The book demonstrates that Marx's framework (1) demonstrates that capitalism is but one historical form of class society among many; (2) explains the transition from pre-capitalist to capitalist society; (3) reveals the concrete operation of a capitalist economy; and (4) shows why others would explain the capitalist economy in alternative theoretical frameworks. The central element in his framework from which all else derives is ‘the theory of value’. This book is not an exercise in the history of thought. It is an attempt to analyze the nature of contemporary capitalist society. While Marx’s analysis of capitalism has implications for political action, these need not lead one to embrace revolution in place of reform, though it can and has provided the analytical foundation for both. Marx’s analysis of capitalism is a coherent whole, and meaningful insights cannot be obtained by extracting elements from it.
Weeks starts out by looking at the nature of capitalism and an analysis circulation, money and credit unfold from the theory of value. The nature and inherent necessity of competition are demonstrated in chapter eight. A consequence of competition, expressed in the movement of capital, is technical change, the contradictory impact of which is explained in chapter nine. This is brought together with the other elements of value theory (money, credit and competition) in chapter ten, where economic crises are treated in detail. The final chapter applies the theory of crisis to the extreme financial disturbances of the 2000s.
This book should be of interest to students and researchers of economics, politics and sociology.
Translated and edited with an introduction by Robert Service
The Gulag--a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners--was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.
Creator John Weeks presents 'comics at the speed of life' in this collection of short do-it-yourself comics ranging from the mundane to the sublime.
QuickDraw cartoons have been recommended in AsiaLife Guide and regularly featured on the web.
This publication is recommended for touchscreen e-book reading devices, to enable effective viewing of art and text.
A timely update to the phenomenal national bestseller.
Soon after its quiet release during the height of the Red Scare in 1958, The Naked Communist exploded in popularity, selling almost two million copies to date and finding its way into the libraries of the CIA, the FBI, the White House, and homes all across the United States. From the tragic falls of China, Korea, Russia, and the UN, to the fascinating histories of Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, and General MacArthur, The Naked Communist lays out the entire graphic story of communism, its past, present, and future.
After searching unsuccessfully for a concise literature on the communist threat, W. Cleon Skousen saw the urgent need for a comprehensive book that could guide the American conversation. So he distilled his FBI experience, decades of research, and more than one hundred communist books and treatises into one clarifying, readable volume that became a touchstone of American values and earned praise from the likes of President Ronald Reagan, Glenn Beck, and Ben Carson. Lauded by one reviewer as “the most powerful book on communism since J. Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit,” this text draws a detailed picture of the communist as he sees himself: stripped of propaganda and pretense. Readers gain a unique insight into the inner workings of communism—its appeal, its history, its basic and unchanging concepts, even its secret timetable of conquest.
Among the many questions The Naked Communist answers are:
* Who gave the United States’ nuclear secrets to the Russians?
* How did the FBI fight communism after it was forced underground in 1918?
* Why did the West lose 600 million allies after World War II?
* What really happened in Korea?
* What is communism’s great secret weapon?
* What lies ahead?
* What can I do to stop communism?
* How can we fight communism without a major war?
Now updated for 2017, this edition includes a chapter on the forty-five Communist Goals, detailing how forty-four of those goals have been achieved in the U.S. already, as well as a chapter on the making of The Naked Communist, shedding light on how this book has sold almost two million copies. As relevant now as it was sixty years ago, Skousen’s groundbreaking work provides a renewed understanding of one of the greatest threats facing America today.
