Reading list

Verso Gift Guide

Books to ignite radical ideas: 40% off all print books and 60% off all ebooks.

Verso Books16 December 2021

Verso Gift Guide

Be inspired this year with our gift guide! Share, with your loved ones, radical and visionary thinking that interrogates existing ideas, and re-imagines a different kind of world.

Don't forget, we have bundled ebooks with every print purchase (where available) — meaning you can gift the print book (if you want to) and start reading the ebook straight away!

Until January 4 (2022), at 23.59 EST, we have 40% off ALL our print books and 60% off all our ebooks (see full details here)! See all our reading guides here.

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Our bestselling diary is back! This is the perfect gift for the radical in your life: a beautifully designed week-to-view planner, packed full of significant dates in radical history, touching on the lives of people like Rosa Luxemburg and Angela Davis. And, for 2022, with a new cover design based on our best-selling new edition of Adorno's Minima Moralia!

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To accompany our Radical Diary, we have this beautiful Verso notebook. Inspired by the original covers of New Left Books, this notebook is fully lined in signature Verso red and based on our bestselling Critique of Everyday Life by Henri Lefebvre. Perfect for any hard-core Verso (or theory) fans!

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In this elegant tour-de-force, Katherine Angel challenges our assumptions about women’s desire. Why, she asks, should they be expected to know their desires? And how do we take sexual violence seriously, when not knowing what we want is key to both eroticism and personhood?

This beautifully-designed book is the ideal literary stocking filler for readers of Olivia Laing, Maggie Nelson, Susan Sontag, and Amia Srinivasan.

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In this powerful manifesto, Andreas Malm makes an impassioned call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics in the face of ecological collapse. We need, in short, to start blowing up some oil pipelines.

For the person in your life who is absolutely fed up with hearing the words "net zero", or needs shaking out of their belief that our governments will lead us out of this climate crisis.

See more book suggestions in COP26: a radical climate reading list

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There is no doubt about it, we need to abolish the police — a powerful statement that many struggle to understand in practical terms. This incredible memoir is the book to take someone through that process, starting with ideas around reform, before taking the reader on a compelling journey of political awakening around abolition. 

This is a book that will inspire readers to see abolition through a new lens.

See more in Abolition is the only solution: a reading list for breaking police power

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This book is the first English-language publication of the work of Izumi Suzuki, a legend of Japanese science fiction and a countercultural icon. In the title story, the tyranny of enforced screen-time and the mechanisation of labour foster a cold-hearted and ultimately tragic disaffection among the youth of Tokyo. In another story, we see a future where men are contained in ghettoised isolation and women enjoy the fruits of a queer matriarchal utopia. These are dark, playful and punky stories, perfect for readers that love Ursula K. Le Guin and Jenny Hval.

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In this brilliant history of a dangerous idea, Stuart Jeffries tells a narrative that starts in the early 1970s and still dominates our lives today, encountering David Bowie, the iPod, Madonna, Judith Butler, Margaret Thatcher, Grand Master Flash, I Love Dick, and Jean Baudrillard along the way. A riotous cultural and philosophical survey of the last 50 years, where popular culture meets the insidious dark spread of neoliberalism.

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Behind the search engines, apps and smart devices stand workers, often banished to the margins of our global system, who clean data and oversee algorithms for little more than a few cents. It is this badly paid, psychically damaging work – not algorithms – that make our digital lives legible.

This dynamic and brilliant new book tells the brutal truth behind our automated futures, digitized capitalism, and the new world of work. Perfect for anyone who wants to understand how our digital lives and working worlds converge, as well as what might lie ahead.

See more suggestions in our I Do Not Dream of Labour: books that imagine a different working world reading list.

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No human has ever gone farther into space than the Moon, a grain of sand about 5.5 inches away from our tiny pea gravel Earth. Are other worlds really possible?

This is a fascinating radical history of space exploration, from the Russian Cosmists of the 1890s to the technology billionaires who want to colonise space for their own wealth! It was also picked up this week by the Financial Times as one of their best books of the year.

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If police are the problem, what’s the solution? A World without Police offers concrete strategies for confronting and breaking police power, as a first step toward building community alternatives that make the police obsolete. Read, share, act; defund, disarm, abolish.

See more in Abolition is the only solution: a reading list for breaking police power

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How has Amazon changed fiction? This is the perfect book for anyone interested in fiction, the internet, and how algorithms have led to a major cultural shift in history.

