Reading list

Fuck the Tories

A starting point for anyone sharing in our overwhelming sense of anger and despair, as well as those looking for inspiration from resistance movements and organising strategies.

Verso Books17 December 2019

Fuck the Tories

The results of the UK election have devastated all those hoping to avoid another 5 years of terrifying Tory cuts and the ongoing rise of right-wing politics. Put simply: the fear and upset is palable. 

Whilst the new year will bring opportunity for reflection and organising, the fight-back starts now. Our media is controlled by billionaires with their own political agendas, and so publishing will be an important part of that – a space to challange the status quo and disseminate ideas for organising, as well as look to resistance movements of the past. These books are a good starting point.

Whilst you are here – please consider donating to the UK publishing fundraiser for foodbanks. Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network distributed 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 19% increase on the previous year. More than half a million of these went to children. In the last five years, food bank use in the UK has increased by 73%. Fuck the Tories.

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How migrants became the scapegoats of contemporary mainstream politics.

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In Inequality and the 1% leading social thinker Danny Dorling lays bare the extent and true cost of the division in our society and asks what have the super-rich ever done for us? He shows that it is the 1% that threatens us with the most harm and why we must urgently redress the balance.

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The austerity crisis and threat to disability rights.

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We are living in an age of unprecedented poverty. But who are the new poor? And what hope do they have?

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To protect the future of life on earth, we need to do more than just reimagine the economy—we have to change everything. One of the seminal thinkers of the program that helped ignite the US Green New Deal campaign, Ann Pettifor explains how we can afford what we can do, and what we need to do, before it is too late.

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A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. Both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up, enabling us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society.

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This anthology, global in scope, presents voices of dissent from every era of human history: speeches and pamphlets, poems and songs, plays and manifestos. Every age has its iconoclasts, and yet the greatest among them build on the words and actions of their forerunners. The Verso Book of Dissent should be in the arsenal of every rebel who understands that words and ideas are the ultimate weapons.

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“Priyamvada Gopal is an astonishing writer and thinker, one who is fearless in how she uses history to explain where we are now. Her work is essential to showing how empire and colonialism pervades every nook and cranny of the British establishment today and why we should all continue to speak truth to power, like she does every damn day.” – Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant

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Powerful critique of UK and US surveillance and repression of Muslims and prosecution of homegrown terrorism.

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In 1946 many Jewish soldiers returned to their homes in England imagining that they had fought and defeated the forces of fascism in Europe. Yet in London they found a revived fascist movement inspired by Sir Oswald Mosley and stirring up agitation against Jews and communists. Forty-three Jewish servicemen met together and set up a group that tirelessly organised, infiltrated meetings, and broke up street demonstrations to stop the rebirth of the far right. This is their story.

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A history of “the Troubles”: the radical politics of Republicanism.

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A major new exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed.

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The BBC is one of the most important institutions in Britain; it is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite its claim to be independent and impartial, and the constant accusations of a liberal bias, the BBC has always sided with the elite. As Tom Mills demonstrates, we are only getting the news that the Establishment wants aired in public.

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How public land has been stolen from the British people.

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Feminism shouldn’t start—or stop—with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fight for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist.

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In this landmark reappraisal of council housing, historian John Boughton presents an alternative history of Britain. Traversing the nation, he offers an architectural tour of some of the best and most remarkable of our housing estates, and in doing so offers an engrossing social history of housing in Britain. As well as the crisis wrought by Right to Buy, and the evolving controversies around regeneration. Boughton shows how the loss of the dream of good housing for all is a danger for the whole of society.

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Workers and Capital is universally recognised as the most important work produced by operaismo, a current of political thought emerging in the 1960s that revolutionised the institutional and extra-parliamentary Left in Italy and beyond. Far from being simply an artefact of the intense political conflicts of the 1960s, Tronti’s work offers extraordinary tools for understanding the powerful shifts in the nature of work and class composition in recent decades.

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From one of the most prominent voices on the American left, a galvanizing argument for why we need socialism today.

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In Our History Is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.

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Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, 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.

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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

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A radical agenda to make our education system fit for the twenty-first century.

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What is the “populist moment” and what does it mean for the left?

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Did democracy ever exist? Why is it no longer possible? If democracy means rule by the people, what does it mean to rule and who counts as the people? The inherent paradoxes are too often unnamed and unrecognized. But to ignore them is no longer possible. This book offers a better understanding of what is possible, what we want, and why democracy is so hard to realize.

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Aaron Bastani conjures a vision of extraordinary hope, showing how we move to energy abundance, feed a world of 9 billion, overcome work, transcend the limits of biology, and establish meaningful freedom for everyone.

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Erik Olin Wright has distilled decades of work into this concise and tightly argued manifesto: analyzing the varieties of anticapitalism, assessing different strategic approaches, and laying the foundations for a society dedicated to human flourishing. How to Be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century is an urgent and powerful argument for socialism, and an unparalleled guide to help us get there. Another world is possible.

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Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.

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James Meek asks what we can recover from the debris of an old nation as we head towards new horizons, and what we must leave behind. There are no easy answers, and what he creates instead is a masterly portrait of an anxious, troubled nation.

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Neoliberalism is fracturing, but what will emerge in its wake?

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A Planet to Win explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal. It calls for dismantling the fossil fuel industry, building beautiful landscapes of renewable energy, and guaranteeing climate-friendly work, no-carbon housing, and free public transit. And it shows how a Green New Deal in the United States can strengthen climate justice movements worldwide.

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A longtime movement insider's powerful account of the origins of today's protest movements and what they can achieve now.