Praise for W. Cleon Skousen:
“No one is better qualified to discuss the threat to this nation from communism. You will be alarmed, you will be informed, and you’ll be glad you heard him.”—President Ronald Reagan
“I have never given any volume such an unqualified endorsement.”—CBS national broadcaster Paul Harvey
“I went back and I read The Naked Communist, and at the end of that, Skousen predicted [that] someday soon you won’t be able to find the truth in schools or in libraries or anywhere else because it won’t be in print anymore. So you must collect those books. It’s an idea I read from Cleon Skousen from his book in the 1950s, The Naked Communist, where he talked about [how] someday the history of this country’s going to be lost because it’s going to be hijacked by intellectuals and communists and everything else. And I think we’re there.”—Glenn Beck, host of the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck Radio Program
“The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive plan. It is unbelievable how fast it has been achieved.”—Dr. Ben Carson (The Sean Hannity Show; May 23, 2014)
“I feel certain that your efforts on this important subject will receive widespread attention and consideration.”—J. Edgar Hoover, first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
“We believe in a moral code. Communism denies innate right or wrong. As W. Cleon Skousen has said in his timely book, The Naked Communist: The communist ‘has convinced himself that nothing is evil which answers the call of expediency.’ This is a most damnable doctrine. People who truly accept such a philosophy have neither conscience nor honor. Force, trickery, lies, broken promises are wholly justified.”—Ezra Taft Benson, United States Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower
In the last decade, No Logo has become an international phenomenon and a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide. As America faces a second economic depression, Klein's analysis of our corporate and branded world is as timely and powerful as ever.
Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, No Logo is the first book to put the new resistance into pop-historical and clear economic perspective. Naomi Klein tells a story of rebellion and self-determination in the face of our new branded world.
"Probably America's most prominent Marxist economist."—The New York Times
Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve.
One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy.
Here Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action.
Richard D. Wolff is professor of Economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a visiting professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff is the author of many books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI (Pacifica Radio) and writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine.
The collection includes a revealing new introduction by journalist Nathan Schneider, who documented the Occupy movement for Harper's and The Nation, and who places Chomsky's ideas in the contemporary political moment. On Anarchism will be essential reading for a new generation of activists who are at the forefront of a resurgence of interest in anarchism—and for anyone who struggles with what can be done to create a more just world.
His first major work was The Development of Capitalism in Russia, written in prison after Lenin had been arrested for anti-government activities in 1895. Represented here by key sections, the book developed a number of crucial concepts, including the significance of the industrial proletariat as a revolutionary base. What Is to Be Done?, long regarded as the key manual of Communist action, is presented complete, containing Lenin's famous dissection of the Western idea of the political party along with his own concept of a monolithic party organization devoted to achieving the goal of dictatorship of the proletariat. Also presented complete is Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, in which Lenin examines the final "parasitic" stage of capitalism. Finally, this volume includes the complete text of The State and Revolution, Lenin's most significant work, in which he totally rejects the institutions of Western democracy and presents his vision of the final perfection of Communism.
For anyone who seeks to understand the twentieth century, capitalism, the Russian revolution, and the role of Communism in the tumultuous political and social movements that have shaped the modern world, the essential works of Lenin offer unparalleled insight and understanding. Taken together, they represent a balanced cross-section of this revolutionary theories of history, politics, and economics; his tactics for securing and retaining power; and his vision of a new social and economic order.
A panoramic study of Communism might easily degenerate into a long list of dates, names, and platitudes without helping the student to gain a genuine understanding of the history and philosophy of Marxist thought and Communism. Therefore, in this book, an attempt has been made to present Communism as the living, breathing force in the earth which it really is. The political development, the philosophy, the economic theory and the big names in international Communism have all been presented in their historical setting.
This eBook includes the original index, illustrations, footnotes, table of contents and page numbering from the printed format.
One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times
From the editor of The New Yorker: a riveting account of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has become the standard book on the subject. Lenin’s Tomb combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. Remnick takes us through the tumultuous 75-year period of Communist rule leading up to the collapse and gives us the voices of those who lived through it, from democratic activists to Party members, from anti-Semites to Holocaust survivors, from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to Sakharov. An extraordinary history of an empire undone, Lenin’s Tomb stands as essential reading for our times.
