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Books > Social sciences > Politics & government > Political ideologies > Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies

Futures of Socialism - The Pandemic and the Post-Corbyn Era (Paperback): Grace Blakeley Futures of Socialism - The Pandemic and the Post-Corbyn Era (Paperback)
Grace Blakeley
R395 R333 Discovery Miles 3 330 Save R62 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

British politics is an extraordinary place. Grace Blakeley introduces an indispensable collection of analysis and comment. In Futures of Socialism, Sam Gindin and James Meadway reassess socialist strategy after the coronavirus; Dalia Gebrial and Sian Errington debate austerity and precarity; Joshua Virasami and Simukai Chigudu explore anti-racism and the legacy of Empire; and Leo Panitch and Momentum co-founder James Schneider probe the limits of parliamentary socialism. Chris Saltmarsh assesses the prospects for an eco-socialist Green New Deal and Cat Hobbs argues for the ongoing centrality of public ownership to socialist policy. Futures of Socialism takes an in-depth look at the reasons for Labour's 2019 election defeat, with Unite's Andrew Murray on Labour's Brexit position, Tom Mills on the British media, Gargi Bhattacharyya and Jeremy Gilbert on better ways to build a political project, and Keir Milburn on generation left. The anthology also compares the fortunes of the British left with socialist movements overseas, in despatches from Europe and America. Blakeley draws on the talents of all sections of the post-Corbyn left to survey the prospects of 'a movement that has dominated the horizons of our lives'.

A New Model of Socialism - Democratising Economic Production (Hardcover): Bruno Jossa A New Model of Socialism - Democratising Economic Production (Hardcover)
Bruno Jossa
R2,612 Discovery Miles 26 120 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Economic democracy is essential for creating a truly democratic political sphere. This engaging book uses Marxist theory to hypothesise that capitalism is not a democratic system, and that a modern socialist system of producer cooperatives and democratically managed enterprises is urgently needed. A New Model of Socialism focuses on the current crisis of the political Left, a result of the collapse of the Soviet model of society and the decline of statism and kingship. Bruno Jossa expands on existing theories to explore Marx's notions on economic democracy in a modern setting. He advocates a move away from the centralised planning form of economic socialism towards a self-management system for firms that does not prioritise the interests of one class over another, in order to achieve greater economic democracy. It is argued that the establishment of such a system of democratic firms is the precondition for reducing intervention in the economy, thus enabling the State to perform its ultimate function of serving the public interest. This timely book is ideal for advanced scholars of Marxist, radical and heterodox economic theory, as well as academics with an interest in the rise of socialism in our modern world. Indeed, it will also be of value to all those seeking a viable and practical alternative to existing capitalist and socialist thinking.

Culture and Materialism (Paperback): Raymond Williams Culture and Materialism (Paperback)
Raymond Williams
R297 R233 Discovery Miles 2 330 Save R64 (22%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Raymond Williams is a towering presence in cultural studies, most importantly as the founder of the approach that has come to be known as "cultural materialism." Yet Williams's method was always open-ended and fluid, and this volume collects his most significant work from over a twenty-year period in which he wrestled with the concepts of materialism and culture and their interrelationship.

That's Funny You Don't Look Anti-Semitic 2019 - An anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism (Paperback, 3rd New... That's Funny You Don't Look Anti-Semitic 2019 - An anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism (Paperback, 3rd New edition)
Steve Cohen; Foreword by Tom Cohen
R216 R178 Discovery Miles 1 780 Save R38 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (Paperback): David Harvey The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles (Paperback)
David Harvey
R407 R330 Discovery Miles 3 300 Save R77 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Amidst waves of economic crises, health crises, class struggle and neo-fascist reaction, few possess the clarity and foresight of world-renowned theorist, David Harvey. Since the publication of his bestselling A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Harvey has been tracking the evolution of the capitalist system as well as tides of radical opposition rising against it. In The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Harvey introduces new ways of understanding the crisis of global capitalism and the struggles for a better world. While accounting for violence and disaster, Harvey also chronicles hope and possibility. By way of conversations about neoliberalism, capitalism, globalization, the environment, technology, social movements and crises like COVID-19, he outlines, with characteristic brilliance, how socialist alternatives are being imagined under very difficult circumstances. In understanding the economic, political and social dimensions of the crisis, Harvey's analysis in The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles will be of strategic importance to anyone wanting to both understand and change the world.

