12 new books for ecosocialists

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at a series of new books of interest for ecosocialists.

Red-Green Revolution: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism Victor Wallis Political Animal Press, 2018

Sound ecological policy requires a socialist framework based on democratic participation. Political scientist Victor Wallis provides both a devastating critique of capitalism’s assault on our planet, and a focused discussion of the institutions, technologies, and social relationships that will determine our shared future.

‘Kill All The Gentlemen’: Class Struggle & Change in the English Countryside Martin Empson Bookmarks, 2018

This exciting and highly readable new book by frequent Climate and Capitalism contributor Martin Empson explores six centuries of rural rebellion in England. It shows how labourers resisted the development of capitalism, fought to control their land and labour, and built powerful organisations to defend their rights and livelihoods.

Will Big Business Destroy Our Planet? Peter Dauvergne Polity Books

Corporate spin-doctors promise that their commitment to corporate social responsibility will save the planet. Peter Dauvergne shows that they are actually doing far more to destroy than protect it. Trusting big business to lead sustainability can lead to catastrophe: their power must be reined in, starting now.

Warning From My Future Self Jean Tepperman & Alfred Twu Sunflower Alliance, 2017

This 34-page comic book for youth and adults is an important tool for popular education and organising. Sixteen-year-old Gabe Sanchez travels 50 years into the future, sees the destruction wrought by climate change, and learns how people today are fighting to stop fossil fuels and build a green economy. Download the PDF, and order printed copies to build your campaigns.

Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism & the New Scramble for Africa Lee Wengraf Haymarket Books, 2018

This is a piercing historical explanation of poverty and inequality in African societies today, and the social impact of modern resource-driven growth. As well as exposing exploitation and imperial plunder, Lee Wengraf presents exciting narratives of grassroots organising and protest that show the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change.

The Divide: Global Inequality from Conquest to Free  Jason Hickel W.W. Norton, 2018

Global inequality is not natural or inevitable, and it is certainly not accidental. The global economy has been designed over the course of 500 years of conquest, colonialism, regime change and globalisation to favour the interests of the richest and most powerful nations. Jason Hickel explains how the divide was created and proposes ways to eliminate it.

The Anthropology of Climate Change: An Integrated Critical Perspective (Second Edition) Hans A. Baer & Merrill Singer Routledge, 2018

This overview of the anthropology of climate change, guided by a critical political ecological framework, examines the emergence and slow maturation of the discipline. It presents three alternative contemporary theoretical perspectives. This edition is updated to include literature published since the first edition in 2014.

The Ecological Crisis & the Logic of Capital Xueming Chen, Translated by Lihuan Wu & Baixiang Liu Brill, 2017

A leading Chinese ecosocialist and professor of philosophy at Fudan University draws on the work of John Bellamy Foster, Paul Burkett, James O’Connor and others to explore the logic of capitalism as a fundamental cause of today’s environmental crisis. He argues that technological fixes and market mechanisms are doomed to failure without a radical overhaul of the principles that govern capitalism.

El Niño in World History Richard Grove & George Adamson Palgrave MacMillan, 2018

Throughout human history, large or recurrent El Niños have disrupted societies and even contributed to political change, but only now are we coming to appreciate the significance of the phenomenon. In this volume, Grove and Adamson chart the dual history of El Niño: as a global phenomenon capable of devastating weather extremes and as a developing idea in science and society.

The Tectonic Plates are Moving! Roy Livermore Oxford University Press, 2018

Plate tectonics is a revolutionary theory on a par with modern genetics. Yet, apart from the frequent use of clichés such as “tectonic shift” by economists, journalists, and politicians, the science itself is rarely mentioned and poorly understood.

This book explains modern plate tectonics in a non-technical manner, showing not only how it accounts for phenomena such as great earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, but also how it controls conditions at the Earth’s surface, including global geography and climate.

Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx’s Lost Theory Mike Davis Verso, 2018

In four major essays written over the past decade, Mike Davis explores the question of revolutionary agency, Marx’s views on nationalism, Kropotkin’s views on the desertification of Asia, and the threat of global catastrophe posed by climate change.

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States James C. Scott Yale University Press, 2017

Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for agriculture, a much harder way of life? Scott shows that permanent settlements existed long before plow agriculture and the rise of states, and discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and non-subject peoples.