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Reviews

  • Cheri DiNovo reflects on life as a queer evangelist

    Cheri DiNovo is a well known figure among activists, including the queer community, progressive religious groups, and socialists in Toronto. This autobiographical book is a remarkable story of transformation, a perspective on challenging church and state (both from within and from without) and coming away victorious after a life of “speaking truth to power.”

  • Views on China

    What is the experience and future for China and its Communist Party rule? It seems appropriate to consider a number of new books on China that have been published that try to answer this question. In this review, Michael Roberts takes a closer look at Isabella Weber’s How China Escaped Shock Therapy, John Ross’s China’s Great Road, and China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse by System Change Not Climate Change co-founder Richard Smith.

  • Byung-Chul Han and capitalism’s ‘death drive’

    Capitalism and the Death Drive is a set of essays and interviews published between 2012 and 2020 by South Korean-born Swiss-German philosopher and cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han. The stress in these pieces is on such ideas as the “digital panopticon” of the internet, the surveillance state and our voluntary cooperation with it, the idea of the foreign, capitalism as death drive, and so on. Each is pervaded by a general hopelessness.

  • Chronicling the decline of the industrial age in Hamilton

    Stephen Dale’s Shift Change examines the trajectory of Hamilton, Ontario. This city of more than half a million people on the western shores of Lake Ontario was, for most of the twentieth century, synonymous with heavy industry, especially steel and associated manufacturing. Though the book covers the Stelco strike of 1946 and a history of the city’s industrial decline, it is Hamilton’s “urban renaissance” that is Dale’s primary focus.

  • ‘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 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.

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