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Ecosocialist Bookshelf, October 2022

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Seven new books for reds and greens

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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.


Mark Williams & Jan Zalasiewicz
THE COSMIC OASIS
The Remarkable Story of Earth’s Biosphere

Oxford University Press, 2022
A popular, non-technical account of the origin, history, and current state of life on Earth. The authors, who have played leading roles in defining the Anthropocene, show how patterns of diversity across the surface of the planet evolved, and how human activity is now degrading both biodiversity and the space in which life can exist.

David P. Thomas & Veldon Coburn, editors
CAPITALISM & DISPOSSESSION
Corporate Canada at Home and Abroad

Fernwood Publishing, 2022
A rigorous analysis of the role of Canadian corporate activity in processes of dispossession, including a broad range of case studies that highlight the role of Canadian corporations in producing, deepening and exacerbating conditions of dispossession both at home and abroad.

Ed Yong
AN IMMENSE WORLD
How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us

Alfred A. Knopf. 2022
Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electrical, magnetic and gravitational fields, but each living thing, including humans, can only sense a small fraction of that reality. Exploring how animals, fish and insects experience their surroundings provides dramatically different views of the world we share.

Robert Gottlieb
CARE-CENTERED POLITICS
From the Home to the Planet

MIT Press, 2022
Care, Gottlieb argues, must be universal — whether healthcare for all, care for the earth, care at work, or care for the household, shared equally by men and women. Urging strategic and structural reforms that imply radical and revolutionary change, he proposes a practical and utopian, politics of daily life.

Carolyn J. Eichner
THE PARIS COMMUNE
A Brief History

Rutgers University Press, 2022
On March 18, 1871, Parisian women blocked the army from taking the artillery from their working-class neighborhood. Ordered to fire, the troops instead turned and arrested their leaders. Thus began the Paris Commune, France’s revolutionary civil war that rocked the nineteenth century and shaped the twentieth. Eichner’s brief account is an excellent introduction to the events Marx hailed as the first working class revolution.

Max Siollun
WHAT BRITAIN DID TO NIGERIA
A Short History of Conquest and Rule

Hurst & Company, 2021
Most accounts of Nigeria’s colonization present it as a noble civilizing mission that ended barbaric superstition and corrupt tribal leadership. Siollun demolishes imperial mythology, showing how ethnic and religious identity were cynically exploited to maintain control, while the forceful remolding of longstanding legal and social practices permanently altered the culture and internal politics of indigenous communities.

Holly Jean Buck
ENDING FOSSIL FUELS
Why Net Zero is Not Enough

Verso Books, 2021
The fossil fuel industry must come to an end but will not depart willingly. Buck argues that rural-urban coalitions can build the political power needed to nationalize the fossil fuel industry, and to deploy geoengineering technologies to draw carbon out of the atmosphere.

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2 Comments

  • Hello Ian, Thanks very much for recommending my book, The Paris Commune: A Brief History. I appreciate it! But I did want to point out a spelling error: in the body of your post, you misspelled my name as Eichman (rather than Eichner).
    It would be great if you could correct that.
    With thanks,
    Carolyn Eichner