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Left Book Club re-launch planned for autumn with first book on Syriza

OvendenFormer London mayor Ken Livingstone is among a string of authors set to be published by a new Left Book Club, which launches this autumn.

A collective of writers, activists and academics have been working on the project with the radical publisher Pluto Press. The project aims to emulate the original 1936-1948 club in provoking thought and debate on the left. Subscribers will pay £40 a year for four (mainly original) books in addition to access to exclusive events, a newsletter and an online discussion forum. The first book, planned for the Autumn, will be Kevin Ovenden’s Syriza: Escaping the Labyrinth, an up-to-date guide to the party’s rise and its struggles in office. Its foreword will be penned by Channel 4 News economics editor Paul Mason.

The book will be followed in 2016 with The Rent Trap, a book on the housing crisis by Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker, and the award winning Here We Stand: Women Changing The World, edited by Helena Earnshaw and Angharad Penrhyn Jones. Books by Mr Livingstone on the mayoral elections and Jeremy Seabrook on austerity are set to follow.

In today’s Morning Star, the case for the new LBC is set out by Anna Minton, the author of Ground Control, the seminal book exposing the privatisation of public space in British cities, and Star industrial reporter Conrad Landin.

They write:

The past few months have seen politics invigorated on a scale not seen for generations. We’re seeing it in the destruction of Greece and the collapse of EU democracy, and in the surge in support for left-wing Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn. In spite of this, the institutions of “official” politics are remarkably bereft of thinking. Just look back to the dreary state of the Labour leadership election before Corbyn’s entry. It would be laughable to even ask which theorists or thinkers have inspired Liz Kendall’s programme.

And even on the fringes, how often is there an opportunity to stop and think? Social media makes it all the more exciting to follow events as they unfold, but too often we end up with an incomplete patchwork of the facts. How can we possibly even understand an analysis, let alone develop one ourselves? In this political climate, the rebirth of the Left Book Club could not be more timely or more vital.

Initial supporters of the project include the writer and mythographer Marina Warner, the poet Heathcote Williams and the comedian Kate Smurthwaite. Launch events are planned for the autumn, and you can sign up to the Left Book Club here.



  1. David Ellis says:

    A whole book on Syriza. A paragraph or a footnote would suffice:

    They came, they saw, they capitulated.

  2. mark hogson says:

    The mistake of Syriza was that he did not believe that the IMF or the EU CB would let a nation starve to death. He should have known that this is precisely what they specialize in and have done just this in many nations around the world, although Greece is the first time that they have done it to a European country.
    Greece was sold out by Goldman Sachs, the bank that ‘advised’ previous governments to spend money that didn’t exist because it would never have to be paid back. This same bank and its ex employees ‘negotiated’ the bailout for Greece and other nations and a major part of that bailout is the selling off of critical state assets to the banks and their associated companies, with the sole object of taking money out of Greece and leaving the nation poorer in the longer term.
    The banks profited from the collapse, the profited from the bailout and now they profit from the sale of assets, as well as further profiting from handling the denationalization cash and agreements.
    There is no end to capitalist greed and their lack of care for the citizens has been amply shown in every transaction of this type since the creation of the World Bank and the IMF.

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