Ecosocialist Bookshelf, July 2015

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The socialist imperative … Debriefing Elsipitog … The Mayan forest garden … Lifeblood … Endgame … Waking the giant … We have never been neoliberal

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BookshelvesEcosocialist Bookshelf is a semi-regular 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 an excerpt from the publisher’s description. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.

Michael A. Lebowitz
From Gotha to now

Monthly Review Press
How can people transform their circumstances in a way that allows them to re-organize production and, at the same time, fulfill their human potential? Lebowitz argues that socialism in the twenty-first century must be animated by a central vision, in three parts: social ownership of the means of production, social production organized by workers, and the satisfaction of communal needs and communal purposes. These essays repay careful reading and reflection, and prove Lebowitz to be one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of this era.

Miles Howe
The anatomy of a struggle

Fernwood Publishing
In 2009, the New Brunswick provincial government provided a licence to search over a million hectares of land to Texas-based Southwestern Energy for the purposes of natural gas extraction. Accompanied by unexpected settler and Indigenous allies, Elsipogtog First Nation employed new tactics in the effort to expel Southwestern Energy. And after months of blockades, which resulted in the destruction of company property and numerous arrests, the protestors were finally successful in forcing the gas giant to leave the province. A riveting, firsthand, on-the-ground and behind-the-scenes account of this story

Anabel Ford and Ronald Nigh
Eight millennia of sustainable cultivation of the tropical woodlands

Left Coast
Conventional wisdom says that the devolution of Classic Maya civilization occurred because its population grew too large and dense to be supported by primitive neotropical farming methods, resulting in debilitating famines and internecine struggles. Using research on contemporary Maya farming techniques and important new archaeological research, Ford and Nigh refute this Malthusian explanation of events in ancient Central America and posit a radical alternative theory.

Matthew T. Huber
Oil, freedom, and the forces of capital

University of Minnesota Press
Looking beyond the usual culprits, Lifeblood finds a deeper and more complex explanation in everyday practices of oil consumption in American culture. Huber uses oil to retell American political history from the triumph of New Deal liberalism to the rise of the New Right, from oil’s celebration as the lifeblood of postwar capitalism to increasing anxieties over oil addiction.

Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly
Tipping point for planet earth?

Harper Collins
Scientists Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly draw on their work to explain the growing threats to humanity as the planet edges towards a resource war for remaining space, food, oil and water. The planet is in danger now, but the solutions are still available. We still have the chance to avoid the tipping point and to make the future better. But this window of opportunity is closing fast and will shut within ten-to-twenty years.

Bill McGuire
How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes

Oxford University Press
12,000 years ago, the end of the Ice Ages caused the Earth’s crust to bounce back, triggering earthquakes in Europe and North America and provoking an unprecedented volcanic outburst in Iceland. Now there are signs that the effects of climbing global temperatures are causing the sleeping giant to stir once again.

Kean Birch
A manifesto for a doomed youth

Zero Books
Birch explores the divergence between neoliberal theory and ‘neoliberal’ practice by focusing on the underlying contradictions in monetarism, private monopolies, and financialization. The book finishes by proposing a ‘manifesto for a doomed youth’ in which it argues that younger generations should refuse to pay interest on anything in order to avoid the trap of debt-driven living.