Reviews

See you next year!

Author

Vicki Morris

Janine Booth has written about her experience in her new book The Big J vs The Big C: Issues, Experiences and Poems in the Battle Against Breast Cancer, charting her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

One in two people will develop cancer during their lives. The increasing incidence is mainly a result of more people living longer.

Cancer was something that people were ashamed to mention, endured by a silent minority in private, but now is more openly talked about.

Convergence on the right

Author

Cathy Nugent

″The right has changed; it has embraced the ideas of its outliers″, argues Dave Renton at the start of The New Authoritarians, Convergence on the Right. By embracing the outliers, Renton says, Trump and others have ″radicalised″ their conservative message.

Werner Scholem: Trotskyism, Zinovievism, antisemitism

Author

Paul Hampton

The socialist life of Werner Scholem deserves to be better known. The publication of Ralf Hoffrogge’s exhaustive biography, A Jewish Communist in Weimar Germany (Haymarket 2018), means that English readers now have the opportunity to appreciate his contribution.

Werner Scholem was born in Germany in December 1895. He joined the Socialist Workers’ Youth group as a teenager in 1912 and then the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on turning 18.

Last stand for Bolshevism

Author

Donal Rayner O’Connor Lysaght

A review of In Defence of Bolshevism, a collection of writings by Max Shachtman edited by Sean Matgamna

There is little that is new here, good or bad.

Uyghurs: a history of oppression

Author

Bill Davies

The book The Uyghurs: Strangers in their Own Land was published in 2010, so it predates by six years the intense escalation in repression by the Chinese State against the Uyghurs and other national minorities in Xinjiang.

In Xinjiang, a region in the northwest of China which is known to most Uyghur people as East Turkestan, recent years have brought indoctrination-internment camps and intensified intrusive surveillance on a mass scale.

Economics and learning from the facts

Author

Natalia Cassidy

Martin Thomas’s book Crisis and Sequels: Capitalism and the New Economic Turmoil since 2007 is constructed around 32 interviews, discussions, and debates with left wing economists and other thinkers.

It takes the reader; mostly chronologically, along the timeline from the immediate aftermath of the crash itself in 2007-8 across the next decade, up to 2016.

Thomas offers a substantial introduction, with overviews of the debates that take place across the book between the various contributors and himself.

Hipster reformism and the technological fix

Bruce Robinson reviews Aaron Bastani's 'Fully Automated Luxury Communism'

Back in 2013-14 there was a lot of excitement on the left about “left accelerationism” and the prospect of a transition to a “post-capitalism” fuelled by technological advances based on information.

Land and the oligarchy

Author

John Cunningham

The appearance of two books on landownership in Britain, within the space of a year or
so, is yet another “flagging up” of the growing importance of the “land question” and a “wake-
up call” for the Left.

We have to take the question of the land on which we live – who owns it, how it is exploited,
how the overwhelming majority of us are excluded from it – much more seriously than we
have in the past.

Israelophobia is Stalinist regression

Author

Barry Finger

Barry Finger reviews Paul Kelemen’s book The British Left and Zionism: History of a Divorce (Manchester University Press, 2012)

This volume, which joins the herd of independent minds in churning the same old depleted groupthink, purports to challenge the claim that changes over the decades in the left’s appraisal of Zionism and the Palestinian cause stem from antisemitism.

HBO’s Chernobyl: a service to us all

Author

Les Hearn

Chernobyl was a disaster — there is no doubt about that — but what lessons should we learn from it?

Though the catastrophic meltdown and explosion of the RBMK Reactor No 4 happened almost half a lifetime ago, when police states claiming to serve the workers ruled eastern Europe, the recent HBO mini-series Chernobyl has brought that time back to life.

Though partly fictionalised and sometimes wrong (according to survivors and experts), the basic facts are correct.

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