For fifty years, the Socialist Register has brought together some of the world’s leading radical thinkers to address the most pressing issues of the day. Independent, searching, and erudite analysis is the hallmark of the Socialist Register, and this fiftieth-anniversary issue is no exception. Contributors to Registering Class examine some of our assumptions about class in the light of the global economic crisis and the many forms of resistance it has produced. Furthermore, they address how capitalist classes are reorganizing to respond to the economic turmoil and how the structure and composition of working classes in the twenty-first century are also changing. This volume captures the essence of the Socialist Register project and is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the shifting realities of class and class struggle today.
On 11 February 2011, newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker introduced a Budget Repair Bill in the Wisconsin legislature that sought to balance the state budget by eliminating collective bargaining for all public employees except police and firefighters. Workers in both the public and the private sector were outraged… These events are well known. But contributors to the new essay collection Wisconsin Uprising enrich this story with detailed first-hand accounts, context and analysis from longtime observers of the labour movement, and examples from across the country of how that movement might broaden and deepen the struggle that began anew in Wisconsin. They face the complex task of analyzing a new moment in history from a recent vantage point, and they succeed admirably.
The authors, eminent representatives of the Monthly Review or monopoly capital school, argue that giant corporations, not free or efficient markets, dominate the economy. We live in a perverse world where powerful firms extract high profits but this becomes an economic problem as core national economies suffer from weak final demand, industrial overcapacity, and lack of investment. Foster and McChesney also challenge nationalist perspectives, insisting the economy should be conceived as a global whole.
In comparison to other books and their focus on education reform, Giroux (McMaster Univ., Canada) provides a much more poignant and global perspective on the social and political disenfranchisement of today’s youth and how the social and political impact education (and vice versa). Such issues are honed (almost) exclusively with a concern for youth from impoverished and/or diverse backgrounds, but done so with fairness and well-sustained arguments. Throughout the book, Giroux maintains a methodical approach to the discussion and cites specific and (surprisingly) contemporary examples of skewed social perceptions of youth from diverse backgrounds (e.g., hoodie politics).
Joe Slovo and Ruth First were South Africans who spent their lives (and in Ruth’s case gave her life) in the struggle against apartheid. They were also members of the South African Communist Party (SACP) for most of their adult lives. They married in the late 1940s and despite a stormy relationship remained together until Ruth First was murdered in Mozambique’s capital Maputo in 1982. Their lives are worthy of celebration (and study) and Alan Wieder has written the first thorough account of their lives. The book details the struggle in South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s and their life in exile in Britain, and across sub-Saharan Africa. Wieder presents the politics of this revolutionary couple with the sympathetic though critical attention they deserve.
Bruce Neuburger dedicated five years to write about his life as a farmworker in the fields of the rich Salinas Valley, California in his new book, Lettuce Wars, which takes readers on a unique voyage written by an activist who worked 10 years as a farmworker between 1970 and 1980… Lettuce Wars is one of the very few well-documented books recently published dealing with the farmworkers’ movement from a different perspective other than the “official story” published by the UFW, giving voice to the many anonymous workers and activists who fought for their dignity and a better life for them and their families.
It should be a mandatory reference for those who want to know more about those turbulent years and the life of farmworkers.
Join Monthly Review Press author, philosopher, and veteran activist Grace Lee Boggs for two special events in New York City: a conversation with Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and other guests at New York University and a screening of the film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs at Barnard College.
We’re pleased to announce that An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital by Michael Heinrich and Race in Cuba by Esteban Morales Domínguez have been named Outstanding Academic Titles by CHOICE, the magazine of academic libraries.
When Marx took up a comprehensive critique of political economy at the end of the 1850s, he also intended to write a book on the state. Marx planned a total of six books: on capital, landed property, wage-labor, the state, foreign trade, and the world market. In terms of range of content, the three volumes of Capital approximately comprise the first three books. The planned book on the state was never written; in Capital there are only isolated references to the state.
As the world was saying goodbye to Nelson Mandela in early December, I had my nose in Alan Wieder’s well-researched new biography Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid (Monthly Review, 2013). First, Slovo and Mandela were part of an ensemble of revolutionary comrades who together reshaped South Africa from the 1950s to the end of apartheid in 1991. The book is full of these and other familiar characters in a level of detail that would impress the most ardent Talmudic scholar. Wieder’s research involved hours and hours of interviews and immersing himself in court records, other documents and the personal papers of Slovo, First and others from the apartheid era.