*The Great U75 Politics Reading List Thread.

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Idris2002, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    Another request - Colombia. I'm interested in it from a political economy (development) perspective really but stuff on the history of the FARC and civil conflict would be good too. Especially keen to read Marxist analyses of the country. Are there any particular writers I should look out for?
  2. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

  3. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

  4. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

  5. Dr Jon

    Dr Jon so many beers, too little time Banned

  6. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

  7. Idris2002

    Idris2002 put humans in tube

  8. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    Just finished the brilliant Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Age by Ellen Meisksins Wood. Extremely well written.

    Has anyone read Hugh Purcell's autobiography of Tom Wintringham? (butchersapron, SpineyNorman, Random )? I've seen a load of reduced copies, is it worth picking one up?
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  9. maya

    maya timewasting fool (in every universe)

    Among the few but important books which genuinely influenced me and shaped my way of thinking and values later in life, were the 'Katitzi' books by swedish roma author Katarina Taikon, which I discovered by chance at the local library one rainy day when I was about six. I read every book in the series I could get my hands on, and when I'd finished reading them, I read them again. And told everyone I knew about them.

    These books were published in the 1960s and 70s, and although published as fiction are mainly an autobiographical ('Katitzi' means 'little Katarina') account of her childhood life and the tribulations and experiences travelling around Sweden with her gypsy family [in the 1930s-50s? i think?] and the difficulties and discrimination they face but also some of the fun things and good things they encounter- their band play at funfairs and markets and they have many happy moments in their life too, although things are hard for them.

    The books are written in a very easy to read, simple language (Taikon herself only got 2 years of school as a child, first because nobody wanted them at their school, then when finally they found a friendly teacher who offered them a place at the local school, they had to quit after two years because the locals complained and didn't want them in class with their own children... Yet still she managed to write these books, handle the media fame that followed, and get a better life for herself and her kids, although she never stopped her campaigning to improve the living conditions for the rest of 'her people' she kind of felt that she left behind when she married a swede and got a comfortable life in the end).

    Although the language is deceptively simple, it's still an engaging read. As a young girl it's easy to indentify with the cocky, fearless Katitzi and her curiosity and adventourousness and lust for life, but also (and crucially) you identify with the injustice and unfairness at times when she encounters discrimination or are treated wrongly in other ways (such as when the 'aunt' keeps punishing her and abusing her, making her work her arse off for the family while treating her 'own' children as royalty... or when she encounters racism and predudices in any way, that really gets to you)

    And many of the things described still resonate with me:

    How she finally got back to her family in the first book as a young child after years of being forced to live in an orphanage...

    how her bitter swedish stepmum took out her anger over the discrimination and squalor she had to put up with on her stepkids and kept treating her like shit, beating her and whipping her with electric cables in anger until her dad found out and put an end to it...

    how this 'aunt'(the kids' nickname for their stepmother)'s own baby froze to death one day in their tent because the winter was so cold and they couldn't heat the room properly...

    how they were constantly forced to move from place to place because people didn't want them to camp on their land and stay there permanently although they often wanted to...

    how her beloved big brother Paul was murdered by a racist...

    And the thing is- These weren't made-up stories, these things really happened in her life... These stories were true.

    And they learned me something... I swore never to treat anyone else differently just because the way they looked, seemed or because they were different from me in any way... That you should fight actively against discrimination and oppression until every people are treated equally in this society and nobody are seen as 'less' worth than anyone else just because the way they happened to be born... And that even tiny little girls can help change things, if they just work hard enough and make people listen.

    ... And how did it go? Katitzi herself grew up, became an author (despite only 2 years of school as a child), became famous in Sweden, married a swede and got a pretty comfortable life but never forgot her background and kept fighting all her life for the rights of the Roma people and to improve their conditions. Katarina's big sister Rosa, who learned the traditional craft of their family and became a silversmith, was the first Roma ever to be accepted into the Swedish Art Academy (Konstfack), and at the age of 90-something still works as a silversmith today.

    My wish would be that these books could be translated into other european languages, as if you give these books to children at a young age and make them read Katitzi's story, they perhaps naturally will understand that racism and discrimination of any kind is a bad thing, and that Katitzi was not 'just' a roma girl, but a little girl like everyone else and that she were just like you and me... And once you understand that, you'll never treat all the other Katitzi's in this world any differently because you see that we are all humans in this world, and we are all the same and we deserve the same.

    That's what Katitzi taught me...

