Friday September 4th, 2015, 9:13 pm (EDT)

Monthly Review Press

Monthly Review Press News

Labor and Monopoly Capital

The raw material of exploitation: Harry Braverman’s ‘Labor and Monopoly Capital’

Work sucks. Every day, workers go into jobs they hate, whether in a factory, office or on a checkout line. Workers are made to perform menial and demeaning tasks that have already been outlined for them, down to the smallest details, by management. Their job is so simple that anyone can do it. Ultimately, the worker possesses no control at the workplace.… | more |

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Counterfire

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Counterfire

No one seriously concerned with changing the world can avoid Lenin. As Hungarian Marxist Tamás Krausz puts it, ‘the discontented keep running into Lenin’s Marxism at every turn’ (p.316). This, Krausz points out, is above all because Lenin was so central to the Russian Revolution, the first, and up to now most important, anti-capitalist experiment aimed at a stateless society.
Krausz’s book is not an introduction to Lenin, for that you have to look elsewhere.[i] But it is much more than its billing as ‘an intellectual biography’. Krausz has set himself the ambitious task of examining the principles that motivated and guided Lenin and testing how they matched up against reality.… | more |

The Education of Black People

35% Off August Book of the Month! The Education of Black People by W.E.B. Du Bois

Paperback, 224 pages ISBN: 1-58367-043-2 Released: January 2010 In these ten collected essays, Du Bois insistently calls for African Americans to take control their own lives through education – the means to understand both beauty and subversion. Though containing speeches written nearly one-hundred years ago, and on a subject that has seen more stormy debate […]… | 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 Dialectical Anthropology

Among the strengths of Gerald Horne’s Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow is its timing; it arrives at the moment of the first real movement in US–Cuban diplomatic relations since the imposition of the blockade in 1962, and at the beginnings of what some are calling the third major US civil rights movement, in the wake of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.… | more |

NEW!   Wall Street’s Think Tank:  The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014

NEW! Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014

The Council on Foreign Relations is the most influential foreign-policy think tank in the United States, claiming among its members a high percentage of government officials, media figures, and establishment elite. For decades it kept a low profile even while it shaped policy, advised presidents, and helped shore up U.S. hegemony following the Second World […]… | more |

The Devil's Milk: A Social History of Rubber

John Tully’s Silvertown and The Devil’s Milk reviewed in Science & Society

In both of these books John Tully gives us histories of remarkable businesses and their human consequences seen from the vantage point of a red–green critic of capitalism. Rubber and its cousin gutta-percha were exploited long before plantation businesses sprang up.… | more |

Race in Cuba reviewed in Science & Society

Race in Cuba reviewed in Science & Society

Race in contemporary Cuba is a delicate and hotly contested issue. What most agree is that pre-1959 Cuba was characterized by a stark racial inequality which, rooted in a relatively recent history of slavery (abolished only in 1886), was addressed after January 1959 by legally eliminating its more evident institutional manifestations, by a social program which particularly benefited those at the bottom of the old social structure, and by a mass emigration which initially was predominantly (83.5%) white. More recently, we know that after the 1990s’ traumatic crisis (following the Soviet and socialist bloc collapse) and the unprecedented changes to counter that crisis (including increased tourism and toleration of the U. S. dollar), inequality partly returned, as remittances from relatives abroad disproportionately benefited whites.… | more |

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by International Socialism

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by International Socialism

Reconstructing Lenin is a thoughtful and compelling study of Lenin. Tamás Krausz reveals Lenin as an activist revolutionary whose thoughts were shaped by immediate political events but who also at the same time never strayed far from a coherent theoretical framework. As a work of scholarship it deserves to be up there with Lars Lih’s Lenin Rediscovered.… | 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 Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates have recently identified a political point of entry that has the potential to galvanize wide public support and focus political discussion and debate on the most glaring (historical) weaknesses of capitalism as a mode of production and to begin to nudge public awareness toward the deep contradictory ontology that is capitalism.… | 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 |

"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 by People’s World

To his credit, the first African-American president, Barack Obama, recently took a bold step towards normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, thereby challenging a decades-long failed policy intent on isolating the island nation. Undoubtedly, with this change in U.S. foreign policy, there will likely be a renewed interest in both nations’ shared history.
That an African American took the initiative in spearheading this long overdue policy change is also important, as it is only the most recent illustration of a unique relationship between Blacks in the “slaveholders’ republic” and their African kin in Cuba, the renowned slave depot and former Spanish colony… | more |

