Sunday April 20th, 2014

News

What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know about Capitalism reviewed in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education

What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know about Capitalism reviewed in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education

What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism is an important book on many levels. The authors’ ability to condense a large number of very complex environmental issues in a short and concise manner is commendable. Large-scale environmental issues provide context to the magnitude of the problem, while localised examples of devastation provide strong arguments for its impact, cause for concern and urgent need to respond.… | more |

"Where fresh insights are rare, indeed, Michael Lebowitz provides a bundle of them … rich material for badly-needed discussion."
—Paul Buhle, author, Marxism in the United States

The Contradictions of “Real Socialism” reviewed on Organizing Upgrade

People should read this book for the very reason that it is not a blueprint for socialism, but because it provides a basis for deep ongoing discussions of what socialism should look like in the twenty-first century. I think that many of the theoretical points are the basis for a discussion on how socialists in the USA should be acting, what struggles are key, and how our struggles now lay a basis for a socialist future.… | more |

"Where fresh insights are rare, indeed, Michael Lebowitz provides a bundle of them … rich material for badly-needed discussion."
—Paul Buhle, author, Marxism in the United States

The Contradictions of “Real Socialism” reviewed in Socialism & Democracy

The issue of “Real Socialism” has plagued the global Left since 1917. Michael Lebowitz brings to bear on it a sharp focus, informed not only by a thorough reading of Marx, but also by many years of activism, leavened by the extensive contacts he has gained with Cuban and Venezuelan protagonists during his recent years of residence in their respective countries. The main empirical reference in his present book is to the Soviet experience, in particular, to its last three decades (the 1950s to the 1980s), by which time the regime’s structures and institutions were firmly in place. While the general stance of recognizing the contradictions of this period has a long lineage, Lebowitz’s particular approach to defining them is new and fruitful.… | 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

Read the Introduction to Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California

It was early evening, a few hours before my shift’s end. The cab line at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco was a crapshoot. Sit in line and take your chances or cruise the streets for fares in hope of being bounced around the city like a pinball. You got in line because, like the people who work slot machines, there’s always the chance of a jackpot. Here you invest your minutes, not your money, but the anticipation is similar. It was airport action that represented the most likely bonanza. Better odds here than cruising or taking your chances on a radio call—a rigged radio at that—though at the St. Francis you could easily end up waiting fifteen or twenty minutes for a $5 ride to the Wharf.… | more |

"Where fresh insights are rare, indeed, Michael Lebowitz provides a bundle of them … rich material for badly-needed discussion."
—Paul Buhle, author, Marxism in the United States

The Contradictions of “Real Socialism” reviewed on Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Michael Lebowitz offers a rigorous Marxist explanation of what went wrong in the USSR (and its allied countries). To Lebowitz (following Marx in this regard), a socialist society is one “that removes all obstacles to the full development of human beings” (p. 17). … Lebowitz has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Soviet experience. For revolutionaries who want to build a socialism that is an alternative to the misery of capitalism, while also learning from the mistakes of the past, this is a highly recommended work.… | more |

"An excellent little introduction to Marx’s masterpiece … even if you’ve read lots of Marx, you can still learn a lot by reading this book."
—Doug Henwood, editor, Left Business Observer

CHOICE: “Essential” Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital

This is an extraordinary book. Many volumes set out to explain the work of Karl Marx. A good number of these denounce him, but many sympathetic publications offer competing analyses of what he really meant, often flowing out of narrow sectarian interpretations. Heinrich’s greatest contribution comes in the first half of this surprisingly readable book, in which he carefully lays out the logic of how Marx constructed his work.… | more |

"It is absolutely imperative for Haiti’s history that such a detailed account of the role of paramilitary violence in the country be recorded. The marshalling of facts and events and the meticulous references are phenomenal."
—Mildred Trouillot-Aristide, former First Lady of Haiti

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed by A World to Win

Sprague’s book is a stark, disturbing reminder, to those born into more fortunate circumstance than the wretched poor of Haiti, of the absolute lack of morality employed by those committed to an ideology dramatically opposed to democracy, human rights, equality and social justice.… | more |

"An excellent little introduction to Marx’s masterpiece … even if you’ve read lots of Marx, you can still learn a lot by reading this book."
—Doug Henwood, editor, Left Business Observer

An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital in Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Heinrich provides a concise, clear and exemplary introduction to Capital. Because of its theoretical orientation I would venture to say that is also the most lucid introduction to the monetary theory of value in English. In addition Heinrich’s translator, Alexander Locascio, has done valuable work correcting some important mistranslations in the standard editions of Capital. I can therefore recommend Heinrich’s Introduction to readers of all levels who are interested in Capital. Those who have never read it before can benefit from its wide-ranging introduction to Marx’s mature thought. Those who have read Capital, but avoided the value theory debates, can benefit from its excellent discussion of value. Whilst theorists rooted in Hegelian-Marxism can benefit from the way in which Heinrich shows how section one of Volume 1 relates to all three volumes of Capital. For all these reasons An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Capital is far and away the best introduction to Capital in English.… | 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 on Counterfire

István Mészáros’ newly expanded critical study of Jean-Paul Sartre not only makes a powerful case that Sartre was one of the great philosophers of the twentieth century, but also underlines his continuing importance as a thinker whose lifework is ‘manifestly representative of our time’ (p.141). In demonstrating Sartre’s strengths and integrity, Mészáros also reveals how his very failures are sources of illumination. Some of Sartre’s most ambitious works remained unfinished, and the reason lies in the contradictions at the core of the philosopher’s thinking, and also, as Mészáros points out, at the heart of late capitalist society.… | more |

Che Guevara reviewed in Bulletin of Latin American Research

Che Guevara reviewed in Bulletin of Latin American Research

I am writing this in Córdoba, Andalusia. Outside the Mezquita, alongside Burger King, are the ubiquitous tourist shops with Che Guevara T-shirts inevitably on sale. A question that has long preoccupied me struck me again. What does this T-shirt mean? Jon Lee Anderson (1997) suggests that the image of Che Guevara often symbolises youthful rebelliousness, jettisoned at adulthood along with piercings and dyed hair. Does it mean anything other than an alternative to a flamenco sombrero, a figurine of a bull, or an ‘I Love Spain’ T-shirt?… | more |

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

Read an Excerpt by Issa G. Shivji from Walter A. Rodney

I can’t recall if Walter came before or after the demonstrations, but he certainly participated in the discussion that followed after the 1966 expulsion and after the Arusha Declaration. After the Declaration, in ’67, ’68, there was a small group of people called the Socialist Club in which Malawians, Ugandans, Ethiopians, and many other students were involved. The Socialist Club was transformed into the University Students African Revolutionary Front (USARF). It was all the initiative of students, not the faculty. Walter was one of the few young faculty involved, but purely within a relationship of equality. There was no professor and student there.… | more |