Suggested reading?

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wojtek
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Dec 30 2016 11:07
Suggested reading?

I recall starting a similar thread, but i can't find it :/ what are reading currently (it can be any genre)? Do you have a book you recommend?

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jondwhite
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Dec 30 2016 22:28

Demanding the Impossible by Peter Marshall had a major influence on my political understanding. It is hefty though.

zugzwang
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Dec 31 2016 02:13

I had a very Chomsky christmas this year. I got Manufacturing Consent and Who Rules the World?. I also got Guérin's Anarchism, with of course an introduction by Chomsky.

wojtek
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Jan 13 2017 14:34

Svetlana Alexievich's journalism <3
https://granta.com/boys-in-zinc/

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/from-second-hand-time-by-svetlana-alexievich-1/

She gave a fascinating lecture at Oxford University:
https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/elliot-lecture-history-russian-soviet-soul

potrokin
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Jan 13 2017 20:02

I have recently been reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, it's a fictional book about life before and during colonialism in Africa, I found it to be a very good book. I've recently started reading A Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde for Uni aswell, it's a moral examination of extreme egoism. As for books about anarchism I would very much recommend What Is Anarchism? by Alexander Berkman and the Conquest of Bread by Kropotkin. I would also recommend Anarchy by Malatesta and Anarchy In Action by Colin Ward. Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich is great aswell.

potrokin
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Jan 13 2017 19:50
jondwhite wrote:
Demanding the Impossible by Peter Marshall had a major influence on my political understanding. It is hefty though.

Thats a very good book.

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sabot
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Jan 13 2017 22:39

You talking about this thread?:
http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/what-are-you-reading-24052010

There's also libcom's reading list:
http://libcom.org/library/libcomorg-reading-guide

This list is decent too:
https://edensauvage.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/reading-list-for-aspiring-ultra-lefts/

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Khawaga
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Jan 14 2017 04:06

Political Economy of Slavery by Genovese. A book on Machine Learning, and the first book in Ken MacLeod's Corporation Wars series. All good so far.

tigersiskillers
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Jan 14 2017 10:32
potrokin wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Demanding the Impossible by Peter Marshall had a major influence on my political understanding. It is hefty though.

Thats a very good book.

I disagree. It's years since I read it, but the aim of the book seems to be to outline a historical anarchist current dating back through history, rather than focus on the fact that the concrete Anarchist movement came from the workers movement - it's inherently anti-capitalist, not just anti-state. He wants to build this broader picture that can encompass taoism etc because his project is a big tent 'anarchism without adjectives'. Hence the inclusion of non-anarchists like Gandhi. I think he's even more explicit about this in the more recent editions (I have an old copy).

This doesn't mean there's not good material in the book, just that to be a good book you'd have to rip out half the chapters and add in a lot more about capitalism and class.

wojtek
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Jan 27 2017 09:15

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/08/britains-secret-wars-oman

zugzwang
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Jan 31 2017 22:26

I just finished Wolff's Capitalism's Crisis Deepens. It's a nice overview of American capitalism since the Great Depression and the New Deal policies that were implemented then (the rise and fall of Keynesianism and then Neoliberalism in the 70s onward). I'm not too keen on his cooperative ideas within a market system or the Marxian approach he takes when talking about things (saying that traditional socialist countries "socialized" rather than nationalized the means of production, stuff like that, etc.) I think he's reinventing the wheel a bit, often pointing out the failures of "traditional socialism" like the Soviet Union which just gave economic decision-making over to state officials, rather than just aligning himself with the libertarian socialist tradition.

I was thinking about reading Rudolf Rocker's Anarcho-Syndicalism next.

wojtek
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Feb 14 2017 14:34

Long read about Poland and immigration:
https://granta.com/a-land-without-strangers/

zugzwang
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Feb 16 2017 08:49

Dean Baker's Conservative Nanny State. Putting aside his liberal economic prescriptions and celebration of markets, he fulfills the book's title thesis quite well, showing how conservatives are in favor of government intervention only when it benefits corporations and the rich (and of course not the mass of people.)

Tom Henry
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Feb 16 2017 09:23

The Foundation Pit; Jude the Obscure; Spinoza's Ethics; Archaeology of Violence; ...

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Entdinglichung
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Feb 16 2017 09:33

Debriefing Elsipogtog: The Anatomy of a Struggle by Miles Howe about the struggle against fracking in New Brunswick and its background

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Feb 28 2017 22:45

Nick Bostrum's Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Quite interesting so far, though a bit dry. The book basically points out how a superintelligence could develop, whether it would be hostile or not etc. So basically a sophisticated Skynet argument.

In general, I am reading lots on AI these days.

petey
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Mar 1 2017 15:36

i read kier hardie's pamphlet on marx that was put up here lately. flowery stuff, i was ready to be done with it by the time i got to the last page.

zugzwang
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Apr 25 2017 06:31

I obtained these recently: Capital (first time having a paperback copy, though I've read most of Part 1 before), The Great Transformation, Non-Leninist Marxism: Writings on the Worker's Councils, Kronstadt and The Russian Anarchists by Paul Avrich. Most of you are probably already familiar with these. I regret not getting a reading guide for Capital, which I'd recommend to help make sense of it all. I've been making do with this for the time being, http://libcom.org/library/reading-guide-capital-simon-clarke.

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May 2 2017 10:56

If you’re looking for an interesting page turner this summer, I’d recommend Stuart Cosgrove’s, ‘Detroit 67 - The Year That Changed Soul’ (2016).

The book is a tapestry of interweaving histories of the city. The author uses the Motown label as a connecting thread, though it is the city that is at the centre of the story. The chapter titles will give an idea of the scope of the book: January: Snow; February: Crime; March: Home; April: Love; May: Strike; June: War; July: Riot, etc.

