FORTHCOMING IN 2017
Sound System: The Political Power of Music by
Musicians have often wanted to change the world. From underground grime artists to pop icons, many have believed in the political power of music. Rulers recognise it too. Music has been used to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions – and to prop up the status-quo. Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful. Years of touring, playing and protesting have given Dave Randall a unique insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. This is a book of raves, riots and revolution. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?
Here We Stand : Women Changing the World edited by Helena Earnshaw and Angharad Penrhyn Jones
WINNER OF THE 2015 BREAD AND ROSES AWARD FOR RADICAL PUBLISHING
SELECTED BY NATALIE BENNETT AS HER BEST BOOK OF 2015 IN RESURGENCE MAGAZINE
Through a series of interviews and articles, 17 key British women campaigners talk intimately about the difficult and exhilarating nature of their work.
These women are dreaming of a better world. But they are not just dreamers. They have organised, marched on the streets, joined protest camps, opened refuges, blogged from war zones, and smashed up military equipment. They have gone undercover, lived in trees, stormed Parliament, and taken on the world’s
largest corporations. They have been sacked, attacked, psychologically abused, jailed, shot at, sued, deceived by police spies, and even disowned by their families. But still they keep dreaming; still they march on. And they are changing history. These original testimonies are uplifting, shocking and moving. They will rouse you, and encourage you to ask for more.
Contributors include: Franny Armstrong, Zoe Broughton, Skye Chirape, Eileen Chubb, Liz Crow, Kate Evans, Zita Holbourne, Shauneen Lambe, Sharyn Lock, Emma Must, Jasvinder Sanghera, Mary Sharkey, Helen Steel, Angharad Tomos, Anuradha Vittachi, Jo Wilding, Angie Zelter.
Originally published by Honno Press.
CUT OUT: Living Without Welfare by Jeremy Seabrook
Britain’s welfare state, one of the greatest achievements of our post-war reconstruction, was regarded as the cornerstone of modern society. Today, that cornerstone is wilfully being dismantled by a succession of governments, with horrifying consequences. The establishment paints pictures of so-called benefit scroungers: the disabled, the sickly and he old.
In Cut Out, Jeremy Seabrook speaks to people whose support from the state – for whatever reason – is now being withdrawn, rendering their lives unsustainable. In turns disturbing, eye-opening, and ultimately humanistic, these accounts reveal the reality behind the headlines, and the true nature of British politics today.
Jeremy Seabrook is a journalist and writer. He has written for the New Statesman, Guardian, Times and Independent. He writes plays for stage and TV and is the author of numerous books including Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain (Hurst, 2013) and The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh (Hurst, 2015).
THE RENT TRAP: How We Fell into It and How We Get Out of It
by Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker
Deregulation, revenge evictions, parliamentary corruption and day-to-day instability: these are the realities for the nine million people currently renting privately in the UK. At the same time, house prices are skyrocketing and the generational promise of homeownership is now an impossib
le dream for many.
This is the rent trap, an inescapable consequence of free market-induced inequality. 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. In the light of these hurdles The Rent Trap shows how people are starting to fight back.
Drawing on inspiration from movements in the UK, Europe and further afield, The Rent Trap coheres current experiences of those fighting the financial burdens, health risks and vicious behaviour of landlords in an attempt to put an end to the dominant narratives that normalise rent extraction and undermine our fundamental rights.
Samir Jeraj is a journalist who specialises in housing and who previously worked as a city councilor. His work has appeared in the Guardian, New Statesman and New Internationalist. He has carried out investigations on the bedroom tax, crisis financial support and drone warfare.
Rosie Walker was a journalist for ten years before turning to social policy research. She has written about education for the Independent, Red Pepper and The Big Issue, and she has worked as a press officer for War on Want.
BEING RED: A Politics for the Future by Ken Livingstone
How should the left govern? In the wake of a huge surge of interest in the Labour Party, Ken Livingstone serves up an insider’s account of the party and its future, at a pivotal moment in its history.
At a time when many are now looking to
revive Labour’s potential, Livingstone has form. His account takes us from the self-proclaimed ‘radical socialism’ of the Greater London Council, to his controversial independent candidacy that saw him branded as ‘dangerous’ by the Blairites, to the political battles against privatisation and pollution that characterised his time as Mayor. At each point he suggests possible lessons for those who would seek to follow, or improve, on his achievements today.
Following Livingstone’s years at the head of the GLC, his two terms as London Mayor, and the head to head sparring with Boris Johnson, Being Red offers a clear-sighted study of the left’s possibilities and limitations, with reflections on the current state of the Labour Party and a look into its future.
Ken Livingstone is a British politician who has twice held the leading political role in London regional government. He served as the Leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until the Council was abolished in 1986, and then as the first elected Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008. He also served as MP for Brent East from 1987 to 2001. His autobiography, You Can’t Say That, was published by Faber & Faber in 2011.
SYRIZA: Inside the Labyrinth
by Kevin Ovenden
The world’s eyes are on Greece while the left’s hopes hang in the balance. If we are to understand the full ramifications of the ascent of Syriza, we need context. In Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth, 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.
Explaining the origins of the turbulent nature of Greek politics, the book provides an overview of the birth of the Communist and workers’ movements through occupation, civil war, military coup, and the rise and fall of Pasok. It discusses the persistence of radical anti-capitalist forces in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to Greece’s confrontation today with ‘Merkelism’ and the crushing demands of the Troika.
Ovenden also examines the country’s history of far right movements, focusing on the nexus between Golden Dawn, the ‘deep state’ and the traditional right. With imminent political ruptures in mind, he investigates the structure and prospects of Syriza and its key components.
Taking time to reflect on the powerful moment in January 2015, the book then concludes with strategic questions of where to go from here. 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.
Kevin Ovenden is a long-standing progressive journalist, writer and activist who has followed Greece’s politics and social movements for twenty-five years. A leading activist in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, he led five successful aid convoys to break the siege on Gaza, and was aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship when Israeli commandoes boarded it killing ten people in May 2010.