Verso Summer Reading 2017
Our 2017 Summer Reads includes a bit of Marx and Trotsky, histories of rioting and protest movements, imagining the downfall of capitalism, and lots more.
Whether you're a basic beach, imagining a post-work future, contemplating the downfall of capitalism, or want to spend your time off dreaming of fighting back, we have the book for you in our Summer Reading.
You can also WIN tons of our Summer Reads in our epic book giveaway! See full details at the bottom.
Man Tiger: A Novel
by Eka Kurniawan
Introduction by Benedict Anderson
Lyrical and bawdy, experimental and political, this extraordinary novel announces the arrival of a powerful new voice on the global literary stage.
“Tight, focused and thrilling. Like a good crime novel, Man Tiger works best when read in a single sitting, and its propulsive suspense is all the more remarkable because Kurniawan reveals both victim and murderer in the first sentence.” – Jon Fasman, New York Times Book Review
The Lamentations of Zeno: A Novel
by Ilija Trojanow
A literary fiction about climate disaster and a scientist imploding on a journey to the Antarctic
“Thrilling, nuanced, and chillingly meditative … Ilija Trojanow has written a modern fable tinged with absurd humor, dramatizing the high stakes of our current climate gamble.” – Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
We Want Everything: A Novel
by Nanni Balestrini
Introduction by Rachel Kushner
Explosive novel of Italy’s revolutionary 1969 by leading Italian novelist.
“We would do well to study how it was that Balestrini made politics and fiction and art, all in once place...one of the most compelling pieces of literature of the entire second half of the twentieth century.” – Rachel Kushner, New Yorker
Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality
by Fredric Jameson
Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler’s work that reconstructs both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects.
“This bravura book stems from a long engagement — we might say obsession — with Chandler. Jameson makes every strand of Chandler’s oeuvre glisten with significance.” – Los Angeles Review of Books
The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness
by Walter Benjamin
Illustrated by Paul Klee
The Storyteller gathers for the first time the fiction of the legendary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, best known for his groundbreaking studies of culture and literature, including Illuminations, One-Way Street and The Arcades Project.
“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
The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise
by Georges Perec
Darkly funny account of the office worker’s mindset by the celebrated French novelist.
“A hilarious and inventive office-drone odyssey.” – Bookforum
Against Everything: On Dishonest Times
by Mark Greif
*Available in the UK only
A brilliant collection of essays from one of the most highly acclaimed young writers in the US.
“Mark Greif is the best essayist of my generation. No one is more modern or more classical—or more stylish. This has its alarming effects. When you read Against Everything, you will vow to change your life.” – Adam Thirlwell
Trans: A Memoir
by Juliet Jacques
Afterword by Sheila Heti
"Trans broadens the growing genre of trans literature in its portrayal of medical and social transition as a means of achieving personal congruity rather than ostensible womanhood." — The Gay & Lesbian Review
The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
*Available in the UK only
The Beautiful Struggle is an extraordinary memoir from the most important new voice in the US race debate and the author of New York Times bestseller list no. 1 Between the World and Me, hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading.”
“A remarkable, blunt portrait of an adolescence filled with danger, chaos, flaws, and tragedy.” – Time Out New York
by Valerie Solanas
Introduction by Avital Ronell
SCUM Manifesto was considered one of the most outrageous, violent and certifiably crazy tracts when it first appeared in 1968. Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Andy Warhol, self-published this work just before her rampage against the king of Pop Art made her a household name and resulted in her confinement to a mental institution. But for all its vitriol, it is impossible to dismiss as unhinged. In fact, the work has indisputable prescience, not only as a radical feminist analysis light-years ahead of its timepredicting artificial insemination, ATMs, a feminist uprising against under-representation in the artsbut also as a stunning testament to the rage of an abused and destitute woman.
Light reads for the beach:
Reading Capital: The Complete Edition
by Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey, and Jacques Rancière
Originally published in 1965, Reading Capital is a landmark of French thought and radical theory, reconstructing Western Marxism from its foundations.
“One of the central texts of French structuralism (and of modern Marxism as well). Its critique of humanism and what Althusser called historicism remains relevant and ought to be renewed in our time.” – Fredric Jameson
Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World
by Kumari Jayawardena
Foreword by Rafia Zakaria
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.
by Henri Lefebvre
Edited by Stuart Elden
Lefebvre works through the implications of Marx’s revolutionary thought to consider philosophy’s engagement with the world. Metaphilosophy is conceived of as a transformation of philosophy, developing it into a programme of radical worldwide change.