There are times, G. A. Cohen notes, when we all behave like socialists. On a camping trip, for example, campers wouldn't dream of charging each other to use a soccer ball or for fish that they happened to catch. Campers do not give merely to get, but relate to each other in a spirit of equality and community. Would such socialist norms be desirable across society as a whole? Why not? Whole societies may differ from camping trips, but it is still attractive when people treat each other with the equal regard that such trips exhibit.
But, however desirable it may be, many claim that socialism is impossible. Cohen writes that the biggest obstacle to socialism isn't, as often argued, intractable human selfishness--it's rather the lack of obvious means to harness the human generosity that is there. Lacking those means, we rely on the market. But there are many ways of confining the sway of the market: there are desirable changes that can move us toward a socialist society in which, to quote Albert Einstein, humanity has "overcome and advanced beyond the predatory stage of human development."
"... a story that had to be told, and who better to tell it than Chief Warrant Officer James Stejskal who has established his credentials as a historian and researcher in various articles as well as his seminal work on the Swakop River Campaign and World War I in South West Africa The Horns of the Beast. In addition, his service in the US Army Special Forces in Berlin during the 1970s and 80s gives him the insight to comment cogently on that portion of US Army Special Forces history that impacted on the doctrine of both urban unconventional warfare and counter terror operations. ... a historical record without which the story of United States Army Special Forces would not be complete. Congratulations to Chief Stejskal on an excellent work of military history. "
— CSM Jeffrey Raker, US Army Special Forces (Retired) , The Drop, the journal of the Special Forces Association, Summer 2016.
The masterfully told story of the unlikely men who came together to make the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes of American history.
On the sixtieth anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, Andrei Cherny tells a remarkable story with profound implications for the world today. In the tradition of the best narrative storytellers, he brings together newly unclassified documents, unpublished letters and diaries, and fresh primary interviews to tell the story of the ill-assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who not only saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat but changed how the world viewed the United States, and set in motion the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and to America’s victory in the Cold War.
On June 24, 1948, intent on furthering its domination of Europe, the Soviet Union cut off all access to West Berlin, prepared to starve the city into submission unless the Americans abandoned it. Soviet forces hugely outnumbered the Allies’, and most of America’s top officials considered the situation hopeless. But not all of them.
Harry Truman, an accidental president, derided by his own party; Lucius Clay, a frustrated general, denied a combat command and relegated to the home front; Bill Tunner, a logistics expert downsized to a desk job in a corner of the Pentagon; James Forrestal, a secretary of defense beginning to mentally unravel; Hal Halvorsen, a lovesick pilot who had served far from the conflict, flying transport missions in the backwater of a global war—together these unlikely men improvised and stumbled their way into a uniquely American combination of military and moral force unprecedented in its time.
This is the forgotten foundation tale of America in the modern world, the story of when Americans learned, for the first time, how to act at the summit of world power—a masterful and exciting work of historical narrative, and one with strong resonance for our time.
Here, at last, is an authoritative introduction to history’s most important political document, with the full text of The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels.
This beautifully organized and presented edition of The Communist Manifesto is fully annotated, with clear historical references and explication, additional related texts, and a glossary that will bring the text to life for students, as well as the general reader.
Since it was first written in 1848, the Manifesto has been translated into more languages than any other modern text. It has been banned, censored, burned, and declared “dead.” But year after year, the text only grows more influential, remaining required reading in courses on philosophy, politics, economics, and history.
“Apart from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species,” notes the Los Angeles Times, the Manifesto “is arguably the most important work of nonfiction written in the 19th century.” The Washington Post calls Marx “an astute critic of capitalism.” Writing in The New York Times, Columbia University Professor Steven Marcus describes the Manifesto as a “masterpiece” with “enduring insights into social existence.”
The New Yorker recently described Karl Marx as “The Next Thinker” for our era. This book will show readers why.
Phil Gasper is a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame de Namur University in northern California. He writes extensively on politics and the philosophy of science and is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.
