Monday November 24th, 2014, 8:43 pm (EST)

Monthly Review Press

5/7: "Organizing and Winning for Twenty-First Century Movements" Event in Portland, OR

5/7: "Organizing and Winning for Twenty-First Century Movements" Event in Portland, OR

Join Johanna Brenner, author of Women and the Politics of Class; Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions; and Arun Gupta, contributor to Socialist Register 2014: Registering Class, for a discussion of “Organizing and Winning for Twenty-First Century Movements” on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:15pm-9:30pm, Portland State University, Smith 238, Portland Oregon. … | more |

"Not only makes a powerful case for him as one of the great philosophers of the twentieth century, but also underlines how the problems and commitments that animated Sartre make him a vital figure of continuing importance."
—Dominic Alexander, Counterfire

The Work of Sartre reviewed in Science & Society

István Mészáros had been a friend and student of Georg Lukács in Hungary. He continues to be an important Marxist philosopher. The Work of Sartre is a carefully argued analysis of Sartre’s writings and political commitments, from the 1930s to his death in 1980. Mészáros’ position on Sartre is balanced and carefully thought through. He analyzes Sartre’s novels, plays, political essays, and biographies as well as his major philosophical works. He also treats Sartre’s political activities during the Cold War.… | more |

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

Steve Early discusses Save Our Unions on Black Sheep Podcast

Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions, is interviewed by Andrew Sernatinger and Tessa Echeverria for the Black Sheep Podcast. He discusses his new book, the state of the U.S. labor movement today, prospects for progressive organizing, and more. Click here for a transcript of the interview or follow the link and listen to the entire podcast. … | more |

"A compelling and intimate portrait of the life and legacy of Dr. Walter Rodney."
—Seth M. Markle, Trinity College

Walter A. Rodney reviewed in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Walter Rodney was born in 1942 in colonial Guyana (then called British Guiana) and died in 1980 in postcolonial Guyana, almost certainly assassinated by the government of Guyana. In a short thirty-eight years, Rodney lived an amazing life, becoming at once a renowned scholar and a brave political activist. After finishing high school in Guyana, Rodney attended the Jamaica campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). He subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in African history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.… | more |

Back in Print! The Longer View: Essays Toward a Critique of Political Economy by Paul Baran

Back in Print! The Longer View: Essays Toward a Critique of Political Economy by Paul Baran

These essays by the author of The Political Economy of Growth and co-author of Monopoly Capital cover the working range of a strong and original mind. They are as diverse as his well-known discussion of Marxism and psychoanalysis, and his expert handling of the politics and economics of development. The themes of Baran’s major works were expressed in these shorter essays with a vigor and personal style that preserves much of the flavor of Baran’s day-to-day reflections. They display, as John O’Neill says in his introduction, “a breadth of sociological and economic analysis which represents a unique conquest of mind in its ability to situate itself in an environment where disorientation and abdication threaten many social thinkers.” Edited with an introduction by John O’Neill and with a preface by Paul M. Sweezy.… | more |

"An excellent and long overdue chronicle of the Freedom Budget ... a wondrous story told with compassion and clarity."
—Angela D. Dillard, author, Faith in the City

A Freedom Budget for All Americans reviewed by Counterfire

This history of the Freedom Budget offers a challenge to the mainstream retelling of the story of the Civil Rights movement as well as the neoliberal economic agenda. It does this by being an inspiring history of the movement itself and its key characters in their aim to link ‘racial justice for African Americans with the goal of economic justice for all Americans’ (p.9). By understanding the movement without the diluting and sanitizing effects of mainstream historians, it offers an insight into victories, defeats and individuals, altogether acting as a siren song to call activists to action. At the same time, the authors offer a concrete vision of what a ‘different, more egalitarian and humane society’ would look like (p.241). As such, this is a book not just for the historian but for the activist as well. It would make excellent reading for a study or book group, especially the final chapter that suggests a framework for a new Freedom Budget for the neoliberal world.… | more |