“One of the great French intellectual activists of the twentieth century.” – David Harvey
Critique of Everyday Life
by Henri Lefebvre
The three-volume text by Henri Lefebvre is perhaps the richest, most prescient work about modern capitalism to emerge from one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers and is now available for the first time in one complete volume.
“A savage critique of consumerist society.” – Publishers Weekly
The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony
by Perry Anderson
Few terms are so widely used in the literature of international relations and political science, with so little agreement about their exact meaning, as hegemony. A surprising and fascinating expedition into global intellectual history, ending with reflections on the contemporary political landscape.
The Prophet: The Life of Leon Trotsky
by Isaac Deutscher
Published over the course of ten years, beginning in 1954, Deutscher’s magisterial three-volume biography turned back the tide of Stalin’s propaganda, and has since been praised by everyone from Tony Blair to Graham Greene.
In one of the very greatest modern biographies, Isaac Deutscher redeems the legacy of this astonishing revolutionary and humanist thinker.” – Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman by Michele Wallace
Originally published in 1978, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman caused a storm of controversy. Michele Wallace blasted the masculine biases of the black politics that emerged from the sixties. She described how women remained marginalized by the patriarchal culture of Black Power, demonstrating the ways in which a genuine female subjectivity was blocked by the traditional myths of black womanhood. With a foreword that examines the debate the book has sparked between intellectuals and political leaders, as well as what has—and, crucially, has not—changed over the last four decades, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman continues to be deeply relevant to current feminist debates and black theory today.
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg
by Rosa Luxemburg
Edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis, and Annelies Laschitza
The most comprehensive collection of letters by Rosa Luxemburg ever published in English, this book includes 190 letters written to leading figures in the European and international labor and socialist movements—Leo Jogiches, Karl Kautsky, Clara Zetkin and Karl Liebknecht—who were among her closest friends, lovers and colleagues.
Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers, and Radicals in Britain and the United States
by Sheila Rowbotham
Rebel Crossings relates the interweaving lives of four women and two men as they journey from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, from Britain to America, and from Old World conventions toward New World utopias.
“Rowbotham is one of Britain’s most important, if unshowy, feminist thinkers” – Guardian
Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School
by Stuart Jeffries
This brilliant group biography asks who were the Frankfurt School and why they matter today.
“This seemingly daunting book turned out to be an exhilarating page-turner…Grand Hotel Abyss is an outstanding critical introduction to some of the most fertile, and still relevant, thinkers of the 20th century.” – Washington Post[book-strip index="2" style="display"]
Fight them on the beach reads:
The Verso Book of Dissent: Revolutionary Words from Three Millennia of Rebellion and Resistance
Edited by Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim
Preface by Tariq Ali
This anthology, global in scope, presents voices of dissent from every era of human history: speeches and pamphlets, poems and songs, plays and manifestos. The Book of Dissent should be in the arsenal of every rebel who understands that words and ideas are the ultimate weapons.
I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala
by Rigoberta Menchú. Edited by Elisabeth Burgos-Debray
Translated by Ann Wright
Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hardship in her early life: her brother, father and mother were murdered by the Guatemalan military. She learned Spanish and turned to catechistic work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment. Menchú vividly conveys the traditional beliefs of her community and her personal response to feminist and socialist ideas. Above all, these pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman.
Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism
by L.A. Kauffman
A longtime movement insider's powerful account of the origins of today's protest movements and what they can achieve now.
This startling, inspiring book is for anyone who has ever felt the urge to put their body on the line and shut things down for something they believe in.” – Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform
Crowds and Party
by Jodi Dean
Dean argues that previous discussions of the party have missed its affective dimensions, the way it operates as a knot of unconscious processes and binds people together. Dean shows how we can see the party as an organization that can reinvigorate political practice.
"Dean has a powerful point to make: political movements have to move beyond immediate expression— the crowd— and embrace long-term organization— the party.” – Open Letters Monthly
Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter
Edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton
Combining firsthand accounts from activists with the research of scholars and reflections from artists, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy.
“This book is the best analytical and political response we have to the historic rebellions in Ferguson! Don’t miss it.” – Cornel West, author of Black Prophetic Fire
Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings
by Joshua Clover
Baltimore. Ferguson. Tottenham. Clichy-sous-Bois. Oakland. Ours has become an “age of riots” as the struggle of people versus state and capital has taken to the streets. Award-winning poet and scholar Joshua Clover offers a new understanding of this present moment and its history.
