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Monthly Review Press

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The Devil's Milk reviewed on Counterfire

The Devil's Milk reviewed on Counterfire

What is a commodity? On the face of it, simply an object. Marx pointed out however that it is really ‘a very queer thing indeed, full of metaphysical subtleties and theological whimsies’. A commodity like rubber on the one hand contains all sorts of useful, non-reducible physical properties, and on the other, within a capitalist economy, is just the equivalent of a given quantity of money; it contains an abstract exchange value of a definite amount. Moreover, the individual commodity contains within itself all the natural and social processes which brought it into being as a discrete product, from the growth, in this case, of the rubber-producing tree, to its harvesting, transport and manufacture into commercial rubber.… | more |

The Science & Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould reviewed in Human Ecology Review

The Science & Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould reviewed in Human Ecology Review

Undoubtedly, Stephen Jay Gould is one of the great thinkers of the Twentieth Century. Gould was a leading figure in the fields of evolutionary biology and paleontology, and made important theoretical and empirical contributions to those fields over his accomplished career. The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould, by sociologists Richard York and Brett Clark, broadly examines the philosophical underpinnings of Gould’s work, and its application for understanding the interweaving relations among and between natural and social systems. This book provides a concise, yet remarkably thorough, survey of key aspects of Gould’s powerful worldview and philosophy, applying a rich overarching analysis of a scientific perspective that reveals numerous insights into the complexity of nature and, compellingly, society. … | more |

John Tully interviewed on Radio New Zealand

John Tully interviewed on Radio New Zealand

Listen to the author of The Devil’s Milk discuss the social history of rubber on This Way Up with Simon Morton. … | more |

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems Research

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems Research

Ecological degradation is the elephant in the room for many people; they are aware of its presence yet would prefer to ignore it rather than be forced to consider both its severity and possible remedies. This practiced ignorance occurs despite numerous problems, such as global climate change, species extinction, deforestation, overfishing, and dramatic disasters such as the recent oil “spill” from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the radiation releases from nuclear power plants in post-tsunami Japan. This elephant is enormous, destructive, and cannot be imagined away. John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York have been taking on the elephant for years.… | more |

Let Me Speak!

Ben Dangl reviews MRP classic Let Me Speak!

The life experiences of Bolivian mining activist Domitila Barrios de Chungara traverse some of the most important and tumultuous events in 20th century Bolivian history. Her account of this life in the book Let Me Speak! offers a view from the trenches of militant, leftist organizing within the country labor movements and beyond.… | more |

Class Dismissed reviewed on Democracy In Education blog

Class Dismissed reviewed on Democracy In Education blog

…Seriously, Marsh is my new favorite smartperson. Everyone should read this book. Don’t have it yet? Go on over to whatever online book retailer you like and order it right now. I’ll wait. Okay, here’s what you need to know about this fascinating book before you read it yourself and admonish me for all the fascinating tidbits I didn’t write about here. Marsh, an English professor with a head for statistics (which suggests he may be an alien from another planet, if you ask me) smashes so many prevailing notions about how education works and what it can (and mostly cannot) do for people that I don’t even know where to begin to list them.… | more |

Class Dismissed reviewed in Baltimore City Paper

Class Dismissed reviewed in Baltimore City Paper

As Baltimore schoolteachers and students return to their classrooms later this month, the enduring tale of America as a land of opportunity will resound again with great fervor. All good teachers will weave into their lesson plans a narrative of hope: If you do this drill on the board, keep your uniform neat, complete your homework, follow the curriculum, make the grade—above all, matriculate upward—you can change your condition, overcome economic insecurity, and procure a spot in America’s bounteous middle class or beyond.… | more |

What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism

NEW! What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

A Citizen's Guide to Capitalism and the Environment

Just released! This short, readable book is a sharply argued manifesto for those environmentalists who reject schemes of “green capitalism” or piecemeal reform. Environmental and economic scholars Magdoff and Foster contend that the struggle to reverse ecological degradation requires a firm grasp of economic reality. Going further, they argue that efforts to reform capitalism along environmental lines or rely solely on new technology to avert catastrophe misses the point. The main cause of the looming environmental disaster is the driving logic of the system itself, and those in power—no matter how “green”—are incapable of making the changes that are necessary.… | more |

The People's Lawyer reviewed in The Progressive Populist

The People's Lawyer reviewed in The Progressive Populist

In a post-9/11 world, a “new normal” exists in the US. It tilts in no small way towards the power of government’s three branches. The trio focuses, almost obsessively, on national safety and security. Against that backdrop, Albert Ruben’s new book amplifies the strengths and weaknesses of a progressive institution involved in civil liberties and human rights struggles for nearly five decades.… | more |

Read an excerpt from What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism in Links