Let’s start with...everything. So says bestselling author and professor of economics Thomas J. DiLorenzo, who sets the record straight in this concise and lively primer on an economic theory that’s gaining popularity—with help from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—despite its universal failure as an economic model and its truly horrific record on human rights.
In sixteen eye-opening chapters, DiLorenzo reveals how socialism inevitably makes inequality
worse, why socialism was behind the worst government-sponsored mass murders in history, the
myth of “successful” Scandinavian socialism; how socialism is worse—far worse—for the environment than capitalism, and more.
As DiLorenzo shows, and history proves, socialism is the answer only if you want increasing unemployment and poverty, stifling bureaucracy if not outright political tyranny, catastrophic environmental pollution, rotten schools, and so many social ills that it takes a book like this to cover just the big ones.
Provocative, timely, essential reading, Thomas J. DiLorenzo’s The Problem with Socialism is an instant classic comparable to Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson.
"Richard Wolff's constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times."—Noam Chomsky
"Richard Wolff is the leading socialist economist in the country. This book is required reading for anyone concerned about a fundamental transformation of the ailing capitalist economy!"—Cornel West
"Bold, thoughtful, transformative-a powerful and challenging vision that takes us beyond both corporate capitalism and state socialism. Richard Wolff at his best!"—Gar Alperovitz
While most mainstream commentators view the crisis that provoked the Great Recession as having passed, these essays from Richard Wolff paint a far less rosy picture. Drawing attention to the extreme downturn in most of capitalism's old centers, the unequal growth in its new centers, and the resurgence of a global speculative bubble, Wolff—in his uniquely accessible style—makes the case that the crisis should be grasped not as a passing moment, but as an evolving stage in capitalism's history.
Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Visiting Professor at the New School in New York. Wolff's recent work has concentrated on analyzing the causes and alternative solutions to the global economic crisis. His groundbreaking book Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism inspired the creation of Democracy at Work, a nonprofit organization dedicated to showing how and why to make democratic workplaces real.
Amid escalating nuclear tensions, Kim Jong-un and North Korea's other leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party state, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education."
Kang Chol-Hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Sent to the notorious labor camp Yodok when he was nine years old, Kang for ten years observed frequent public executions and endured forced labor and near-starvation rations. In 1992, he escaped to South Korea, where he found God and now advocates for human rights in North Korea.
This record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to the abuses perpetrated by the North Korean regime.
Marx's 'Das Kapital' For Beginners offers an accessible path through Marx's arguments and his key questions: What is commodity? Where does wealth come from? What is value? What happens to work under capitalism? Why is crisis part of capitalism's DNA? And what happens to our consciousness, our very perceptions of reality and our ways of thinking and feeling under capitalism? Understanding and learn from Marx's work has taken on a fresh urgency as questions about the sustainability of the capitalist system in today's global economy intensify.
One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Kirk Douglas has distinguished himself as a producer, philanthropist, and author of ten works of fiction and memoir. Now, more than fifty years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. Douglas began producing the movie in the midst of the politically charged era when Hollywood’s moguls refused to hire anyone accused of Communist sympathies. In a risky move, Douglas chose Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter, to write Spartacus. Trumbo was one of the “Unfriendly Ten,” men who had gone to prison rather than testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about their political affiliations. Douglas’s source material was already a hot property, as the novel Spartacus was written by Howard Fast while he was in jail for defying HUAC. With the financial future of his young family at stake, Douglas plunged into a tumultuous production both on- and off-screen. As both producer and star of the film, he faced explosive moments with young director Stanley Kubrick, struggles with a leading lady, and negotiations with giant personalities, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Lew Wasserman. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at ninety-five, looks back at his audacious decisions. He made the most expensive film of its era—but more importantly, his moral courage in giving public credit to Trumbo effectively ended the notorious Hollywood blacklist. A master storyteller, Douglas paints a vivid and often humorous portrait in I Am Spartacus! The book is enhanced by newly discovered period photography of the stars and filmmakers both on and off the set.
