Radical reading

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, December 2021

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Six new books and six important essays for reds and greens

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Ecosocialist Bookshelf is a monthly column, hosted by Ian Angus. Books described here may be reviewed at length in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that C&C agrees with everything (or even anything!) these books say.

Six new books

Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara with Gladys Rowe
Fernwood Publishing
Indigenous scholars, activists and knowledge keepers speak pointedly to what they are asking of non-Indigenous people. Inspiration and guidance for settler Canadians who wish to live honorably in relationship with Indigenous Peoples, laws and lands.

Bernd Riexinger, Lia Becker, Kathaina Dahme, Christina Kaindl
An Internationalist Blueprint

Monthly Review Press
The authors, members of the German party Die Linke (The Left) argue that to take on climate change, we must first engage in system change, a process rooted in socialism on a worldwide basis. They propose transformative organizing practices for building a potent new counterforce to capitalism.

Alice Bell
An Epic History of the Climate Crisis

Counterpoint Press
300 years that changed the planet. Bell takes us back to climate change science’s earliest steps in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to today, where the world is finally starting to face up to the reality that things are going to get a lot hotter, with catastrophic consequences for most of Earth’s biomes.

Alexander Etkind
A Cultural History of Natural Resources

Polity Press
The history of humankind through the prism of natural resources – how we acquire them, use them, value them, trade them, exploit them. In this history the leading actors are peat and hemp, sugar and ore, cod and oil — elements of nature, components of the economy, and engines of culture.

Erica Cirino
The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis

Island Press
Plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health, but the plastic crisis is also a tale of environmental injustice, as poorer nations take in a larger share of the world’s trash, and manufacturing chemicals threaten predominantly Black and poor communities. Cirino shows that we can only fix the problem if we face its full scope and begin to repair our throwaway culture.

Beth Hoffman
The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America

Island Press
Between rising land costs, ever-more expensive equipment, the growing uncertainty of the climate, and few options for health care, farming today is a risky business. For many, simply staying afloat is a constant struggle. A first-hand account of the perils of farming today and a personal exploration of more just and sustainable ways of producing food.

Six important essays