Reading Matters

Ecosocialist Bookshelf, May 2024

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Attn. Reds & Greens: Eight recent books for people who want to change the world

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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!) it says. Climate & Capitalism has received review copies of some of these books, but we do not receive any payment for reviews or for reader purchases.

Domitila Barrios de Chungara and Moema Viezzer
Testimony of Domitila, A Woman of the Bolivian Mines

Monthly Review Press
First published in English in 1978, Let Me Speak! is the story of a valiant fighter for indigenous and workers’ rights in the mines of Bolivia. The new edition includes never-before-translated testimonies, resulting in a fuller picture of both Chungara’s activity, including her role in bringing down the Banzer dictatorship, and her internationalist workduring her exile in Sweden.

Michael Löwy
The Incendiary Spark

Haymarket Books
In ten insightful essays, noted ecosocialist scholar Löwy explores Luxemburg’s many political and theoretical contributions, as well as her links to other revolutionaries including Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukács, José Carlos Mariátegui, and Leon Trotsky, always bearing in mind her enduring relevance to today’s struggles against oppression.

Daniel Tanuro
La Dispute
Dans ce livre d’entretiens, Daniel Tanuro, ingénieur agronome et militant écosocialiste, propose un diagnostic limpide, des analyses tranchantes et des propositions radicales en vue d’une révolution écologique et sociale. Cette introduction à l’écologie et au marxisme contemporains rend accessible et prolonge les réflexions de l’auteur sur l’impossibilité d’un capitalisme vert et sur la stratégie pour une écologie à la hauteur des défis du temps présent.

Marco D’Eramo
The Invisible War of the Powerful Against Their Subjects

Polity Books
Our rulers have carried out a stealth revolution, using every weapon from information technology to debt. They have changed the nature of power, from discipline to control. They have learned from the workers’ struggle, using Gramsci and Lenin against us. Can we learn from our opponents and launch a successful counter-offensive?

Steven W. Thrasher
The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide

Celadon Books
The ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone. Thrasher delves into the viral underclass and lays bare its inner workings, helping us understand the world more deeply by showing the fraught relationship between privilege and survival.

Thomas Shevory
Environmental Destruction and the Epic Fight to Save Onondaga Lake

New York University Press
For indigenous people Onondaga Lake is a sacred place, where peace between nations was achieved and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was created. In the 20th century it acquired a wholly different reputation as “the most polluted lake in America.” Shevory tracks the history of this complex ecological system, and the fight against a system that privileges industrial polluters over human rights.

Oneka LaBennett
Shaping Race, Gender, and Environment in the Caribbean and Beyond

New York University Press
Previously one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries, Guyana is becoming a global leader in oil production. LaBennett illuminates how oil extraction and sand export are implicated in the pillaging the Caribbean’s natural resources while masking the ecological consequences that disproportionately affect women and children, and sounds an alarm about the looming threat of environmental calamity.

Augustín Lage Dávila
Science and Society in Cuba

Monthly Review Press
Despite the imperialist blockade, Cuba is a global leader in the development and application of scientific knowledge and products, from vaccines and medicines to organic food. Noted Cuban immunologist, Dr. Augustín Lage Dávila shows how Cuba achieved this, arguing that the training of scientists and their relationships with the Cuban people are intimately connected to the country’s revolutionary socialist culture.

Michael Albert
Mapping the Futures of Capitalism and the Earth

MIT Press
In view of the “planetary polycrisis” that is disrupting global capitalism, Albert argues that we must devote more attention to the study of possible futures. He offers a theoretical framework — planetary systems thinking — that is incorporates complexity theory, world-systems theory, and aspects of ecological Marxism, as a basis for considering how egalitarian transitions beyond capitalism might occur.

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