Reading matters

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, December 2018

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Five important new books for reds and greens. Dust Bowls of Empire. Oil, Power and War. The Big Muddy. Never Home Alone. The Neoliberal Diet.

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Climate & Capitalism can’t review every book we receive, but this column lists and links 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!) these books say.

Hannah Holleman
Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of ‘Green’ Capitalism

Yale University Press, 2018
A clear and insightful analysis of the role of capitalism and colonialism in causing the U.S. Dust Bowl of the 1930s and destroying farmland around the world today. Ecosocialist Hannah Holleman extends and deepens our understanding of the metabolic rifts that lie behind growing global crises of climate change, freshwater scarcity, extreme energy, and soil degradation. Highly recommended.

Matthieu Auzanneau
A Dark History

Post-Carbon Institute and Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016
This sweeping history shows how oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. Auzanneau challenges commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events, and considers what a post-oil future might look like.

Christopher Morris
An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina

Oxford University Press, 2017
The first long-term environmental history of the Mississippi shows how centuries of intensive human meddling — including deforestation, swamp drainage, and levee construction — have produced drought, disease, and severe flooding. Valley residents have been paying the price for these human interventions, most visibly with the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina.

Rob Dunn
From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live

Basic Books, 2018
Even when everything is sparkling clean and disinfected, some 200,000 species live with us in our own homes. Our obsession with eliminating them is unwittingly reshaping those organisms, prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay.

Gerardo Otero
Healthy Profits, Unhealthy People

University of Texas Press, 2018
Otero argues that the “obesity epidemic” cannot be simply attributed to individual food and lifestyle choices. Neoliberal regulation has enabled agribusiness multinationals to thrive by selling highly processed foods loaded with refined flour and sugars. He identifies the socioeconomic and political forces that created this diet, which has been exported around the globe, often at the expense of people’s health.

These books were recently reviewed on Climate & Capitalism

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