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The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”

An Interview with Michael A. Lebowitz on Capital, “Real Socialism,” and Venezuela

Michael A. Lebowitz: First of all, let me stress that demystification of capital is an essential revolutionary project. Marx answered the most important question of all—what is capital, what is this world of wealth that stands opposite and over us? If we don’t understand what Marx revealed, then even when we struggle against capital, we are most likely to be struggling against ‘unfairness’—unfair wages, unfair working conditions, unfair distribution of income, unfair taxes, etc. And, in the absence of struggle, it’s likely that we will blame the victims—i.e., that we look upon problems as our own fault, the result of our own deficiencies and that therefore the burden is upon us if we want to do better.… | more…

Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

Silvertown reviewed in the Recorder

John Tully begins his marvelous book by recreating the day in 1889 when the yardmen at Silver’s India-Rubber, Gutta-Percha and Telegraph works submitted a written petition to management for a pay rise. He imagines them emboldened by the long struggle of 16,000 workers in the neighbouring Royal Docks for ‘the dockers’ tanner’, and by the earlier victories of the ‘little match girls’ at Bryant and May’s and the gas workers at Beckton. A New Unionism for the labouring masses was emerging, and they would be part of it. Soon 3,000 workers at Silver’s, desperate for better conditions and higher wages, would join the struggle… | more…

Magnus Hirschfeld by Ralf Dose

Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement reviewed in PopMatters

For those whose knowledge of the gay rights movement begins with Stonewall—or worse, with the fight for marriage equality—Ralf Dose’s short but well-researched monograph Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement (originally published in German as Magnus Hirschfeld: German, Jew, Citizen of the World, 2005) comes at a propitious moment, when the State grudgingly hallows the LGBTQ community with the dubious privilege of matrimony.… | more…

A World to Build by Marta Harnecker

Marta Harnecker, author of A World to Build, wins the 2013 Liberator’s Prize for Critical Thought

We’re pleased to share the news that MR Press author and Monthly Review contributor Marta Harnecker has won the 2013 Liberator’s Prize for Critical Thought. MR Press will publish the English edition of her prize-winning book, A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-first Century Socialism, in November 2014. This announcement was published by the Venezuelan news agency Agencia Venezolana de Noticias and was translated by Fred Fuentes.… | more…

Race to Revolution by Gerald Horne

Ricardo Alarcón on Gerald Horne and Race to Revolution

…an important intellectual event is taking place this year in the United States. Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African American studies at the University of Houston, has just added two new texts to his long and brilliant bibliography on these subjects. Last April, New York University published The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. And now, in late June, Monthly Review Press began distributing Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow.… | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed in Race & Class

This comprehensive study on paramilitarism throughout Haiti’s history focuses particularly on the most recent wave of paramilitaries in the twenty-first century, concerning which it provides a fascinatingly detailed case study. Such groups of armed individuals, serving as irregular forces, in league with brutal militaries or as security militias have had no legitimate or legal status in Haiti – but have had, from the outset, enormous influence in shaping its history. As Sprague shows, throughout Latin America, both local elites and foreign governments have used such groups against the people to advance their own interests. But in Haiti, dictatorial regimes such as the Duvalierist dynasty took this to a new extreme. It is a legacy the country has suffered from ever since. … | more…

A Freedom Budget for All Americans

A Freedom Budget for All Americans reviewed in UE News

In the decades since the 1968 death of Martin Luther King, and especially since the 1983 establishment of a national holiday bearing his name, his ideas and goals and those of the movement he helped lead have been sanitized to make them non-threatening to the powers that be. King’s life, work and goals, and those goals of the millions of people who struggled alongside him, have been reduced to four words from one speech: “I have a dream.” But King and other leaders and participants of the civil rights movement of the 1960s had goals that went well beyond overturning the system of Jim Crow segregation in the South and regaining voting rights and full citizenship rights for African Americans. They wanted to transform America to bring economic justice to not only black people but to all working class and poor people.… | more…

Race to Revolution by Gerald Horne

July 26, Race to Revolution Book Talk in NYC

Join MR Press author Gerald Horne for a discussion of his new book, Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow on Saturday, July 26, 6:30PM, at Sistas’ Place, 456 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. … | more…

Race to Revolution by Gerald Horne

NEW! Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow by Gerald Horne

The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution, historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation’s internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North. Horne draws a direct link between the black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval.… | more…

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