The United States of Socialism (Hardcover): Dinesh D'Souza The United States of Socialism (Hardcover)
Dinesh D'Souza
R604 R480 Discovery Miles 4 800 Save R124 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
The Management of Savagery - How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, Isis, and Donald Trump... The Management of Savagery - How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, Isis, and Donald Trump (Paperback)
Max Blumenthal
R395 R326 Discovery Miles 3 260 Save R69 (17%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

The Management of Savagery of tells the story of the parallel rise of international jihadism and Western ultra-nationalism. Since Washington's secret funding of the Mujahideen following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1970s, America has supported extremists with money and hardware, including enemies such as Bin Laden. The Pentagon's willingness to make alliances abroad have seen the war coming home with inevitable consequences: by funding, training, and arming jihadist elements in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya since the Cold War and waging wars of regime change and interventions that gave birth to the Islamic State. Meanwhile, Trump's dealings In the Middle East are likely only to exacerbate the situation further. Blumenthal excavates the real story behind America's dealing with the world and shows how the extremist forces that now threaten peace across the globe are the inevitable flowering of America's imperial designs of a national security state. And shows how this has ended with the rise of the Trump presidency.

Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe - The Bund at 100 (Hardcover): Jack Jacobs Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe - The Bund at 100 (Hardcover)
Jack Jacobs
R2,108 Discovery Miles 21 080 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"This book is basic for any attempt to understand interwar Polish Jewry as well as the holocaust period and offers many new points of view."
--"Religious Studies Review"

The Bund was the first modern Jewish political party in Eastern Europe and, arguably, the strongest Jewish party in Poland on the eve of the Second World War. Though 100 years have passed since its inception, the Bund and its legacy continue to be of abiding interest.

Founded illegally and operated under the most adverse conditions, the Bund grew dramatically in the years immediately after its 1897 creation in Czarist Russia. It helped to organize the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, it organized armed self-defense groups to fight against pogroms, and it played a significant role in the Russian Revolution of 1905. The Bundist became for many the symbol of the new Jew--enlightened, willing to fight for Jewish rights and needs, and unwilling to accept the status quo of Jewish communities dominated by the orthodox and the wealthy, and of a Russia oppressed by the Czar. Later, Bundist members were among those who contributed substantially to armed resistance in Nazi occupied Poland.

"Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe" makes use of previously unexamined source materials to offer a range of new perspectives on the significance of the Bund and its ideas. Its fresh and insightful approaches will be of interest to all those concerned with Eastern European Jewry, Russian, Polish, and Ukranian history, and the history of socialist and labor movements.

Conquering Nature - The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba (Paperback): Sergio Diaz-Briquets, Jorge F.Perez- Lopez Conquering Nature - The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba (Paperback)
Sergio Diaz-Briquets, Jorge F.Perez- Lopez
R828 Discovery Miles 8 280 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Conquering Nature" provides the only book-length analysis of the environmental situation in Cuba after four decades of socialist rule, based on extensive examination of secondary sources, informed by the study of development and environmental trends in former socialist countries as well as in the developing world. It approaches the issue comprehensively and from interdisciplinary, comparative, and historical perspectives. Based on the Cuban example, Diaz-Briquets and Perez-Lopez challenge the concept that environmental disruption was not supposed to occur under socialism since it was alleged that guided by scientific policies, socialism could only beget environmentally benign economic development. In reality, the socialist environmental record proved to be far different from the utopian view.

Between the early 1960s and the late 1980s the environmental situation worsened despite Cuba's achieving one of the lowest population growth rates in the world and having eliminated extreme living standard differentials in rural areas, two of the primary reasons often blamed for environmental deterioration in developing countries. The government's approach was to "conquer nature" and under its central planning approach, it did not take local circumstances into consideration. This disregard for the environmental consequences of development projects continues to this day despite official allegations to the contrary--as the country pursues an economic survival strategy based on the crash development of the tourist sector and exploitation of natural resources. An underlying conclusion of the book is that the environmental legacy of socialism will present serious challenges to future Cuban generations.

