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Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid reviewed by Paul Buhle for Swans Commentary

This remarkable book bears the tale of two South African (white) Communists who threw their lives into the cause of overthrowing the tyrannical system so effectively supported by the U.S. and Israel (among others) until the veritable end. To say they were courageous is a vast understatement…. The telling of their story is an achievement for which author Alan Wieder deserves great credit. Writing as an oral history field worker and teacher, I conclude that the book could not have been done by someone who lacked the skill and patience of an oral historian such as Wieder. The entirety of this book has the personal touch and will reward reading and rereading.… | more |

Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives

Capitalist Globalization reviewed in The Progressive Populist

Martin Hart-Landsberg thinks big. His book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013) is proof of that. A world economy of, by, and for transnational corporations (TNCs) is a problem. So what? The author’s answer is clear. TNC-led production flows from the imperatives of businesses to produce goods and services at lower prices than rivals do. A theme throughout his book documents the interests of TNCs to the detriment of working majorities experiencing declines in their living standards.… | more |

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid reviewed in the LSE Review of Books

It was a stormy relationship that only a bomb planted by an apartheid agent could blow up. Ruth First was a great researcher and thorn-in-the-side of the apartheid government before her assassination by letter bomb in 1982; Joe Slovo was the lawyer turned guerilla mastermind, who blew up power stations and military headquarters before becoming a minister in Mandela’s first government, and laid to rest in Soweto’s Avalon Cemetery. Together, they were two of the most famous and important of South Africa’s anti-apartheid activists, and lived the sort of lives that made for great stories and even greater myths. … | more |

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid reviewed in Z Magazine

Ruth and Joe, white secular Jews in apartheid South Africa, did not have to fight against that society of skin-color privilege. Yet they did because that social system doomed scores of people to lives of misery and poverty. We discover the complexities of place, space, and time in Ruth and Joe’s lives among those with and without name recognition to overthrow white-minority rule in South Africa.… | more |

Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space

Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space reviewed by Resolute Reader

In the period this book considered, Hell’s Kitchen, or “Manhattan’s Middle West Side” was considered by many commentators to be an area of poverty, corruption, crime and unsavoury types. In reality of course it was a home to thousands of working class people who carved their own lives out of the limited opportunities that they had … Subtitled, Class Struggle and Progressive Reform in New York City, 1894-1914, Joseph J. Varga’s new book is a detailed examination of the development of this district in New York, but more importantly, an attempt to understand, using the concept of the “production of space” how that urban space was shaped and, in turn, shaped those who inhabited it.… | more |

An Introduction to Marx's Capital

Michael Heinrich interviewed by Xiaoping Wei

Michael Heinrich is the author of An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Marx’s Capital, published last year by Monthly Review Press. Here, he discusses his work and his interpretation of Capital with Xiaoping Wei, director of History of Marxism Philosophy in the Philosophy Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vice-director of History of Marxism Philosophy Society of China, and vice-director of Western Marxism Society of China. … | more |

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Alan Wieder discusses Ruth First and Joe Slovo on imiXwhatilike! Radio

Alan Wieder is the author of Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid, recently released by Monthly Review Press. He is interviewed by Dr. Jared A. Ball for imiXwhatilike! Emancipatory Journalism & Broadcasting, about the lives of Ruth First and Joe Slovo, the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, and revolution. … | more |

The Work of Sartre by István Mészáros

The Work of Sartre reviewed in LSE Review of Books

Although Jean-Paul Sartre was a popular and influential philosopher, he has not become as common a topic for serious scholarship as some of his peers. While Husserl and Heidegger are engines of continental thought, and Merleau-Ponty has a sizable following, Sartre tends to be used in introductory courses more than dissertations. Nonetheless, many philosophers do consider his work important and look forward to new insights about his legacy. The Work of Sartre promises to be such a book.… | more |

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth reviewed on Counterfire

Giroux asserts that a fundamental attack on democracy is currently occurring in the US, and urgent action is needed to defend democratic values against this assault. His view is that an examination of the education system provides evidence for this attack, and that education is itself both a key battleground, and the crucible in which the defence of democracy can be formed.… | more |

One Day in December: Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution by Nancy Stout

One Day in December reviewed in Z Magazine

In the opening pages of a new biography, Alice Walker’s Foreword sets the stage for the poignant portrayal of a person with scant name recognition in North America. Until, that is, the publication of One Day in December. Author Nancy Stout divides the book into four parts: Pilón, Manzanillo, Sierra Maestra, and Havana, Cuba, the main places where Sánchez and scores of other Cubans resisted, eventually toppling the Cuban government and replacing it with a revolutionary regime.… | more |

The Ecological Rift by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, & Richard York in South Africa's Mail & Guardian

Unbelievably the family of sciences that should shoulder the burden of enlightening society in the light of the alarming findings of the natural sciences, seems to be struck by a debilitating paralysis, except that the truth is far worse. In The Ecological Rift – Capitalism’s War on the Earth (Monthly Review Press, 2010) John Bellamy Foster and his fellow authors draw one’s attention to the scandalous complicity, on the part of the social sciences, with the very economic system that is driving ecological ruin. One might wonder why this is the case. In fact, one might expect human scientists to be more radical in their approach to the matter than their natural science colleagues, while the opposite is in fact the case. … | more |

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed in WorkingUSA

A sense of the arguments and perspective that drive Jeb Sprague’s detailed study of paramilitarism in Haiti from the early 1990s to 2004 is given in the following quote, which comes in a closing chapter: “As with all historical processes, Haiti’s recent history cannot be reduced to pure good versus pure evil—the popular Lavalas movement had its own contradictions and failures. Even so, right-wing paramilitarism and its backers have produced, by far, the most victims of political violence in Haiti in recent history” (p. 281). Sprague supports this point—and at the same time aims to expose layers of political complexity—with an intriguing assessment of the role of paramilitary organizations in ensuring that popular movements in the Caribbean republic are kept hobbled.… | more |