Reading from the left

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, June 2018, Part 2

Five new books: Ecological Crisis and Capital … El Niño in World History … Plate Tectonics … Marxist Essays … Origins of Agriculture and the State

Ecosocialist Bookshelf is an occasional feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with brief descriptions. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.

Please note: Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) the book says.


Xueming Chen
THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS AND THE LOGIC OF CAPITAL
translated by Lihuan Wu and Baixiang Liu
Brill, 2017
A leading Chinese ecosocialist and professor of philosophy at Fudan University draws on the work of John Bellamy Foster, Paul Burkett, James O’Connor and others to explore the logic of capitalism as a fundamental cause of today’s environmental crisis. He argues that technological fixes and market mechanisms are doomed to failure without a radical overhaul of the principles that govern capitalism.

Richard Grove and George Adamson
EL NIÑO IN WORLD HISTORY
Palgrave MacMillan, 2018
Throughout human history, large or recurrent El Niños have disrupted societies and even contributed to political change, but only now are we coming to appreciate the significance of the phenomenon. In this volume, Grove and Adamson chart the dual history of El Niño: as a global phenomenon capable of devastating weather extremes and as a developing idea in science and society.

Roy Livermore
THE TECTONIC PLATES ARE MOVING!
Oxford University Press, 2018
Plate tectonics is a revolutionary theory on a par with modern genetics. Yet, apart from the frequent use of clichés such as ‘tectonic shift’ by economists, journalists, and politicians, the science itself is rarely mentioned and poorly understood. This book explains modern plate tectonics in a non-technical manner, showing not only how it accounts for phenomena such as great earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, but also how it controls conditions at the Earth’s surface, including global geography and climate.

Mike Davis
OLD GODS, NEW ENIGMAS
Marx’s Lost Theory

Verso, 2018
In four major essays written over the past decade, Mike Davis explores the question of revolutionary agency, Marx’s views on nationalism, Kropotkin’s views on the desertification of Asia, and the threat of global catastrophe posed by climate change.

James C. Scott
AGAINST THE GRAIN
A Deep History of the Earliest States

Yale University Press. 2017
Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for agriculture, a much harder way of life? Scott shows that permanent settlements existed long before plow agriculture and the rise of states, and discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and non-subject peoples.

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Posted in Books & Reports, Ecosocialism, History, Marxist Ecology, Marxist theory, Science

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One Response to Ecosocialist Bookshelf, June 2018, Part 2

  1. Steve Deeming July 3, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Hello, Ian,

    A good addition:

    Earth System Science; A Very Short Introduction byTim Lenton. Despite being ‘very short’ taken in chunks is the best bet!!
    In Peace

    Steve Deeming

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