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Reviews

  • ‘The Green Knight,’ apocalyptic anxiety and the new avatars of climate change

    As climate breakdown intensifies, filmmakers are endeavouring to capture the anxiety driven by a warming world. Caught up in this anticipatory energy is a notable rise in pagan-inflected art that could be connected to these growing concerns. Writer-director David Lowery’s new medieval fantasy film, The Green Knight, should be understood as part of this cultural exploration of eco-anxiety and our relationship to nature.

  • Extractivism and resistance in Latin America

    This new collection edited by Steve Ellner, Latin American Extractivism: Dependency, Resource Nationalism, and Resistance in Broad Perspective, provides much food for thought for anyone who wants to think through the challenges of governing from the Left in an age of globalized capitalism and climate change. Ellner is a retired professor at the Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela, and is currently associate managing editor of Latin American Perspectives.

  • Reimagining the left in times of crisis

    Challenging the Right, Augmenting the Left: Recasting Leftist Imagination is a fine collection willing to challenge and explore a number of different paths out of the ecological wasteland that the many forms of capitalism are condemning us to. But it also goes some way to addressing the largely unrecognized crisis of all too many of the alternatives to that capitalist system.

  • Making the world big enough for all of us: A review of Max Ajl’s ‘A People’s Green New Deal’

    In his new book, A People’s Green New Deal, Max Ajl dismantles ruling class and ostensibly progressive visions for a Green New Deal, contrasting these settler futures with revolutionary alternatives grounded in agroecology, anti-imperialism, and Indigenous self-determination. In doing so, writes James, Wilt, Ajl demonstrates these alternatives aren’t utopian solutions but are already very much in motion.

  • Why the ‘New Corporation’ is bad news for democracy

    Joel Bakan’s new book, The New Corporation: How “Good” Corporations Are Bad for Democracy, looks at how unbridled self-interest victimizes individuals, society, and the living nature on which we all depend. The problem has only grown worse as governments have freed the corporation from legal constraints through deregulation and granted it ever greater authority over society through privatization.

  • ‘Capitalism must die to protect the sacred’

    Indigenous people are putting their bodies on the line for the benefit of all. They deserve more than empty gestures—they deserve our unconditional and active support. Any reduction in the power of the state to oppress them reduces its power to oppress anyone else. As The Red Deal emphasizes, none of us will be safe until all of us are safe. This book deserves to be widely read, discussed, and built upon.

  • Charting a course for the future of feminist organizing

    Thanks to writer and activist Nora Loreto’s solid research, journalism and activism, her new book, Take Back the Fight: Organizing Feminism for the Digital Age, manages to investigate what has happened to the feminist movement in Canada and beyond, and demonstrate what it will take for it to become a major force in Canadian society. This work could not be more urgent.

  • Communist love in the time of capitalist doom

    We are well trained in our culture not to speak of communism and love in the same breath, or indeed, of any kind of politics and love in the same breath, but Richard Gilman-Opalsky, author of The Communism of Love, defies this taboo; he cuts through the nonsensical idea of love as necessarily apolitical, and is especially against the idea of love as something to be isolated in the tiny ghetto of the romantic-erotic duo.

  • How to blow up a movement: Andreas Malm’s new book dreams of sabotage but ignores consequences

    Andreas Malm’s latest book, How to Blow Up a Pipeline—his second in less than six months from Verso—is a call for rapid escalation by the global climate movement into the realm of sabotage and property destruction. Yet Malm spends no time at all in this text on the very real threats of policing, surveillance, or incarceration. As James Wilt explains, this is an astonishing abdication of responsibility.

  • Does the left really hate the working class?

    Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class may not be a great book, but it is a timely and important one. It reminds the reader that right wing populism only succeeds where the left has failed to understand, engage, and properly represent the working class. As the NDP prepares for the next federal election, it should heed the lessons in Embery’s book, especially the one about not confusing Twitter with Canada.

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