Thursday April 17th, 2014

MR Press News & Reviews

"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 Inter Press Service

Haiti’s brutal army was disbanded in 1995, yet armed and uniformed paramilitaries, with no government affiliation, occupy former army bases today. President Michel Martelly, who has promised to restore the army, has not called on police or U.N. troops to dislodge these ad-hoc soldiers. Given the army’s history of violent opposition to democracy, Martelly’s plan to renew the army “can only lead to more suffering”, says Jeb Sprague in his forthcoming book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, to be released mid August by Monthly Review Press.… | 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

Jeb Sprague Book Tour Dates

Join the author of Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, just released by Monthly Review Press, at an event near you! Jeb Sprague will discuss his new book, which investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people.… | 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

NEW! Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

In this path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide’s Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians. Sprague seeks to understand how this occurred, and traces connections between paramilitaries and their elite financial and political backers, in Haiti but also in the United States and the Dominican Republic. … | more |

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

José Carlos Mariátegui is not exactly a household name among Marxists outside Latin America, let alone among the wider left. In Latin America, however, his writings have played an influential role in the development of socialist politics and have impacted on recent progressive governments that have been elected in the wake of the collapse of the dictatorships and the neo-liberal economies associated with them. For this reason alone, this recent publication of an anthology of his writings is long overdue and much to be welcomed.… | more |

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Perelman addresses the whole range of problems with work and the work process within capitalism: the way it stifles the creativity of the worker, the waste of social productive powers by the many jobs and technical applications created solely to safeguard the managerial power of capital, the superior knowledge workers have of the work process and the struggle over the extraction of this knowledge, the inefficiencies of production all these combine to generate within capitalism, and finally the various kinds of theoretical apologetics generated within economic theory to justify this sorry state of affairs.… | more |

"An authoritative account of how the Polish transformation betrayed the Polish working class and its aspirations."
—Jan Toporowski, SOAS, University of London

NEW! From Solidarity to Sellout: The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland by Tadeusz Kowalik

In the 1980s and 90s, renowned Polish economist Tadeusz Kowalik played a leading role in the Solidarity movement, struggling alongside workers for an alternative to “really-existing socialism” that was cooperative and controlled by the workers themselves. In the ensuing two decades, “really-existing” socialism has collapsed, capitalism has been restored, and Poland is now among the most unequal countries in the world. Kowalik asks, how could this happen in a country that once had the largest and most militant labor movement in Europe?… | 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

NEW! The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted by Michael A. Lebowitz

What was “real socialism”—the term which originated in twentieth-century socialist societies for the purpose of distinguishing them from abstract, theoretical socialism? In this volume, Michael A. Lebowitz considers the nature, tendencies, and contradictions of those societies. Beginning with the constant presence of shortages within “real socialism,” Lebowitz searches for the inner relations which generate these patterns. He finds these, in particular, in what he calls “vanguard relations of production,” a relation which takes the apparent form of a social contract where workers obtain benefits not available to their counterparts in capitalism but lack the power to decide within the workplace and society.… | 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

NEW! An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital by Michael Heinrich

Heinrich’s modern interpretation of Capital is now available to English-speaking readers for the first time. It has gone through nine editions in Germany, is the standard work for Marxist study groups, and is used widely in German universities. The author systematically covers all three volumes of Capital and explains all the basic aspects of Marx’s critique of capitalism in a way that is clear and concise. He provides background information on the intellectual and political milieu in which Marx worked, and looks at crucial issues beyond the scope of Capital, such as class struggle, the relationship between capital and the state, accusations of historical determinism, and Marx’s understanding of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the monetary character of Marx’s work, in addition to the traditional emphasis on the labor theory of value, thus highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of financial explosions and implosions.… | more |

Wisconsin Uprising reviewed on ZNet

Wisconsin Uprising reviewed on ZNet

The Wisconsin Uprising in February-March 2011 was one of the most exciting events in a long time in this country’s history. People mobilized on a scale not seen since the early 1970s, initially to protest a draconian assault on working people and public services intended to serve them, but it developed into a larger protest over the meaning of “democracy” in the contemporary United States. And though the protests ultimately failed to stop passage of an unjust law, it served and still serves as an inspiration to people in Wisconsin and around the world.… | 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

Read an excerpt of The Contradictions of “Real Socialism” by Michael A. Lebowitz on LINKS

Our friends at LINKS: International Journal of Socialist Renewal have posted an exclusive excerpt of Michael A. Lebowitz’s forthcoming title, The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted. Click here to read it, and look for the book later this month! … | more |

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology reviewed on Upside Down World

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology reviewed on Upside Down World

This anthology provides an illuminating insight into the writings and philosophy of Peruvian thinker and journalist, José Carlos Mariátegui. A pioneer for more contemporary thinkers such as Ernesto Che Guevara, and analyst of continuous struggles such as the Indigenous “problem,” Mariátegui sought to rethink Marxism in a manner which would provide Peru and Latin America with its own Marxist reality. Mariátegui’s non-dogmatic thought transcends history to reflect current reality.… | more |