New books from Pluto Press in September

The Afghan Solution by Lucy Morgan Edwards is an explosive and gripping memoir of how the West squandered the opportunity to bring stability to Afghanistan. Based on her six years in Afghanistan as an aid worker, election monitor, journalist and advisor to the EU ambassador in Kabul, the book reveals how Western intelligence services failed to seize key opportunities in the fight against the Taliban. Central to her story is Abdul Haq, an influential resistance fighter from the Soviet wars, who spearheaded a widely backed plan to topple the Taliban which was thwarted by the West.

The attacks yesterday on the US embassy and NATO military headquarters in Kabul are a timely reminder of how, ten years on from the NATO invasion, Afghanistan is still far from peace and stability.

Lucy will be in discussion with Martin Bell about the book at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival on Friday 16th September, then speaking at the Frontline Club in London on 5th October and the School of Oriental and African Studies on the 6th October. For more information on these events visit Lucy’s website.

The Afghan Solution

The Inside Story of Abdul Haq, the CIA and How Western Hubris Lost Afghanistan

Lucy Morgan Edwards

“A deeply-reported, well-argued and deftly-written account of the opportunities not taken … based on the author’s own deep knowledge of Afghanistan.” – Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring War Between America and Al Qaeda

“I was in direct contact with Abdul Haq in the days immediately following 9/11. His tragic story is a microcosm of where we have gone wrong in Afghanistan.” – Lord Paddy Ashdown, Liberal Democrat leader 1988 – 1999

£20 only £18.00 on the Pluto site

Austin Williams and Alastair Donald edit The Lure of the City: from Slums to Suburbs, a punchy and provocative collection of essays which argues in favour of cities and their ability to realise human potential.

You can watch a clip of Austin talking about the NY Salon event ‘The Human Footprint — has civilization gone too far?’ here:

The Lure of the City

From Slums to Suburbs

Edited by Austin Williams and Alastair Donald

Short, accessibly written essays make the case for cities, arguing that the metropolitan mindset is essential to the struggle for human liberation.

“Out from under the dead weight of conventional wisdom and eco-gloom emerges a clear-eyed vision of cities that is celebrated in this book: how cities evolve, uncommanded and unplanned; why people move into them, in search of opportunities; and how the intelligentsia has misread them over the years. A fascinating collection of essays” – Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist (2010)

“This book opens a debate as it allows the readers to reconsider their own prejudices and preferences.” – Will Alsop, OBE, architect and adjunct professor, Ontario College of Art and Design

£17.99 only £16.00 on the Pluto site

Gerard McCann’s Ireland’s Economic History: Crisis and Development in the North and South provides a definitive history of the Irish economy which, in contrast to most economic analysis of Ireland, investigates the development of the island economy as a whole, north and south.

Ireland’s Economic History

Crisis and Development in the North and South

Gerard McCann

History of the Irish economy from the famine to the neo-liberal ‘celtic tiger’ model. Concludes with proposals to end Ireland’s current economic woes.

“An outstanding critique of the management of the Irish economy over two centuries. For anyone interested in understanding why Ireland is in the state it is in: read it.
– Denis O’Hearn, Binghamton University, State University of New York

£17.99 only £16.00 on the Pluto site

Continuing the new ‘Future of World Capitalism’ series Costas Panayotakis’s, Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy looks at the failure of orthodox economics and how a post-capitalist economy might be organised, with the principle of economic democracy at its core.

You can watch Costas discussing the political and economic crisis in Greece with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! here:

We also recommend a visit to ZNet to read Costas’s article on the Arab Spring and other recent protests.

Remaking Scarcity

From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy

Costas Panayotakis. Foreword by Joel Kovel

Powerful challenge to the current neoliberal economic orthodoxy. Asserts that economic democracy should be the new guiding principle for humanity.

“This book combines theoretical boldness and the determination to extend Marxian theory. It deserves to be read as another impressive product of the global rethinkings of Marxism now engaged in building a Marxism for the twenty-first century.” – Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Capitalist-produced scarcity proves to be an extraordinarily enlightening vantage point from which to analyse both capitalism and its socialist alternatives. Panayotakis’s book provides an extremely scholarly, insightful and well-argued contribution – with ecology and feminism given the attention often denied them – to this crucially important literature. Highly Recommended!” – Bertell Ollman, Department of Politics, New York University, author of Dance of the Dialectic: Marx’s Method and other works

£18.99 only £17.00 on the Pluto site

Gareth Dale edits the collection of essays First the Transition, then the Crash: Eastern Europe in the 2000s, which looks at the disastrous neo-liberal experiment in eastern Europe.

Visit International Socialism to read a review of Gareth’s work which argues that “he has staked out a claim as a major influence on our interpretation of events in the second half of the 20th century in Europe.”

First the Transition, then the Crash

Eastern Europe in the 2000s

Edited by Gareth Dale

Comprehensive survey of the economic crisis in eastern europe. Detailed analysis outlines failings of the neoliberal capitalist model in the region.

“Central and Eastern Europe is a neoliberal horror story. The details are well told here: of “grabitization” kleptocracies, NATO expansion and capital flight. These well-packaged studies show how U.S.-sponsored “reforms” de-industrialized Russia and other post-Soviet states. … This story needs to be known.’” – Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism (Pluto Press, 2003)

“Radical political economy finally comes resurgent in the former communist countries. Dale and his collaborators comprehensively cover the transitions, from Hungary to the Russian Pacific. The best alternative survey of how the post-communist entrants are faring in 21st-century capitalism.” – Georgi Derluguian, author of Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-Systems Biography

£25 only £22.50 on the Pluto site

Last, but by no means least, Kwame Nimako and Glenn Willemsen provide a fascinating account of the Dutch role in the slave trade and how European countries created and expanded laws that perpetuated colonisation in The Dutch Atlantic: Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation. The book is part of the ‘Decolonial Studies, Postcolonial Horizons’ series.

Kwame will be in the UK in October, speaking in London at Senate House on Tuesday 18th October and the Islamic Human Rights Commission bookshop on 19th October, before going to the University of Warwick to deliver a lecture entitled ‘The Legacy of Atlantic Slavery: The Unfinished Business of Emancipation’ on 20th October. Visit the Pluto Press website for more details.

Kwame will also be in discussion with Dr Stephan Small about the book at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco on Saturday November 5th. Visit the MoAD website for more details.

The Dutch Atlantic

Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation

Kwame Nimako and Glenn Willemsen. Foreword by Stephen Small

“Nimako and Willensem’s book is a fundamental addition to a distinguished genealogy of work – from Ottobah Cugoano to Eric Williams and Jean Casimir – a genealogy in which scholarship and experientia Africana meet. With political zeal, this book explains a part of Dutch history that is often ignored, connecting the theme of emancipation – the history of slavery and abolition – with the political concerns of Black people across Europe.” – Walter Mignolo, William H Wannamaker Distinguished Professor in Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University

“This erudite history of Dutch slavery, revolts, abolition efforts, and emancipation is told from the underside of Dutch life. … [It is] a breathtaking portrait of an uncomfortable history, an agonizing story to be told and never forgotten.” – Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies at Temple University

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site

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