Reading, green and red

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, October 2017

Six new books on Marx’s ecosocialist views, climate change and health, theory and action, inevitability versus contingency in evolution, new politics, and the meaning of Capital

Six new books on Marx’s ecosocialist views, climate change and health, theory and action, inevitability versus contingency in evolution, new politics, and the meaning of Capital

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.

Kohei Saito
Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy

Monthly Review Press, 2017
Highly recommended!
Delving into Karl Marx’s central works, as well as his natural scientific notebooks—published only recently and still being translated—Saito also builds on the works of scholars such as John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett, to argue that Karl Marx actually saw the environmental crisis embedded in capitalism. “It is not possible to comprehend the full scope of [Marx’s] critique of political economy,” Saito writes, “if one ignores its ecological dimension.”

Jay Lemery and Paul Auerbach
The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health

Rowman & Littlefield, 2017
The impact climate change will have on human health is tremendous, and we are only just now discovering what the long-term outcomes may be. Weighing in from a physician’s perspective, Lemery and Auerbach clarify the science, dispel the myths, and explain the tremendous threats that climate change poses for human health.

David Camfield
Ideas for Changing Society

Fernwod Publishing, 2017
David Camfield proposes a reconstructed historical materialism that fuses critical Marxism with insights from anti-racist queer feminism, and treats capitalism and class as inextricably interwoven with gender, race and sexuality. Arguing that the key to achieving change for the better is social struggle,  he offers ideas about moving from social theory to social action.

Jonathan B. Losos
Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

Riverhead / Penguin Random House, 2017
Are today’s plants and animals inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science, offering insights into natural selection and evolutionary change that have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria.

George Monbiot
A New Politics for an Age of Crisis

Verso, 2017
George Monbiot argues that new findings in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology cast human nature in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and cooperators. He shows how we can build on these findings to create what he calls a “politics of belonging,” that would enable us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society.

David Harvey
Profile Books, 2017
Marx’s Capital is one of the most important texts of the modern era. David Harvey lays out its key arguments, placing his observations in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. He considers the degree to which technological, economic and industrial change during the last 150 years means Marx’s analysis and its application may need to be modified.