Red & Green Reads

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, October 2020

Five book announcements and three book reviews. Origin of Covid-19; History of pollutions; Collapse of US farming; Capital today; Social justice and the environment


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. Books described here may be reviewed in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that we agree with everything (or even anything!) these books say.


Rob Wallace
DEAD EPIDEMIOLOGISTS
On the Origins of Covid-19

Monthly Review Press, 2020
Compelling and frightening. Radical scientists reveal the hidden-in-plain-sight truth that global capital drove the deforestation and development that exposed us to new pathogens. A compelling diagnosis of the roots of COVID-19, and a stark prognosis of what’s next if big changes aren’t made fast.

François Jarrige & Thomas Le Roux
THE CONTAMINATION OF THE EARTH
A History of Pollutions in the Industrial Era

MIT Press, 2020
A social and political history of industrial pollution, mapping its trajectories over three centuries, from the toxic wastes of early tanneries to the fossil fuel energy regime of the twentieth century.

Tom Philpott
PERILOUS BOUNTY
The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It

Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020
Corporate interests have put American agriculture into a state of “quiet emergency,” from dangerous droughts to catastrophic topsoil loss. Philpott explores and exposes the small handful of seed and pesticide corporations, investment funds, and magnates who benefit from the emergency, and introduces the farmers and activists who are pushing back.

Andy Merrifield
MARX, DEAD AND ALIVE
Reading Capital in Precarious Times

Monthly Review Press, 2020
A spirited case for the modern relevance of one of the most influential books ever written, Bolstering his argument with fascinating examples from literature and history, from Shakespeare and Beckett, to the Luddites and the Black Panthers, Merrifield demonstrates how Marx can reveal our individual lives within a collective perspective.

Lucas Chancel
UNSUSTAINABLE INEQUALITIES
Social Justice and the Environment

Harvard University Press, 2020
Can we fight poverty and inequality while protecting the environment? The director of the World Inequality Lab argues that the goals of social justice and a greener world can be compatible, but that progress requires substantial policy changes.


Reviewed recently in Climate & Capitalism

John Bellamy Foster
THE RETURN OF NATURE
Socialism and Ecology

reviewed by Louis Proyect

Richard Smith
CHINA’S ENGINE OF ENVIRONMENTAL COLLAPSE
reviewed by Chris Slee

Andreas Malm
CORONA, CLIMATE, CHRONIC EMERGENCY
War Communism in the Twenty-First Century

reviewed by Simon Butler

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Posted in Books & Reports, Climate Justice, Covid-19, Food and Farming, Pollution

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