“[Clover is] one of the liveliest, sharpest, and erudite cultural theorists in the US.” – Charles Mudede, The Stranger
Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work
by Melissa Gira Grant
Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organizer, advocate, and former sex worker, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization, and argues that separating sex work from the "legitimate" economy only harms those who perform sexual labor.
Threads: From the Refugee Crisis
by Kate Evans
A heartbreaking, full-color graphic novel addressing one of the most pressing issues of modern times to make a compelling case, through intimate evidence, for the compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of peoples.
“Evans both captures the wrenching reality of a seemingly intractable problem and makes an eloquent argument for its solution: open borders.” – Alison Bechdel, author of Are You My Mother?
Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
by Richard Seymour
For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda—and for the first time in Labour’s history, it defines the leadership.
“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
If They Come in the Morning … : Voices of Resistance
Edited by Angela Y. Davis
With race and the police once more burning issues, this classic work from one of America’s giants of black radicalism has lost none of its prescience or power
“Davis’s arguments for justice are formidable … The power of her historical insights and the sweetness of her dream cannot be denied.” – New York Times[book-strip index="3" style="display"]
Boardwalk Empire beach reads:
Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis
by Nancy Fraser
Fraser traces the woman’s rights movement from the 1970s, calling for a renewed radical feminist response to the hierarchical and oppressive constraints of neoliberalism. Her text recognises: ‘…a “dangerous liason” between feminism and marketization, these essays urge feminists to break that unholy alliance and forge a principled new one, between “emancipation” and “social protection.”
Fictitious Capital: How Finance Is Appropriating Our Future
by Cédric Durand
Offers a stark warning about the direction that the international economy is taking. Durand argues that the accelerated expansion of financial operations is a sign of the declining power of the economies of the Global North. The City, Wall Street and other centres of the power of money, he suggests, may already be caked with the frosts of winter.
The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers
by Ann Pettifor
In this accessible, brilliantly argued book, leading political economist Ann Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history’s most misunderstood invention: the money system
“Coolly authoritative, soberly trenchant, unexpectedly compelling, Ann Pettifor’s book is vital in both senses, important and full of life.” – Guardian
Dirty Secrets: How Tax Havens Destroy the Economy
by Richard Murphy
What happens when the rich are allowed to hide their money in tax havens, and what we should do about it.
“Richard Murphy is a rare voice of sanity at a time of economic madness.” – Owen Jones, author of The Establishment
Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
by Wolfgang Streeck
In this new edition of a highly acclaimed book, Wolfgang Streeck revisits his recent arguments in the light of Brexit and the continued crisis of the EU.
How Will Capitalism End?: Essays on a Failing System
by Wolfgang Streeck
After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition. Growth has given way to stagnation; inequality is leading to instability; and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated.
“Streeck writes devastatingly and cogently … Provides not so much a forecast as a warning.” – Financial Times[book-strip index="4" style="display"]
Post-work beach reads:
Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams
Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite.
Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms.
The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy
by Murray Bookchin
Edited by Debbie Bookchin and Blair Taylor, Preface by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Over the years, Murray Bookchin has dedicated his remarkable talents and energy to many different domains: history, technology, social organization, the search for justice and freedom, and much else. In every case, he has brought illumination and insight, original and provocative ideas, and inspiring vision. His new collection on radical democracy carries forward this lifetime of great achievement.” – Noam Chomsky
by Thomas More
Supplement by Ursula K. Le Guin
Introduction by China Miéville
Five-hundred-year anniversary edition of More’s Utopia, with writing from major science fiction writers.
“We can’t do without this book. We are all and have always been Thomas More’s children.”– China Miéville
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism
by Peter Frase
Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail.
This incisive little book offers the vital reminder that nothing is set in stone—or silicon—and that in order to fight for a better world we first need to be able to imagine it.” – Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform
Envisioning Real Utopias
by Erik Olin Wright
Lays the foundations for a set of concrete, emancipatory alternatives to the capitalist system. Characteristically rigorous and engaging, this will become a landmark of social thought for the twenty-first century.
General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty First Century
by McKenzie Wark
What happened to the public intellectuals that used to challenge and inform us? Who is the Sartre or De Beauvoir of the internet age? General Intellects argues we no longer have such singular figures, but there are, instead, general intellects whose writing could, if read collectively, explain our times. The thinkers included are Amy Wendling, Kojin Karatani, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Slavoj Žižek, Jodi Dean, Chantal Mouffe, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and more.
Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions
by Fredric Jameson
The relationship between utopia and science fiction is explored through the representations of otherness … alien life and alien worlds, and a study of the works of Philip K. Dick, Ursula LeGuin, William Gibson, Brian Aldiss, Kim Stanley Robinson and more.[book-strip index="5" style="display"]
Under the paving stones, the beach reads:
The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International
by McKenzie Wark
Over fifty years after the Situationist International appeared, its legacy continues to inspire activists, artists and theorists around the world. Such a legend has accrued to this movement that the story of the SI now demands to be told in a contemporary voice capable of putting it into the context of twenty-first-century struggles.
The Spectacle of Disintegration: Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century
by McKenzie Wark
Following his acclaimed history of the Situationist International up until the late sixties, The Beach Beneath the Street, McKenzie Wark returns with a companion volume which puts the late work of the Situationists in a broader and deeper context, charting their contemporary relevance and their deep critique of modernity.
The Situationists and the City: A Reader
Edited by Tom McDonough
*Available in the UK only
Key Situationist texts on the city, strikingly illustrated.
Comments on the Society of the Spectacle
by Guy Debord
*Available in the UK only
“Guy Debord is a time bomb, and a difficult one to defuse.” –Michael Löwy.
by Guy Debord
An audacious autobiography by the founding figure of the Situationist International.[book-strip index="6" style="display"]
Data B(r)each reads:
Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life
by Adam Greenfield
A field manual to the technologies that are transforming our lives.
“Adam Greenfield goes digging into the layers that constitute what we experience as smooth tech surface. He unsettles and repositions much of that smoothness. Radical Technologies is brilliant and scary” – Saskia Sassen, author of Expulsions
The Passion of Chelsea Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower
by Chase Madar
The gripping story of Private Chelsea Manning, the soldier who is alleged to have leaked nearly half a million classified documents
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
by Gabriella Coleman
Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer the Huffington Post says “knows all of Anonymous’ deepest, darkest secrets.”
"Essential reading.” – Glenn Greenwald
The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire
Introduction by Julian Assange
Exposes the machinations of the United States as it imposes a new form of imperialism on the world. The book also includes an introduction by Julian Assange examining the ongoing debates about freedom of information, international surveillance, and justice.
The essays that make up The WikiLeaks Files shed critical light on a once secret history.” – Edward J. Snowden
[book-strip index="7" style="display"]
Peace, Bread, Beach:
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
by China Miéville
Award-winning author China Miéville tells the extraordinary story of this pivotal moment in history.
“When one of the most marvellously original writers in the world takes on one of the most explosive events in history, the result can only be incendiary” – Barbara Ehrenreich
The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci
by Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson’s essay “The Antimonies of Antonio Gramsci,” first published in New Left Review in 1976, was an explosive analysis of the central strategic concepts in the thought of the great Italian Marxist. Since then it has been the subject of book-length attacks across four decades for its disentangling of the hesitations and contradictions in Gramsci’s highly original usage of such key dichotomies as East and West, domination and direction, hegemony and dictatorship, state and civil society, and war of position and war of movement.
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
Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914–1945
by Enzo Traverso
Utilizing multiple sources, Enzo Traverso depicts the dialectic of this era of wars, revolutions and genocides. Rejecting commonplace notions of “totalitarian evil,” he rediscovers the feelings and reinterprets the ideas of an age of intellectual and political commitment when Europe shaped world history with its own collapse.
The Leveller Revolution: Radical Political Organisation in England, 1640–1650
by John Rees
The Levellers, formed out of the explosive tumult of the 1640s and the battlefields of the Civil War, are central figures in the history of democracy. In this thrilling narrative, John Rees brings to life the men—including John Lilburne, Richard Overton and Thomas Rainsborough—and women who ensured victory and became an inspiration to republicans of many nations.
Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune
by Kristin Ross
Kristin Ross’s highly acclaimed work on the thought and culture of the Communard uprising of 1871 resonates with the motivations and actions of contemporary protest, which has found its most powerful expression in the reclamation of public space.
“No work specifies more fully Marx’s claim that, the greatest achievement of the Paris Commune was its ‘actual working existence.’” – Jacobin
The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution
by Tariq Ali
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Tariq Ali explores the two major influences on Lenin’s thought—the turbulent history of Tsarist Russia and the birth of the international labour movement—and explains how Lenin confronted dilemmas that still cast a shadow over the present
Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism
by Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg
"A fascinating window onto a lost world … essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex relationship between the Jewish left, the general left, and Zionism. Brossat and Klingberg do not try to iron out the wrinkles of the past. Their insightful commentary illuminates the passions, paradoxes, triumphs and defeats of the witnesses who populate their book.” – Brian Klug, author of Being Jewish and Doing Justice
The Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East
by Patrick Cockburn
Charts the turmoil of today’s Middle East and the devastating role the West has played in the region from 2001 to the present.
