Sunday December 21st, 2014, 1:11 am (EST)

Biography

"A work of exemplary scholarship, written with penetrating insights and steadfast commitment."
—István Mészáros

Reconstructing Lenin

An Intellectual Biography

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is among the most enigmatic and influential figures of the twentieth century. While his life and work are crucial to any understanding of modern history and the socialist movement, generations of writers on the left and the right have seen fit to embalm him endlessly with superficial analysis or dreary dogma. Now, after the fall of the Soviet Union and “actually-existing” socialism, it is possible to consider Lenin afresh, with sober senses trained on his historical context and how it shaped his theoretical and political contributions. Reconstructing Lenin, four decades in the making and now available in English for the first time, is an attempt to do just that. … | more |

Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld

The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. This biography, first published to acclaim in Germany, follows Hirschfeld from his birth in the Prussian province of Pomerania to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld’s ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement and explains some of his major theoretical concepts, which continue to influence our understanding of human sexuality and social justice today.… | more |

"A truly remarkable work. Alan Wieder shows himself as a writer equal to their life story, their inspiring bravery in action and self-analysis."
—Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War against Apartheid

This book, the first extended biography of Ruth First and Joe Slovo, is a remarkable account of one couple and the revolutionary moment in which they lived. Alan Wieder’s heavily researched work draws on the usual primary and secondary sources but also an extensive oral history that he has collected over many years. By intertwining the documentary record with personal interviews, Wieder portrays the complexities and contradictions of this extraordinary couple and their efforts to navigate a time of great tension, upheaval, and revolutionary hope.… | more |

"Compelling and often spell-binding. This is surely one of the most important contributions to the social justice literature exposing farmworker injustice at all levels."
—Dr. Ann López, Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families

Lettuce Wars

Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California

In 1971, Bruce Neuburger–young, out of work, and radicalized by the 60s counterculture in Berkeley–took a job as a farmworker on a whim. He could have hardly anticipated that he would spend the next decade laboring up and down the agricultural valleys of California, alongside the anonymous and largely immigrant workforce that feeds the nation. Part memoir, part informed commentary on farm labor, the U.S. labor movement, and the political economy of agriculture, Lettuce Wars is a lively account written from the perspective of the fields. … | more |

"I love this book. Biographer Nancy Stout is to be congratulated for her insightful, mature and sometimes droll exploration of a profoundly liberated, adventuresome and driven personality."
—Alice Walker

One Day in December

Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution

Celia Sánchez is the missing actor of the Cuban Revolution. Although not as well known in the English-speaking world as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Sánchez played a pivotal role in launching the revolution and administering the revolutionary state. The product of ten years of original research, One Day in December draws on interviews with Sánchez’s friends, family, and comrades in the rebel army, along with countless letters and documents. This is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman who exemplified the very best values of the Cuban Revolution: selfless dedication to the people, courage in the face of grave danger, and the desire to transform society. … | more |

"A compelling and intimate portrait of the life and legacy of Dr. Walter Rodney."
—Seth M. Markle, Trinity College

Walter A. Rodney

A Promise of Revolution

This book presents a moving and insightful portrait of scholar and revolutionary Walter Rodney through by the words of academics, writers, artists, and political activists who knew him intimately or felt his influence. These informal recollections and reflections demonstrate why Rodney is such a widely admired figure throughout the world, especially in poor countries and among oppressed peoples everywhere.… | more |

"A wonderful book about a courageous and extraordinary woman who was highly principled, yet endowed by nature with all the clandestine skills."
—John le Carré

The Unlikely Secret Agent

Winner of South Africa’s top literary prize, the Alan Paton Award, The Unlikely Secret Agent tells the thrilling true story of one woman’s struggle against the apartheid system. It is 1963. South Africa is in crisis and the white state is under siege. On August 19th, the dreaded Security Police descend on Griggs bookstore in downtown Durban and arrest Eleanor, the white daughter of the manager. They threaten to “break her or hang her” if she does not lead them to her lover, “Red” Ronnie Kasrils, who is wanted on suspicion of involvement in recent acts of sabotage, including the toppling of electricity pylons and explosions at a Security Police office in Durban. But Eleanor has her own secret to conceal.… | more |

Nobody Called Me Charlie

Nobody Called Me Charlie

The Story of a Radical White Journalist Writing for a Black Newspaper in the Civil Rights Era

In the 1940s, at the height of segregation, Charles Preston became the unlikely newest worker at a black owned-and-operated newspaper. Preston, a white man and, unbeknownst to most of his colleagues, member of the Communist Party, quickly came face to face with issues of race and injustice that would profoundly impact his life and change the way he understood society in the United States.… | more |

Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate

Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate

An Economist's Travelogue

The road trip is a staple of modern American literature. But nowhere in American literature, until now, has an economist hit the road, observing and interpreting the extraordinary range and spectacle of U.S. life, bringing out its conflicts and contradictions with humor and insight.… | more |

