Reading list

Books They Would Ban If They Could

Books that terrify the far-right!

Verso Books25 August 2022

Books They Would Ban If They Could

As book-banning becomes more prevalent, books on race, colonialism, gender politics and leftist politics are being removed from school curriculums and public libraries. 

Florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ law is in full effect and being used to erase LGBTQ+ history and stigmatize LGBTQ+ students, and young people are forming ‘banned-book clubs’. 

Schools aren’t the only venues where our books are being banned. Julian Assange’s family was barred from taking copies of The Trial of Julian Assange by Nils Melzer into Australia’s parliament as it was deemed “protest material.”

These are the books that terrify the far-right, including a brilliant introduction to trans politics, a study of violent self-defense, and a call to abolish borders!

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See all our recommended Student Reading here.

 

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...
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 Transgender Issue
In this brilliant introduction to trans politics, journalist Shon Faye gives an incisive overview of systemic transphobia and argues that the struggle for trans rights is necessary to any struggle ...
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...
The Invention of the White Race
When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no 'white' people there; nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. Historical debate about the orig...
Racecraft
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...
Bad Gays
Too many popular histories seek to establish heroes, pioneers and martyrs but as Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller argue, the past is filled with queer people whose sexualities and/or dastardly deeds have ...
Britain's Empire
As the call for a new understanding of our national history gets louder, this book turns the received imperial story of Britain on its head. Britain’s Empire recounts the long overlooked narrative ...
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...
Ten Myths About Israel
In this groundbreaking book, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation, the outspoken and radical Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins...
The Palestine Laboratory
WINNER OF THE 2023 WALKLEY NON-FICTION JOURNALISM PRIZEShortlisted for the 2023 Moore Prize for Human Rights WritingA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Republic, WiredIsrael's military industrial com...
The Spoils of War
Fully updated from the original edition. As the retreat from Kabul shows, America goes to war not to bring democracy, or glory, but in the pursuit of profit. In The Spoils of War, leading Washingto...
Against Borders
Borders harm all of us: they must be abolished.Borders divide workers and families, fuel racial division, and reinforce global disparities. They encourage the expansion of technologies of surveilla...
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...
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...
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...
Winston Churchill
The subject of numerous biographies and history books, Winston Churchill has been repeatedly voted as one of the greatest of Englishmen. Even today, Boris Johnson in his failing attempts to be magi...
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...
Working Girl
Sex and art, we're told, are sacred, two spheres that ought to be kept separate from the ravages of the marketplace. Yet both prop up two incredibly lucrative industries, built on the commodificati...
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...
Communism and Strategy
If the question of communism is making a comeback today, this renewed interest is often accompanied by an abandonment of any concrete political perspective. Critical philosophies are flourishing an...
The Trial of Julian Assange
Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, uncovers a systematic campaign to persecute Assange. He reveals that Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bia...
The Communist Manifesto / The April Theses
It was the 1917 Russian Revolution that transformed the scale of the Communist Manifesto, making it the key text for socialists everywhere. On the centenary of this upheaval, this volume pairs Marx...
Ten Myths About Israel
In this groundbreaking book, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Occupation, the outspoken and radical Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins...
The Spoils of War
Fully updated from the original edition. As the retreat from Kabul shows, America goes to war not to bring democracy, or glory, but in the pursuit of profit. In The Spoils of War, leading Washingto...
Self-Defense

Self-Defense

Is violent self-defense ethical? In the history of colonialism, racism, sexism, capitalism, there has long been a dividing line between bodies "worthy of defending" and those who have been disar...
Against Borders
Borders harm all of us: they must be abolished.Borders divide workers and families, fuel racial division, and reinforce global disparities. They encourage the expansion of technologies of surveilla...

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