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English Questions

Examines British society in the sixties, and the changes wrought by the next two decades.

A set of reflections on British society and culture, this volume falls into two principal parts. The first consists of a pair of essays published in New Left Review in the sixties; “Origins of the Present Crisis,” which suggested a general schema for the analysis of class and power in modern Britain and their relation to its decline; and “Components of the National Culture,” which looked at the pattern of intellectual disciplines associated with the post-war political consensus. One premise of these accounts was a conception of bourgeois revolution, whose critique is sketched in a short intermezzo from the mid seventies.

The second part contains two essays published in the late eighties which review the conjectures of the original texts in the light of developments—political and intellectual—of the subsequent decades. “The Figures of Descent” reconsiders the problem of national decline; “A Culture in Contraflow” traces some of the intellectual reversals of the recent period. The book concludes with a survey of the political conjuncture after the fall of Thatcher, which considers the prospects of the Labour Party within the context of the wider changes that have reshaped European social democracy in these years.

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  • How Did We Get Into This Mess?

    A British politics reading list

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    It's been a landmark year for this rainy island. Labour coup attempts, Brexit chaos, rising poverty, thriving right-wing politics, and yet! we've seen more outrage over a potential marmite shortage than the spike in racially motivated attacks.

    Beyond that, there's been an accelerated rise of the far-right throughout Europe (and, of course, the horror in the US), a refugee crisis so poorly managed that an even worse humanitarian crisis awaits us in 2017, and a global climate catastrophe that isn't going away but continues to be (largely) ignored. Capitalism is still doing it's bit for the rich, whilst failing everyone else, creating a wealth divide so large that it's hard to see where it will end.

    Our British politics reading list includes books that look at these very issues, as well as the historical contexts and political conditions that have allowed them to thrive in the last year. Until Jan 1: all our print books are 50% off (with free shipping worldwide and bundled ebooks), all our ebooks are 90% off.

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  • Nick Srnicek: After the Party

    Jeremy Corbyn has, once again, emerged victorioius from a Labour leadership contest, but in the weeks since a number of his decisions have risked alienating his support-base.

    What do the confusions over his policies on immigration and his recent decision to speak at the Stand Up To Racism event say for the future of Corbynism as a social movement? In this essay Nick Srnicek, co-author of Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, analyses Corbyn's leadership not, as most have, with an eye to his critics on the right, but from the left. 

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  • Labour: Verso's Essential Reading List

    Since storming to victory on September 14th 2015 with 59.5% of the vote in Labour's leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn has faced many challenges; including from within his own party.

    On Saturday he dealt with the most significant threat to his leadership to date. He increased his win to 61.8% in the leadership election, an unarguable mandate from his party members. 
    The results of this weekend will have an overwhelming effect on the landscape of British politics. But will the PLP now unify behind their leader?

    In the build up to the Labour Party Conference, the Leadership Election 2016, as well as the World Transformed festival (hosted by a coalition of grassroots groups and powered by Momentum), Verso has put together an essential reading list. Download our free eBook on
    Corbyn and the Future of Labour to get 40% off all of the books below until September 30th (click on the discount link within the ebook).


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