Book Review Archive
June 11th, 2006, v5 #7
100 YEARS OF PERMANENT REVOLUTION:
Results and Prospects
Edited by Bill Dunn and Hugo Radice May 2006/ 264pp/ HB £60.00 / $90.00 / 90.00 / 074532522X One hundred years on from their first appearance in Leon Trotsky's Results and Prospects, this is a critical re-evaluation of two key Marxist theories: uneven and combined development, and permanent revolution. It brings together a formidable array of Marxist intellectuals from across the world including Daniel Bensaid, Michael LΓΆwy, Hillel Ticktin and Patrick Bond.
Marx saw societies progressing through distinct historical stages - feudal, bourgeois and communist. Trotsky advanced this model by considering how countries at different stages of development influence each other. Developed countries colonise less developed countries and exploit their people and resources. Elsewhere, even as many were kept in poverty, the influence of foreign capital and state-led industrialisation produced novel economic forms and prospects for political alliances and change. The contributors show how, 100 years on from its original publication, Trotsky's theories are hugely useful for understanding today's globalised economy, dominated by US imperialism. The book makes an ideal introduction to Trosky's thinking, and is ideal for students of political theory and development economics.
Bill Dunn is a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Global Restructuring and the Power of Labour (Palgrave, 2004).
Hugo Radice is head of the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds. His latest book Political Economy of Global Capitalism is due to be published in December 2005.
ZAPATISTAS: The Chiapas Revolt and What it Means for Radical Politics
By Mihalis Mentinis April 2006/ 224pp/ PB £18.99 / $29.95 / 074532486X The Zapatista Army for National Liberation burst onto the world stage on 1 January 1994 when Zapatista commander Subcomandante Marcos announced a revolution, and declared war on the Mexican government and global capitalism.
Since then, the Zapatistas have inspired thousands of activists across the world. They have attracted much attention from political theorists and analysts. Despite this, there is little consensus about the real nature and efficacy of the movement.
Zapatistas provides a bold new approach to understanding the insurrection. Mentinis spent nine months visiting the Zapatista autonomous zone, and the result is this unique exploration of the indigenous political theory emerging within the movement. Combining this with an analysis of the integrity of the Zaptista project, Mentinis draws on the concept of the 'event' from Badiou, ideas from Situationism, the 'project of autonomy' of Cornelius Castoriadis and the 'constituent power' of Antonio Negri, to present a rigourous account of the movement and the impact it has had on radical political theory.
Mihalis Mentinis is a researcher in the discourse unit at Manchester Metropolitan University. His main interest and previous publications concern radical politics and revolutionary subjectivities. Zapatistas is his first book.
7/7: The London Bombings, Islam and the Iraq War
By Milan Rai February 2006 / 208pp/ PB £11.99 / $18.95 / 0745325637 'This book inspired me and other survivors of July 7th. Understanding what happened and why is essential for healing and allows us to move forward. I urge all those committed to hope, healing and peaceful resolution of conflict to read what Milan has written.' - Rachel North, writer and 7/7 survivor
'A penetrating and timely analysis that deserves the attention of all sides.' - Ziauddin Sardar, journalist and author of What Do Muslims Believe? and Why Do People Hate America?
'Powerful, persuasive and very readable. Seeking the real explanation for [the July bombings, Rai] completely destroys the illusion that they had nothing to do with aggression against Iraq. ... This is a book that everyone with a serious interest in the crisis we face must read if they hope to understand it, its causes, its effects, and how we might resolve it.' - Tony Benn
This is the book Tony Blair doesn't want you to read about 7/7.
In February 2003, Tony Blair was warned by British intelligence that the invasion of Iraq would 'heighten' the risk of terrorism in Britain.
In July 2005, al-Qaeda struck in the heart of London. Despite the British Government's increasingly desperate attempts at denial, polls show that an overwhelming majority of people in Britain are convinced that there is a connection between the London bombings and the war on Iraq. A majority of Britons fault Tony Blair himself.
Using secret government documents declassified since the bombings, and leaks from British intelligence, Milan Rai exposes official deceit at the highest levels, and establishes the crucial role of British foreign policy in generating a home-grown version of al-Qaeda. Rai shows how an official report drawn up by the Home Office and Foreign Office in early 2004 identified 'foreign policy' - and the war in Iraq in particular - as a major cause of alienation among young British Muslims.
Examining the backgrounds of the 7/7 bombers, Milan Rai demonstrates that Islam is not to blame. Most importantly, the book shows us how to make sure that this never happens again - and offers brief obituaries for the 52 people who lost their lives that day.
Milan Rai founded the British branch of Voices in the Wilderness and co-founded the anti-war group ARROW, a London-based direct action and anti-war information group, and its successor organisation, Justice Not Vengeance. His three previous books are War Plan Iraq: 10 Reasons Against War with Iraq, Regime Unchanged [both Pluto] and Chomsky's Politics [Verso]. In 1993 he was awarded the Frank Cousins Peace Award for Research by the Transport and General Workers' Union.
BlueGreenEarth will be reviewing both Regime Unchanged and 7/7 in a future issue.
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