Friday April 24th, 2015, 9:56 pm (EDT)

Monthly Review Press

"This book shows what it takes to defend democracy, workers rights, and social justice unionism."
—Dolores Huerta

Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions, interviewed on KALW, San Francisco

Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions: Dispatches from A Movement in Distress, discusses the fight for a higher minimum wage, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, labor law reform, and more on Your Call with Rose Aguilar, on KALW radio in San Francisco. … | more |

Open Veins of Latin America

35% off April Books of the Month: Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America & Days and Nights of Love and War

As John Berger once put it, “To publish Eduardo Galeano is to publish the enemy: the enemy of lies, indifference, above all of forgetfulness. His tenderness is devastating, his truthfulness, furious.” Galeano, who died on April 13 at the age of 74, was the author of two books Monthly Review Press is proud to have published: Open Veins of Latin America, his unforgettable narrative of imperialism in the Americas, and Days and Nights of Love and War, a singular blend of memoir and history drawn from a period of political repression. We offer these two books as our April Books of the Month in the hope that readers will take this opportunity to discover Galeano for the first time, or share his work with someone you know.… | more |

Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century reviewed in Too Much online

Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century reviewed in Too Much online

Activist University of Illinois scholar Robert McChesney has for some time now been a compelling voice on the “political economy of communication,” an emerging new discipline that’s probing how our media go about entrenching “the privileges of those at the top.” This field, McChesney argues in this engaging new book, belongs on our political center stage. Our deeply unequal social order, he explains, has simply ceased working for average people.… | more |

Labor in the Global Digital Economy reviewed in The Progressive Populist

Labor in the Global Digital Economy reviewed in The Progressive Populist

Who is the cybertariat? Why care? Ursula Huws, author of Labor in the Global Digital Economy: The Cybertariat Comes of Age (Monthly Review Press, 2014), has answers as a class-based technology shapes our world. An historical continuity emerges in her writing. This approach casts context on the current moment.… | more |

"A fascinating history of an important historic neighborhood and a provocative analysis of the ways in which interest groups vie for control of urban geography."
—Tyler Anbinder, author, Five Points

Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space reviewed in New York History

Hell’s Kitchen’s tenements have long captured the attention of reformers, scholars, and the American public. In Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space, Joseph J. Varga combines a sophisticated use of critical space theory, with a nuanced investigation of social relations among residents, reformers, and state agencies, to shed light on development in this notorious neighborhood during the Progressive Era’s transformative years. Utilizing Henri Lefebvre’s understanding of space as “lived, conceived and perceived,” Varga reveals that the physical features of the area, social relationships of work and home, reform efforts, ethnic and racial alliances, and government allotment of funds played a role in creating and giving meaning to space on Manhattan’s Middle West Side.… | more |

Read an excerpt from In Walt We Trust on Salon

Read an excerpt from In Walt We Trust on Salon

In the late 1850s, Walt Whitman wrote a series of poems celebrating what he called “manly love,” the love men had for other men. Whitman included the poems in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass under the heading “Calamus,” a plant with a suggestive, phallic-shaped flowering spike growing out of it. As I discuss in the next chapter, the exact nature of this manly love—essentially, whether it involved genitals or not—remains very much unsettled.… | more |

May 8: NYC Benefit for AK Press

May 8: NYC Benefit for AK Press

Announcing a New York City benefit for AK Press at The Brooklyn Commons, Friday, May 8, at 6:30 PM. Funds will go to AK Press to help them recover from a devastating fire in their Oakland, CA warehouse. Supporters include Haymarket Books, The Indypendent, Institute for the Radical Imagination, The Marxist Education Project, Monthly Review, Situations, and Verso Books.… | more |

"Path-breaking ... Their story is our story, and thanks to Horne, we can now study its flow in a single, and profound, narrative."
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Race to Revolution reviewed in Dissident Voice

No later than the Wilsonian propaganda campaign to bring ordinary US citizens and the world to support US intervention in World War I, did the inhabitants—at least the “white” ones—become convinced that not only was their nation the new Eden but that merely by virtue of being an American one was loved and/or envied throughout the world. It is crucial to mention this ideological transformation because until 1917, when the US entered the war on the side of the British elite, most inhabitants of the US could be seen as despised. Ex-slaves were despised because of their skin-colour and despite the 13th amendment, previous condition of servitude, and all the rest but the tiny in-bred colonial elite were absorbed from countries whose regimes were glad to be rid of them.… | more |

"Thompson's writings are indispensable weapons for a new generation of activists struggling to reinvent radicalism."
—Sheila Rowbotham

April 9: Cal Winslow discusses E.P. Thompson in Seattle, WA

Join Monthly Review Press author Cal Winslow for a discussion of his new book E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left. 7 PM, April 9, 2015, at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, WA. Cal Winslow will consider the legacy of the late historian E.P. Thompson, the writer and activist widely considered the outstanding historian writing in English in the Twentieth Century.… | more |

In Walt We Trust reviewed on Truthout

In Walt We Trust reviewed on Truthout

In Walt We Trust is a sprightly, extended essay or first-person peroration by a young lit prof who felt a ton of frustration and heartache, or at least headache (self-medicating with alcohol, he tells us), and in despair, threw himself at Whitmania. That is, the poetry, the life, the setting and the aura. The project was obviously successful and not only because of the resulting book. He feels, he insists, better about life, death and even sex – the trifecta that pretty much wraps up human earthly possibilities. But he had to take a gloomy field trip to Camden, New Jersey, to get his mind in place.… | more |

Back in Print! The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal by David Milton

Back in Print! The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal by David Milton