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With the verve and bite of Ottessa Moshfegh and the barbed charm of Nancy Mitford, Marlowe Granados’s stunning debut brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York City. For those who like a martini with their reading!

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Another major publication for us this year, Planet on Fire is a radical manifesto for how to deal with environmental breakdown. This book specifically argues for a fundemental reimagining of our global economy: the perfect read for someone looking for a solution to the climate crisis underpinned by widespread systemic change.

See more book suggestions in COP26: a radical climate reading list

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A personal history of life, love and women’s liberation, this stunning memoir is ideal for anyone who loves socialist and feminist history!

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Calling all Derrida fans! Philosopher, film star, father of “post truth”—this book tells the real story of Jacques Derrida.

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An alternative vision of the feminist city. Taking on fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, and the joys and perils of being alone, Kern maps the city from new vantage points, laying out an intersectional feminist approach to our urban spaces. A truly transformative book!

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A fascinating cultural history of this most magical of islands.

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A classic collection of Walter Benjamin’s celebrated essays, now is this new edition.

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We are in the midst of a global crisis of care. How do we get out of it? Looking at care from a truly transformative perspective, this slim book packs a huge punch and is vital reading.

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Approaching mutual aid from a dynamic, activist perspective: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. The perfect gift for anyone interested in reorganising how we think about each other and our communities.

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With race and the police once more burning issues, this classic work from Angela Davis has lost none of its prescience or power. A must-read for anyone who loves powerful writing around race, carceral abolition, and resistance.

See more in Abolition is the only solution: a reading list for breaking police power

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The 900-page book that every theory fan should have! Lefebvre's classic analysis of daily life under capitalism is one of our bestsellers, year after year. And, what a cover design!

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A brilliant, stringently argued pamphlet reflecting on capitalism’s death drive, the left’s complicated entanglements with fossil fuels, and the rising tide of fascism. The Tragedy of the Worker demands an alternative future—the Proletarocene—one capable of repairing the ravages of capitalism and restoring the world. 

See more book suggestions in COP26: a radical climate reading list

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The occupation of Afghanistan is over, and a balance sheet can be drawn. These essays on war and peace in the region reveal Tariq Ali at his sharpest and most prescient.

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Speaking from a growing global sex worker rights movement, and situating their argument firmly within wider questions of migration, work, feminism, and resistance to white supremacy, the book makes clear that anyone committed to working towards justice and freedom should be in support of the sex worker rights movement.

A truly unmissable book for anyone looking to that their political and feminist understanding to new levels. 

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An unprecedented collection of feminist voices from four millennia of global history, this is the ideal gift for anyone interested in feminist history.

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The manifesto—raging and wanting, quarreling and provoking—has always played a central role in feminism, and it’s the angry, brash feminism we need now. Collecting over seventy-five manifestos from around the world, Burn It Down! is a rallying cry and a call to action. This landmark collection, spanning three centuries and four waves of feminist activism and writing, is a testament to what is possible when women are driven to the edge.

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Do a good deed this year and introduce someone to this classic work of twentieth-century thought! Adorno's literary and cultural masterpiece is a classic Verso text: not to be missed!

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To mark 50 years of radical publishing, our COMRADE canvas bag. Perfect for the comrade in your life!

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An innovative rethinking of labour and machines, leaping from textile mills to algorithms, from existentially threatened knife cutters of rural Germany to surveillance-evading truckers driving across the continental United States. Mueller argues that the future stability and empowerment of working-class movements will depend on subverting these technologies and preventing their spread wherever possible. This book is a brilliant and fascinating history of work and resistance, perfect for anyone who hates their job but wants to look ahead at a future of possible change.

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An exemplary work of political, economic, and historical analysis by Walter Rodney, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis. A landmark book that should be on every shelf!

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What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it? 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. Perfect for the anti-capitalist in your life!

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A classic work of history, now republished in this new edition. Another one of our unmissable Marxist political works!

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A sweeping account of imprisonment—in time, in language, and in a divided country—from Korea’s most acclaimed novelist.

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One of our most vital and incisive writers on literature, feminism, and knowing one’s self.

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The world-famous work on the origins and development of nationalism. Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations: the perfect gift for any student. 