Read an excerpt from What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism in Links

Our friends at Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal have posted an excerpt from What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism: A Citizen’s Guide by Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster. … | more |

NEW! Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequality

NEW! Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequality

Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequality

Just released! In Class Dismissed, John Marsh debunks a myth cherished by journalists, politicians, and economists: that growing poverty and inequality in the United States can be solved through education. Using sophisticated analysis combined with personal experience in the classroom, Marsh not only shows that education has little impact on poverty and inequality, but that our mistaken beliefs actively shape the way we structure our schools and what we teach in them.… | more |

Revolutionary Doctors reviewed in People's World

Revolutionary Doctors reviewed in People's World

Steve Brouwer identifies his physician father as the only socialist he knew growing up. The elder Brouwer listened to patients, and he was incensed if they stayed away because of no money. Such early awareness evidently prepared the way for the author’s remarkable book “Revolutionary Doctors.” Brouwer traces the evolution of Cuba’s health system that has led to Cuban-Venezuelan collaboration in providing health care for their people and medical assistance throughout the world.… | more |

John Marsh talks to Inside Higher Ed about Class Dismissed

John Marsh talks to Inside Higher Ed about Class Dismissed

It’s no secret that this country has an education problem. Whether pre-K or post-grad, the consensus is clear: we need more and better education. Too few students make it through high school, and fewer still make it through college; in any case they are not learning enough, or they are not learning the right things in the right way. The child left behind in school will never go to college, and the child who doesn’t go to college becomes the adult who will never attain a reasonably well-paying job. Education, then, is the key to prosperity — for individual workers and for the nation that comprises them. But wait.… | more |

Antonio Gramsci reviewed in Socialist Studies [PDF]

Antonio Gramsci reviewed in Socialist Studies [PDF]

The fortunes of Antonio Gramsci as a Marxist thinker and Communist Party leader have been so curious it is worth foregrounding their recent past within academic and intellectual circles. Particularly in the English-speaking world, Gramsci’s popularity has undoubtedly only increased since the fall of the Soviet bloc, the advance of neoliberalism and the deeper disorganization of the Left. Such a phenomenon leaves us asking why it is that this Marxist revolutionary has been spared the same fate as Marx and Engels, who either have continued to be held in disrepute or, worse, been relegated to irrelevance.… | more |

Monthly Review Press T-shirt v2 (front)

Monthly Review Press T-shirts

Monthly Review Press T-shirts now available. Supplies are limited so get one now!… | more |

Read an excerpt from Revolutionary Doctors in LINKS

Read an excerpt from Revolutionary Doctors in LINKS

Our friends at Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal have posted an excerpt from Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World’s Conception of Health Care by Steve Brouwer. … | more |

NEW! Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care

NEW! Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care

Just released! Revolutionary Doctors gives readers a first-hand account of Venezuela’s innovative and inspiring program of community health care, designed to serve—and largely carried out by—the poor themselves. Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, Brouwer tells the story of Venezuela’s Integral Community Medicine program, in which doctor-teachers move into the countryside and poor urban areas to recruit and train doctors from among peasants and workers. Such programs were first developed in Cuba, and Cuban medical personnel play a key role in Venezuela today as advisors and organizers. This internationalist model has been a great success—Cuba is a world leader in medicine and medical training—and Brouwer shows how the Venezuelans are now, with the aid of their Cuban counterparts, following suit.… | more |

Michael Perelman on "Sex, Lies, and Economics"

Michael Perelman on "Sex, Lies, and Economics"

VIDEO: The author of The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers, gave the following lecture, “Sex, Lies, and Economics: The Amazing Story and Relevance of Economics and Economists Before Adam Smith” at the Summer Institute for the History of Economic Thought at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, on June 25, 2011.… | more |

The Devil's Milk reviewed in Red Pepper

The Devil's Milk reviewed in Red Pepper

Socialist historian and novelist John Tully’s well-researched history of rubber shines a spotlight on a material most of us take for granted. The result is an accessible, well-written and absorbing account of rubber’s blood-soaked history, from the plunder of the Amazon and the Congo basin to slave labour in Nazi work camps. At first glance, a 360-page book on a single commodity might put off a potential reader. However it soon becomes clear why rubber is such a worthy subject. An essential commodity in the development of industrial capitalism, the drive to acquire rubber was central to European imperialism – with its catastrophic effects for indigenous populations.… | more |

Mexico's Revolution Then and Now reviewed on Counterfire

Mexico's Revolution Then and Now reviewed on Counterfire

The first twenty years of the twentieth century were decades of revolution that set the terms of world politics perhaps for the rest of the century. The most familiar events would be the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, but others of world importance include the Chinese revolution of 1911, and the German revolution of 1918-19. To these should be added Mexico’s revolution that began in 1910.… | more |

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