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Verso staff picks

We pick our favorite books from Verso's publishing.

Verso Books13 July 2023

Verso staff picks

See ALL our Summer Reading here.

Don't forget: Verso Book Club members get 50% all book purchases year round, plus other great benefits. Sign up today and get your first month free!

Colby, US Direct Marketing 

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Kelly, US Editorial 

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Jennifer, UK Marketing and Publicity

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Federico, Rights

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Michelle, US Publicity 

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Nick, Production

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Mark, Managing Editor

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Anne, US Sales and Publicity 

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Rowan, UK Director

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Anjali, UK Marketing

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Chris, Data Manager

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Leo, UK Editorial 

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Jeanne, Production Editor

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Daniel, Accounts

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Tim, US Publicity 

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Sebastian, UK Editorial 

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Anthony, US Publicity 

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Capital
Here is a kaleidoscopic assemblage and poetic history of New York: an unparalleled and original homage to the city, composed entirely of quotations. Drawn from a huge array of sources—histories, me...
The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise
A long-suffering employee in a big corporation has summoned up the courage to ask for a raise. But as he runs through the looming encounter in his mind, his neuroses come to the surface: What is th...
Paperback
Towards a New Manifesto
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer wrote the central text of “critical theory”, Dialectic of Enlightenment, a measured critique of the Enlightenment reason that, they argued, had resulted in fascism...
The Assassination of Lumumba

The Assassination of Lumumba

The Assassination of Lumumba unravels the appalling mass of lies, hypocrisy and betrayals that have surrounded accounts of the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba—the first prime minister of the ...
Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

First published in 1967, Guy Debord’s stinging revolutionary critique ofcontemporary society, The Society of the Spectacle has since acquired acult status. Credited by many as being the inspiration...
In Praise of Disobedience

In Praise of Disobedience

In Praise of Disobedience draw on works from a single miraculous year in which Oscar Wilde published the larger part of his greatest prose — the year he came into maturity as an artist. Before the ...
The London Hanged
Peter Linebaugh’s groundbreaking history has become an inescapable part of any understanding of the rise of capitalism. In eighteenth-century London the spectacle of a hanging was not simply a form...
Promise of a Dream
At the beginning of the decade renowned historian Sheila Rowbotham was a rebellious sixteen-year-old at a Methodist boarding school in the north-east of England, reading Sartre and dreaming of Pari...
Citizens to Lords
In this groundbreaking work, Ellen Meiksins Wood rewrites the history of political theory. She traces the development of the Western tradition from classical antiquity through to the Middle Ages in...
Signs Taken for Wonders
Shakespearean tragedy and Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Ulysses, Frankenstein and The Waste Land—all are celebrated “wonders” of modern literature, whether in its mandarin or popular form. However, ...
Restless Cities

Restless Cities

The metropolis is a site of endless making and unmaking. From the attempt to imagine a ‘city-symphony’ to the cinematic tradition that runs from Walter Ruttmann to Terence Davies, Restless Cities t...
Criticism and Ideology
Terry Eagleton is one of the most important—and most radical—theorists writing today. His witty and acerbic attacks on contemporary culture and society are read and enjoyed by many, and his studies...
A Short History of 'Cahiers du Cinéma'
Cahiers du Cinéma was the single most influential project in the history of film. Founded in 1951, it was responsible for establishing film as the ‘seventh art,’ equal to literature, painting or mu...
The Walker
Can you get lost in a crowd? It is polite to stare at people walking past on the street? What differentiates the city of daylight and the nocturnal metropolis? What connects walking, philosophy a...
Paperback
Non-Places

Non-Places

An ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in front of TVs, computer and cash machines. This invasion of the world by what Marc Auge c...
Paperback (2009)
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...
Liberalism at Large
In this landmark book, Alexander Zevin looks at the development of modern liberalism by examining the long history of the Economist newspaper, which, since 1843, has been the most tireless – and in...
Precarious Life
In her most impassioned and personal book to date, Judith Butler responds in this profound appraisal of post-9/11 America to the current US policies to wage perpetual war, and calls for a deeper un...
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 usAmazon.com, ...
Red Valkyries
Through a series of lively and accessible biographical essays, Red Valkyries explores the history of socialist feminism century Eastern Europe. By examining the revolutionary careers of five promi...
The Judge and the Historian

