Welcome to the Left Book Club!

The Rent Trap, by Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker, published in April 

rent trap

The latest Left Book Club title is published in April 2016. Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker’s The Rent Trap: How We Fell into It and How We Get Out of It examines the housing crisis facing Britain today, the role of politicians in creating the conditions that see millions of people struggling to make ends meet, and how the same politicians benefit from this unequal system.

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

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, austerity, new forms of protest, radical history and many other topical issues.

Today’s Left Book Club has been launched by a collective of ac
tivists, 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

Our first publication was Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth, in which Kevin Ovenden provides us with a sharp analysis of the political events leading to Syriza storming to power in 2015 and also follows the course of their first hundred days in office. Ovenden emphasises that this historical moment is full of hope – Syriza aims to provide a new future for workers across Europe, an exit from the neoliberal labyrinth.

red L

It was followed by 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.

In The Rent Trap: How We Fell into It and How We Get Out of It, authors Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker 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.

SeabrookThe fourth title under the relaunched LBC is Jeremy Seabrook’s Cut Out: Living Without Welfare, which looks at how successive governments have conducted a process of systematic eradication of Britain’s welfare system, one of the greatest achievements of the post-war period. While the media demonises those who receive aid from the state, the government is hurriedly dismantling the social safety net, consigning millions to uncertainty and increasing inequality in Britain. Published in mid-2016, Cut Out exposes the reality of the nation today.

Our aim is for members, who pay £40-£60 for an annual
subscription, to 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:

This is 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.’
  • 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 lader: ‘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