Ecosocialist Bookshelf — For a people's green new deal

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents A People’s Green New Deal, plus three new books on pandemics and two on the global food crisis.

A People’s Green New Deal
By Max Ajl
Pluto Press, 2021

What — and for whom — is the Green New Deal? Carefully analysing the GND plans proposed by various mainstream environmentalists, Max Ajl argues convincingly that none of them proposes the changes that are desperately needed to solving today’s interlocked social-ecological crises, which are rooted in the imperialist world system.

He outlines an alternative GND that is committed to decommodification, working-class power, anti-imperialism and agro-ecology.

Modern Epidemics: From the Spanish Flu to Covid-19
By Salvador Macip
Polity Press, 2021

A specialist in cellular biology explains, in clear and accessible language, what it means to share the planet with trillions of microbes.

Modern Epidemics focuses on the plagues that are still causing millions of deaths every year, from influenza, tuberculosis and malaria to COVID-19, and the methods that have been used to control them. An important book for understanding a world in which some of the greatest threats are invisible.

New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and Its Alternatives
By Alex de Waal
Polity Press, 2021

For two centuries, policy makers have adopted military methods to fight epidemics — methods that failed miserably to defeat existing diseases and prevent the emergence of new threats. Today, they “fight” COVID-19 without addressing the reasons our society is so vulnerable. The executive director of the World Peace Federation makes the case for a new democratic public health for the Anthropocene.

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story
By Michael Lewis
W W Norton, 2021

When news of the new pandemic was first reported, the president of the world’s most powerful country insisted it was no worse than flu. Fortunately, dissenting scientists and doctors fought back, and refused to accept directives based on misinformation and pseudoscience. Best-selling author Michael Lewis profiles medical visionaries who held the line against official ignorance.

The Economics Of Sustainable Food: Smart Policies for Health and the Planet
Edited by Nicoletta Batini
Island Press, 2021

Industrial agriculture causes malnutrition, diseases, and environmental degradation — and leaves billions hungry. The authors propose market-based strategies that they believe will make food production sustainable, nutritious, and fair. Ecosocialists won’t be convinced by the policies they propose, but the book’s accounts of the nature and extent of the world’s food crises make it a useful resource.

Food Fights: How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates
Edited by Charles C Ludington and Matthew Morse Booker
University of North Carolina Press, 2019

Thirteen essays take strong positions, even arguing with one another, as they explore the many themes and tensions that define how we understand our food — from the promises and failures of agricultural technology to the politics of taste.

[Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement.]