The Judge and the Historian

A bomb, an anarchist’s ‘accidental death’, the murder of a police commissar, and the confession of a former member of Lotta Continua led to seven dubious court cases and a tale of political opportu...
The Seasons of Trouble
For three decades, Sri Lanka’s civil war tore communities apart. In 2009, the Sri Lankan army finally defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers guerrillas in a fierce battle that swept up about 300,000 ...
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy
Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer theHuffington Post says “knows all of Anonymous’ ...
Explore Everything
What does it feel like to find the city’s edge, to explore its forgotten tunnels and scale unfinished skyscrapers high above the metropolis? Explore Everything reclaims the city, recasting it as a ...
Algiers, Third World Capital
Mokhtefi (née Klein), a Jewish American from Long Island, has had an exhilarating life. In the 1960s, she served as a press adviser to the National Liberation Front in postwar Algiers, before going...
Paperback
Boy 30529
“Anyone who survived the exterminations camps must have an untypical story to tell. The typical camp story of the millions ended in death ... We, the few who survived the war and the majority wh...
In Search of Fatima
Born in Jerusalem, Ghada Karmi and her family were forced out of their home in 1948. They shared the fate of the thousands of Palestinians who, in the Nakba, were dispossessed and driven from land ...
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...
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...
Crooked Plow

Crooked Plow

Shortlisted for The International Booker Prize 2024'I heard our grandmother asking what we were doing.'"Say something!" she demanded, threatening to tear out our tongues. Little did she know that ...
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...
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...
Is Mother Dead

Is Mother Dead

**Longlisted for The International Booker Prize 2023**'To mother is to murder, or close enough', thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian. She's recently widowed a...
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...
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...
After Black Lives Matter
Why did a movement as powerful as the one inspired by the murder of George Floyd fall short of securing its most militant demands? After Black Lives Matter argues that the core of the movement itse...
Fire and Blood
Fire and Blood looks at the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence: the age of the European Civil War (1914–1945). Its overture was played out in the trenches of the ...
October
In February of 1917 Russia was a backward, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining t...
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...
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...
Futurability
We live in an age of impotence. Stuck between global war and global finance, between identity and capital, we seem to be incapable of producing that radical change that is so desperately needed. Is...
The Essence of Nihilism
In 1969, Emanuele Severino underwent a Vatican trial for the ‘fundamental incompatibility’ between his thought and the Christian doctrine, and was removed from his position as professor of philosop...
Paperback
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...
China in One Village
After a decade away from her ancestral family village, during which she became a writer and literary scholar in Beijing, Liang Hong started visiting her rural hometown in landlocked Hebei province....
Hegel Contra Sociology
Gillian Rose is among the twentieth century’s most important social philosophers. In perhaps her most significant work, Hegel Contra Sociology, Rose mounts a forceful defence of Hegelian speculativ...
Virtue and Terror

Virtue and Terror

Robespierre’s defense of the French Revolution remains one of the most powerful and unnerving justifications for political violence ever written, and has extraordinary resonance in a world obsessed...
Before Stalinism
Before Stalinism is a historical study of democratic life and institutions and their decline in the early years of the Russian Revolution. While attempting to synthesize a wealth of available hi...
First as Tragedy, Then as Farce
Billions of dollars were hastily poured into the global banking system in a frantic attempt at financial stabilisation. So why has it not been possible to bring the same forces to bear in addressin...
Considerations on Western Marxism
This synoptic essay considers the nature and evolution of the Marxist theory that developed in Western Europe, after the defeat of the proletarian rebellions in the West and the isolation of the Ru...
Health Communism
In this fiery, theoretical tour de force, Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant offer an overview of life and death under capitalism and argue for a new global left politics aimed at severing th...
Landscapes
In this brilliant collection of diverse works—essays, short stories, poems, translations—which spans a lifetime’s engagement with art, John Berger reveals how he came to his own unique way of see...
Paperback
Crooked Plow