In this classic examination of the U.S. labor movement, Milton presents a fine description of the major strikes, beginning in 1933-1934, that led to the formation of the CIO and the great industrial unions. He looks closely at the role of the radical political groups, including the Communist Party, the Trotskyists, and the Socialist Party, and provides an enlightening discussion of their vulnerability during the red-baiting era. He also examines the battle between the AFL and the CIO for control of the labor movement, the alliance of the AFL with business interests, and the role of the Catholic Church. Finally, he shows how the extraordinary adeptness of President Roosevelt in allying with labor while at the same time exploiting divisions within the movement was essential to the successful channeling of social revolt into economic demands.… | more |

Help Support our Friends at AK Press

Help Support our Friends at AK Press

Please read this appeal from our friends at AK Press, the important publisher of anarchist and radical books and distributor of titles from many small presses, including Monthly Review Press, as they recover from a devastating fire at their warehouse in Oakland, California. To make a donation, please visit this page, or to purchase books from AK Press, visit their website. … | more |

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality reviewed by The Progressive Standard

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality reviewed by The Progressive Standard

In Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality, Salim Lamrani, a French journalist and professor of Latin-American studies at the University of Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV, raises important questions about the condition of journalism today and the role played by privately owned, centrally controlled media cartels. As an important addition to his previous work, The Economic War Against Cuba, Lamrani, examines media treatment of Cuba taking an investigative journalist’s approach to dissecting a variety of claims made about life and politics on the island since the revolution of 1959.… | more |

"A work of exemplary scholarship, written with penetrating insights and steadfast commitment."
—István Mészáros

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

With the end of the Cold War and the victory of capitalism, and the seeming defeat of “Marxism-Leninism” in 1991, it appeared we could at last bury Lenin. And certainly, who will mourn for the death of a Lenin encased in granite monuments with his words turned into a dogmatic religion to legitimise the Eastern Bloc regimes? However, there is another Lenin who remains very much alive. This Lenin has been unearthed in recent years with the “Lenin renaissance”. Different scholars and political activists such as Lars Lih, Paul Le Blanc, Slavoj Zizek, Kevin Anderson, to name just a few have explored what remains very much alive in Lenin. While they don’t necessarily agree on all their conclusions, all of them have challenged Soviet-era mythology and anti-communist historiography by revealing the Lenin who fused a creative and dynamic Marxist theory to develop a revolutionary political practice to change the world.… | more |

"A fascinating history of an important historic neighborhood and a provocative analysis of the ways in which interest groups vie for control of urban geography."
—Tyler Anbinder, author, Five Points

March 24: Joseph Varga on Hell’s Kitchen and the Progressive Era in NYC

Join Joseph J. Varga, author of Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space: Class Struggle and Progressive Reform in New York City, 1894-1914 for a special event sponsored by the Gotham Center for New York City History, on March 24 at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. … | more |

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left reviewed in Radical Ruminations

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left reviewed in Radical Ruminations

Winslow produced an excellent book. The essays hang together as proposals for, and responses to, the first New Left and as evidence of the intimate connection between Thompson’s historical writing and his politics. They provide a twofold intellectual history of those dramatic years. Thompson is powerful and elegant; Winslow is as passionate about intellectuals in socialist politics as Thompson was when he wrote these indispensable essays. But we need to understand what they built on.… | more |

Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century reviewed in the Progressive Populist

Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century reviewed in the Progressive Populist

The Web makes the press better, right? Not quite, writes Robert W. McChesney in Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy (Monthly Review Press, 2014). A media scholar, he unpacks the demise of commercial journalism and its potential rise as a public good in the online era. Meanwhile, ad revenue plummets, as digital journalism appears, falsely, as a savior for print journalism. McChesney dissects the strengths and weaknesses of so-called new media.… | more |

NEW! In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

NEW! In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

Marsh identifies four sources for our contemporary malaise (death, money, sex, democracy) and then looks to a particular Whitman poem for relief from it. He makes plain what, exactly, Whitman wrote and what he believed by showing how they emerged from Whitman’s life and times, and by recreating the places and incidents (crossing Brooklyn ferry, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals) that inspired Whitman to write the poems. Whitman, Marsh argues, can show us how to die, how to accept and even celebrate our (relatively speaking) imminent death. Just as important, though, he can show us how to live: how to have better sex, what to do about money, and, best of all, how to survive our fetid democracy without coming away stinking ourselves. The result is a mix of biography, literary criticism, manifesto, and a kind of self-help you’re unlikely to encounter anywhere else.… | more |

Read an excerpt from In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself on UTNE Reader Online

Read an excerpt from In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself on UTNE Reader Online

Walt Whitman was born in 1819 in West Hills, New York, on Long Island, and moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was not quite four years old. Like many children from working-class families (his father was, at various times, a farmer, carpenter, and house builder), Whitman left school before he turned twelve. He worked as an office boy, and at age thirteen he was apprenticed to a printer. In his late teens and early twenties, he taught school in various Long Island small towns. There he made his first tentative steps into journalism and Democratic Party politics.… | more |

Magnus Hirschfeld reviewed in New Politics

Magnus Hirschfeld reviewed in New Politics

In the mostly forgotten history of early twentieth-century movements for sexual freedom, Magnus Hirschfeld’s name is one of the most familiar—and one of the most contested. As a Jewish scientist who championed sexual deviants, he made a perfect target for the Nazis, who were tragically successful in extirpating much of his life’s work. In Western Europe today, where gay rights is virtually a civic religion, he risks becoming one of its plaster saints; the Federal Republic of Germany established an official, publicly funded Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation in 2011. … | more |

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