New year, new essential readings for ecosocialists

February 2, 2018
Climate & Capitalism's Ian Angus looks at five new books that are essential reading for ecosocialists.

Ian Angus has compiled a new list of essential readings for ecosocialists. Angus is editor of Climate and Capitalism, where the full list can be read.


On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War
By Kim Moody
Haymarket Books, 2017

Recent changes in capitalism have altered both the composition of the working class, and the economic and political ground on which it struggles.

Kim Moody challenges conventional wisdom about a disappearing working class, and shows how recent developments in capitalist production impact the working class. Moody says the transformed industrial terrain offers new possibilities for workplace organisation and grassroots, independent political action.

The Authority Trap: Strategic Choices of International NGOs
By Sarah Stroup & Wendy Wong
Cornell University Press, 2017

To maintain their power and influence, leading international non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amnesty International refrain from expressing radical opinions that severely damage their long-term reputation.

Stroup and Wong contend such NGOs must constantly adjust their behavior to maintain a delicate equilibrium that preserves their status.

We Can Do Better: Ideas for Changing Society
By David Camfield
Fernwood Publishing, 2017

David Camfield lays out a reconstructed historical materialism that treats capitalism and class as inextricably interwoven with gender, race and sexuality. Arguing that the key to achieving change for the better is social struggle, he analyses a range of issues that face our world today. These include climate change, growing social insecurity and the persistence of sexism and racism.

The Bleeding Edge: Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World
By Bob Hughes
New Internationalist, 2016

Bob Hughes argues that unequal societies are incapable of using new technologies well. Wherever elites exist, self-preservation decrees that they must take control of new technologies to protect and entrench their status, rather than satisfy people’s needs. Any political program that tries to arrest climate change while tolerating inequality is as doomed as trying to climb Mount Everest by the downhill route.

Property & Dispossession: Natives, Empires & Land in Early Modern North America
By Allan Greer
Cambridge University Press, 2018

Allan Greer examines the ways in which Europeans remade New World space as they laid claim to the continent’s resources, extended the reach of empire, and established states and jurisdictions for themselves.

The book’s geographic scope, comparative dimension, and placement of indigenous people on an equal plane with Europeans makes it unlike any previous study of early colonisation and contact in the Americas.

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