Reading list

Imagining Radical Futures

In the face of political despair, we present books that radically imagine what our futures could look like.

Verso Books 4 June 2024

Imagining Radical Futures

As the Labour Party continues its journey to the right in embracing former Tory MPs and banning more radical members from running, the upcoming UK General Election is not exactly inspiring hope.

Inspired by Hannah Proctor's new book, Burnout: The Emotional Experience of Political Defeat, we have curated a list of works that offer hope in the face of despair and collective political "burnout". From this, we can build the future we deserve.

Use the discount code BLEAK at checkout to get 40% off any of the books on our this list and our General Election reading list! (discount code ends June 30th, 2024).

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Following the election, join Jeremy Corbyn MP and Laleh Khalili for an urgent discussion on the future of international politics, the growing global solidarity movement around Palestine, and how we can counteract the rise of the far right.

Get tickets here - Friday 26th July 2024, London Union Chapel

Worker's Organising

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Collective Care

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Climate

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Police and Prison Abolition

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Gender and Reproductive Rights

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Antiracism and Anticolonialism

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More books to read in the run up to the General Election!

Burnout
In the struggle for a better world, setbacks are inevitable. Defeat can feel overwhelming at times, but it has to be endured. How then do the people on the front line keep going? To answer that que...
Troublemaking
There has been an explosion of organising among workers many assumed to be unorganisable, from delivery drivers in London to tech workers in Silicon Valley. The culmination of years of conversation...
After Work
Does it ever feel like you have no free time? You come home after work and instead of finding a space of rest and relaxation, you're confronted by a pile of new tasks to complete – cooking, cleanin...
Own This!
Winner of the First Prize in the Joyce Rothschild Book AwardsPlatform cooperatives reimagine a world where domestic workers can double their income by establishing their own platform—an internet wh...
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...
Abolish the Family
What if we could do better than the family?We need to talk about the family. For those who are lucky, families can be filled with love and care, but for many they are sites of pain: from abandonmen...
Lean on Me
Have you ever relied on the kindness of strangers? What brings people together to find hope and solidarity? What do we owe each other as citizens and comrades?Questions of care, intimacy, educatio...
Mutual Aid
Around the world, people are faced with crisis after crisis, from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-induced fires, floods, and storms to the ongoing horrors of mass incarceration, brutal imm...
The Care Manifesto
The Care Manifesto puts care at the heart of the debates of our current crisis: from intimate care—childcare, healthcare, elder care—to care for the natural world. We live in a world where careless...
Miss Major Speaks
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a veteran of the infamous Stonewall Riots, a former sex worker, and a transgender elder and activist who has survived Bellevue psychiatric hospital, Attica Prison, the H...
On Extinction
On Extinction takes us on a breathtaking philosophical journey through desperate territory. As we face ‘the end of all things’, Ben Ware argues we must face our apocalyptic future without flinching...
How to Blow Up a Pipeline
The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a...
Fighting in a World on Fire
Young people are inheriting a world of climate catastrophe. Young people are also one of the strongest forces leading movements for climate justice, and to halt the fossil fuel emissions that are m...
Half-Earth Socialism
‘Building a society that operates within ecological constraints requires an unleashing of our political imaginations, and this book helps us do just that’—Astra Taylor, author of The Age of Insecur...
The Future is Degrowth
Economic growth isn’t working, and it cannot be made to work. Offering a counter-history of how economic growth emerged in the context of colonialism, fossil-fueled industrialization, and capitalis...
Abolition Geography
Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore's work from over three decades, Abolition Geography presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, of...
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...
Free Them All

