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History: A Verso Bookshelf

Our essential titles on radical histories.

Verso Books18 November 2018

History: A Verso Bookshelf

This year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 uprisings and the bicentenary of Karl Marx's birth – critical points etched into the history of literature and thought. Here we present our essential history highlights, including Sven-Eric Liedman's epic new biography of Marx, an anniversary edition of the classic political May Day Manifesto, the new paperback edition of the remarkable resurgence of right-wing extremists in the United States, and the radical movement at the heart of the English Revolution.

See all our History student reading here.

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Insurgent Empire
Much has been written on the how colonial subjects took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. The possibility of reverse...
Hardback
A World to Win

A World to Win

Karl Marx has fascinated and inspired generations of radicals in the past 200 years. In this new, definitive biography, Sven-Eric Liebman makes his work live once more for a new generation. Despite...
Eleanor Marx
Eleanor Marx is one of the most tragically overlooked feminist intellectuals in history, usually overshadowed by her father, Karl Marx. But not only did she edit, translate, transcribe and collabor...
The Russian Revolution
Preface by Jesse Benjamin and the Walter Rodney FoundationIntroduction by Robin D.G. KelleyAfterword by Vijay PrashadIn his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the...
Opening the Gates
In the Summer of 1973, workers occupied the Lip watch and clock factory, sparking a national cause and controversy. The Lip occupation and self-management experience captured the imagination of the...
May Day Manifesto 1968
The original publication of the May Day Manifesto in 1967 collected together the most influential radical voices of the era. Among the seventy signatories were Raymond Williams, E. P. Thompson, Stu...
Street-Fighting Years
The 1960s were a time of tumult and radicalism. Street Fighting Years captures the era’s mood and energy, its hope and its passion. In this, the first of his memoirs, Tariq Ali tracks the growing s...
On Karl Marx
This study of Marx serves not only as an excellent introduction to that most influential of "worldly philosophers" but is also a significant resume of the central issues of Bloch's own profound and...
Algiers, Third World Capital
Mokhtefi (née Klein), a Jewish American from Long Island, has had an exhilarating life. In the 1960s, she served as a press adviser to the National Liberation Front in postwar Algiers, before going...
Paperback
A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things
Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, gov...
Paperback
October
In February of 1917 Russia was a backward, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining t...
The End of Policing
The massive uprising following the police killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020--by some estimates the largest protests in US history--thrust the argument to defund the police to the forefr...
Red Flag Unfurled
Reflecting on the fate of the Russian Revolution one hundred years after October, Ronald Grigor Suny—one of the world’s leading historians of the period—explores the historiographical controversies...
The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain
This is the first comprehensive historical perspective on the relationship between Black workers and the changing patterns of Britain’s labour needs. It places in an historical context the developm...
The Leveller Revolution
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 bring...
Alt-America
Just as Donald Trump’s victorious campaign for the US presidency shocked liberal Americans, the seemingly sudden national prominence of white supremacists, xenophobes, militia leaders, and mysterio...
The Autonomous City
The Autonomous City is the first popular history of squatting as practised in Europe and North America. Alex Vasudevan retraces the struggle for housing in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, H...
Paperback (2017)
The Verso Book of Dissent
Throughout the ages and across every continent, people have struggled against those in power and raised their voices in protest-rallying others around them or, sometimes, inspiring uprisings many y...
Paperback (2016)

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Revolutionary Yiddishland
Jewish radicals manned the barricades on the avenues of Petrograd and the alleys of the Warsaw ghetto; they were in the vanguard of those resisting Franco and the Nazis. They originated in Yiddishl...
The Age of Jihad
Cockburn was the first Western journalist to warn of the dangers posed by Islamic State. His originality and breadth of vision make The Age of Jihad the most in-depth analysis of the regional cr...
The Balfour Declaration
On November 2, 1917, the British government, represented by Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour, declared that they were in favor of 'the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish ...
Twilight of History
On its publication in 2009, Shlomo Sand’s book The Invention of the Jewish People met with a storm of controversy. His demystifying approach to nationalist and Zionist historiography provoked much ...
Fire and Blood
Fire and Blood looks at the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence: the age of the European Civil War (1914–1945). Its overture was played out in the trenches of the ...
Tear Gas
One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, te...
Buda's Wagon
On a September day in 1920, an angry Italian anarchist named Mario Buda exploded a horse-drawn wagon filled with dynamite and iron scrap near New York’s Wall Street, killing 40 people. Since Buda’s...
A People's History of the French Revolution
The assault on the Bastille, the Reign of Terror, Danton mocking his executioner, Robespierre dispensing a fearful justice, and the archetypal gadfly Marat – the events and figures of the French Re...
Rebel Crossings
In a feat of extraordinary archival research Sheila Rowbotham uncovers six little-known women and men whose lives were both dramatic and startlingly radical. Rowbotham tells a story that moves from...
Serve the People

Serve the People

The political ferment of the 1960s produced not only the Civil Rights Movement but others in its wake: women's liberation, gay rights, Chicano power, and the Asian American Movement. Here is a defi...
A History of the Barricade
In the history of European revolutions, the barricade stands as a glorious emblem. Its symbolic importance arises principally from the barricades of Eric Hazan's native Paris, where they were instr...
Hardback
A Civil War

A Civil War

A Civil War is a history of the wartime Italian Resistance, recounted by a historian who, when only a boy, took part in the struggle against Mussolini’s fascist Republic. Since its publication in I...
The Common Wind
The Common Wind is a gripping and colorful account of the intercontinental networks that tied together the free and enslaved masses of the New World. Having delved deep into the gray obscurity of o...

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