Just last week on August 5th Britain’s largest socialist bookshop, Bookmarks, was invaded by a mob of far-right protesters just as the shop was closing up, knocking over displays, destroying books and abusing staff. Since then, Bookmarks have received an outpouring of support, with hundreds visiting the Bloomsbury store and online orders soaring. And this Saturday, Bookmarks are hosting an afternoon of speeches and book readings from authors, trade unionists, and activists to celebrate radical bookselling.
Here at Turnaround we represent radical publishers from around the world, including Bookmarks, and as book lovers ourselves, strongly believe in the right to read without censorship. So to show our solidarity and help you do the same, here’s a list of eleven Bookmarks titles you should consider picking up – support Bookmarks and radical publishing everywhere and buy a book!
A Rebel’s Guide To Marx (9781905192083, p/b, £4.00)
Part of Bookmarks’ A Rebel’s Guide series, A Rebel’s Guide to Marx is your digested and accessible primer to the works and ideas of the famous German philosopher and his radical critique of capitalism. From his analysis of what drives corporate globalisation to his discussion of if and how human liberation can be achieved, Marx’s idea are just as fascinating and as relevant today.
And be sure to check out the rest of the Rebel’s Guide series too, giving a similar treatment to activists and radicals like Lenin, Trotsky, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Eleanor Marx and more.
A Reader’s Guide To Marx’s Capital (9781910885482, p/b, £9.99)
The first volume of Marx’s Capital, published 150 years ago, continues to entice readers eager to grapple with the author’s account of the “laws of motion” of capitalism. Yet for many, it can seem a forbidding work. This book, aimed at both individual readers and reading groups, takes each chapter of the first volume of Capital in turn, leading the reader through Marx’s key arguments and offering insights and contemporary examples that can provide further illumination.
Alienation: An Introduction To Marx’s Theory (9781905192922, p/b, £5.00)
We live in a world in which human capacity to transform and control our lives has never been greater. Yet for most people the world is radically outside of their control. Their lives are dictated by the demands of employers and politicians. This is the phenomenon of alienation that the young radical Karl Marx began to diagnose in the early 1840s and remained pre-occupied with throughout his life. This accessible guide to the central aspect of Marx’s philosophy takes the reader through the development of the concept and its relevance today.
Say It Loud! (9781909026384, p/b, £9.99)
Marxist philosophy and ideas has always encompassed a broad range of issues, tackling cultural and economic struggles of all kinds. Targeting the rise of Islamophobia, the resurgence of fascism and scapegoating of immigrants, Say It Loud! seeks to challenge the idea that racism is inevitable, taking a critical look at the origins and history of racism in Britain and abroad, and sets out a Marxist case for how best to fight it.
The Red In The Rainbow (9781905192700, p/b, £7.99)
From the Stonewall riots to the LGSM, campaigns for LGBT rights have always had a cross over with radical struggle. In The Red in the Rainbow these fights for sexual liberation across continents and centuries are explored, delivering a remarkably hopeful account of the way women and men have made history even in the most difficult circumstances. To be read by every activist who aspires to win a world free from oppression and to realise the unfinished dream of liberation that so many have fought for.
Kill All The Gentlemen (9781910885697, p/b, £14.99)
The modern countryside is the result of centuries of environmental change, but also brutal class struggle. While Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ Revolt is well known, and Jack Cade and Robert Kett are remembered for their rebellions, there are countless lesser known struggles. Modern agriculture, the food we eat and how it is produced, is a direct result of these historic struggles. Martin Empson’s new book rescues these forgotten moments of history and places them in the context of the political and economic changes that have taken place over the last 700 years.
Politics Of The Mind (9781910885659, p/b, £9.99)
Continuing to prove the broad application of Marx’s ideas, Politics of the Mind: Marxism and Mental Distress looks at the link between the economic and political system under which we live – capitalism – and the enormously high levels of mental ill-health which we see in the world today. The book ends by looking ahead to a world driven not by the demands of profit but on based on meeting human needs – a world which the Marxist psychoanalyst Erich Fromm called ‘a sane society’.
Defending Multiculturalism (9781905192847, p/b, £8.99)
A vibrant, hard-hitting and informative collection of essays that sets out to defend Britain’s multicultural way of life. The contributors challenge David Cameron and others’ assertions that multiculturalism is to blame for dividing society. The best thinkers and writers in politics, academia and activism take on issues such as ‘Has multiculturalism failed?’ ‘The threat of the English Defence League’ and ‘Are the white working class excluded?’. This accessible book is a must have for all those who want to celebrate, defend and extend Britain’s diverse society.
The Blood Never Dried (9781909026292, p/b, £13.99)
The Blood Never Dried challenges the rising chorus of claims that the British Empire was a kinder, gentler force in the world of imperialism. John Newsinger sets out to uncover this neglected history of repression and resistance. To the boast that “the sun never set on the British Empire” the Chartist Ernest Jones replied “and the blood never dried.” This new, updated edition brings the story up to the Obama administration and Britain’s changing relationship with the US, as well as taking into account the Arab Spring and its implications.
Sexism And The System (9781905192236, p/b, £4.00)
We are told that women are now equal to men and there’s nothing left to fight for, certainly, women’s lives were transformed in the 20th century. But while a minority of women can now command high professional salaries, the majority still earn less than men and carry the responsibility for most work in the home. This is the socialist case for why the fight for women’s liberation isn’t over – and why winning this battle means changing the world.
Bob Marley: Roots Reggae & Revolution (9781910885062 , p/b, £7.99)
Brian Richardson takes a sharp axe to the root of the processes of capitalist commodification that fool some people into sometimes seeing Bob Marley as a ‘harmless icon’. As Marley himself once declared, ‘mi see myself as a revolutionary’, and Richardson’s fine portrait explains why, by exploring the liberation struggles and rich cultural traditions of the Caribbean and wider African diaspora that inspired Marley’s songs of freedom
More books available from the Bookmarks Bookshop website.