Posts Tagged 'class struggle'

New Left Review: Fifty Years 1960-2010

This fiftieth anniversary edition demonstrates NLR’s strengths and weaknesses. Stridently intellectual but sliding into pretension, it is devoted to the idea of a left-wing movement but divorced from actually existing social forces. Here we are presented with, among other articles, Perry Anderson’s incisive analysis of Russian and Chinese revolutions, Robin Blackburn on class struggles in post-reconstruction era America, and a US medical doctor’s searing call to arms in the battle for healthcare. Editor Susan Watkins ponders the future: “Can a left intellectual project hope to thrive in the absence of a political movement?” Her answer? “That remains to be seen.” SS

Second Series, Number 61, January/February 2010; 232 pages

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We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War, by Paul Preston

We Saw Spain DieFacing reactionary press barons’ hostility to socialists and Western governments’ deals with fascism, foreign reporting on the Spanish Civil War was accurate only through constant struggle. We Saw Spain Die recounts the stories of the many correspondents who risked lives and careers to carry out this struggle – international journalists whose bravery and determination informed a mass audience of the astonishing, tragic courage of ordinary Spaniards battling fascist military onslaught. Weaving together personal, professional and political detail Preston offers unusual insight into the defeated Revolution and journalistic practice, and through individual experiences constructs a valuable addition to the Revolution’s historiography. AB

Constable; 2009; 512 pages

Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America, by Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas

A unique and fascinating perspective on the effects of the recent economic trends on America’s ‘fly-over’ states. Sociologists Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas move to a small town in rural Iowa to investigate parallel and symbiotic phenomena: ‘brain drain’, a cycle of encouraging the best and brightest to fulfill their potential by leaving the small town in favour of larger cities with more opportunities; simultaneously, as unskilled labour moves from the American heartland to countries such as China and Mexico in order to increase profits for shareholders, entire ‘brain-drained’ communities collapse overnight, leaving families without income and workers without options. MEL

Beacon Press; 2009; 224 pages

Where the Other Half Lives: Lower Income Housing in a Neoliberal World, by Sarah Glynn (ed.)

This collection, as timely as it is readable, offers an excellent account of this key site of class struggle and hums with insight, anger and strategic perspective. Glynn in particular is passionate but never romantic, and remains firmly rooted in a class analysis of the aggressive global intensification of market relations since the 1980s. Whilst not all the contributions achieve her rigour, the internationally comparative breadth is admirable. But tenants never become merely passive victims of cutbacks, and possibilities for workers’ resistance are as prominent as the mad and inhuman outcomes of commodified solutions to the human need for shelter. AB

Pluto Press; 2009; 340 pages


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers. George Orwell

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