"A truly remarkable work. Alan Wieder shows himself as a writer equal to their life story, their inspiring bravery in action and self-analysis."
—Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Alan Wieder discusses Ruth First & Joe Slovo in the UK

Join Alan Wieder, author of Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid, for two upcoming events in London, UK. He will be discussing the book at Housmans Bookshop and presenting at the launch of a special issue of the Review of African Political Economy dedicated to Ruth First. … | more |

Biology Under the Influence reviewed by the Weekly Worker

Biology Under the Influence reviewed by the Weekly Worker

In this review I discuss one particular chapter of the book, entitled ‘Dialectics and systems theory’. Though prolific writers, these two famous research biologists and evolutionists, Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin, are mostly known for their classic, ‘The dialectical biologist’, a gem more relevant today than when written in 1985. The chapter I am investigating here was written by Levins. When Hegel, Marx or Engels wrote of ‘things’, they were commenting on the dynamics of everything: all things (matter-energy) are born or emerge (from other things); they live or exist, then decay and die. These things are all that exist – everything is in permanent flux and “all that is solid melts into air” (Communist manifesto).… | more |

Listen to the NYC Book Launch for Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

Listen to the NYC Book Launch for Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York Office recently hosted a book launch for Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement, with author Ralf Dose. Dose was joined by Steven Thrasher, a Contributing Editor at BuzzFeed. Thrasher was named Journalist of the Year 2012 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his investigative feature writing in the New York Times, Village Voice and Out magazine. Click here for audio and photos of the event, courtesy of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.… | more |

NEW! PolyluxMarx: An Illustrated Workbook for Studying Marx’s Capital

NEW! PolyluxMarx: An Illustrated Workbook for Studying Marx’s Capital

by Valeria Bruschi, Antonella Muzzupappa, Sabine Nuss, Anne Stecklner and Ingo Stützle; translated by Alexander Locascio. Reading Capital can be a daunting endeavor and most readers need guidance when tackling this complex work. PolyluxMarx provides such guidance. Developed by scholars and political activists associated with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Foundation), one of the leading political education institutions in Germany, this book has been field tested with groups studying Marx’s masterpiece over several years. It consists of a large set of PowerPoint presentations, combined with detailed annotations and suggestions for ways to discuss the material.… | more |

NEW! Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement by Ralf Dose

NEW! Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement by Ralf Dose

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. This biography, first published to acclaim in Germany, follows Hirschfeld from his birth in the Prussian province of Pomerania to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld’s ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement and explains some of his major theoretical concepts, which continue to influence our understanding of human sexuality and social justice today.… | more |

"Bold New Era or Hard Times for Organized Labor?" Seattle MRP event w/ Steve Early and Arun Gupta

"Bold New Era or Hard Times for Organized Labor?" Seattle MRP event w/ Steve Early and Arun Gupta

Is this a Bold New Era or Hard Times for Organized Labor? Find out at a Monthly Review Press book event and discussion of workers’ movements in the U.S. and abroad, on Monday, May 5, 7 P.M., at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle! Meet former CWA organizer Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions, and Arun Gupta, contributor to In These Times and Registering Class, the 2014 edition of Socialist Register. Singers from the Seattle Labor Chorus will perform!… | more |

"Compelling and often spell-binding. This is surely one of the most important contributions to the social justice literature exposing farmworker injustice at all levels."
—Dr. Ann López, Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families

Lettuce Wars reviewed in the Huffington Post

The author of Lettuce Wars has produced a most compelling work. It will be of particular interest to other former “colonizers” who got active in the labor movement in the 1970s as members of various left-wing groups, including the RCP. Lettuce Wars should be also be read by their younger, union-backed counterparts, who are now “salting” non-union hotels, warehouses, and fast food joints in the pursuit of goals more modest than world revolution.… | more |