Crooked Plow

Shortlisted for The International Booker Prize 2024'I heard our grandmother asking what we were doing.'"Say something!" she demanded, threatening to tear out our tongues. Little did she know that ...
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...
Class War
A thrilling and vivid work of history, Class War weaves together literature and politics to chart the making and unmaking of social class through revolutionary combat. In a narrative that spans the...
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...
Radius
In 2012, the joyful hopes of the democratic Egyptian Revolution were tempered by revelations of mass sexual assault in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the revolution’s symbolic birthplace. This is the sto...
October
In February of 1917 Russia was a backward, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining t...
Late Victorian Holocausts
Examining a series of El Niño-induced droughts and the famines that they spawned around the globe in the last third of the 19th century, Mike Davis discloses the intimate, baleful relationship betw...
How to Be a Revolutionary
Fleeing her moribund marriage in Cape Town, Beth accepts a diplomatic posting to Shanghai. In this anonymous city she hopes to lose herself in books, wine, and solitude, and to dodge whatever pang...
Revolutionary Yiddishland
Jewish radicals manned the barricades on the avenues of Petrograd and the alleys of the Warsaw ghetto; they were in the vanguard of those resisting Franco and the Nazis. They originated in Yiddishl...
The Romance of American Communism
“Before I knew that I was Jewish or a girl I knew that I was a member of the working class.” So begins Vivian Gornick’s exploration of how the world of socialists, communists, and progressives in t...
Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism
Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism is a sustained exercise in historical sociology that shows how the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome eventually became the feudal societies of th...
Lineages of the Absolutist State
Forty years after its original publication, Lineages of the Absolutist State remains an exemplary achievement in comparative history. Picking up from where its companion volume, Passages from Antiq...
Fossil Capital
The more we know about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we burn. How did we end up in this mess?In this masterful new history, Andreas Malm claims it all began...
The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg
During the first decades of the twentieth century, Rosa Luxemburg was the leader of the workers’ movement in Poland and Germany. She made a remarkable contribution to socialist theory and practic...
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...
Democracy Against Capitalism
Historian and political thinker Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that theories of “postmodern” fragmentation, “difference”, and contingency can barely accommodate the idea of capitalism, let alone subjec...
Scorched Earth
Selected as one of LitHub's 38 Favorite Books of 2022Finalist for the 2022 Big Other Book Award for NonfictionIn this uncompromising essay, Jonathan Crary presents the obvious but unsayable reality...
Mute Compulsion
Despite insoluble contradictions, intense volatility and fierce resistance, the crisis-ridden capitalism of the 21st century lingers on. To understand capital’s paradoxical expansion and entrenchme...
Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche
Henri Lefebvre saw Marx as an ‘unavoidable, necessary, but insufficient starting point’, and always insisted on the importance of Hegel to understanding Marx. Metaphilosophy also suggested the sign...
What We Don't Talk About
What if we took sex out of the box marked ‘special’, either the worst or best thing that a human person can experience, and considered it within the complexity of reality? In this extraordinary boo...
Heroes
What is the relationship between capitalism and mental health? Through an exhilarating mix of philosophical and psychoanalytical theory and reportage - from the suicide epidemic in Korea to the wav...
The Romance of American Communism
“Before I knew that I was Jewish or a girl I knew that I was a member of the working class.” So begins Vivian Gornick’s exploration of how the world of socialists, communists, and progressives in t...
A History of Violence

A History of Violence

El Salvador and Honduras have had the highest homicide rates in the world over the past ten years, with Guatemala close behind. Every day more than 1,000 people—men, women, and children—flee these ...
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...
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...
Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah collects the entire set of Laura Grace Ford’s fanzine to date. Part graphic novel, part artwork, the book is both an angry polemic against the marginalization of the city’s working c...
The Many-Headed Hydra
Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motely crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, labourers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and...
Paperback
The Philosophy of Marx

The Philosophy of Marx

Written by one of political theory’s leading thinkers, The Philosophy of Marx examines all the key areas of Marx’s writings in their wider historical and theoretical context—including the concepts ...
The Unseen

The Unseen

For a brief explosive period in the mid-1970s, the young and the unemployed of Italy’s cities joined the workers in an unexpectedly militant movement known simply as Autonomy (Autonomia). Its “poli...
The Xenofeminist Manifesto
The Xenofeminist Manifesto is an attempt to articulate a feminism fit for the twenty-first century. Unafraid of exploring the potentials of technology, exploring both oppressive and emancipatory po...
The Mosaic of Islam
Today, 23 percent of the global population is Muslim, but ignorance and misinformation about Islam persist. In this fascinating and useful book, the acclaimed writer Perry Anderson interviews the n...
Crippled
In austerity Britain, disabled people have been recast as worthless scroungers. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and the media alike have made the case that Britain’s 12 milli...
Set Fear on Fire
After the feminist art collective LASTESIS created their performance "A Rapist in Your Path" in their native Chile, it went viral across the globe, becoming the anthem of the grassroots feminist mo...
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...

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