Ecosocialist Bookshelf — April

April 22, 2024
Ecosocialist Bookshelf

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents seven important new books on slavery, capitalism, rebellion and ecological revolution.

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The Reckoning: From the Second Slavery to Abolition, 1776-1888
By Robin Blackburn
The final volume in Blackburn’s authoritative and powerful history of new world slavery examines rise and fall of plantation slavery in the United States, Cuba and Brazil. By 1860, more than 6 million captives of African descent toiled to produce cotton, sugar and coffee for European markets. The slave system was overthrown in the US Civil War, only to be replaced by other forms of racial oppression whose effects continue to this day. Highly recommended.

Under The Iron Heel: The Wobblies and the Capitalist War on Radical Workers
By Ahmed White
University of California Press
In 1917, the Industrial Workers of the World was rapidly gaining strength and members. Within a decade, this radical union was effectively destroyed, the victim of the most remarkable campaign of legal repression and vigilantism in American history. White reveals the remarkable courage of those who faced this campaign, lays bare the origins of the profoundly unequal and conflicted nation we know today, and exposes the limits of free speech and association in class society.

The Dialectics of Ecology: Socialism and Nature
By John Bellamy Foster
Monthly Review Press
As with his previous books, Foster focuses on the concrete choice we face between ecological socialism and capitalist exterminism. He explores the complex theoretical debates that have arisen historically with respect to the dialectics of nature and society, and the radical challenges represented by emergent visions of ecological civilisation and planned degrowth.

The Dreadful History and Judgement of God on Thomas Müntzer: The Life and Times of an Early German Revolutionary
By Andrew Drummond
Frederick Engels viewed Thomas Műntzer, the principal leader and theorist of the German peasant uprising of 1525, as a hero who only failed because his revolution was ahead of its time. As we approach the 500th anniversary of that too-much-neglected struggle, Drummond’s exciting biography provides a brilliant picture of an often contradictory but always radical figure, one who continues to inspire movements of the poor across the globe.

The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon
By Adam Shatz
Farrar, Straus and Geroux
Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth are essential texts of the colonial revolution. In The Rebel’s Clinic, Shatz delivers a dramatic reconstruction of Fanon’s extraordinary life, and a guide to the books that underlie today’s most vital efforts to challenge white supremacy and racial capitalism.

Slavery, Capitalism, and the Industrial Revolution
By Maxime Berg & Pat Hudson
Polity Books
An eye-opening account of the role of slavery and the slave trade in making Britain an industrial superpower. Slavery was not just a source of wealth for a narrow circle of slave owners who built grand country houses and filled them with luxuries. The forces set in motion by the slave and plantation trades seeped into almost every aspect of the economy and society.

Chaos in the Heavens: The Forgotten History of Climate Change
By Jean-Baptiste Fressoz & Fabien Locher
Climate debates aren’t new. From the dawn of the modern age to the 20th century, a host of scientists, statesmen, colonists, historians, agronomists debated climate change endlessly, worrying that human activity, especially the first mass forest clearances, would permanently change the way the world worked.

[Reprinted from Climate and Capitalism. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement.]

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