Further Reading

40% off all print books, 60% off all ebooks! See more here

2021 End of Year Highlights

Radical Futures: books to help us re-imagine new futures

The Year in 10 Books: we pick 10 unmissable books from this year

COP26: a radical climate reading list

Abolition is the only solution: a reading list for breaking police power

I Do Not Dream of Labour: books that imagine a different working world

2022 Verso Radical Diary and Weekly Planner
The best-selling radical diary and weekly planner is back for the new year!The 2022 Verso Radical Diary and Weekly Planner is a beautifully designed week-to-view planner where you can keep track of...
Verso Notebook
Following on the success of the Verso diary, Verso are now launching a new, beautifully designed notebook. Inspired by the original covers of New Left Book, the notebook is fully lined in the signa...
Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again
Women are in a bind. In the name of consent and empowerment, they must proclaim their desires clearly and confidently. Yet sex researchers suggest that women’s desire is often slow to emerge. And m...
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...
Becoming Abolitionists
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the resurgence of Black Lives Matter the call for the abolition of the police became a central demand for the movement. In this extraordinary, rev...
Terminal Boredom

Terminal Boredom

On a planet where men are contained in ghettoised isolation, women enjoy the fruits of a queer matriarchal utopia -- until a boy escapes and a young woman's perception of the world is violently int...
Everything, All the Time, Everywhere
But where do these ideas come from and how have they impacted on the world? In his brilliant history of a dangerous idea, Stuart Jeffries tells a narrative that starts in the early 1970s and cont...
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 ...
Space Forces
Many societies have imagined going to live in space. What they want to do once they get up there - whether conquering the unknown, establishing space "colonies," privatising the moon's resources -...
A World Without Police
Compellingly argued and lyrically charged, A World without Police offers concrete strategies for confronting and breaking police power, as a first step toward building community alternatives that m...
Everything and Less
As the story goes: Jeff Bezos left a lucrative job to start something new in Seattle only after a deeply affecting reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day. But if a novel gave, ...
Happy Hour
With the verve and bite of Ottessa Moshfegh and the barbed charm of Nancy Mitford, Marlowe Granados’s stunning début brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York CityRefreshing and wry in ...
Planet on Fire
As we rebuild our lives in the wake of Covid-19 and face the challenges of ecological disaster, how can the left win a world fit for life? Planet on Fire is an urgent manifesto for a fundamental ...
Daring to Hope
In this powerful memoir Sheila Rowbotham looks back at her life as a participant in the women’s liberation movement, left politics and the creative radical culture of a decade in which freedom and ...
An Event, Perhaps
Who was Jacques Derrida? For some, he is responsible, at least in part, for the contemporary crisis of truth. For the far right, he is one of the architects of Cultural Marxism. To his academic cri...
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...
The Invention of Sicily
Sicily is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, and for over 2000 years has been the gateway between Europe, Africa and the East. It has long been seen as the frontier between Western Civilizatio...
One-Way Street

One-Way Street

Walter Benjamin is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic intellectual figures of this century. Not only was he a thinker who made an enormous impact with his critical and philosophical writings...
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...
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...
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...
Critique of Everyday Life
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 availabl...
The Tragedy of the Worker
To understand the scale of what faces us and how it ramifies through every corner of our lives is to marvel at our inaction. Why aren’t we holding emergency meetings in every city, town and village...
The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan
The NATO occupation of Afghanistan is over, and a balance-sheet can be drawn. These essays on war and peace in the region reveal Tariq Ali at his sharpest and most prescient.Rarely has there been s...
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...
The Verso Book of Feminism
Throughout written history and across the world, women have protested the restrictions of gender and the limitations placed on women’s bodies and women’s lives. People—of any and no gender—have pro...
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...
Minima Moralia

Minima Moralia

Written between 1944 and 1947, Minima Moralia is a collection of rich, lucid aphorisms and essays about life in modern capitalist society. Adorno casts his penetrating eye across society in mid-cen...
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...
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...
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...
The Origin of Capitalism
In The Origin of Capitalism, a now-classic work of history, Ellen Meiksins Wood offers readers a clear and accessible introduction to the theories and debates concerning the birth of capitalism, im...
The Prisoner

The Prisoner

In 1993, writer and democracy activist Hwang Sok-yong was sentenced to five years in the Seoul Detention Center upon his return to South Korea from North Korea, the country he had fled with his fam...
Taking A Long Look
For nearly fifty years, Vivian Gornick’s essays, written with her characteristic clarity of perception and vibrant prose, have explored feminism and writing, literature and culture, politics and pe...
Imagined Communities
What are the imagined communities that compel men to kill or to die for an idea of a nation? This notion of nationhood had its origins in the founding of the Americas, but was then adopted and tran...

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