Reading list

Understanding the Cost of Living Crisis

Books to understand this deliberate crisis (and how to get out of it).

Verso Books14 March 2023

Understanding the Cost of Living Crisis

The response to the global inflation surge by governments, especially in the UK, has been disastrous for working people. Pushing up interest rates, attempting to keep pay rises down, and trying to cut pensions and other benefits, has exacerbated the devastating cost-of-living crisis.

This reading list explores the deeper roots of the crisis,  and the basic steps we can take to build a future that ensures economic stability, wage increases, and worker security.

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A myth-busting pamphlet that charts a course out of the current cost of living crisis.

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Neoliberalism is dying, but its replacement is not yet born. The direction of politics over the coming years is not certain, and the left will have to win not only the political fight, but also the battle of ideas.

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How did Britain’s economy become a bastion of inequality?

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A trenchant look at contemporary capitalism’s insatiable appetite - and a rallying cry for everyone who wants to stop it from devouring our world.

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There are no unorganisable workers, only workers yet to be organised.

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A plan to save the earth and bring the good life to all.

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A strategic guide to building a more democratic and egalitarian future.

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All hail the new masters of Capitalism: How asset managers acquired the world.

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We need to break free from the capitalist economy. Degrowth gives us the tools to bend its bars.

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What is care and who is paying for it?

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A new perspective on the neoliberal world through the prism of rents and rentiers.

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An anthology of long-read book reviews by one of the European left’s foremost political economists.

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What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it?

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As precarity and low pay become further embedded in the job market, at a time when work-related stress and exhaustion are endemic, it is clear that a new, radical approach to employment is required.
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Free market, competitive capitalism is dead. The separation between politics and economics can no longer be sustained.
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Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: 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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The Limits to Capital provides one of the best theoretical guides to the history and geography of capitalist development. In this edition, Harvey updates his seminal text with a substantial discussion of the turmoil in world markets today. Delving into concepts such as “fictitious capital” and “uneven geographical development,” Harvey takes the reader step by step through layers of crisis formation, beginning with Marx’s controversial argument concerning the falling rate of profit and closing with a timely foray into the geopolitical and geographical implications of Marx’s work.

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Contemporary capitalism produces more and more money, debt, and inequality. These three trends have a common cause: the privilege of private banks to create money by means of accounting—with the stroke of a key. Why was this privilege unaddressed politically for so long—and who benefited from that negligence?

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Where have we gone wrong, and what can we do about it?

The Cost of Living Crisis
We are living through a cost of living crisis, with interest rate hikes and the prices of everyday consumables and energy bills sky-rocketing. Why is this happening? Sometimes we are told that wage...
Rentier Capitalism
In this landmark book, the author of The New Enclosure provides a forensic examination and sweeping critique of early-twenty-first-century capitalism. Brett Christophers styles this as ‘rentier cap...
Cannibal Capitalism
Capital is currently cannibalizing every sphere of life-guzzling wealth from nature and racialized populations, sucking up our ability to care for each other, and gutting the practice of politics. ...
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...
Half-Earth Socialism
Over the next generation, humanity will confront a dystopian future of climate disaster and mass extinction. Yet the only "solutions" on offer are toothless cap-and-trade programs, catastrophic geo...
Confronting Capitalism
Why is our society so unequal? Why, despite their small numbers, do the rich dominate policy and politics even in democratic countries? Why is it often difficult for working people to organize arou...
Our Lives in Their Portfolios
Banks have taken a backseat since the global financial crisis over a decade ago. Today, our new financial masters are asset managers, like Blackstone and BlackRock. And they don't just own financia...
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...
The Care Crisis
Every one of us will need care at some point in life: social care, healthcare, childcare, eldercare. In the shadow of COVID-19, care has become the most urgent topic of our times. But our care syst...
Share the Wealth
How can we reduce inequalities? How can we make work get better recognition and better pay?Philippe Askenazy in this new book shows that the current share of wealth is far from natural; it results ...
Critical Encounters
From the acclaimed author of How Will Capitalism End? comes an omnibus of long-form critical essays engaging with leading economists and thinkers. Critical Encounters draws on Wolfgang Streeck’s in...
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...
Overtime is about the politics of time, and specifically the amount of time that we spend labouring within capitalist society. It argues that reactivating the longstanding demand for shorter workin...
The Corona Crash
In The Corona Crash, leading economics commentator Grace Blakeley theorises about the epoch-making changes that the coronavirus brings in its wake. We are living through a unique moment in history...
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 Limits to Capital
Now a classic of Marxian economics, The Limits to Capital provides one of the best theoretical guides to the history and geography of capitalist development. In this edition, Harvey updates his cla...
Keystroke Capitalism

Keystroke Capitalism

Contemporary capitalism produces more and more money, debt, and inequality. These three trends have a common cause: the privilege of private banks to create money by means of accounting - by the st...
How Did We Get Into This Mess?
George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the de...

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