The Communist Manifesto contains the seeds of Marx's more comprehensive philosophy, which continues to inspire influential economic, political, social, and literary theories. But the Manifesto is most valuable as an historical document, one that led to the greatest political upheaveals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and to the establishment of the Communist governments that until recently ruled half the globe.
This Bantam Classic edition of The Communist Manifesto includes Marx and Engels's historic 1872 and 1882 prefaces, and Engels's notes and prefaces to the 1883 and 1888 editions.
GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
"The Chinese Communist party refers to its victory in 1949 as a 'liberation.' In China the story of liberation and the revolution that followed is not one of peace, liberty, and justice. It is first and foremost a story of calculated terror and systematic violence.†? So begins Frank Dikötter's stunning and revelatory chronicle of Mao Zedong's ascension and campaign to transform the Chinese into what the party called New People. Following the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949, after a bloody civil war, Mao hoisted the red flag over Beijing's Forbidden City, and the world watched as the Communist revolution began to wash away the old order. Due to the secrecy surrounding the country's records, little has been known before now about the eight years that followed, preceding the massive famine and Great Leap Forward.
Drawing on hundreds of previously classified documents, secret police reports, unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, eyewitness accounts of those who survived, and more, The Tragedy of Liberation bears witness to a shocking, largely untold history. Interweaving stories of ordinary citizens with tales of the brutal politics of Mao's court, Frank Dikötter illuminates those who shaped the "liberation†? and the horrific policies they implemented in the name of progress. People of all walks of life were caught up in the tragedy that unfolded, and whether or not they supported the revolution, all of them were asked to write confessions, denounce their friends, and answer queries about their political reliability. One victim of thought reform called it a "carefully cultivated Auschwitz of the mind.†? Told with great narrative sweep, The Tragedy of Liberation is a powerful and important document giving voice at last to the millions who were lost, and casting new light on the foundations of one of the most powerful regimes of the twenty-first century.
Even as historians credit Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with hastening the end of the Cold War, they have failed to recognize the depth or significance of the bond that developed between the two leaders.
Acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor changes that. In this fascinating book, he reveals a singular bond—which included a spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president—that drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism.
Reagan and John Paul II almost didn’t have the opportunity to forge this relationship: just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, they took bullets from would-be assassins. But their strikingly similar near-death experiences brought them close together—to Moscow’s dismay.
A Pope and a President is the product of years of research. Based on Kengor’s tireless archival digging and his unique access to Reagan insiders, the book reveals: The inside story on the 1982 meeting where the president and the pope confided their conviction that God had spared their lives for the purpose of defeating communismCaptivating new information on the attempt on John Paul II’s life, including a previously unreported secret CIA investigation—was Moscow behind the plot?The many similarities and the spiritual bond between the pope and the president—and how Reagan privately spoke of the “DP”: the Divine Plan to take down communismNew details about how the Protestant Reagan became intensely interested in the “secrets of Fátima,” which date to the reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fátima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917—sixty-four years to the day before John Paul II was shotA startling insider account of how the USSR may have been set to invade the pope’s native Poland in March 1981—only to pull back when news broke that Reagan had been shotNancy Reagan called John Paul II her husband’s “closest friend”; Reagan himself told Polish visitors that the pope was his “best friend.” When you read this book, you will understand why. As kindred spirits, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II united in pursuit of a supreme objective—and in doing so they changed history.
Published for the fiftieth anniversary of the trip, K Blows Top is a work of history that reads like a Vonnegut novel. This cantankerous communist's road trip took place against the backdrop of the fifties in capitalist America, with the shadow of the hydrogen bomb hanging over his visit like the Sword of Damocles. As Khrushchev kept reminding people, he was a hot-tempered man who possessed the power to incinerate America.
--Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
"This is a vivid, fluent and rare book about socialism for those uninterested in tracts and excited by new prospects."