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

Save Our Unions reviewed in Jacobin

It has been Steve Early’s fate to chronicle in excruciating detail the decline of the labor empires that grew up in the flush years that followed the World War II — a task he takes up in his new book Save Our Unions: Dispatches From a Movement in Distress…. Union activists concerned with these questions should read Early’s book for essential background on this ongoing crisis of the US labor movement.… | more |

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

Save Our Unions reviewed by the Association for Union Democracy

Does Steve Early exist? Or is his the brand name for a syndicate of crack labor journalists who in James Thurber’s words “get the story and write the story,” but write it from the perspective of working people. That’s a talent that often unappreciated, even by many unions. And, yes, he exists.… | more |

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

Save Our Unions reviewed by LSE Review of Books

Steve Early is a well-known commentator on the complex world of US trade unionism. His analyses are often provocative and always well-informed as he has worked in and around the US labour movement for more than 40 years. This is his third book since he retired from the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union. Evidently he is a man who intends to use the freedom of retirement to stir up debate… Early is passionate about working people having the opportunity not only to have a say in their working lives, but to act as a countervailing power to corporate America. … | more |

"An excellent and long overdue chronicle of the Freedom Budget ... a wondrous story told with compassion and clarity."
—Angela D. Dillard, author, Faith in the City

A Freedom Budget for All Americans "Essential" CHOICE Review

Le Blanc and Yates do an outstanding job of recapturing the development, as well as the social and political context, of this mostly forgotten chapter of American history. The stories of the movement’s leading figures take this book even further in bringing the account of the Freedom Budget back to life. The authors use this historical analysis to frame a valuable overview of current social and economic deficiencies of the contemporary US, making a convincing case that the time has come to resurrect the promise of a renewed Freedom Budget. … This inexpensive book is a must for virtually any library. Summing Up: Essential. … | more |

"An authoritative analysis of NATO’s intervention in Libya. It’s original and prescient—one that all concerned scholars and students should read to comprehend this new trend in global militarism."
—Patricia Daley, University of Oxford

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya reviewed in Counterfire

From mid-March to October 2011, Libya was rarely out of the headlines as Western air forces averaged 150 air strikes per day on the hapless population. The brutal killing of Gaddafi – co-ordinated, Campbell says here, by US, British and French special forces and drones – was followed by a brief media celebration. Since then, with the exception of puzzled reports about the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi in September 2012, and scattered references to chaos and militia rule, there has been virtual radio silence. The traumatic impact of this pummelling was so obvious on the ground, the western media simply slunk away.… | more |

"A truly remarkable work. Alan Wieder shows himself as a writer equal to their life story, their inspiring bravery in action and self-analysis."
—Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid reviewed in the Mail & Guardian

Back in 1989, with the Berlin Wall about to fall, I enjoyed a long and leisurely dinner with Joe Slovo at his Lusaka home. The youngest of his three daughters, Robyn, popped in, but mostly it was just Joe, his friend Pallo Jordan and me, and it ended with a fine bottle of red wine. “A gift,” Joe said after absorbing our compliments, pausing for effect, “from Erich Honecker.” Jordan, an independent-minded leftist and no admirer of the ailing East German leader whose fortunes were taking a tumble, offered a raised eyebrow. I offered a nervous smile. Slovo burst into laughter, clearly relishing the irony of it all.… | more |

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

Save Our Unions reviewed in Working In These Times

The defeat of a union organizing election at the Volkswagen auto plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. this month has stimulated intense national scrutiny of the United Auto Workers (UAW). As labor’s friends and enemies debate over the places UAW leadership fell short in the campaign, journalist Steve Early’s new book, Save Our Unions: Dispatches From a Movement in Distress (Monthly Review Press) seems especially relevant. Though Early’s work doesn’t analyze the Volkswagen campaign itself—and makes only passing references to the UAW—the declining power of the country’s leading labor organizations is a consistent theme in his reporting.… | more |

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