Five new books for ecosocialists -- February edition

February 8, 2019

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new releases for an ecosocialist bookshelf. Inclusion doesn’t necessarily imply agreement with a book’s contents.


End Of The Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest and Strangest Animals
Written by Ross DE MacPhee & illustrated by Peter Schouten
WW Norton, 2019

Until a few thousand years ago, gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and 2000-pound crocodiles lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. Many scientists blame human overhunting or climate change for their disappearance, but those theories don’t explain critical features of these extinctions.

Combining beautiful illustrations with clear scientific analysis, End of the Megafauna shows how the prehistoric behemoths lived, and proposes new ways of understanding what happened to the megabeasts.

Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North
By Mark C Serreze
Princeton University Press, 2018

In the 1990s, researchers in the Arctic realized that floating summer sea ice had begun receding. The director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows how scientists from around the globe came together to discover what was happening, and argues that the Arctic’s extraordinary transformation is a harbinger of things to come if we fail to meet the challenge posed by a warming Earth.

The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink
By Jeffrey St Clair & Joshua Frank
AK Press, 2018

The Earth has been brought to the brink by a greed-based predatory economic system that chews up anything in its path and spits it out to the bitter end. In this unflinching chronicle of the last fight that really matters, the editors of Counterpunch chart the battle lines for the future of the planet, from corporate villains to corrupt politicians to environmentalist activists.

The End Of Ice: Bearing Witness & Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption
By Dahr Jamail
The New Press, 2019

Travelling the world brought famed war reporter Dahr Jamail to the conclusion that the Earth is in “a hospice situation”. A first-hand chronicle, including photographs throughout of Jamail’s journeys across the world, of the catastrophic reality of our situation and the incalculable necessity of relishing this vulnerable, fragile planet while we still can.

Socialist Register 2019: The World Turned Upside Down
Edited by Leo Panitch & Gregory Albo
Monthly Review Press and Merlin Press, 2019

For 55 years, the annual Socialist Register has been an essential source of insightful radical analysis of the key issues facing the left. This year, in 17 challenging essays, socialist academics attempt to make sense of a political conjunction defined by Donald Trump’s presidency, the continuing rise of China, and the growth of right-wing nationalism around the world.

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