Peter Mair's superb short book Ruling the Void is rightly regarded as the
essential text on the subject of disaffection with mainstream politics.
The brilliant Inventing the Future describes a post capitalist politics that
understands social, economic and culturalchange without being seduced by it.
But for a single volume to provide both a compelling read and more than enough
new thinking to write the next Labour Manifesto look no further than Paul
Mason's outstanding Postcapitalism : A Guide To Our Future .
Two of Danny Dorling's classic works have now been fully revised as post-election editions. Injustice : Why Social Inequality Still Persists and Inequality and the 1% are essential reads for a politics to make a difference. Gabriel Zucman's new book The Hidden Wealth of Nations is set to be a key text on tax havens. The closest thing yet to what is already being dubbed 'Corbynomics' are the ideas of Richard Murphy. Handily his new book is out with surely the best title of the quarter The Joy of Tax.
Andy Beckett's Promised You A Miracle charts the Left's failure not only to combat Thatcherism but even to begin to comprehend the challenge its brutal originality posed. Kevin Ovenden provides radical reportage with a style that fizzes with excitement. His first book Syriza : Inside the Labyrinth reveals an important new voice and leaves the reader wanting to know when his next book will be out.
Don't be fooled by the lighthearted tone David Boyle adopts in his magnificent book How To Be English this is a richly incisive book to help address what kind of mix a hegemonic English progressivism might end up looking like. Satman Virdee's Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider is an academic book that not only engages with a wider public but also provides a sharp campaigning edge to the analysis.
Robert Gildea's gargantuan account Fighters in the Shadows is one very useful way of appreciating WW2 as an anti-fascist war in which popular resistance played a not inconsiderable role. Fighting On All Fronts edited by Donny Gluckstein magnificently extends this critical point to champion resistance movements of Algeria, Slovakia, Burma and the Philppines as well as internal oppositions in Ireland, Australia, Japan and elsewhere.
The recently re-issued From Serfdom to Socialism by Keir Hardie is an excellent book by Labour's first leader while John Newsinger's Them and Us is a very useful pocket guide to the momentous period, 1910-1939, in which the British Labour tradition was more or less founded.
The latest edition of the journal Twentieth Century Communism chronicles the imaginative diversity of a political culture framed by communist ideals from France in the 1930s to Germany in the 1960s via music , Eurocommunism and street-fighting protest. From Kirstin Ross Communal Luxury recounts both the impetus behind the Paris Commune of 1871 but also its enduring inspiration today. Owen Hatherley's Landscapes of Communism is aptly subtitled as ' a history through buildings' part travelogue, part ideologue. A welcome new edition of Roger Simon's Gramsci's Political Thought has just been published, without much doubt the best introduction to Gramsci and excellent timing for the Left revival. Nicholas Deakin has edited a most interesting collection, Radiant Illusion? tracing the history and experience of middle class recruits to the British Communist Party in the 1930s.Geoff Andrews' magnificent The Shadow Man covers similar ground while focussing on a single individual, James Klugmann, a key figure in the British Communist Party's political development both in the inter-war years and post-war too.
The latest book from Neil Davidson We Cannot Escape From History reveals a writer never shy to polemicise yet with a turn of political phrase that has the capacity to persuade too.
For a model of how the utilitarianism of fast food needn't be an excuse for poor nutritional value the pocket-sized edition of Leon Lunchbox is an excellent starting point. Gizzi's Healthy Appetite gives readers an idea of the potential that nutritional recipes can save to inspire in and out of the kitchen.
Jessica Lahey's The Gift of Failure carefully and sensitively seeks to deconstruct the modern cult of over-parenting towards a childhood founded on the right to take risks and make mistakes. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweller and The Secrets of the Wild Wood are two childrens's books from the always impressive Pushkin Press who positively celebrate risk-taking, magical or real.
The reissuing and updating of Roger Berry's The Writing on the Wall originally published in 1976 is a book of great photos of 1970s political graffiti and the environment out of which it emerged. Michael Rosen's latest collection Don't Mention the Children reminds us that whatever the age-group Michael's combination of wit, passion and idealism is absolutely captivating.
Elvis Costello is an artist whose music has absolutely stood the test of time, his musical journey beautifully recorded via prose just as good as his tunes in his autobiography Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. Elvis Costello, The Clash, Steel Pulse, Misty and Roots, Tom Robinson Band, and more, these were the stalwarts of Rock against Racism, and now given a superb visual history via the Rock against Racism book featuring the work of photographer Syd Shelton.
Bernard Wolfe's novel manages to turn Trotsky's assassination into a powerfully written thriller, The Great Prince Died. Linda Grant revisits more recent history for her novel Upstairs at the Party , the student radicalism of the 1970s.
A politics that is a pleasure to be a part of, enjoyable and entertaining, the value of a good laugh. There are precious few spaces that combine all that. Any time spent with Mark Thomas certainly will, on TV, live or by reading his new book 100 Acts of Minor Dissent.
Our book of the quarter combines a similar mix. The most important new voice of comedy and writing of the past few years Bridget Christie, her new book A Book For Her is a riot of a good read.
Note:No links in this review are to Amazon, if you can avoid purchasing from tax-dodger please do so.
Mark Perryman is the co-founder of the self-styled 'sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction', akaPhilosophy Football