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

The 21st century has witnessed a significant revival of interest in the ideas of Karl Marx among both the general public and left-leaning academics. No doubt this reflects a desire among many to examine solutions from the greatest and best-known critic of the system to capitalism’s recurrent bouts of economic contraction and social polarisation. There has been a notable lack of concomitant interest, however, in one of the few figures within the Marxist canon who can rival the founder for breadth and depth of analysis.… | more |

New! The Socialist Imperative by Michael Lebowitz

New! The Socialist Imperative by Michael Lebowitz

Lebowitz explores the obvious but almost universally ignored fact that as human beings work together to produce society’s goods and services, we also “produce” something else: namely, ourselves. Human beings are shaped by circumstances, and any vision of socialism that ignores this fact is bound to fail, or, at best, reproduce the alienation of labor that is endemic to capitalism. But how can people transform their circumstances in a way that allows them to re-organize production and, at the same time, fulfill their human potential? Lebowitz sets out to answer this question first by examining Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme, and from there investigates the experiences of the Soviet Union and more recent efforts to build socialism in Venezuela. He argues that socialism in the twenty-first century must be animated by a central vision, in three parts: social ownership of the means of production, social production organized by workers, and the satisfaction of communal needs and communal purposes. These essays repay careful reading and reflection, and prove Lebowitz to be one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of this era.… | more |

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

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left reviewed in Canadian Dimension

Few figures loom larger in the making of the first, late 1950s, New Left than E.P. Thompson and C. Wright Mills. Both were big. Both fit uneasily, to say the least, in the company of any established intelligentsia.… | more |

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed in Australian Book Review

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed in Australian Book Review

Who cares any more about Lenin? Time was, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870–1924) was revered, at least in some quarters, as the founding father of the Soviet Union, head of the first revolutionary state, pioneer in building socialism to end capitalist exploitation and create a better world. In the Soviet Union, Stalin overshadowed him for a few decades, while claiming loyal discipleship. But then, in the thaw following Stalin’s death in 1953, Lenin was reinvoked as a corrective to Stalin’s excesses, the man who had offered the true socialist model.… | more |

NEW! The Hidden Structure of Violence: Who Benefits from Global Violence and War by Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Rountree

NEW! The Hidden Structure of Violence: Who Benefits from Global Violence and War by Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Rountree

Acts of violence assume many forms: they may travel by the arc of a guided missile or in the language of an economic policy decision that contaminates drinking water, and they may leave behind a smoldering village or a starved child. The all-pervasive occurrence of violence makes it seem like an unavoidable, and ultimately incomprehensible, aspect of the human world, particularly in a modern era. But, in this detailed and expansive book, Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Rountree demonstrate otherwise. Widespread violence, they argue, is in fact an expression of the underlying social order, and whether it is carried out by military forces or by patterns of investment, the aim is to strengthen that order for the benefit of the powerful.… | more |

Labor in the Global Digital Economy reviewed by Counterfire

Labor in the Global Digital Economy reviewed by Counterfire

You are almost certainly reading this review on a computer screen, on a mobile device, tablet, laptop or PC. It’s probably one of many, many things you’ll read onscreen today. Some of your uses of new technology will be for leisure, recreation and education, and some will be work-related. The information, communication and technology industry (ICT) is all around us, almost like air or water.… | 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 by Counterfire

Gerald Horne’s new volume casts light on a ‘special relationship’ which is often ignored or forgotten: that of the United States and pre-revolutionary Cuba. Horne, a Marxist historian whose work has covered a multiplicity of themes including race, empire, revolution and communism, has been committed to the study of narratives and topics excluded from the (particularly US) mainstream. He describes the manner in which academic historians have generally dealt with communist history, for instance, as ‘incredibly biased, one-sided, deeply influenced by the conservative drift of the nation’.… | more |

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

Save Our Unions author Steve Early on the Presidential Candidacy of Bernie Sanders

Monthly Review Press author Steve Early first met Bernie Sanders in 1976 during a Vermont political campaign. Today, writing in Jacobin magazine and interviewed on Alternative Visions radio, Early reflects on how organized labor should respond to Sanders’s bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. … | more |

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left reviewed by Counterfire

The ‘left’ has been reborn many times over the last two centuries. Every renewal has carried with it traditions from past phases, with greater or lesser degrees of continuity, while establishing new relations and alliances in response to the changing structures of capitalism. This can be seen in the transition between radical Jacobinism and early forms of socialism, or between the Chartist movement and later nineteenth-century trade-union and socialist movements, and in other moments in the history of working-class politics. E. P. Thompson was a figure who both recaptured these transitions in his historical writing, and participated in a major re-orientation of left politics after the Soviet Union’s suppression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.… | more |

FacebookRedditTwitterEmailPrintFriendlyShare