"Conquering Nature "provides, for the first time, a relevant analysis of socialist environmental policies of a developing country. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Cuba and those interested in environmental issues in developing countries.

The Suppression of ""Salt of the Earth - How Hollywood, Big Labor and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America... The Suppression of ""Salt of the Earth - How Hollywood, Big Labor and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America (Paperback, illustrated edition)
James L. Lorence
R750 Discovery Miles 7 500 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

This impassioned history tells a story of censorship and politics during the early Cold War. The author recounts the 1950 Empire Zinc Strike in Bayard, New Mexico, the making of the extraordinary motion picture 'Salt of the Earth' by Local 890 of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, and the films suppression by Hollywood, federal and state governments, and organised labour. This disturbing episode reflects the intense fear that gripped America during the Cold War and reveals the unsavoury side of the rapprochement between organised labour and big business in the 1950s. In the face of intense political opposition, blackballed union activists, blacklisted Hollywood artists and writers, and Local 890 united to write a script, raise money, hire actors and crews, and make and distribute the film. Rediscovered in the 1970s, Salt of the Earth is a revealing celluloid document of socially conscious unionism that sought to break down racial barriers, bridge class divisions, and emphasise the role of women. Lorence has interviewed participants in the strike and film such as Clinton Jencks and Paul Jarrico and has consulted private and public archives to reconstruct the story of this extraordinary documentary and the co-ordinated efforts to suppress it.

The Left's Dirty Job - Politics of Industrial Restructuring in France and Spain (Paperback, New): W.Rand Smith The Left's Dirty Job - Politics of Industrial Restructuring in France and Spain (Paperback, New)
W.Rand Smith
R828 Discovery Miles 8 280 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

As today's headlines make clear, corporate restructuring is only one aspect of a global transformation that is challenging businesses and governments alike. W. Rand Smith examines a central question in this process: what choices exist for governments of industrialized democracies as they seek to help older, core industries adjust to changes in demand, technology and new sources of competition? This question is especially important for governments dominated by leftist political parties, which are torn between their commitment to social solidarity and the capitalist imperative of efficiency. Pledged to defend workers' interests (including their jobs), leftist governments also face market pressures often requiring huge job cuts. Given this conflict, can leftist governments forge a distinctive restructuring strategy? ""The Left's Dirty Job"" addresses this question by comparing the experiences of recent socialist governments in France and Spain. Because of their longevity and initial reform aspirations, the governments of Francois Mitterand (1981-1995) and Felipe Gonzalez (1982-1996) provide a key test of whether a leftist approach to industrial restructuring is possible. This study argues that, in fact, both governments' policies generally resembled those of other European governments in their emphasis on market-adapting measures that eliminated thousands of jobs while providing income support for displaced workers. The study also argues that despite broadly similar policies, the restructuring process in France and Spain differed in three important aspects: trajectory, dynamics and impact. W. Rand Smith develops these conclusions through comparisons of French and Spanish macroeconomic policy, public-sector management and restructuring in the steel and automobile industries. Building an explanation rooted in a resource-mobilization perspective, he focuses on the internal politics of the governing coalitions of Socialist parties and their labour union allies, arguing that these coalitions strongly affected their governments' restructuring strategies. Featuring extensive field work and interviews with over one hundred political, labour and business leaders, this study is the first systematic comparison of these important Socialist governments.

Fields, Factories and Workshops (Hardcover, New edition): Petr Alekseevich Kropotkin Fields, Factories and Workshops (Hardcover, New edition)
Petr Alekseevich Kropotkin
R1,297 Discovery Miles 12 970 Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Diagnosis of Defeat - Labour's turn to smell the coffee (Paperback): Michael Ashcroft Diagnosis of Defeat - Labour's turn to smell the coffee (Paperback)
Michael Ashcroft
R264 R215 Discovery Miles 2 150 Save R49 (19%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

2019 saw the Labour Party meet its fourth consecutive general election defeat, and its worst since 1935. Arguing that it is vital for Labour to regroup if it is to offer a serious alternative government, Lord Ashcroft draws on extensive research among real voters - especially those who have moved away from Labour in former heartland seats now represented in Parliament by the Tories. Diagnosis of Defeat explores the reasons for this extraordinary result and offers a frank and uncompromising portrait of the Labour Party as it is seen today.

Socialism (Paperback): Peter Lamb Socialism (Paperback)
Peter Lamb
R382 Discovery Miles 3 820 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Socialism has made a dramatic comeback in the 21st century. In the wake of financial crisis, mounting inequality and social decay, it seems more relevant than ever. Nobody who seeks to understand contemporary politics can ignore it. In this book, leading scholar Peter Lamb identifies the key ideas and principles of socialism and explores different (often conflicting) interpretations that have appeared in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, from the early nineteenth century until today. He explores the different ways that socialist thinkers have conceptualised community, equality and liberty and shows how, despite overlap with other traditions, socialists have combined these ideas in common and distinct ways that make the socialist tradition uniquely valuable. Lamb goes on to trace the recent re-emergence of these ideas, and explain what will be required for such a revival to be popular, powerful and sustained. This book will be invaluable to any student or scholar interested in political theory, socialism, communism or political ideologies, as well as to general readers striving to understand contemporary politics throughout the world.

Red Ellen - The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist (Hardcover): Laura Beers Red Ellen - The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist (Hardcover)
Laura Beers
R806 R650 Discovery Miles 6 500 Save R156 (19%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 1908 Ellen Wilkinson, a fiery adolescent from a working-class family in Manchester, was "the only girl who talks in school debates." By midcentury, Wilkinson had helped found Britain's Communist Party, earned a seat in Parliament, and become a renowned advocate for the poor and dispossessed at home and abroad. She was one of the first female delegates to the United Nations, and she played a central role in Britain's postwar Labour government. In Laura Beers's account of Wilkinson's remarkable life, we have a richly detailed portrait of a time when Left-leaning British men and women from a range of backgrounds sought to reshape domestic, imperial, and international affairs. Wilkinson is best remembered as the leader of the Jarrow Crusade, the 300-mile march of two hundred unemployed shipwrights and steelworkers to petition the British government for assistance. But this was just one small part of Red Ellen's larger transnational fight for social justice. She was involved in a range of campaigns, from the quest for official recognition of the Spanish Republican government, to the fight for Indian independence, to the effort to smuggle Jewish refugees out of Germany. During Wilkinson's lifetime, many British radicals viewed themselves as members of an international socialist community, and some, like her, became involved in socialist, feminist, and pacifist movements that spanned the globe. By focusing on the extent to which Wilkinson's activism transcended Britain's borders, Red Ellen adjusts our perception of the British Left in the early twentieth century.

Arguing with Socialists (Hardcover): Glenn Beck Arguing with Socialists (Hardcover)
Glenn Beck
R660 R536 Discovery Miles 5 360 Save R124 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In Arguing With Socialists, New York Times bestselling author Glenn Beck arms readers to the teeth with information necessary to debunk the socialist arguments that have once again become popular, and proves that the free market is the only way to go With his trademark humor, Beck lampoons the resurgence of this bankrupt leftist philosophy with thousands of stories, facts, arguments and easy-to-understand graphics for anyone who is willing to ask the hard questions. He shows that this new shiny socialism is just the same as the old one: a costly and dangerous failure that leaves desperation, poverty, and bodies in its wake.

Marx: Selected Writings (Paperback): Karl Marx Marx: Selected Writings (Paperback)
Karl Marx; Edited by Lawrence H. Simon
R516 R432 Discovery Miles 4 320 Save R84 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Featuring the most important and enduring works from Marx's enormous corpus, this collection ranges from the Hegelian idealism of his youth to the mature socialism of his later works. Organized both topically and in rough chronological order, the selections (many of them in the translations of Loyd D. Easton and Kurt H. Guddat) include writings on historical materialism, excerpts from Capital, and political works.