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Comrades are equals on the same side of a political struggle. Voluntarily coming together in the struggle for justice, their relationship is characterized by discipline, joy, courage, and enthusiasm. Considering the egalitarianism of the comrade in light of differences of race and gender, Dean draws from an array of historical and literary examples such as Harry Haywood, C.L.R. James, Alexandra Kollontai, and Doris Lessing. She argues that if we are to be a left at all, we have to be comrades.

Hostile Environment
Longlisted for the 2019 Jhalak Prize. From the 1960s the UK’s immigration policy - introduced by both Labour and Tory governments - has been a toxic combination of racism and xenophobia. Maya Good...
Paperback (2019)
Inequality and the 1%
Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, the 1% has only grown richer while the rest find life increasingly tough. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has turned into a chasm. While the rich ...
Crippled
In austerity Britain, disabled people have been recast as worthless scroungers. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and the media alike have made the case that Britain’s 12 milli...
The New Poverty
Today 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK. According to a 2017 report, 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line. The new poor, however, are an even larger group than these offici...
The Case for the Green New Deal
In 2008, the first Green New Deal was devised by Pettifor and a group of English economist and thinkers, but was ignored within the tumults of the financial crash. A decade later, the ideas was rev...
Out of the Wreckage
Today, our lives are dominated by an ideology of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. But we cannot replace it without a positiv...
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...
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
The Muslims Are Coming!
The new front in the War on Terror is the “homegrown enemy,” domestic terrorists who have become the focus of sprawling counterterrorism structures of policing and surveillance in the United Stat...
We Fight Fascists
In 1946 many Jewish soldiers returned to their homes in England imagining that they had fought and defeated the forces of fascism in Europe. Yet in London they found a revived fascist movement insp...
One Man's Terrorist
The conflict in Northern Ireland was one of the most devastating in post-war Europe, claiming the lives of 3,500 people and injuring many more. This book is a riveting new history of the radical po...
Violent Borders
Forty thousand people died trying to cross international borders in the past decade, with the high-profile deaths along the shores of Europe only accounting for half of the grisly total.Reece Jones...
The BBC
The BBC is one of the most important institutions in Britain; it is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite its claim to be independent and impartial, and the constant accusations of a libera...
The New Enclosure
Much has been written about Britain’s trailblazing post-1970s privatization program, but the biggest privatization of them all has until now escaped scrutiny: the privatization of land. Since Marga...
Feminism for the 99%
Unaffordable housing, poverty wages, healthcare, climate change, border policing; not the issues you ordinarily hear feminists talking about. But don’t these issues impact the vast majority of wome...
Municipal Dreams
Traversing the nation, Municipal Dreams offers an architectural tour of some of the best and most remarkable of our housing estates, and in doing so offers an engrossing social history of housing i...
Workers and Capital
Workers and Capital is universally recognised as the most important work produced by operaismo, a current of political thought emerging in the 1960s that revolutionised the institutional and extra-...
The Socialist Manifesto
The success of Jeremy Corbyn’s left-led Labour Party and Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign revived a political idea many had thought dead. But what, exactly, is socialism? And what would ...
Hardback
Our History Is the Future
In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenou...
Hardback (2019)
Four Futures
“It is easier to imagine the end of the world,” the theorist Fredric Jameson has remarked, “than to imagine the end of capitalism.” Jacobin Editor Peter Frase argues that technological advancements...
If They Come in the Morning
The trial of Angela Davis is remembered as one of America's most historic political trials, and no one can tell the story better than Davis herself. Opening with a letter from James Baldwin to Ange...
Life Lessons
It is time for a radical shake up of the purposes and practices of our education system. Melissa Benn is one of the most clear sighted and vocal campaigners for improving our schools. She shows her...
For a Left Populism
We are seeing the rise of a populist moment around the world on both the left and the right. Movements like Bernie Sander, Jeremy Corbyn, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have emerged in the midst of the ...
Democracy May Not Exist But We'll Miss it When It's Gone
Democracy is in crisis. In every major company it has been stole by elites or in the hands of strong men. In democracy's name we see a raft of policies that spread inequality and xenophobia worldwi...
Paperback
Fully Automated Luxury Communism
Fully Automated Luxury Communism promises a radically new left future for everyone. New technologies will liberate us from work, providing the opportunity to build a society beyond both capitalism ...
How to Be an Anticapitalist in the Twenty-First Century
Capitalism has transformed the world and increased our productivity, but at the cost of enormous human suffering. Our shared values equality and fairness, democracy and freedom, community and solid...
Rebel Cities
Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and politica...
Dreams of Leaving and Remaining
In Dreams of Leaving and Remaining, award winning journalist Meek explores a nation uneasy with itself. In the decades since the twilight of empire, Britain has struggled to find its place, and ide...
The Old Is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born
Across the globe politics as usual are being rejected and faith in neoliberalism is fracturing beyond repair. Leading political theorist Nancy Fraser, in conversation with Jacobin publisher Bhaskar...
A Planet to Win
All politics are climate politics in the twenty-first century - and this bold book argues for a Green New Deal that confronts both climate change and inequalityThe age of climate gradualism is over...
Direct Action
A vibrant, groundbreaking history of American radicalism since the SixtiesWhat happened to the American left after the Sixties? This engrossing account traces the evolution of disruptive protest ov...
Comrade
In the twentieth-century millions of people across the globe addressed each other as “comrade”. Now, it’s more common to hear talk of “allies” on the left than it is of comrades. In Comrade, Jodi D...

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