Welcome to the Left Book Club!

red LKen Livingstone’s Being Red published in February

The latest Left Book Club title is published in February. Ken Livingstone’s Being Red: A Politics for the Future sees the Labour veteran reflect on his career and outline his vision for the party today, post-Corbynismo, and how it should face the multiple challenges ahead.

To reserve your copy, subscribe to the LBC today. If you’re already a member, you will soon receive your copy of Being Red.

We will be launching Being Red from 7pm Monday 22nd February at Space in Hackney, London. Ken will be conversation with journalist and author Anna Minton, while the artist Peter Kennard will be presenting his latest exhibition.  Register for your free tickets here.

The Left Book Club

A new Left Book Club launched in September 2015 with a list of high-quality political books aimed at a wide readership. Members will receive hot-off-the-press titles on the housing crisis, climate change, the European Union, new forms of protest, radical history and many other topical issues.

Today’s Left Book Club has been launched by a collective of activists, writers and trade unionists who have been building the LBC in partnership with the radical publisher Pluto Press. Politically non-aligned and not-for-profit, we believe, as did the organisers of the first Left Book Club in the 1930s, that books, and the discussion of ideas, are vital for the development of progressive politics in Britain.

The first of our four annual books is Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth, by Kevin Ovenden. It will be followed in 2016 with Ken Livingstone’s Being Red: a Politics for the Future, in which the ex-Mayor of London looks at the future of the Labour Party, at a time when it has generated new mass support following the election of Jeremy Corbyn to party leader. In this insider’s account of the party, Livingstone suggests possible lessons for those who would seek to follow, or improve, on his achievements today.

Also scheduled for 2016 is the The Rent Trap: How we fell into it and how we get out of it, by Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker. The authors offer the first critical account of what is really going on in the private rented sector and expose the powers which are conspiring to oppose regulation. A quarter of British MPs are landlords, rent strike is almost impossible and snap evictions are growing, but in the light of these hurdles The Rent Trap will show how people are starting to fight back.

Our aim is that members, who will pay £40 as an annual subscription, will discuss the books in reading groups, as did members of the first LBC, or through online forums. To subscribe and receive your four books a year, follow this link:

Here are what people say about the return of the Left Book Club:

  • Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader and MP for Islington North: ‘The relaunch of the Left Book Club is a terrific and timely idea, and will give intellectual ballast to the wave of political change sweeping Britain and beyond, encouraging informed and compassionate debate. I have a large collection of Left Book Club publications collected by my late parents and me. The works will open minds and inspire. I support the new LBC wholeheartedly.’

rent trap

  • Heathcote Williams, playwright:The Left Book Club is owed a huge debt as an intellectual mojo. It seems the most natural thing in the world to extend its lifespan.’
  • Kate Smurthwaite , comedian and activist: ‘In a world of wall-to-wall airbrushed adverts, repetitive inane corporate messages and media distortion and sensationalisation it’s really important to be fighting back on the most basic battleground – the mental environment.’
  • Marina Warner, writer: ‘An important, strong, timely idea’
  • Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader: ‘We live in an age of crises – economic, social, ecological and political. It’s vital that we build a movement that can offer positive alternatives to a world of war, climate change and gross inequality. I support the Left Book Club.’
  • Ken Livingstone: ‘I’m delighted to see the return of the Left Book Club.  There’s no doubt it played a major part in the foundation of the welfare state, and even helped us win World War Two.  We need an LBC now just as badly, to bring people together to read and talk about progressive politics at a time when our society is being fragmented by austerity. ‘

jeremy corbyn