--John Pilger, author of Freedom Next Time
Growing numbers of people are disgusted by the disaster of poverty, war, oppression, and environmental destruction caused by global capitalism. But is there an alternative? Author Alan Maass argues that socialism—a democratically planned economy based on workers’ control—is rational, necessary, and possible. With an afterword by Howard Zinn.
Alan Maass is the editor of the website SocialistWorker.org.
In this lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx, with historical and contemporary examples, D’Amato argues that Marx’s ideas of globalization, oppression, and social change are more important than ever.
Paul D’Amato is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review. His writing has appeared in CounterPunch, Socialist Worker, and SelvesandOthers.org. He is an activist based in Chicago.
In the Western world, and especially in the United States, Karl Marx is perceived as the spiritual godfather of Lenin and Stalin—someone bent on creating a state where everyone worships a centralized bureaucracy. Social philosopher Erich Fromm argues that Marx has been entirely misrepresented and misunderstood, and that Marx’s ideas have been misappropriated to further causes antithetical to his true intentions. Fromm’s study presents Marx as a humanist and social scientist. Painstakingly traveling through Marx’s oeuvre, Fromm shows how Marx’s real goal was to eliminate man’s alienation, and allow individuals to live and appreciate a life of freedom. Furthermore, Fromm believes, Marx would have considered the Communist governments of Russia and Cuba as wrong-headed. Marx’s Concept of Man also includes a selection of Marx’s Early Writings, brought to English-speaking readers for the first time in 1961. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erich Fromm, with rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.
A veteran of the French Army, Ted Morgan has made use of exclusive firsthand reports to create the most complete and dramatic telling of the conflict ever written. Here is the history of the Vietminh liberation movement’s rebellion against French occupation after World War II and its growth as an adversary, eventually backed by Communist China. Here too is the ill-fated French plan to build a base in Dien Bien Phu and draw the Vietminh into a debilitating defeat—which instead led to the Europeans being encircled in the surrounding hills, besieged by heavy artillery, overrun, and defeated.
Making expert use of recently unearthed or released information, Morgan reveals the inner workings of the American effort to aid France, with Eisenhower secretly disdainful of the French effort and prophetically worried that “no military victory was possible in that type of theater.” Morgan paints indelible portraits of all the major players, from Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces, a rigid professional unprepared for an enemy fortified by rice carried on bicycles, to his commander, General Christian de Castries, a privileged, miscast cavalry officer, and General Vo Nguyen Giap, a master of guerrilla warfare working out of a one-room hut on the side of a hill. Most devastatingly, Morgan sets the stage for the Vietnam quagmire that was to come.
Superbly researched and powerfully written, Valley of Death is the crowning achievement of an author whose work has always been as compulsively readable as it is important.
From the Hardcover edition.
“The revolution is not only inevitable, it is imminent. It is not only imminent, it is quite imminent. And when the time comes, my father will lead it.”
With a profound gift for capturing the absurd in life, and a deadpan wisdom that comes from surviving a surreal childhood in the Socialist Workers Party, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh has crafted an unsentimental, funny, heartbreaking memoir.
Saïd’s Iranian-born father and American Jewish mother had one thing in common: their unshakable conviction that the workers’ revolution was coming. Separated since their son was nine months old, they each pursued a dream of the perfect socialist society. Pinballing with his mother between makeshift Pittsburgh apartments, falling asleep at party meetings, longing for the luxuries he’s taught to despise, Said waits for the revolution that never, ever arrives. “Soon,” his mother assures him, while his long-absent father quixotically runs as a socialist candidate for president in an Iran about to fall under the ayatollahs. Then comes the hostage crisis. The uproar that follows is the first time Saïd hears the word “Iran” in school. There he is suddenly forced to confront the combustible stew of his identity: as an American, an Iranian, a Jew, a socialist... and a middle-school kid who loves football and video games.
