Ecosocialist Bookshelf — June 2024

June 18, 2024
Book covers

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents six new books on unequal epidemics, biotech in Africa, capitalist greed, climate history, fracking and corporate crime.

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The Rich Flee and the Poor Take the Bus: How Our Unequal Society Fails Us During Outbreaks
By Troy Tassier
John Hopkins University Press
Can we make society more resilient to disease outbreaks and avoid forcing the poor and working class to bear the brunt of their harm? Tassier argues that we can leverage lessons learned from historic and recent outbreaks to design better economic and social policies and more just institutions to protect everyone in society when inevitable future epidemics arrive.

Seeding Empire: American Philanthrocapital and the Roots of the Green Revolution in Africa
By Aaron Eddens
University of California Press
From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the world’s largest biotechnology companies, agribusiness aims to impose genetically modified crops on millions of small-scale farmers across Africa. Eddens shows how the Green Revolution fails to address global inequalities. Seeding Empire insists that eradicating hunger in a world of climate crisis demands thinking beyond the Green Revolution.

Infinite Greed: The Inhuman Selfishness of Capital
By Adrian Johnston
Columbia University Press
Does innate human selfishness make capitalism inescapable? Johnson argues that the relentless pursuit of profits is not fundamentally animated by human acquisitiveness. Instead, capitalism’s strange “infinite greed” demands that individuals sacrifice their pleasures, their well-being and even themselves to serve inhuman capital.

The Empire Of Climate: A History of an Idea
By David N Livingstone
Princeton University Press
Livingstone maps the tangled histories of an idea that has haunted our collective imagination from the ancient Greeks to the crisis of global warming today: Climate has been critically implicated in the politics of imperial control and race relations; been used to explain industrial development, market performance and economic breakdown; and as an indicator of national character and cultural collapse.

Land of Extraction: Property, Fracking and Settler Colonialism
By Rebecca R Scott
New York University Press
Scott explores fracking’s dual impact on settler colonial culture and sustainability, unravelling the complex web of relationships between humans, places and the environment, all bound by the concept of private property. A thought-provoking analysis of how settler colonial culture imposes limits on environmental politics.

Vulture Capitalism: Corporate Crimes, Backdoor Bailouts and the Death of Freedom
Simon & Schuster
By Grace Blakeley
Blakeley exposes the corrupt system that is failing all around us, pulling back the curtain on the free market mythology we have been sold. Corporate and political power brokers have used planned capitalism to advance their own interests at the expense of the rest of us. She argues for democratising the economy to stop the shift towards monopoly and oligarchy.

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

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