Ecosocialist Bookshelf

Issue 
book covers

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents seven new books to kick off your summer reading.

ENGELS 200
His Contribution to Political Economy

By Michael Roberts
Lulu, 2020
Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Engels, economist Michael Roberts explains and analyses his important contributions to the Marxist critique of political economy and capitalism — a critique that is still relevant and compelling in our time.

CAPITALISM: A CRIME STORY
By Harry Glasbeek
Between the Lines, 2018
Anti-capitalist lawyer Harry Glasbeek explodes the myth that the legal system is a neutral, unbiased arbiter and that laws apply equally to all. He shows how the law serves capitalists and their corporations by violating the very principles it claims to defend, and how we can expose and challenge its power.

LETTERS FROM ENGLAND, 1895
Eleanor Marx & Edward Aveling

Stephen Williams & Tony Chandler, Editors
Lawrence and Wishart, 2020
Never before available in English. Seven essays Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling wrote for a Russian political journal in 1895. A unique Marxist perspective on British society, culture and politics on the eve of the 20th century, by two of the best-known leaders of the British left.

AMBER WAVES
The Extraordinary Biography of Wheat, from Wild Grass to World Megacrop

By Catherine Zabinsky
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Since the first harvest of ancient grain, we have perfected our farming systems to grow huge quantities of food. But while we have built immensely productive agricultural systems, we have disrupted essential ecological processes. Zabinski explores the history of wheat and society, and argues we must focus on optimising agriculture in environmentally sustainable ways.

THE NATURE OF THE FUTURE
Agriculture, Science, and Capitalism in the Antebellum North

By Emily Pawley
University of Chicago Press, 2020
In New York State in the early 1800s, thousands of “improving agriculturists” applied the best scientific knowledge of their time to growing food. For them, profit was not only a goal but also the underlying purpose of the natural world. Pawley’s vivid account provides new insights into the origins of capitalist agriculture in the United States.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: CAN IT DELIVER?
By David Elliott
Polity Press, 2020
It is sometimes argued that renewable energy is needed, but isn’t enough. Can solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy really replace coal, oil and nuclear, and deliver 100% of our energy? Or are renewable energy systems inherently unreliable and expensive? Elliott makes the case that renewables can deliver a technologically and economically viable energy future.

THE SINKING MIDDLE CLASS: A POLITICAL HISTORY
By David Roediger
OR Books, 2020
Is the United States a “middle-class” nation? Was it ever? Roediger exposes middle-class mythology, and shows its role as a major obstacle to progressive change. Important reading at a time when millions of people have voted for Donald Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic is driving even more into poverty.

[Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement.]