Power & the People - Five Lessons from the Birthplace of Democracy (Paperback): Alev Scott, Andronike Makres Power & the People - Five Lessons from the Birthplace of Democracy (Paperback)
Alev Scott, Andronike Makres
R267 R219 Discovery Miles 2 190 Save R48 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Democracy was born in Athens. From its founding myths to its golden age and its chaotic downfall, it's rich with lessons for our own times. Why did vital civil engagement and fair debate descend into paralysis and populism? Can we compare Creon to Trump, Demokratia to the American Constitution or Demosthenes' On the Crown to the Brexit campaign? And how did a second referenda save the Athenians from a bloodthirsty decision? With verve and acuity, the heroics and the critics of Athenian democracy are brought to bear on today's politics, revealing in all its glories and its flaws the system that still survives to execute the power of the people.

Generation Left (Paperback): Keir Milburn Generation Left (Paperback)
Keir Milburn
R259 Discovery Miles 2 590 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Increasingly age appears to be the key dividing line in contemporary politics. Young people across the globe are embracing left-wing ideas and supporting figures such as Corbyn and Sanders. Where has this 'Generation Left' come from? How can it change the world? This compelling book by Keir Milburn traces the story of Generation Left. Emerging in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, it has now entered the electoral arena and found itself vying for dominance with ageing right-leaning voters and a 'Third Way' political elite unable to accept the new realities. By offering a new concept of political generations, Milburn unveils the ideas, attitudes and direction of Generation Left and explains how the age gap can be bridged by reinventing youth and adulthood. This book is essential reading for anyone, young or old, who is interested in addressing the multiple crises of our time.

The Labour Party Under Ed Miliband - Trying but Failing to Renew Social Democracy (Paperback): Eunice Goes The Labour Party Under Ed Miliband - Trying but Failing to Renew Social Democracy (Paperback)
Eunice Goes
R519 R469 Discovery Miles 4 690 Save R50 (10%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Was Miliband successful at turning the page on New Labour and at re-imagining social democracy for the post-global financial crisis era? This study maps the ideas - old and new - that were debated and adopted by the Labour Party under Miliband and shows how they were transformed into policy proposals and adapted to contemporary circumstances. It seeks to demonstrate that the Labour Party under Miliband tried but failed to renew social democracy. This failure is one of the several reasons why 'Milibandism' was so overwhelmingly rejected by voters at the 2015 general election. Goes offers a thought-provoking perspective on how political parties develop their thinking and political blueprints that will appeal to scholars and students of British politics and ideologies and to anyone interested in contemporary debates about social democracy. -- .

Total Propaganda - Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young (Paperback): Helen Razer Total Propaganda - Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young (Paperback)
Helen Razer
R381 R308 Discovery Miles 3 080 Save R73 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Demanding the Impossible (Paperback, New edition): Peter Marshall Demanding the Impossible (Paperback, New edition)
Peter Marshall
R458 R332 Discovery Miles 3 320 Save R126 (28%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A fascinating and comprehensive history, 'Demanding the Impossible' is a challenging and thought-provoking exploration of anarchist ideas and actions from ancient times to the present day. Navigating the broad 'river of anarchy', from Taoism to Situationism, from Ranters to Punk rockers, from individualists to communists, from anarcho-syndicalists to anarcha-feminists, 'Demanding the Impossible' is an authoritative and lively study of a widely misunderstood subject. It explores the key anarchist concepts of society and the state, freedom and equality, authority and power and investigates the successes and failure of the anarchist movements throughout the world. While remaining sympathetic to anarchism, it presents a balanced and critical account. It covers not only the classic anarchist thinkers, such as Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Reclus and Emma Goldman, but also other libertarian figures, such as Nietzsche, Camus, Gandhi, Foucault and Chomsky. No other book on anarchism covers so much so incisively. In this updated edition, a new epilogue examines the most recent developments, including 'post-anarchism' and 'anarcho-primitivism' as well as the anarchist contribution to the peace, green and 'Global Justice' movements. Demanding the Impossible is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand what anarchists stand for and what they have achieved. It will also appeal to those who want to discover how anarchism offers an inspiring and original body of ideas and practices which is more relevant than ever in the twenty-first century.

