Five new books for ecosocialists

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new books for an ecosocialists’ bookshelf. Inclusion does not necessarily imply endorsement or agreement with a book’s contents.

Dust Bowls Of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, & the Injustice of ‘Green’ Capitalism

By Hannah Holleman
Yale University Press, 2018

A clear and insightful analysis of the role of capitalism and colonialism in causing the US Dust Bowl of the 1930s and destroying farmland around the world today. Ecosocialist Hannah Holleman extends and deepens our understanding of the metabolic rifts that lie behind growing global crises of climate change, freshwater scarcity, extreme energy, and soil degradation. Highly recommended.


Oil Power And War: A Dark History

By Matthieu Auzanneau
Post-Carbon Institute & Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016

This sweeping history shows how oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. Auzanneau challenges commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events, and considers what a post-oil future might look like.

The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina
By Christopher Morris

Oxford University Press, 2017

The first long-term environmental history of the Mississippi shows how centuries of intensive human meddling — including deforestation, swamp drainage, and levee construction — have produced drought, disease, and severe flooding. Valley residents have been paying the price for these human interventions, most visibly with the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina.

Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, & Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live
By Rob Dunn
Basic Books, 2018

Even when everything is sparkling clean and disinfected, some 200,000 species live with us in our own homes. Our obsession with eliminating them is unwittingly reshaping those organisms, prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay.

The Neoliberal Diet: Healthy Profits, Unhealthy People
By Gerardo Otero
University of Texas Press, 2018

Otero argues that the “obesity epidemic” cannot be simply attributed to individual food and lifestyle choices. Neoliberal regulation has enabled agribusiness multinationals to thrive by selling highly processed foods loaded with refined flour and sugars. He identifies the socioeconomic and political forces that created this diet, which has been exported around the globe, often at the expense of people’s health.