Reading List

Long, Hot Summer Reading

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The long, hot summer refers to the one hundred and fifty-nine race riots that erupted across the United States in 1967. In this moment of insurrection against racist police violence and massive racial inequality, we bring you books that offer critical analysis of white supremacy, push forward arguments to abolish the police and dismantle the criminal justice system, and tell histories of anti-colonial resistance and movements for liberation across the world.

Starting today, we are offering 40% off all of our books. Our sale will end on June 30th, 23:59 EST. 

Our warehouses continue to do an incredible job of getting books out to our readers (see more information on their safety measures here). Please note, some of these books have recently gone out of stock but will be reprinted soon. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive a 40% off discount code once they're back in stock.  

We are working to make more timely books free. If you are able to, please donate the cost to Black Visions Collective or your local bail fund. They'll each be up for free for 3 days, and then 70% off until the end of the month. Download our ebooks by following these links:

The End of Policing by Alex Vitale
Policing the Planet edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton
Police: A Field Guide by David Correia and Tyler Wall
Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today by Anna Feigenbaum
The US Antifascism Reader, edited by Bill V. Mullen and Christopher Vials
The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe
Futures of Black Radicalism edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin

Need help finding books? Browse some of our reading lists, including Abolition and Black StruggleDecolonization and anti-racismBlack Radical Thought: A Verso Bookshelf and Decolonize your bookshelf! Verso Student Reading.
 

With race and the police once more burning issues, this classic work from one of America’s giants of black radicalism has lost none of its prescience or power.

 Los Angeles in the sixties was a hotbed of political and social upheaval. The city was a launchpad for Black Power—where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation. Mike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive movement history of L.A. in the sixties, drawing on extensive archival research and dozens of interviews with principal figures, as well as the authors’ storied personal histories as activists. 

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PAPERBACK BACK IN STOCK ON JUNE 17TH

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

A powerful document of theday-to-day realities of Black women in Britain.

This anthology, global in scope, presents voices of dissent from every era of human history: speeches and pamphlets, poems and songs, plays and manifestos. Every age has its iconoclasts, and yet the greatest among them build on the words and actions of their forerunners. The Verso Book of Dissent should be in the arsenal of every rebel who understands that words and ideas are the ultimate weapons.

An engrossing century-spanning global narrative, Tear Gas is the first history of this poorly understood weapon. Anna Feigenbaum travels from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and eyewitness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.

Insurgent Empire shows how Britain’s enslaved and colonial subjects were active agents in their own liberation. What is more, they shaped British ideas of freedom and emancipation back in the United Kingdom.

With racial justice struggles on the rise, a probing collection considers the past and future of Black radicalism.

A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.

A New York Public Library pick for "A Reading List of America" 

Combining firsthand accounts from activists with the research of scholars and reflections from artists, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton. It’s a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power the world over—to deadly effect.

The most comprehensive collection of feminist manifestos, chronicling our rage and dreams from the nineteenth century to today.

Tackling the myth of a post-racial society.

Revolting Prostitutes will fuel the fight for sex workers’ rights with fresh thinking on feminism, deep analysis of policing and the law, and a critical examination of sex work itself. Smith and Mac have drawn together a radically inclusive map for liberation.”

– Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore

Radical glossary of the vocabulary of policing that redefines the very way we understand law enforcement.

Democracy must be anti-racist. Any less is cowardly. Any less is reactionary.

The first comprehensive, in-depth book on the Trump administration’s assault on asylum protections.

Following his best-selling A Philosophy of Walking Gros explores the philosophy of disobedience.

In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress racial disparities. But who is the culprit?

A haunting, evocative history of British Empire, told through one woman’s family story. Moving between Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know. 

An exemplary work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis.

A remarkable book on the international operations of racism and the global meaning of Black Power.

Political theorist Joshua Clover theorizes the riot as the form of the coming insurrection.

A longtime movement insider's powerful account of the origins of today's protest movements and what they can achieve now.

A classic history of the role of Black working-class struggles throughout the twentieth century 

In the twentieth century, millions of people across the globe addressed each other as “comrade.” Now, among the left, it’s more common to hear talk of “allies.” In Comrade, Jodi Dean insists that this shift exemplifies the key problem with the contemporary left: the substitution of political identity for a relationship of political belonging that must be built, sustained, and defended.

A remarkable intellectual history of the slave revolts that made the modern revolutionary era.

An absorbing chronicle of the role of race in US history, by the foremost historian of race and labor.

NOT AVAILABLE IN NORTH AMERICA

A small and beautiful epic of growing up in 1980s Baltimore, from the author of Between the World and Me.

Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.

The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics