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The English word “loot” is derived from the Hindi word lut, which means to steal, especially by plunder in time of war.

African-American novelist Toni Morrison — winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1988), the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993), and many other awards — died on August 5 at the age 88. 

Following the announcement, Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the civil rights organisation NAACP, remarked: "Rest in power to #ToniMorrison, one of the most prolific writers of our time."

August 18 is Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Australia. Every year we can rely on right-wing commentators to trot out the now-familiar stories of Vietnam vets being abused when they returned to Australia.

Angels & Demons: A Radical Anthology of Political Lives
By Tony McKenna
Zero Books, 2018
263 pp, $16.99

The role of individuals in history has been a long-standing bone of contention within the Marxist tradition.  Stalinism, with its mechanical historical understanding, relegated individuals to the anonymous mass to be manipulated by Great Leaders, who shone like the Sun.

While researching Japanese working-class resistance to World War II, Kaye Broadbent discovered in a Japanese university archive Masao Sugiura’s 1964 memoir, detailing the formation and activities of the Shuppanako Kurabu (Print and Publishing Worker’s Club). Based upon Sugiura’s 1981 second edition, the English translation of Against the Storm provides an inspiring account of how Sugiura and his comrades were able to organise and sustain links between workers, despite increasing wartime repression by the Japanese military regime.

If you’re looking for an accessible summary of revolutionary theory and practice related to the climate crisis and how to overcome it, System Change Not Climate Change is a must-read, writes Valerie Lannon.

Stieg Larsson is best known for his phenomenally successful series of novels, The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. The books have sold some 80 million copies world-wide. However, Larsson’s main pre-occupation was fighting the rise of fascism in Sweden. 

Bastani frequently quotes Marx, but his economics are Keynesian, his history is crude technological determinism, and his political program doesn’t go beyond social democratic reforms, writes Ian Angus.

Nuclear weapons need never have been built. Our world could have been free from the “frozen tableau of terror” of 9500 nuclear warheads capable of destroying the world 100 times over, as Peter Watson comprehensively shows in Fallout: Conspiracy, Cover-Up and the Deceitful Case for the Atom Bomb

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at five new books of interest to ecosocialists.

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