Issue section: Reviews

Reviews

Dark Satanic Mills

A review of Josh Freeman’s history of factories.

The Farm Equipment Workers

A History of Radical Labor

A review of Toni Gilpin’s history of labor struggles in the American heartland.

Theory in Revolutionary Times

The Socialist Register Since the 1960s

A review of a collection of articles from the early years of The Socialist Register.

Analyzing the Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto never seems to go out of style for very long.

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The Democratic Quest: Marxism Versus Liberalism

In a recent interview for the Minneapolis Interview Project, August Nimtz asserted that “to exercise political power, we must impose our will through collective action.”* In his new work, Nimtz says much the same when he writes, “If . . .

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The Case for Socialism

From a Management Scholar

Various books have been published in the last few years that make a case for a transition to socialism. This one has a special “edge”: it’s written by the Harold Quinton chair of business policy, and professor of . . .

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Questions for the International Left

In anxious anticipation of the Brexit referendum, then U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron summed up the philosophy of politics that drives him and so many who occupy the command posts of power: “I divide the world into team . . .

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The AFL-CIO’s Cold War

The Cold War was the period in the twentieth century, approximately between 1946 and 1991, where world politics were dominated by the confrontation between two blocs of states, led respectively by the United States and the Soviet Union. . . .

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A Radical New Politics of Surrogacy?

Sophie Lewis’ new book Full Surrogacy Now, published by Verso, has gotten a lot of attention in left media circles. Lewis was interviewed on Jacobin Radio’s The Dig Read more ›

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Learning from the “Red State” Walkouts

Red State Revolt is based on Eric Blanc’s “on the ground” reporting for Jacobin on the 2018 walkouts of education workers in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Arizona. He aims to tell the stories of the walkouts . . .

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Socialist Meaning in Feminist Mobilizations

Feminism for the 99% calls attention to women’s mobilizations that are sweeping the world and argues for their revolutionary, anti-capitalist potential. At the same time, this compelling homage to the Communist Manifesto flips the focus from a classic notion of . . .

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Why We Need Socialist Disability Theory and Critical Disability Socialism

The modern concept of disability—indeed, the conception of disability itself, as there was no identical concept before modern times—is a by-product of capitalism. Capitalism spawns disability both as the primary producer of impairment (through industrial workplace accidents, the physical and . . .

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Anarchists of Connecticut

The complex history of working-class anarchism and syndicalism in the United States has been understudied. A good part of the problem is language. German, Spanish, Finnish, and Yiddish sources have been utilized by a handful of scholars, but mostly decades . . .

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Remembering the English Revolution

In 1649, a pamphlet titled Tyranipocrit Discovered was published in Rotterdam. Fusing the terms “tyrant” and “hypocrite,” the anonymous author called for an end to economic, religious, and political oppression in England.

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From Marx to Ecosocialism

There is a growing body of ecomarxist and ecosocialist literature in the English-speaking world, which signals the beginning of a significant turn in radical thinking.

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An Economist’s Case for Socialism

It is all too rare that an economist makes the case: socialism or barbarism. Or, in Alan Nasser’s more piquant alternatives, socialism or fascism. Economics is a hedging profession of carefully detailed countervailing forces and measured equivocation. Even the seemingly . . .

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What I Saw at the (Political) Revolution

ImageThis memoir of sorts by Fordham University sociology professor Heather Gautney, who became a policy fellow in Bernie Sanders’ Washington DC office and a volunteer researcher and organizer for his unexpectedly popular 2016 presidential campaign, has a very specific focus: to “offer insights from up-close work with Bernie, mixed in with historical and sociological analysis, to perform an autopsy of the 2016 election” (2). Given the sheer number of insightless (to put it mildly) autopsies that have been proffered across the political spectrum—perhaps none more useless than Hillary Clinton’s own What Happened (Simon & Schuster, 2017)—Gautney’s book is more than welcome and even slightly overdue.

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Radical America

Why the United States has not developed a permanent socialist movement has perplexed activists and theorists for more than a century. Paul Le Blanc takes up that query as an activist who wants to see an anti-capitalism mass movement take shape in twenty-first century America. To that end, he investigates some of the moments when the possibility of a significant left presence in the United States seemed at hand. He focuses on what made those movements viable and what thwarted their long-term success. The volume’s fourteen essays were written over a period of thirty years, from 1986 to 2015.

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Labor and the South

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More than a hundred years ago, the muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair worked undercover for several weeks in the cattle slaughterhouses of Chicago. The result was his melodramatic but revelatory novel The Jungle, a work Jack London called the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin of wage slavery.” Sinclair’s narrative depicted the brutal working conditions endured by East European immigrants on the killing floor, engaging in back-breaking, dangerous, and tedious labor for subsistence wages.

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Class DOES Matter

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Steve Fraser is a weathered veteran of the New Left and many subsequent movements, author of shrewd books on the acquisitive ruling class and also of the outstanding biography of famed left-leaning labor giant Sidney Hillman, among other works. Here he once again ranges far, but also comes close to home, his own personal home space. 

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Comic Art in the Academy

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The closing of the era when comic art specialists, not people with PhDs, wrote the outstanding and recognized works on individual artists and genres may have arrived as recently as only a few years ago. Careful biographies of artistic giants, household names (in their own eras, at least) or famed only within the field, Al Capp or Will Elder, have continued to be written by people who could rightly be called “fans”—if the title did not seem insulting. Rather than university presses, Fantagraphics or the comics series at Abrams would be a typical outlet. With each year that passes and with each swelling enrollment in a college course, the scene shifts.

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