Possibility and Hope: Getting from Here to There

Pete Seeger is one of the world’s quintessential activists, having played such an important role in singing the songs and engaging in the struggles of civil rights, free speech, human rights, anti-Vietnam War, environmental, peace, anti-nuclear, and social justice movements. (David Kupfer, “Longtime Passing,” Whole Earth Magazine, 104, 2001, p. 19.) … | more |

Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left

Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left

And the Politics of the New Left

Ralph Miliband (1924-94) was a key twentieth century political thinker. His books The State in Capitalist Society and Parliamentary Socialism influenced a generation of the left. Miliband was an academic and public intellectual whose life and work were devoted to the attempt to define and apply an independent form of socialism. He was an influential teacher and theorist who played a key role within the political and intellectual community of the Left, both in Britain and in North America, where he held several visiting professorships. … | more |

The Education of a Reluctant Radical

The Education of a Reluctant Radical

Reconstruction, Book 5

“This book spans a period of forty years, from my entering jail in March of 1949 to November of 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down. It touches nine presidencies—all dominated by the Cold War. That long period contained some of the most traumatic events in the history of the United States: the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, as well as the wars in Korea and Vietnam.”… | more |

35% off MayBook of the Month!Eduardo Galeano’s Days and Nights of Love and War

Days and Nights of Love and War

Days and Nights of Love and War is the personal testimony of one of Latin America’s foremost contemporary political writers. In this fascinating journal and eloquent history, Eduardo Galeano movingly records the lives of struggles of the Latin American people, under two decades of unimaginable violence and extreme repression. Alternating between reportage, personal vignettes, interviews, travelogues, and folklore, and richly conveyed with anger, sadness, irony, and occasional humor, Galeano pays loving tribute to the courage and determination of those who continued to believe in, and fight for, a more human existence.… | more |

Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

Within a year after the triumphal entry into Havana at the beginning of 1959, Che Guevara began to set down the history of the guerrilla war. Fearful that the events would “dissolve into the past” and that an important part of the history of America would be lost, he urged other leaders of the Revolution to do the same, asking only “that the narrator be strictly truthful.”… | more |

Blues for America

Blues for America

A Critique, A Lament, and Some Memories

Blues for America combines an historical critique of the “American Century” with journalistic reports and personal anecdotes. Doug Dowd, an economics professor and long-time troublemaker, traces the socioeconomic history of our country decade by decade in a style reminiscent of Dos Passos’ U.S.A. Blues for America is an engrossing read, filled with incisive observations and biting humor.… | more |

Soul In Exile: Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary

Soul In Exile: Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary

Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary

Poet and essayist Fawaz Turki begins his search for answers in the hallways of the 1983 Palestine National Council meeting in Algiers. He then recalls his family’s flight into Lebanon when he was eight, childhood in a refugee camp and the streets of Beirut, and years spent in Australia, France, and the United States in search of his identity, both personal and national. In describing this journey, Fawaz Turki also relates the stories of family, friends, and comrades, those who fought the battles and those who walked away from them. Together, these episodes comprise a panoramic history of a generation formed in exile, of a homeless people caught in the violent storm of Middle East politics. … | more |

Memoirs of Bernardo Vega

Memoirs of Bernardo Vega

A Contribution to the History of the Puerto Rican Community in New York

When Bernardo Vega arrived in New York from Puerto Rico in 1916, he was at the forefront of a migrant stream that was soon to become a flood. His memoirs—perceptive, lively, and politically aware—provide us with a unique and often humorous firsthand account of the life of an immigrant, as well as of the concerns and activities of the Puerto Rican community in New York in the period between the wars.… | more |

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

In this lively and instructive memoir of his experience with the anti-Nazi underground in Italy and Yugoslavia during World War II, Basil Davidson has thrown needed light on a much-neglected part of European history. Sent to the area as a representative of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), he is able to recount at first hand the intense determination of the revolutionary partisans, who hoped that their sacrifices would lead to a new society, and the equally determined policy of the Allies to suppress them. As the London Review of Books stated, “The true purpose of this marvelously original book is to remind us that [for the underground] the Second World War was above all a political, even a revolutionary, experience, in which liberation was not simply a matter of driving out the Germans but also involved a radical restructuring of whole societies… which had permitted the growth of appeasement, defeatism, and indigenous fascism.… | more |

Let Me Speak!

Let Me Speak!

Testimony of Domitila, A Woman of the Bolivian Mines

The author is the courageous wife of a Bolivian tin miner. Social and economic deprivation drove her to pro-Marxist political action as a leader of a Housewives’ Committee, dedicated to improving miners’ and peasants’ conditions. This is a vivid account of her activities and brutal imprisonment, accompanied by her observations on the clergy, military, and upper-class abandonment of Bolivia’s repressed poor…This is a remarkably articulate report with astute political commentary…an important social document from a usually silent group.… | more |

Antonio Maceo

Antonio Maceo

The "Bronze Titan" of Cuba’s Struggle for Independence

A powerful portrait of Maceo, committed anti-imperialist and heroic independence fighter.… | more |

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