Poised perfectly between tragedy and farce, here is a story by a brilliant young writer struggling to break away from the powerful mythologies of his upbringing and create a life—and a voice—of his own. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’ s memoir is unforgettable.
For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers flooded to Spain to help its democratic government fight off a fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. Today we're accustomed to remembering the war through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Robert Capa’s photographs. But Adam Hochschild has discovered some less familiar yet far more compelling characters who reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war: a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman who went to wartime Spain on her honeymoon, a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the war from opposites sides, and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil — at reduced prices, and on credit.
It was in many ways the opening battle of World War II, and we still have much to learn from it. Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best.
In his latest book, Eric Holt-Giménez takes on the social, environmental, and economic crises of the capitalist mode of food production. Drawing from classical and modern analyses, A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism introduces the reader to the history of our food systemand to the basics of capitalism. In straightforward prose, Holt-Giménez explains the political economics of why—even as local, organic, and gourmet food have spread around the world—billions go hungry in the midst of abundance; why obesity is a global epidemic; and why land-grabbing, global warming, and environmental pollution are increasing.
Holt-Giménez offers emblematic accounts—and critiques—of past and present-day struggles to change the food system, from "voting with your fork," to land occupations. We learn about the potential and the pitfalls of organic and community-supported agriculture, certified fair trade, microfinance, land trusts, agrarian reform, cooperatives, and food aid. We also learn about the convergence of growing social movements using the food system to challenge capitalism. How did racism, classism, and patriarchy become structural components of our food system? Why is a rational agriculture incompatible with the global food regime? Can transforming our food system transform capitalism? These are questions that can only be addressed by first understanding how capitalism works.
An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early '60s. One of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, the famine is poorly understood, and in China is still euphemistically referred to as "the three years of natural disaster."
As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent twenty years piecing together the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang attributes responsibility for the deaths to China's totalitarian system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest.
Tombstone is a testament to inhumanity and occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale and arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, Tombstone is written both as a memorial to the lives lost—an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead—and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in The New York Review of Books, called the Chinese edition of Tombstone "groundbreaking . . . One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years."
“In 1937 Mao...wrote a succinct pamphlet that has become one of the most influential documents of our time....the first systematic analysis of guerilla warfare...The widespread applicability of Mao’s doctrine stems from his realization of the fundamental disparity between the agrarian, peasant-based society of China and that of pre-revolutionary Russia, or any urban society....he had to employ tactics and appeals appropriate to the peasant.”
The Alabama Communist Party was made up of working people without a Euro-American radical political tradition: devoutly religious and semiliterate black laborers and sharecroppers, and a handful of whites, including unemployed industrial workers, housewives, youth, and renegade liberals. In this book, Robin D. G. Kelley reveals how the experiences and identities of these people from Alabama's farms, factories, mines, kitchens, and city streets shaped the Party's tactics and unique political culture. The result was a remarkably resilient movement forged in a racist world that had little tolerance for radicals.
After discussing the book's origins and impact in a new preface written for this twenty-fifth-anniversary edition, Kelley reflects on what a militantly antiracist, radical movement in the heart of Dixie might teach contemporary social movements confronting rampant inequality, police violence, mass incarceration, and neoliberalism.
This is a book by an Oxford professor that’s been a long time in the making—it’s been under contract for ten years—and that we’re very excited about and have a deep investment in. It’s a big, sweeping, incredibly ambitious book of history that tells the whole story of communism from its origins in the French Revolution with Rousseau and Robespierre all the way up to today in China and Cuba and North Korea and everything in between. We’re going to publish it in November, which is the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, which should give us a good news peg in terms of publicity and reviews.
This book has a lot of things going for it but the biggest are probably the way it has a totally epic sweep from the 1700s onward, and its incredible cast of characters, and the way that it gives you the intellectual history of the movement—the idealogical stuff—along with the narrative of what literally happened over hundreds of years—the power struggles, the back-room stuff, the infighting—and the way that Communism affected the big picture of world history.
