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Reading List

Understanding the Cost of Living Crisis

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Throughout the world we're witnessing a historical increase in the cost of living. This list includes books to understand the current crisis, as well as a number of our recent free ebooks.

Until January 2, 2023 at 11:59PM EST, we have 40% off ALL books (see full details here)!

See our Gift Guide and all our reading lists, including The Year in 10 BooksRadicalize Your NiblingsRadical HappinessTis the Season to Abolish the FamilyUnderstanding the Cost of Living CrisisChristianity and Anticapitalism.
 

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.

In 1968, the French Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre wrote “Le Droit a la Ville” (“The Right to the City”), which has become one of the most essential texts in radical geography and urban studies. It transformed the way we think about urban life and the right to make and remake our cities, and ourselves. Fifty years on, the question of who is the city is for, and why, is more urgent than ever.

 ‘Let’s Take Back Control’ was the slogan that won the UK’s EU Referendum. But what did those words mean to campaigners and voters? Control of what was being wrested from whom and why? And in whose interest was this done?

The US-China conflict is no straightforward Great Power rivalry.  This ebook groups together insights and perspectives that provide a critical analysis of Chinese capitalism and the movements it produces. In so doing, it provides the basis for developing a progressive, left position on American empire, China’s ascent, and the conflict between the two.

In this landmark book, the author of The New Enclosure, winner of the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, provides a forensic examination of twenty-first-century capitalism. Brett Christophers styles this as “rentier capitalism,” in which ownership of key types of scarce assets—land, intellectual property, natural resources, and digital platforms—is all-important and dominated by a few unfathomably wealthy companies and individuals. If a small elite owns today’s economy, everybody else foots the bill. 

Our cities are changing. Around the world, more and more money is being invested in buildings and land. Real estate is now a $217 trillion dollar industry, worth thirty-six times the value of all the gold ever mined. Samuel Stein shows that this explosive transformation of urban life and politics has been driven not only by the tastes of wealthy newcomers, but by the state-led process of urban planning. 

It’s no secret that the 1%—the business elite that commands the largest corporations and the connected network of public and private institutions—exercise enormous control over the US government. While this control is usually attributed to campaign donations and lobbying, Levers of Power argues that corporate power derives from control over the economic resources on which daily life depends. 

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.

In this groundbreaking book, Emma Dowling charts the multifaceted nature of care in the modern world, from the mantras of self-care and what they tell us about our anxieties to the state of the social care system. The Care Crisis examines the ways that profitability and care are played off against each other, exposing the impacts of financialisation and austerity.

 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? 

Today power is in the hands of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. How do we understand this transformation in power? And what can we do about it? Through upgrading the concept of hegemony—understanding the importance of passive consent; the complexity of political interests; and the structural force of technology—Jeremy Gilbert and Alex Williams offer us an updated theory of power for the twenty-first century.

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 so difficult for working people to organize around common interests? How do we begin to build a more equal and democratic society? 

In How Will Capitalism End?, the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that the world is about to change. The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill-suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end. The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets.