convincing points about one of the most critical problems in US history … a highly original and seminal work.” – David Roediger
  “A powerful and polemical study.” – Times Literary Supplement

As various countries in the region continue to experience violence at the hands of dictators and Western aggressors, we present a reading list of key titles that shed light on the roots and permutations defining the crises.

Syria Burning: A Short History of Catastrophe
By Charles Glass

  “Tells us more about the reality of Syria and its future than could be gained from any other single source.” – Patrick Cockburn
  “Cutting through the misrepresentation that plagues most media coverage of the region, Glass clearly explains the current conflict, drawing on his extensive reporting experience in Syria.” –In These Times
Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil
By Timothy Mitchell

  “A challenging, sophisticated, and important book that undermines expectations in the best kind of intellectual provocation.” – Foreign Policy
The Rise of the Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution
By Patrick Cockburn

The essential “on the ground” report on the fastest-growing new threat in the Middle East from the Winner of the 2014 Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year Award 
  “A wealth of telling detail.” – New York Times
  The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza
By Eyal Weizman

Groundbreaking exploration of the philosophy underpinning Western humanitarian intervention.
  “Weizman continues to offer daring social and political commentary, questioning taken-for-granted structures and processes that perpetuate oppression and violence.” – BOMB Magazine
Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation
Edited by Vijay Prashad

  “The growing recognition of the plight of Palestinians, and support for their struggle for their rights, particularly among younger people, is a welcome and important phenomenon. The contributions here both reflect these developments and should help inspire them.”
– Noam Chomsky

Iran Without Borders: Towards a Critique of the Postcolonial Nation
By Hamid Dabashi
  “Reading Dabashi is like going for an extended coffee with a very smart friend.” – Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations   “The grand clash of civilizations and ideologies will increasingly take place in the West, with such writers and intellectuals as Dabashi.”
– Guardian

Despite it’s proximity to the United States and its undeniable place on the world stage, the social and political dynamics of Latin America are woefully undercovered in the Anglo-American press. As a modest corrective, these books translate the most gripping, thoughtful portraits of world south of the US border. 

A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America

By Óscar Martínez

 “A chilling portrait of corruption, unimaginable brutality and impunity” – Financial Times

"Suspenseful, moving, and vivid.” - The New Republic

Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers
By Anabel Hernández
  “An ambitious and daring sketch of the political nexus that ensures the Mexican system of narcotics delivery to the U.S.” – Los Angeles Times
“An in-depth, unforgiving look at the deep-rooted corruption that has allowed the cartels to flourish... [A] thought-provoking portrait of the crime and corruption that dominates our southerly neighbor.”
– Publishers Weekly
Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture 
By Justin McGuirk 
  “Writing with verve and purpose, McGuirk explores how a new generation is developing strategies to build equitable communities in Latin America.” – Publishers Weekly   “Justin McGuirk’s fascinating study shows that Latin American cities have much to teach the world's architects.” – Observer
The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
By Óscar Martínez

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist & The Financial Times

“A revelatory work of love and hair-raising courage.” – New York Review of Books

I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala
By Rigoberta Menchú

The best-selling account of the life of Latin American peasant woman and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
  “A cornerstone of the multicultural canon.” – Chronicle of Higher Education

Is history always written by the victors? This cluster offers perspectives from below, charting the aspirations and impact of oppressed people in motion. 

A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium 
By Chris Harman
  “I have had many people ask me if there is a book which does for world history what my book A People's History of the United States does for this country. I always responded that I know of only one book that accomplishes this extremely difficult task, and that is Chris Harman's A People's History of the World. It is an indispensable volume on my reference bookshelf.” – Howard Zinn
A People's History of the French Revolution
By Eric Hazam
  “Amid the intellectual murkiness of the European scene, a few bright flames are burning: as witness the work of Eric Hazan.” – New Left Review
  “A riveting popular history.” – Spectator
A People's History of Scotland
By Chris Bambery
  “Splendid...The careful social and economic analysis in A People’s History of Scotland offers a close reading of the rise and fall of industry and mining, resulting in consequences which were scarcely cheerful.”
– Monthly Review
A People's History of London
By Lindsey German and John Rees
  “An irrepressible book about an irrepressible community.” – Zadie Smith
“It’s the suffragists, silk weavers, militant match girls, Brick Lane anarchists, Tom Paine, William Morris and Karl Marx that make London interesting—then and now the great cauldron of radical ideas and action.” –The Nation
Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties
By Karen L. Ishizuka 
  “This fascinating study is highly recommended for those interested in Asian American history and the civil rights movement.” – Library Journal   “An exceptionally well-researched and engaging book.” – The Hawai'i Herald
By Enzo Traverso
“[A] remarkable reinterpretation of the history of the ‘Thirty Years War’ of the twentieth century … recreates the ethos of this time.” – Michael Löwy, Le Monde Diplomatique
  “Enzo Traverso has pulled off the rare reconstruction of a past epoch that pulsates with electric immediacy. Fire and Blood fashions events happening seventy-five-to-one-hundred years ago to feel as lively and pertinent as political debates taking place at present." – Alan Wald, Against the Current

In Defence of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution
By Sophie Wahnich
  “Our default position has become one of lazy dismissal: with all of the blood and brutality, how could we, why would we, want to consider the Terror as anything but a horror show? … Wahnich’s subversive reflection is that far from taking lives, the Terror was actually about saving them.”
– Jacobin

War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century
By Domenico Losurdo
  Author of the acclaimed Liberalism: A Counter-History dissects the revisionist attempts to expunge or criminalize revolutions
“There is always something to learn from books by Domenico Losurdo."
– Il Corriere della Sera

The Verso Book of Dissent: From Spartacus to the Shoe-Thrower of Baghdad
Edited By Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim
Preface by Tariq Ali 
  “A delightful anthology to dip into if you are or have ever been disgruntled with the status quo ... for radicals everywhere.”
  “The anthology's editors excerpt the writings of a wide array of historical figures, including Socrates ... Martin Luther King ... [and] the Marquis de Sade.” – National

Below are some of the most influential feminist polemics of recent years, writers from various backgrounds have their say on gender inequality and systems of oppression that are yet to be overthrown. 

Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work
By Melissa Gira Grant

  “An important contribution to debates around sex and work, and deserves to be read by anyone who wants to get beyond tired and damaging understandings of both.” – Nina Power, author of One Dimensional Woman

Trans: A Memoir
By Juliet Jacques
  “Powerful and engaging. . . it’s hard not to see her as anything other than brave, even as she pushes readers to recognize that what is revolutionary is the very ordinariness of her day-to-day life.”
– New York Times
  “Brutally honest and funny.” – Marie Claire

Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis
By Nancy Fraser
  “Nancy Fraser is among the very few thinkers in the tradition of critical theory who are capable of redeeming its legacy in the twenty-first century.” – Axel Honneth
  “For more than a decade, Nancy Fraser's thought has helped to reframe the agenda of critical theory.” – Etienne Balibar
Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman
By Michelle Wallace
  “Courageous, outspoken, clear-eyed.” – Publishers Weekly
  “One of the first books truly critiquing the systems in place, ways of thinking and being that feed the myth of black women as the ultimate heroine.” – The Root

Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History
By Vron Ware

  “One of Ware’s … most striking case-studies.” – London Review of Books
  “Vron Ware’s Beyond the Pale is not a breath of fresh air, it’s a blast.”
– Women’s History Review

It is becoming increasingly evident that global warming is fundamentally linked to the regime of capital accumulation - a fact that no major government is willing to confront. How then should we think through such looming climactic catastrophe?

Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming
By Andreas Malm 
  “The definitive deep history on how our economic system created the climate crisis. Superb, essential reading from one of the most original thinkers on the subject.” – Naomi Klein
Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital
By Jason W. Moore

“Moore’s radical and rigorous work is, and richly deserves to be, agenda-setting.” – China Miéville

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature
By George Monbiot

"A dazzling command of science and relentless faith in people … I never miss reading him.” – Naomi Klein

Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene
By McKenzie Wark
  “A wonderful book ... informative and moving ... a great recovery of an instructive life and literary effort. The book makes the case for a kind of political vision and action we need to recognize and enact. A true pleasure to read.” – Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy

Verso's Top Picks

A Life Beyond Boundaries: A Memoir 
By Benedict Anderson
“Benedict Anderson transformed the study of nationalism … and was renowned not only for his theoretical contributions but also for his detailed examinations of language and power in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.” – New York Times

The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View
By Ellen Meiksins Wood 

“The writing is so supple and accessible, and the argument so persuasive, it's like watching a cloudy mixture of ideas being turned into a clear solution.” – Adrienne Rich

The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Vol 1 & 2 
By Rosa Luxemburg

“A radical of luminous dimension.”– Vivian Gornick

By John Berger

“John Berger teaches us how to think, how to feel how to stare at things until we see what we thought wasn’t there. But above all, he teaches us how to love in the face of adversity. He is a master.”
– Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things

Fortunes of  Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis 
By Nancy Fraser 

“Nancy Fraser is among the very few thinkers in the tradition of critical theory who are capable of redeeming its legacy in the twenty-first century.” – Axel Honneth

All Verso Ebooks are 90% for a limited time only. The sale will end midnight [EST] on Friday 2nd September!