Six new books for ecosocialists

Issue 

Below are overviews of six new books for an ecosocialist bookshelf, compiled by Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus. They look at the Science for the People movement, health care under capitalism, the criminalising of poverty, Yemen in crisis, the origins of everything, and communism and democracy.

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Science For The People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists
Edited by Sigrid Schmalzer, Daniel S Chard & Alyssa Botelho
University of Massachusetts Press, 2018

From 1969 to 1989, Science for the People mobilised US scientists, teachers, and students to practice a socially and economically just science, rather than one that served militarism and corporate profits.

This anthology of original documents from the most important radical science movement in US history offers vital contributions to today’s debates on science, justice, democracy, sustainability and political power.

 

Health Care Under The Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health
By Howard Waitzkin & the Working Group on Health Beyond Capitalism
Monthly Review Press, 2018

Noted healthcare professionals, scholars, and activists impart their inside knowledge of the medical system: what’s wrong, how it got this way, and what we can do to heal it.

Essays address the medical industrial complex, the impact of privatisation and cutbacks under neoliberalism, the nature of healthcare work, and the intersections between health care and imperialism.

 

Not A Crime To Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America
By Peter Edelman
New Press, 2017

In one of the richest countries on Earth, it is a crime to be poor. Peter Edelman, who famously resigned from the Bill Clinton administration over welfare “reform”, paints a shocking picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.

 

Yemen In Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State
By Helen Lackner
Saqi Books, 2017

Fuelled by Arab and Western intervention, the civil war in Yemen has killed thousands and left millions close to starvation. Helen Lackner uncovers the roots of the social and political conflicts that threaten the very survival of the state and its people.

She reveals the corruption of the country’s US-backed autocratic regime, as well as its failure to address national impoverishment and to plan an equitable economy.

 

The Origins Of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less)
By David Bercovici
Yale University Press, 2016
A concise, wryly intelligent history of everything, from the Big Bang to the advent of human civilisation. It makes connections between the essential theories that give us our current understanding of topics as varied as particle physics, plate tectonics, and photosynthesis.

 

Communism & Democracy: History, Debates & Potentials
By Mike Makin-Waite
Lawrence & Wishart, 2017

Makin-Waite argues that the democratic and liberal counter-currents that have always existed within the communist movement have much to offer the left project today. He aims to recover some of the hard-won insights of the critical communist tradition, in the belief that they can still be of service to the 21st century left.

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