    Katarina Taikon-Langhammer, née Taikon (1932- 1995), rest in peace.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  10. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    I've just finished Christopher Clark's "The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914", which gives a decent "alternative" analysis (i.e. different from the usual "evil Germany and vindictive Austro-Hungarians" sophomoric bullshit peddled in schools), mostly centred on how and why politics failed/allowed war to happen. Not as interesting or jaw-dropping as Annika Mombauer's "The Causes of the First World War: Controversies and Consensus", but interesting nonetheless.
  11. Idris2002

    Idris2002 put humans in tube

    A very good book. The stuff on how Serbia repressed ethnic minorities in the territories it was carving out of the Ottoman empire was especially interesting. I was surprised, though, that it didn't engage directly with the Fischer thesis, a home-grown "German imperialism" explanation of the war, written by the eponymous German historian.
  12. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Would people be interested in a similar thread dedicated to videos of lectures and talks on here? Might be useful..
    Doctor Carrot and shifting gears like this.
  13. shifting gears

    shifting gears Well-Known Member

    I certainly would, I'm always scratching round YouTube for that type of thing... Invariably end up with Chomsky and could do with some fresh ideas.
    Doctor Carrot and CNT36 like this.
  14. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Yes, go for it.
  15. CNT36

    CNT36 Not carbon nano tubes

    I just ended up here using the search function to find such a thread. MP3'S are good as they can be listened to at work with out worries about signal and the like.
  16. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Is that you nomoney?
  17. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    maybe not as much of a brownie point as summit obscure by Trotsky or vol. 5 of the collected specches of Ceaucescu ( and I do have this one but hardly read ), but am reading " a very british strike" by Anne Perkins,'s about the general strike.not full of quips or killer lines, but a fantastic scene setting read - fascinating see how much everyone seemed to fear a revolution of the time of the Zinovoev letter.And that cunt Churchill doesnt come across too well either.
  18. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Does anyone have anything that might help in understanding why Mitterand's government failed?
  19. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    I've been reading some of the stuff by Harry Cleaver that butchersapron recommended and he makes reference in one of them to the theory of the 'social factory' as an (I assume autonomist) alternative to Gramscian theories of hegemony where class conflicts - rather than being overcome (however temporarily) - permiate everything. I like the sound of it as a way of integrating unwaged people and non-wage labour activities into an analysis of the circuit of capital so I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for further reading?
  20. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    No really been any book length stuff on it, it just sort of forms the background to autonomist thought - the key texts are the tronti stuff from the mid 60s - the strategy of refusal and social capital. I put both these on line years ago (i have to go out for 15 minutes, will link to them if no one else does so when i'm out).
    SpineyNorman likes this.
  21. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    chilango, J Ed and SpineyNorman like this.
  22. Limerick Red

    Limerick Red Мы вас похороним!

    Shit! just read through this entire thread and theres some really excellent recomendations on here. I have written down about 20 books, Im definitely going to read in the next few months.

    Recommendation wise:
    A book I would love to re-read but have lost me copy:

    Republican Voices by Kevin Bean and Mark Hayes.

    This is a fantastic book of discussion with 6 provisional volunteers about their personal struggle as well as "the struggle" over the last 30 years,
    written in 2001, around the time of the "peace process" and sums up what alot of Republican mates/comrades/acquaintances at the time were thinking.
    Found a quote online from The Dark thats in the book.
    Used to be available via Forthwrite (republican socialist writer group) not sure if it still is. But a fantastic read.
  23. revol68

    revol68 what, fucking what?

    Reading too many different things at once.

    Racecraft which is an interesting take on how racism is naturalised, heard about it on here from Butcher's so cheers. Been cheating on it with Wood's Origin of Capitalism which was recommended by oisleep, really good and forced a rethink on many assumptions about modernity and the bourgeois state.
    Also reading through the Endnotes 1 debate between Dauve and Endnotes/TheorieCommuniste whilst I wait on Endnotes 3 to finally arrive.
    Oh and Pristine Culture of Capitalism is about to get stuck into once I finish off the last chapter of Origin of Capitalism, it's Wood again but this time focussing on the origin of the modern "rational" state and debates around whether Britain's early development of capitalism has created a undeveloped capitalist state or rather the rational centralised bourgeois states of say France and Germany are actually pre modern/capitalist formulations.
    CNT36 likes this.
  24. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    We (i,e posters not just me and you) had a good exchange about the idea of the bourgeois revolution a few years back - be interesting to revisit it when you're finished with the Woods.
  25. revol68

    revol68 what, fucking what?

    Yeah, it's funny because reading it took be back to my French Revolution A level and trying to square the standard french Marxist take of the bourgeois revolution with the fact it appeared to hinder the development of capitalism until Napoleon.

    You any thoughts on Endnotes?
  26. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Yeah. Interesting stuff/nice people but just utterly irrelevant to me. And it seems the whole point of their aufheben split was to close off non-phds. Phds in work are cool and writing about it. Work itself. Not so. It sort of reads like cult tracts.
  27. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Analysis has been replaced by free floating rhetoric and self-enclosed axioms.
  28. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Tronti on Negri:

  29. revol68

    revol68 what, fucking what?

    I found the 1st one interesting, though endnotes/tc are a bit too determinist for my liking, whilst Dauve and co rightfully reject that but go too far, both however leave little space for historical factors and contingencies external to workers movements, Endnotes/TC fixated on the workers movement coming up against it's own limits (historical determined) whereas Dauve and co see the failings stemming from subjective shortcomings.
  30. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    End Communist notes will come up with a 196 page book overcoming both problems don't worry. It's what these people do.

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