Reading List
Libertarian Left

Under capitalism, man exploits man.
Under communism, it’s just the opposite. J.K.Galbraith

The Covid Consensus: The New Politics of Global Inequality

Toby Green
Since the onset of the pandemic, progressive opinion has been clear that hard lockdowns are the best way to preserve life, while only irresponsible and destructive conservatives like Trump and Bolsonaro oppose them. But why should liberals favour lockdowns, when all the social science research shows that those who suffer most are the economically disadvantaged?

The Rise of Thomas Paine: and The Case of the Officers of Excise

Paul Myles
The story of the least-known yet most colourful and internationally influential of the US founding fathers

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?

Michael J.Sandel
One of the world’s most popular philosophers writes that to overcome the polarised politics of our time, we must rethink our narrow attitudes towards ‘success’ that impact so negatively on those left behind

Race Matters

Cornel West
The 25th anniversary edition of the controversial philosopher’s ground-breaking classic

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Shashi Tharoor
In the 18th century, India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947 it had decreased six-fold. Tharoor holds that India was Britain’s biggest cash cow, and that Indians literally paid for their own oppression

Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump and the Politics of Appeasement

Paul Street
Traces the culpability of the Democrats in the rise of Trump

No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics

Naomi Klein
An ordinary thinking person’s guide to hope. A best-selling blueprint for a world-wide counter-attack

Against Charity

Daniel Raventós and Julie Wark
Arguing that all the profits resulting from a weak US labour movement, lower taxes and taxes havens allow the global élite to remake the world in their own image, with mean-spiritedness masquerading as charity; a modern day version of 19th century charity aimed at keeping wealth and power in a few hands

America: The Farewell Tour

Chris Hedges
A requiem for the American dream, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World

William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi
This book proposes a comprehensive and feasible strategy for revitalising progressive economics

How Fascism Works

Jason Stanley
Yale Professor of Philosophy, Jason King, has written a fascinating and ground-breaking analysis of fascism — a much used and frequently misunderstood word. A worthy successor to his earlier book, How Propaganda Works, both of which have been widely praised by reviewers

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

David Graeber
Despite late 20th Century predictions, average working hours have actually increased. Across the developed world, three quarters of all jobs are in services, finances or admin . Most of them are pointless, according to the late author. He was a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

Acts of Resistance

Pierre Bourdieu
One of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed social scientists steps into the political arena to attack the dismantling of public welfare in the name of globalisation

Resisting Illegitimate Authority

Bruce Levine
A clinical psychologist and social critic dissects authoritarianism from a left perspective


Michael Hudson
A dictionary of junk economics — and what the Wall Street buzzwords really mean

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else

James Meek
A devastating account of the privatisation dogma of the past 25 years … As demolition jobs go, this can hardly be bettered — John Kampfner, Observer

The Establishment: And how they get away with it

Owen Jones
A forensic critique of the political, economic and social forces that have benefitted the few at the expense of the many

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Piketty
A sweeping meditation on the massive inequality in contemporary capitalism, and widespread indifference to its implications

A Peoples’ History of the United States

Howard Zinn
History told from the perspective of the common people — and the difference makes riveting reading

The hijacking of Jesus: How the Religious Right Distorts Christianity and Promotes Prejudice and Hate

Dan Wakefield
Reclaiming the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount

On Western Terrorism: from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare

Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek
The world-renowned dissenting intellectual discusses western power and propaganda

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges of US Empire

Noam Chomsky
A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times

Culture and Imperialism

Edward Said
Landmark work on the largely overlooked connection between western imperial endeavour and the culture that reinforces it

Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures

Edward Said
A sweeping series of essays exploring the intellectual’s age-old responsibility to remain a dissenter

With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Justice and Protect the Powerful

Glenn Greenwald
Scathing critique from the journalist who revealed the NSA spying programmes

The Spirit Level

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Well researched and widely-acclaimed book that argues that inequality is at the roots of many of society’s ills

The Inner Level

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett follow up with an engrossing exploration of how inequality affects us individually, altering how we think, feel and behave. Why, they ask, is mental illness three times as common in the USA as in Germany?

Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul

Gary Weiss
Critical analysis of an American cultural phenomenon

The Last Professors

Frank Donoghue
On the corporatisation of universities and the consequent neglect of the humanities

The Age of American Unreason

Susan Jacoby
Holds that American culture has dumbed down, resulting in a growing contempt for reason and reality

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