Six new books for left-greens and green-lefts: Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century; Militarizing the Environment; The Great Acceleration; The Great Inequality; Congo’s Environmental Paradox; How Did We Get Into This Mess?
Ecosocialist 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.
IMPERIALISM IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis
Monthly Review Press, 2016
A seminal examination of the relationship between the core capitalist countries and the rest of the world in the age of neoliberal globalization. Smith argues that the core capitalist countries need no longer rely on military force and colonialism (although these still occur) but increasingly are able to extract profits from workers in the Global South through market mechanisms and, by aggressively favoring places with lower wages, the phenomenon of labor arbitrage.
Robert P. Marzec
MILITARIZING THE ENVIRONMENT
Climate Change and the Security State
University of Minnesota Press, 2015
In this extensive historical study of scientific, military, political, and economic formations across five centuries, Robert P. Marzec reveals how environmentality has been instrumental in the development of today’s security society—informing the creation of the military-industrial complex during World War II and the National Security Act that established the CIA during the Cold War.
J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke
THE GREAT ACCELERATION
An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945
Harvard University Press, 2016
Since the mid-twentieth century, the accelerating pace of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and population growth has thrust the planet into a massive uncontrolled experiment. The Great Acceleration explains its causes and consequences, highlighting the role of energy systems, as well as trends in climate change, urbanization, and environmentalism.
Michael D. Yates
THE GREAT INEQUALITY
A growing inequality in income and wealth marks modern capitalism, and it negatively affects nearly every aspect of our lives, especially those of the working class. Michael Yates explains what inequality is, why it matters, how it affects us, what its underlying causes are, and what we might do about it. This book was written to encourage informed radical action by working people, the unemployed, and the poor, uniquely blending the author’s own experiences with his ability to make complex issues comprehensible to a mass audience.
CONGO’S ENVIRONMENTAL PARADOX
Potential and Predation in a Land of Plenty
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Congo has the natural resources the world needs. Its forests count in the fight against global climate change and Congo’s farmers could feed all of Africa’s population. The Inga hydroelectric site has the potential to light up the entire continent. Congo’s incredible natural wealth has the potential to contribute to development in this troubled central African country—but structural problems, cultural factors, poor governance and predation remain serious challenges.
HOW DID WE GET INTO THIS MESS?
Politics, Equality, Nature
Verso Books, 2016
George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. This selection from his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.