Blog post

Long, Hot Summer Reading

40% off all our books through June, plus FREE eBooks announced each week!

Verso Books11 June 2020

Long, Hot Summer Reading

The long, hot summer refers to the one hundred and fifty-nine race riots that erupted across the United States in 1967. In this moment of insurrection against racist police violence and massive racial inequality, we bring you books that offer critical analysis of white supremacy, push forward arguments to abolish the police and dismantle the criminal justice system, and tell histories of anti-colonial resistance and movements for liberation across the world.

Starting today, we are offering 40% off all of our books. Our sale will end on June 30th, 23:59 EST. 

Our warehouses continue to do an incredible job of getting books out to our readers (see more information on their safety measures here). Please note, some of these books have recently gone out of stock but will be reprinted soon. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive a 40% off discount code once they're back in stock.  

We are working to make more timely books free. If you are able to, please donate the cost to Black Visions Collective or your local bail fund. They'll each be up for free for 3 days, and then 70% off until the end of the month. Download our ebooks by following these links:

The End of Policing by Alex Vitale
Policing the Planet edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton
Police: A Field Guide by David Correia and Tyler Wall
Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today by Anna Feigenbaum
The US Antifascism Reader, edited by Bill V. Mullen and Christopher Vials
The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe
Futures of Black Radicalism edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin

Need help finding books? Browse some of our reading lists, including Abolition and Black StruggleDecolonization and anti-racismBlack Radical Thought: A Verso Bookshelf and Decolonize your bookshelf! Verso Student Reading.

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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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 Los Angeles in the sixties was a hotbed of political and social upheaval. The city was a launchpad for Black Power—where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation. Mike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive movement history of L.A. in the sixties, drawing on extensive archival research and dozens of interviews with principal figures, as well as the authors’ storied personal histories as activists. 

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This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

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A powerful document of theday-to-day realities of Black women in Britain.

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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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An engrossing century-spanning global narrative, Tear Gas is the first history of this poorly understood weapon. Anna Feigenbaum travels from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and eyewitness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.

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Insurgent Empire shows how Britain’s enslaved and colonial subjects were active agents in their own liberation. What is more, they shaped British ideas of freedom and emancipation back in the United Kingdom.

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With racial justice struggles on the rise, a probing collection considers the past and future of Black radicalism.

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A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.

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A New York Public Library pick for "A Reading List of America" 

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, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton. It’s a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power the world over—to deadly effect.

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The most comprehensive collection of feminist manifestos, chronicling our rage and dreams from the nineteenth century to today.

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Tackling the myth of a post-racial society.

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Revolting Prostitutes will fuel the fight for sex workers’ rights with fresh thinking on feminism, deep analysis of policing and the law, and a critical examination of sex work itself. Smith and Mac have drawn together a radically inclusive map for liberation.”

– Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore

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Radical glossary of the vocabulary of policing that redefines the very way we understand law enforcement.

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Democracy must be anti-racist. Any less is cowardly. Any less is reactionary.

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The first comprehensive, in-depth book on the Trump administration’s assault on asylum protections.

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Following his best-selling A Philosophy of Walking Gros explores the philosophy of disobedience.

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In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress racial disparities. But who is the culprit?

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A haunting, evocative history of British Empire, told through one woman’s family story. Moving between Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know. 

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An exemplary work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis.

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A remarkable book on the international operations of racism and the global meaning of Black Power.

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Political theorist Joshua Clover theorizes the riot as the form of the coming insurrection.

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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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A classic history of the role of Black working-class struggles throughout the twentieth century 

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In the twentieth century, millions of people across the globe addressed each other as “comrade.” Now, among the left, it’s more common to hear talk of “allies.” In Comrade, Jodi Dean insists that this shift exemplifies the key problem with the contemporary left: the substitution of political identity for a relationship of political belonging that must be built, sustained, and defended.

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A remarkable intellectual history of the slave revolts that made the modern revolutionary era.

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An absorbing chronicle of the role of race in US history, by the foremost historian of race and labor.

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A small and beautiful epic of growing up in 1980s Baltimore, from the author of Between the World and Me.

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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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The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics

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...
Set the Night on Fire
Histories of the US sixties invariably focus on New York City, but Los Angeles was an epicenter of that decade’s political and social earthquake. L.A. was a launchpad for Black Power—where Malcolm ...
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...
Heart Of The Race

Heart Of The Race

Heart of the Race is a powerful corrective to a version of Britain’s history from which black women have long been excluded. It reclaims and records black women’s place in that history, documenting...
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...
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...
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...
Futures of Black Radicalism
Black rebellion has returned, with dramatic protests in scores of cities and campuses, bringing with it a renewed engagement with the history of Black radical movements and thought. Here, key schol...
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)
Policing the Planet

Policing the Planet

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, first e...
Burn It Down!
Burn It Down! is a testament to what is possible when women are driven to the edge. Collecting over seventy-five manifestos from around the world, Burn It Down! is a rallying cry and a call to acti...
Praised by a wide variety of people from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Zadie Smith, Racecraft "ought to be positioned," as Bookforum put it, "at the center of any discussion of race in American life." Most p...
Paperback (2014)
Revolting Prostitutes
How the law harms sex workers - and what they want insteadDo you have to endorse prostitution in order to support sex worker rights? Should clients be criminalized, and can the police deliver justi...
This book armed activists on the streets—as well as the many who have become concerned about police abuse—with a critical analysis and ultimately a redefinition of the very idea of policing. The b...
Reactionary Democracy
Democracy is not necessarily progressive, and will only be if we make it so. What Mondon and Winter call ‘reactionary democracy’ is the use of the concept of democracy and its associated understand...
The Dispossessed
Arnovis couldn’t stay in El Salvador. If he didn’t leave, a local gangster promised that his family would dress in mourning, that he would wake up with flies in his mouth. “It was like a bomb explo...
The world is out of joint, so much so that disobeying should be an urgent act for everyone. In this provocative essay, Frédéric Gros explores the roots of political obedience, social conformity, ec...
Toward Freedom
For many progressives, racial identities are the engine of American history, and by extension, contemporary politics. They, in short, want to separate race from class. While policymakers and pundit...
Imperial Intimacies
‘Where are you from?’ was the question hounding Hazel Carby as a girl in post–World War II London. One of the so-called brown babies of the Windrush generation, born to a Jamaican father and Welsh ...
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is an ambitious masterwork of political economy, detailing the impact of slavery and colonialism on the history of international capitalism. In this classic book, R...
The Groundings With My Brothers
In his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the anticolonial revolution, leading movements in North America, South America, th...
Riot. Strike. Riot
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 scho...
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...
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...
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...
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...
How Race Survived US History
In this absorbing chronicle of the role of race in US history, David R. Roediger explores how the idea of race was created and recreated from the 1600s to the present day. From the late seventeenth...
The Beautiful Struggle
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 ...
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)
“Latinx” (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) is the gender-neutral term that covers the largest racial minority in the United States, and the poorest but fastest-growing American group, whose political empow...