“A meticulous and blistering condemnation of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East” – Macleans
The Soviet Century
by Moshe Lewin
Moshe Lewin follows this history in all its complexity, guiding us through the inner workings of a system which is still barely understood. In the process he overturns widely held beliefs about the USSR’s leaders, the State-Party system and the powerful Soviet bureaucracy.[book-strip index="8" style="display"]
The beach will be underwater soon:
How Did We Get into This Mess? Politics, Equality, Nature
by George Monbiot
George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess? based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.
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, author of No is Not Enough
The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History and Us
by Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz
“At a time when the word ‘Anthropocene’ is becoming so fashionable, this well-documented and well-argued book will help readers sort out the various meanings of this most unstable label. The authors show the bewildering varieties of historical actors at work in what is called the ‘environmental crisis’” – Bruno Latour, author of Inquiry into Modes of Existence
Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital
by Jason W. Moore
Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today’s global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature.
“Moore’s radical and rigorous work is, and richly deserves to be, agenda-setting.” – China Miéville
Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World
by Mike Davis
“Davis’s range is stunning … He combines political economy, meteorology, and ecology with vivid narratives to create a book that is both a gripping read and a major conceptual achievement. Lots of us talk about writing ‘world history’ and ‘interdisciplinary history’: here is the genuine article.” – Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence
Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil
by Timothy Mitchell
“Carbon Democracy is a sweeping overview of the relationship between fossil fuels and political institutions from the industrial revolution to the Arab Spring, which adds layers of depth and complexity to the accounts of how resource wealth and economic development are linked.” – Financial Times
I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet
Edited by Mark Martin
Introduction by Bill McKibben
“This collection is a jolt out of our armchairs, a call to arms ... written with verve and style” –Chicago Tribune[book-strip index="9" style="display"]
Fuck the beach:
Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City
by Bradley L. Garrett
What does it feel like to find the city’s edge, to explore its forgotten tunnels and scale unfinished skyscrapers high above the metropolis? Explore Everything reclaims the city, recasting it as a place for endless adventure.
“Volatile and extraordinary ... a gonzo road trip.” – Guardian
A Philosophy of Walking
by Frédéric Gros
Brilliant and erudite, A Philosophy of Walking is an entertaining and insightful manifesto for putting one foot in front of the other.
“A long walk, Gros suggests, allows us to commune with the sublime.” – New York Times
Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London
by Matthew Beaumont
Foreword by Will Self
A captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night, and the people they met
“Nothing less than a grand unifying theory of the counter-enlightenment.” – Will Self
Edited by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart
Leading writers reimagine the city as a site of ceaseless change and motion.
“A culturally and historically rich illumination of the city in all its complexity.” – Icon
Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space
by Keller Easterling
“An extraordinary guidebook to the politics of infrastructure in the contemporary world.” —Stephen Graham, author of Cities Under Siege
The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps
by Eric Hazan
The Invention of Paris is a tour through the streets and history of the French capital under the guidance of radical Parisian author and publisher Eric Hazan.
“Detailed, passionate ... Any visit to [Paris] would be made richer by taking the time to read Hazan's book.”
The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love
by Andy Merrifield
Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives—work, knowledge, home, politics—have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and pedants. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge accepted wisdom.
“Erudite and engagingly written ... refreshing.” – Financial Times
Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Workers in California Agriculture
Edited by Gabriel Thompson
Part of the Voice of Witness series
The stories of the more than 800,000 men, women, and children working in California’s fields—one third of the nation’s agricultural work force—are rarely heard, despite the persistence of wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and uncertain futures. This book of oral histories makes the reality of farm work visible in accounts of hardship, bravery, solidarity, and creativity in California’s fields, as real people struggle to win new opportunities for future generations.[book-strip index="10" style="display"]
>>> WIN [SOME] OF OUR SUMMER READS! <<<
[THIS COMPETITION IS NOW OVER]
Let us sort out your summer reading by giving you a book bundle of a selection of titles from this list (plus obligatory tote bag). We'll choose 3 winners from the UK/Rest of World and 3 from North America to win a massive bundle of books.
How to enter:
On Twitter! tell us your favorite summer read of all time AND share our Summer Reads using the hashtag #VersoSummerReading.
On Facebook! like and share our Summer Reads post
There will be 3 winners from North America and another 3 from UK/ROW. They will win a huge bundle of selected titles from this list & Russian Revolution tote bag.
The giveaway will end on July 8 at 23.00 UTC.
The winners will be picked completely at random and notified by July 10.