Ecosocialist Bookshelf, January 2024

January 29, 2024
book covers

From killer insects to trash to degrowth, Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents six new books for understanding and changing the world.

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The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator
By Timothy C. Winegar
Penguin Random House
The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, killing an estimated 52 billion people from the total of 108 billion humans who have ever lived. As the greatest purveyor of extermination we have ever known, she has played a greater role in shaping our human story than any other living thing.

Liberalism and the Challenge of Climate Change
By Christopher Shaw
Climate change poses a decisive challenge to free market liberalism, while closing off the possibility of imagining a different kind of future for humanity. Shaw analyses how liberalism has shaped our understanding of climate change and how liberalism is legitimated in the face of a crisis for which liberalism has no answers.

How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology
By Philip Ball
University of Chicago Press
“Just about all the neat stories that researchers routinely tell about how living cells work are incomplete, flawed, or just totally mistaken.” Philip Ball explores the latest discoveries in biology, revealing life to be a far richer, more ingenious affair than we had guessed.

Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto
By Kohei Saito
Penguin Random House
Best-known for his academic Marxist works, Saito’s more popular account of his views was a surprise best-seller in Japan, selling more than half a million copies. He argues that calls for “sustainable growth” and a “Green New Deal” are a dangerous compromise. By building a system of social ownership, he believes we can restore abundance and focus on those activities that are essential for human life, reversing climate change and saving the planet.

Seek Higher Ground: The Natural Solution to Our Urgent Flooding Crisis
By Tim Palmer
University of California Press
A powerful argument for protection of floodplain open space and for programs that help people relocate their homes away from high-water hazards. Only by recognising and adapting to the indomitable forces of nature can we thrive in the challenging climate to come.

Wasteland: The Secret World of Waste and the Urgent Search for a Cleaner Future
By Oliver Franklin-Wallis
Hachette Books
A shocking journey inside the secretive multi-billion dollar world that underpins the modern economy, quietly profiting from what we leave behind. Franklin-Wallis tells a story of humanity based on garbage and industrial waste and proposes a blueprint for building a healthier, more sustainable world — before we’re all buried in trash.

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

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