Free Them All

How does the criminal justice system affect women's lives? Do prisons keep women safe? Should feminists rely on policing and the law to achieve women's liberation?The mainstream feminist movement h...
Charged
Charged is an essential investigation into the role of policing protest in Britain today. As the UK government tries to suppress all forms of dissent, in their pursuit of more control, how do the p...
Feminist City
What should a metropolis for working women look like? A city of friendships beyond Sex and the City. A transit system that accommodates mothers with strollers on the school run. A public space wi...
Abortion Beyond the Law
Drawing on years of research with activists around the world, sociologist Naomi Braine describes the strategies, politics, and tactics of direct action feminists bringing abortion pills, informatio...
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...
Bodies Under Siege
Think today's anti-abortion ideas are rooted in religious prohibitions or arguments about where life begins? Wrong: today's anti-abortion movements is largely financed and planned by far-right extr...
Red Africa
Red Africa makes the case for a revolutionary Black politics inspired by Marxist anticolonial struggles in Africa. Contemporary debates on Black radicalism and decolonisation have lost sight of the...
What Is Antiracism?
Liberals have been arguing for nearly a century that racism is fundamentally an individual problem of extremist beliefs. Responding to Nazism, thinkers like gay rights pioneer Magnus Hirschfeld and...
We're Here Because You Were There
What are the origins of the hostile environment against immigrants in the UK? Patel retells Britain's recent history in an often shocking account of state racism that still resonates today. In a se...
Breaking Things at Work
In the Nineteenth-century, English textile workers responded to the introduction of new technologies on the factory floor by smashing them to bits. For years the Luddites roamed the English country...
Work Without the Worker
We are told that the future of work will be increasingly automated. Algorithms, processing massive amounts of information at startling speed, will lead us to a new world of effortless labour and a ...
Feminist City
What should a metropolis for working women look like? A city of friendships beyond Sex and the City. A transit system that accommodates mothers with strollers on the school run. A public space wi...
Mutual Aid
Around the world, people are faced with crisis after crisis, from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-induced fires, floods, and storms to the ongoing horrors of mass incarceration, brutal imm...
The Care Manifesto
The Care Manifesto puts care at the heart of the debates of our current crisis: from intimate care—childcare, healthcare, elder care—to care for the natural world. We live in a world where careless...
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...
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...
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...
Parecon
‘What do you want?’ is a constant query put to economic and globalization activists decrying current poverty, alienation and degradation. In this highly praised new work, destined to attract worldw...
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 ...
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...
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...
Psychopolitics

Psychopolitics

Byung-Chul Han, a star of German philosophy, continues his passionate critique of neoliberalism, trenchantly describing a regime of technological domination that, in contrast to Foucault’s biopower...
Females
“Everyone is female, and everyone hates it.”So begins Andrea Long Chu’s genre-defying investigation into sex and lies, desperate artists and reckless politics, the smothering embrace of gender and ...
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...
Full Surrogacy Now
"Rooted in historical, site-based, narrative, and political accounts, Full Surrogacy Now is the seriously radical cry for full gestational justice that I long for. This kind of gestation depends on...
24/7
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through ev...
Capital Is Dead
In this radical and visionary new book, McKenzie Wark argues that the all-pervasive presence of data in our networked society has given rise to a new mode of production, one not ruled over by capit...
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...
The Dialectic of Sex
An international bestseller, originally published in 1970, when Shulamith Firestone was just twenty-five years old, The Dialectic of Sex was the first book of the women’s liberation movement to put...
Paperback
Inventing the Future
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.Inve...
Humankind
What is it that makes humans human? As science and technology challenge the boundaries between life and non-life, between organic and inorganic, this ancient question is more timely than ever. Accl...
Utopia
Five hundred years since its first publication, Thomas More’s Utopia remains astonishingly radical and provocative. More imagines an island nation where thousands live in peace and harmony, men and...
Abolition Geography
Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore's work from over three decades, Abolition Geography presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, of...
Miss Major Speaks
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a veteran of the infamous Stonewall Riots, a former sex worker, and a transgender elder and activist who has survived Bellevue psychiatric hospital, Attica Prison, the H...
How to Blow Up a Pipeline
The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a...
Fighting in a World on Fire
Young people are inheriting a world of climate catastrophe. Young people are also one of the strongest forces leading movements for climate justice, and to halt the fossil fuel emissions that are m...
Troublemaking
There has been an explosion of organising among workers many assumed to be unorganisable, from delivery drivers in London to tech workers in Silicon Valley. The culmination of years of conversation...