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Red Dawn: On China Miéville’s Urgent Retelling of the Russian Revolution

Alci Rengifo Los Angeles Review of Books
China Miéville looks at the Revolution as a hopeful flashpoint that briefly showed the promise of socialist transformation, before descending first into an authoritarian nightmare and then today's corrupt capitalism. Written with an urgency designed for our era of struggle absent clear political ideologies or unified mass socialist organizations, Mieville focuses on the revolutionary moment, using his skill as a story teller to see the participants in real time.

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The Sense of Art: In Memoriam John Berger

Mike Gonzalez International Socialism
British artist, novelist, prodigious essayist and poet John Berger, best known for her magisterial and approachable Ways of Seeing and who died in January, is remembered here for his radical approach to Art, when it functions to make sense of what life’s brutalities cannot, when it becomes a meeting place of the invisible, the irreducible, the enduring, what Berger called guts and honor.

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Freestyle Marxism

Max Holleran The New Republic
This new collection of essays offers an interesting glimpse into the work of this consistently interesting Marxist thinker and cultural critic.

Why Millennials Aren't Afraid of Socialism

Julia Mead The Nation
It's an old idea, but the people who will make it happen are young - and tired of the unequal world they've inherited. I will come of age in the era of Trump. It's a bleak generational landmark, but ideological capitulation and despair are not the answer. In the 1930s and 1940s, many of the most dedicated antifascists were communists. The antidote to radical exploitation and exclusion is radical egalitarianism and inclusion.

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Antonio Gramsci Jr: On Remembering His Grandfather

Antonio Gramsci, Jr. New Left Review
Through the use of family archives and other new sources, the grandson of Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci seeks to reconstruct the cultural and political saliance of his grandfather's contributions to building and defending the Italian working class movement and international socialism in the face of Stalinist distortions, capitalist enmity and today's reactionary Russian regime.

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5 Novels Every Revolutionary Should Read

John Rees Counterfire
John Rees, author of The Leveller Revolution: Radical Political Organization in England 1640-1650, (Verso, 2016; reviewed in Portside Culture, November 30, 2016) weighs in with his recommendations about some of the best fiction in English dealing with radical movements and the revolutionary experience.

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Does Gareth Stedman Jones Inflate or Deflate Marx's Heritage?

Alex Callinicos International Socialism
The reviewer faults the book's author for deflating both Marx's and the author's own earlier stance as a creative British Marxist historian of the working class. While the reviewer grants that Jones offers solid accounts of developments in the British working class movement and in European radical politics that made the First International possible, he faults Jones for relying on a narrow reading of Marx's political economy at the expense of its revolutionary core.
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