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Ecosocialist Bookshelf, August 2022

Seven new books for people who know that the point is to change the world

Ecosocialist Bookshelf is a monthly Climate & Capitalism feature, 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.


John Bellamy Foster
CAPITALISM IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Monthly Review Press, 2022
Humanity’s future is threatened by the capitalist system in which we live. The quality and even existence of the human future will depend on the nature of our struggles, on our ability to reinvent the world by reinventing ourselves, and on our willingness to transform the destructive social conditions that surround us. The planetary revolt of humanity in the twenty-first century will succeed only if it takes the form of a unified, revolutionary subject, emanating from the wretched of the earth.

Martin Empson
SOCIALISM OR EXTINCTION
The Meaning of Revolution in a Time of Ecological Crisis

Bookmarks, 2022
British activist (and frequent Climate & Capitalism contributor) Martin Empson argues that the struggle for a sustainable world can’t succeed without revolutionary politics. He argues that revolution isn’t a dream or an abstract wish, but the essential requirement of our time, and shows what it means in practice.

China Miéville
A SPECTRE, HAUNTING
On the Communist Manifesto

Head of Zeus, 2022
Every political generation encounters the Communist Manifesto anew, learns what to focus on within it, finds problems, questions, analyses, answers, gaps and solutions for its own time. Award-winning Marxist science fiction writer China Miéville offers an imaginative, insightful, and very readable introduction to the modern world’s most controversial and enduring political document.

Jim Handy
APOSTLES OF INEQUALITY
Rural Poverty, Political Economy, and the Economist, 1760-1860

University of Toronto Press, 2022
Between 1760 and 1860, advocates of “improvement” drove English rural workers from the land despite evidence that they were the most productive farmers in a country constantly short of food. Handy argues that such attempts, driven by faith in the wonders of capital, led to a century of impoverishment and hunger rural England.

Grady Klein & Yoram Bauman
THE CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Island Press, 2022
Revised and updated. Economist Yoram Bauman and illustrator Grady Klein have created the funniest overview of climate science, predictions, and policy that you’ll ever read. You’ll giggle, but you’ll also learn, about everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes. A unique and enjoyable presentation of essential facts and critical concepts.

John Abraham
SICKENING: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It
Mariner Books, 2022
The United States spends an excess $1.5 trillion annually on health care compared to other wealthy countries, but the time Americans live in good health ranks 68th in the world. Dr. Abraham’s no-holds-barred exposé shows how Big Pharma’s relentless pursuit of ever-higher profits corrupts medical knowledge, misleads doctors, and harms people’s health.

Nick Lane
TRANSFORMER
The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death

Penguin Random House / W.W. Norton, 2022
DNA is important, but it is only part of what makes life possible. Metabolic networks in the cells of all living things create, store and release the energy that keeps us alive. Biochemist Nick Lane unites the story of our planet with the story of our cells — what makes us the way we are, and how it connects us to the origin of life.

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