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facing the anthropocene

Survival Is the Question: Facing the Anthropocene reviewed by Against the Current

Critical ecology publications are finding a growing audience in the United States, as is evident in the success of Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything. Within this field there is also an increasing interest in ecosocialist thought, of Marxist inspiration, of which the two authors reviewed here are a part. ¶ One of the active promoters of this trend is Monthly Review and its publishing house. It is this group that has published the compelling book, Facing the Anthropocene by Ian Angus, the Canadian ecosocialist and editor of the online review Climate and Capitalism.… | more…

Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique

Marx and the Earth, by John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett, reviewed in International Socialism

Marxist analyses of the natural world have been the focus of intense debate recently, and the publication of any book that further explores what Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels thought about the subject is something to be welcomed. John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett have proven track records of writing some of the clearest books on the subject, and while Marx and the Earth is not a specific response to some of their recent critics, it is an important defence of Marx’s and Engels’s original work.… | more…

“An intellectual journey thru influenza and food systems”: Big Farms Make Big Flu reviewed in Lancet Infectious Diseases

As evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin put it in 1992: ‘Asbestos and cotton lint fibres are not the causes of cancer. They are the agent of social causes, of social formations that determine the nature of our productive and consumption lives, and in the end, it is only through changes in those social forces that we can get to the root problem of health’. Why would it be different for emerging infectious diseases? Was the west Africa Ebola epidemic caused by Ebola virus or by the dismantling of public health infrastructure in the countries where it emerged, following years of structural adjustment? What’s the agent? What’s the cause?… | more…

“Trump’s Deportation Machine”: David L. Wilson in Jacobin

In 2017, Monthly Review Press will publish the second, updated edition of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers by David L. Wilson and Jane Guskin. Here, for Jacobin, David L. Wilson writes about Trump’s possible use of mass deportation to drive a wedge between workers:
“Like so much about the incoming administration, president-elect Donald Trump’s intentions for undocumented immigrants remain unclear. But he seems likely to go forward with a substantial program of ‘getting them out of our country.’…” … | more…

Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution

New! Rethinking Revolution: Socialist Register 2017

Populated by an array of passionate thinkers and thoughtful activists, Rethinking Revolution reappraises the historical effects of the Russian revolution—positive and negative—on political, intellectual, and cultural life, and looks at consequent revolutions after 1917. Change needs to be understood in relation to the distinct trajectories of radical politics in different regions. But the main purpose of this Socialist Register edition—one century after “Red October”—is to look forward, to what might happen next.… | more…

“Scandalous and needs to be talked about”: Big Farms Make Big Flu reviewed by Antipode

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, again. In the autumn of 2016, several cases of avian influenza H5N8 were detected across Europe. Some cases were dead wild birds, others were domestic birds. Several farms had to execute culls in the ten thousands…. A few days earlier, the US president Barack Obama visited Germany for the last time during his presidency. During his visit, in a joint paper with German chancellor Angela Merkel, he analysed the importance of transatlantic relations. One line stood out and was repeated throughout media headlines: ‘we will never return to a pre-globalization economy’. So what has that to do with dead birds? ¶ Everything–if you dare to read Rob Wallace’s new book.… | more…

Monthly Review Needs Your Help!

The challenges we face here and now underscore the need to support independent, nonprofit publishing. Monthly Review and MR Press give people the tools to understand why the economy works the way it does, why our government fails to serve the people, why the environment is in crisis, why this country chooses the leaders it does.
We exist because there is a community that values our work. We have no deep pockets, no wealthy contributors. We operate on a shoestring budget. Please help us continue our work in the coming year by making a donation today.… | more…

Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation

“We Told Him All”: Alan Wieder talks to PopMatters about Studs Terkel

At this writing we Americans find ourselves at the ass end of 2016 after a slog of an election year in which we elected a bankrupted reality TV star as the president elect… The people of the United States have spoken and they do not want progressive, liberal ideas at this time. ¶ For the rest of us, Studs Terkel—the great oral historian, champion of the common man, political activist, radio host, and listener—couldn’t be more relevant now. Author Alan Wieder recently released a timely and engaging biography, Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, but Mostly Conversation. Mr. Wieder and I engaged in some conversation about Terkel’s life and work.… | more…

Educational Justice: Teaching and Organizing Against the Corporate Juggernaut

New! Educational Justice: Teaching and Organizing against the Corporate Juggernaut

Educational Justice offers hope that there’s still time to take on corporatized schools and build democratic alternatives. Forcefully written by educator and journalist Howard Ryan, with contributing authors, the book deconstructs the corporate assault on schools, assesses the prevailing teachers union responses, and documents best teaching and organizing practices. Reports from various educational fronts include innovative union strategies against charter school expansion, as well as teaching visions drawn from the social justice and whole language traditions. Bold, informative, clearly reasoned, this book is an education in itself—a democratic one at that.… | more…

Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation

Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, but Mostly Conversation reviewed by Counterfire

Alan Weider has written a biography of Studs Terkel, but in keeping with the man himself, it is not a study of a lone individual, but of the environment and society in which he lived and acted. Studs was what is termed in the US a third-party guy, neither a Democrat nor Republican supporter, an important stand given the current debacle in the US with the election of Trump after Clinton’s lacklustre campaign. He supported all the main third-party candidates from Henry Wallace in 1948 running on a ticket advocating universal healthcare and an end to segregation, to Ralph Nader in his various campaigns.… | more…

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