The Haitian Revolution, the product of the first successful slave revolt, was truly world-historic in its impact. When Haiti declared independence in 1804, the leading powers—France, Great Britain, and Spain—suffered an ignominious defeat and the New World was remade. The island revolution also had a profound impact on Haiti’s mainland neighbor, the United States. Inspiring the enslaved and partisans of emancipation while striking terror throughout the Southern slaveocracy, it propelled the fledgling nation one step closer to civil war. Gerald Horne’s path breaking new work explores the complex and often fraught relationship between the United States and the island of Hispaniola….
The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now
by Michael Lebowitz
Reviewed by Kit Klarenberg
The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now is Michael Lebowitz’s latest work, a gathering of eleven ruminations on the nature of socialism in the present day. In many ways, this is a refreshing volume that helpfully adds its voice to a suddenly resurgent and more confident left….
Suffice to say, Lebowitz does not believe socialism a hopeless cause. In fact, as modern capitalism increasingly threatens not only the stability of the environment, but our very species survival, he considers it a more morally crucial objective than ever. In attempting to establish a framework for socialist victory in the twenty-first century, he assesses why previous efforts were unsuccessful, how capitalism came to be embraced – or, at least, tolerated – by the people who would benefit most from a more equitable configuration of society, and advances a modernised vision of collectivist organisation….
Come to a book party celebrating the launch of Gerald Horne’s Confronting Black Jacobins
forthcoming from Monthly Review Press
Tamiment Library, New York University
Friday, October 30, 6-8 pm
70 Washington Square South, 10th floor
New York City
Drawing upon a rich collection of archival and other primary source materials, Horne deftly weaves together a disparate array of voices—world leaders and diplomats, slaveholders, white abolitionists, and the freedom fighters he terms Black Jacobins. Horne at once illuminates the tangled conflicts of the colonial powers, the commercial interests and imperial ambitions of U.S. elites, and the brutality and tenacity of the American slaveholding class, while never losing sight of the freedom struggles of Africans both on the island and on the mainland, which sought the fulfillment of the emancipatory promise of 18th century republicanism.
—Danny Glover, citizen-artist, actor
“Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall, or “Ros” to her friends, was a trailblazing second-wave feminist and a lifelong radical. Brilliant, glamorous, and spirited, she was a devoted activist and intellectual for over half a century, until kidney cancer cut short her life on October 13….
I am fifteen years younger than Ros, but as a student in the 1970s I too joined the socialist-feminist movement, and I was lucky enough to become one of her many friends when I moved to New York in the early 1980s. We worked together for years on the editorial collective for the New Feminist Library — a book series published by the Monthly Review Press — and also attended a study group together for a time….”
Polly Pattullo’s very important piece entitled Your Time is Done Now: Slavery, Resistance and Defeat: the Maroon Trials of Dominica (1813-1814), is an edited collection of original primary source documents with contextual commentary detailing the account of what has been known as Dominica’s Second Maroon War in 1813 and 1814. Pattullo, a British writer and creator of her own publishing company entitled Papillote Press, uses the actual court documents of the Maroon (runaway slave) trials as well as correspondences between the British colonial government officials to disclose to public the eventful conflict between the Maroons and the colonial government of Dominica in the second decade of the nineteenth century.
Maroons, self-organized communities of runaway slaves, existed wherever slavery was present. One of the most vital and persistent maroon communities was tucked away in the mountainous rainforests on the Caribbean island of Dominica, at the time a British colony. This “state within a state,” as the colonial authorities tellingly described it, posed a direct challenge to the slavery system, and before long, the Dominican Maroons rose up to challenge the British Empire. Ultimately, they were captured and put on trial. Here, for the first time, are primary documents, carefully edited and contextualized, that richly present the voices and experiences of the Maroons—in resistance and defeat.
Monthly Review author Peter Custers died at his home in Leiden, the Netherlands on Tuesday, September 3rd, of a heart attack. See obituary in the Bangladeshi newspaper, The Daily Star
Journalist, researcher, and international activist, Custers was the author of several books on Bangladesh, and of the book Questioning Globalized Militarism. With Jayati Ghosh, Peter Custers wrote Capital Accumulation and Women’s Labor in Asian Economies, published in 2012 by Monthly Review Press. He also wrote an article titled “A Different Perspective on the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal,” which appeared in the September 2009 issue of Monthly Review magazine.
Contemporary history is neither a series of random occurrences nor the predetermined plaything of a small cabal of super-empowered conspirators. The truth is somewhere in-between. A sizeable cadre of class- and system-conscious deep-state and imperial planners from the heights of concentrated private and governmental power join together to shape the outlines of much of recent history.
Celebrating the life of the activist and author, who died on the morning of October 5
The following essay by Grace Lee Boggs, which originally appeared in Monthly Review magazine, September 1970, is only a tiny part of her work:
Education: The Great Obsession
Education today is a great obsession. It is also a great necessity. We, all of us, black and white, yellow and brown, young and old, men and women, workers and intellectuals, have a great deal to learn about ourselves and about the rapidly changing world in which we live. We, all of us, are far from having either the wisdom or the skills that are now more than ever required to govern ourselves and to administer things….
Consistent with his characteristic jargon-free, readable style, Robert W. McChesney’s new collection, Blowing the Roof off the Twenty-first Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy, is a deep yet accessible primer for his decades of work on journalism, politics, and political economy. The volume showcases over a decade of McChesney’s work and provides overviews and additions to some of his most important contributions during the period, including The Death and Life of American Journalism, Digital Disconnect, and Dollarocracy.