There is a lot of material new to me, like ‘the blue flu’, when the police banned from striking, reported unfit for duty. Or the July ‘ballistic lynching’ of three black teenagers at the Algiers Motel.

It is well written and even if it sometimes appears to go off at a tangent Cosgrove tugs the pieces back into place.

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Khawaga
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May 2 2017 16:53
Quote:
I regret not getting a reading guide for Capital, which I'd recommend to help make sense of it all. I've been making do with this for the time being, http://libcom.org/library/reading-guide-capital-simon-clarke.

Get Michael Heinrich's intro. It's also available on this site.

zugzwang
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May 2 2017 19:30
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
I regret not getting a reading guide for Capital, which I'd recommend to help make sense of it all. I've been making do with this for the time being, http://libcom.org/library/reading-guide-capital-simon-clarke.

Get Michael Heinrich's intro. It's also available on this site.

I actually downloaded that from the site and have been reading it at work during breaks on my phone (fitting place to read about capitalism), haha. I'm really liking it so far, not too overly complicated, though I'm sure some people here have their problems with Heinrich.

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Khawaga
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May 2 2017 19:47
Quote:
though I'm sure some people here have their problems with Heinrich.

Some people, sure, but his books has mostly been well-received here. The English translator even used to post here. My main gripe with that book is how little space he devotes to circulation, which is typical for most Marxists but untypical for value-form folks (hence, my disappointment).

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Entdinglichung
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May 3 2017 13:43

have started reading Philipp Scheidemann's Das historische Versagen der SPD. Schriften aus dem Exil ('The historical failure of the SPD. Writings from the Exile'), ... Scheidemann, a mainstream social democrat was the first republican prime minister of Germany 1918/19 but side-lined by his party after 1920 (still being a backbench MP and lord-mayor of his home city Kassel), with his exile writings (only published in 2002, more then 60 years after his death), he tries to provide an honest reckoning of the failures of his party (and his own political activities) especially in 1918/19 and 1932/33

zugzwang
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Jun 27 2017 01:20

Simon Reynolds' Rip it up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.

potrokin
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Jun 27 2017 18:10

I've just finished reading Stalin Ate My Homework by Alexei Sayle and before that the latest part of his autobiographies, Thatcher Stole My Trousers- both a good read and a good laugh.

potrokin
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Jul 27 2017 17:18

I started reading Metro 2033 today. Really enjoying it.

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jef costello
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Jul 27 2017 18:11

Just finished Freedomland by Richard Price, it's pretty good, it does wrap up its main plotline but like most Price novels a lot of ideas and thoughts seem unfinished, not plotlines exactly, it depends on my mood whether I like the openness or get pissed off by the lack of closure, I think in this case it shows good writing in that there is a lot that we would like to meanr more about and don't, and that is part of the point of the story, again as it usually is with Price. It is pretty interesting in terms of the relationship between race and police.

A maiden weeping by Jeri Westerson, mediaeval noir series, they are getting sillier and more formulaic as the series goes on (shorter too it seems) but they are enjoyable enough, I'll probably read the next one when it comes out. A little nod to gay rights every so often too, the author also writes LBGT erotica.

A couple by Iceberg Slim - some stunningly clunky dialogue and rather cliched plots but some compelling moments in spite of the rather grim and unpleasant world, mainly due to all the pimping. Doesn't teach you much about that world really, I think one book is about all you need to read.

City of Quartz: interesting book about L.A. I feel like I have said this before. It's from a class struggle perspective and looks into the various land/labour/tenants movements and the general wielding of power.

The Haha Dave King, interesting book about a vietnam vet who can't talk due to a brain injury and how his life suddenly changes when he has to look after his ex grilfriend's son. Sounds clichéd but it well-written even if the end doesn't quite ring true and leaves one or two quite important threads hanging. Worth a read just becuase the feeling of entering into the head of someone that is incapable of talking is very interesting.

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jef costello
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Aug 17 2017 22:14

Six days of the condor, Quite a fun action novel that was later made into a film. Lazy graduate ends up working as an analyst for the CIA and his job is basically to read novels to look for for new plots and security leaks, then all his colleagues get assassinated and he goes on the run.

Meat Joseph D'Lacey : seems like a heavy-handed vegan analogy and is one. Not a bad book but raising humans for meat is a bit silly and the book gets silliers.

Child 44: feels like someone lifted huge chunks of Gorky Park and Citizen X to make this, it does trivialise Chikatilo who killed at least 40 kids. The author also pretty much admits that he had to make the killer unrealistic to make the story interesting which is pretty much admitting that he is using something pretty terrible for shock value to hang on an uninspired story.

Children of Men PD James: Not bad but basically creates an interesting world and then decides to do very little with it. Also at one point the character explicitly tells someone else not to make it into a christian allegory but the ending is full of cheap christian imagery. Someone else should have taken over with 50 pages to go.

Long white con : Iceberg Slim. Stunningly bad dialogue and uneven, frequently awful prose. NBot reading any more by this guy.

Cool Hand Luke : more christian imagery/allegory but a good read, not always enjoyable as it is about how prison is designed to break you as part of a society that breaks you.

zugzwang
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Sep 5 2017 18:42

I unexpectedly got an issue of the Socialist Standard in the mail after signing up on their website. Didn't think they'd mail it to me for free, especially when I live in the States... I'm guessing the first time is complimentary or something.

silent_starling
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Sep 14 2017 02:16

I'm reading The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber. I was kind of expecting it to be biased or propagandistic, but it turned out to be more objective and academic, which I really like.

So many other books mentioned in this thread... and so little time for reading! I wish I could read them all.

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twinshia_BKNN
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Sep 14 2017 23:57

I am reading On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky and plan to read Bakunin's Selected Texts afterward.