It is reminiscent of Niall Ferguson’s new book The Ascent of Money as well as our book A Splendid Exchange because like those books this is history on a very large canvas that weaves together a lot of different threads—the ideas, the politics, the economics, the military stuff, the cultural stuff—into a compelling narrative. It's also similar to Laurence Wright’s recent book The Looming Tower, which gave you the intellectual roots of Al Qaeda at the same time as it was giving you this amazing human story of what actually happened.
The author has done staggering research over the course of a decade and just puts the story together brilliantly. He brings to life Marx and Engels, who are working the intellectual angle with The Communist Manifesto and laying the foundation for Lenin and Stalin who come along to put the ideas into practice. But one thing to emphasize here is that this is not just the story of Soviet Communism. This is the whole story. You get Ho Chi Minh in North Vietnam, you get Mao and Deng Xiaoping in China, you get Castro and Che in Cuba, Tito in Yugoslavia, and dozens of others around the world. Obviously you also get Khrushchev and Kennedy and Gorbachev and Reagan and all that, but it’s important to realize that it isn’t just the Soviets.
What you come away with is this complete understanding of a new piece of the puzzle of humanity's ongoing struggle to govern itself and organize society and figure out how to live in the best way possible. You get the sense that Communism as it was envisioned in the early days—as a pure idea—probably wasn’t any worse than Capitalism, it’s just the old story of people getting involved and screwing things up with their egos and greed and hubris and insecurities—that’s another similarity with The Looming Tower, where you saw how humiliation at the hands of the West drove so much of Al Qaeda's ideology. In the case of Communism, there was insecurity in these countries that the West saw them as "backward" and a lot of the terrible stuff that happened came out of a desire to prove that they weren’t.
The author is a very highly regarded Oxford professor and we’re going to deliver some big blurbs on this. We don’t have them yet because the author just delivered but if you look at what we’ve done lately in terms of blurbage with these big history books, it will be similar. In terms of reviews, there’s never any guarantee that we’ll get them but I think we have a much better shot than we did with Old World New World, where we didn’t have any kind of news peg, but with this book we will in the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.
MORE FORMAL DESCRIPTIVE COPY:
Communism was one of the most powerful political and intellectual movements the world has ever seen. At the height of their influence, Communists controlled more than a third of the earth’s surface. But perhaps more astonishing than its rapid rise and extraordinary reach was Communism’s sudden, devastating collapse in November of 1989.
In The Red Flag, Oxford professor David Priestland tells the epic story of a movement that has taken root in dozens of countries across two hundred years, from its birth after the French Revolution to its ideological maturity in nineteenth-century Germany to its rise to dominance (and subsequent fall) in the twentieth century. Beginning with the first modern Communists in the age of Robespierre, Priestland examines the motives of thinkers and leaders including Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che Guevara, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gorbachev, and many others. He also asks what it was about Communism that inspired its rank and file—whether the militants of 1920s Russia, the guerrilla fighters of China, or the students of Ethiopia—and explores the experience of what it meant to live under Communism for its millions of subjects.
He shows how Communism, in all its varieties, appealed to different societies for different reasons, in some as a response to inequalities and in others more out of a desire to catch up with the West. But paradoxically, while destroying one web of inequality, Communist leaders were simultaneously weaving another. It was this dynamic, together with widespread economic failure and an escalating loss of faith in the system, that ultimately destroyed Soviet Communism itself.
At a time when global capitalism is in crisis and powerful new political forces have arisen to confront Western democracy, The Red Flag is essential reading if we are to apply the lessons of the past to navigating the future.
Danny Katch brings together the two great Marxist traditions of Karl and Groucho to provide an entertaining and insightful introduction to what the socialist tradition has to say about democracy, economics and the potential of human beings to be something more than being bomb-dropping, planet-destroying racist fools.