Is Socialism Feasible? - Towards an Alternative Future (Paperback): Geoffrey M. Hodgson Is Socialism Feasible? - Towards an Alternative Future (Paperback)
Geoffrey M. Hodgson
R659 Discovery Miles 6 590 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

After being proclaimed dead, there is now a major revival of socialist ideology in the West. But what does socialism mean? This book shows that it is irretrievably associated with common ownership. The twentieth-century experience of comprehensive national planning with state ownership has been disastrous, and in no case has democracy endured within large-scale socialism. This volume explains why. The alternative socialist option of worker-owned cooperatives must accept a major role for markets that many socialists reject. Featuring theoretical arguments and practical investigations, Geoffrey M. Hodgson interrogates the failures of socialist states, scrutinizing the impact and outcomes of a centralized politico-economic system. This timely and convincing book offers insight into the twentieth-century experience of comprehensive national planning, deploying less-well-known criticisms from Albert Schaffle and Michael Polanyi. Hodgson's nuanced approach brings together small-scale socialist praxis and principles of liberal solidarity, exploring an experimental approach to political and economic reform. Provocative, insightful and accessible, this book is of considerable interest to any reader with an appetite for the history of socialist theory, as well as those keen to explore new insights to heterodox economics. Students and academics of the social sciences and humanities will benefit from this book's rigorous empirical approach to historic and contemporary socialist states and its in-depth discussion of Austrian school theory.

The People's Flag and the Union Jack 2018 - An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party (Hardcover): Gerry... The People's Flag and the Union Jack 2018 - An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party (Hardcover)
Gerry Hassan, Eric Shaw 1
R656 R460 Discovery Miles 4 600 Save R196 (30%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The British Labour Party has at times been a force for radical change in the UK, but one critical aspect of its makeup has been consistently misunderstood and underplayed: its Britishness. Throughout the party's history, its Britishness has been an integral part of how it has done politics, acted in government and opposition, and understood the UK and its nations and regions. The People's Flag and the Union Jack is the first comprehensive account of how Labour has tried to understand Britain and Britishness and to compete in a political landscape defined by conservative notions of nation, patriotism and tradition. At a time when many of the party faithful regard national identity as a toxic subject, academics Gerry Hassan and Eric Shaw argue that Labour's Britishness and its ambiguous relationship with issues of nationalism matter more today than ever before, and will continue to matter for the foreseeable future, when the UK is in fundamental crisis. As debate rages about Brexit, and the prospect of Scottish independence remains live, this timely intervention, featuring contributions from a wealth of pioneering thinkers, offers an illuminating and perceptive insight into Labour's past, present and future.

Why America Needs a Left - A Historical Argument (Hardcover, New): Eli Zaretsky Why America Needs a Left - A Historical Argument (Hardcover, New)
Eli Zaretsky
R1,143 R1,051 Discovery Miles 10 510 Save R92 (8%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The United States today cries out for a robust, self-respecting, intellectually sophisticated left, yet the very idea of a left appears to have been discredited. In this brilliant new book, Eli Zaretsky rethinks the idea by examining three key moments in American history: the Civil War, the New Deal and the range of New Left movements in the 1960s and after including the civil rights movement, the women's movement and gay liberation.In each period, he argues, the active involvement of the left - especially its critical interaction with mainstream liberalism - proved indispensable. American liberalism, as represented by the Democratic Party, is necessarily spineless and ineffective without a left. Correspondingly, without a strong liberal center, the left becomes sectarian, authoritarian, and worse.

Written in an accessible way for the general reader and the undergraduate student, this book provides a fresh perspective on American politics and political history. It has often been said that the idea of a left originated in the French Revolution and is distinctively European; Zaretsky argues, by contrast, that America has always had a vibrant and powerful left. And he shows that in those critical moments when the country returns to itself, it is on its left/liberal bases that it comes to feel most at home.

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