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31 December, 2015
Dear LeftWord Books Community,
We had pledged at the start of 2015 to bring you a book a month this year, and we can say with a sigh of relief that we…..almost…..met our pledge.
• Socialist Register 2015.
• Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution, Introduction by Brinda Karat.
• Patrick Cockburn, The Rise of Islamic State. ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.
• Mangai, Acting Up: Gender and Theatre in India, 1979 onwards.
• Vijay Prashad, No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism.
• From India to Palestine. Essays in Solidarity, ed. Githa Hariharan (paperback).
• Govind Pansare, Who Was Shivaji?
• Subodh Roy, Chittagong Armoury Raid. A Memoir.
• Max Blumenthal, The 51 Day War. Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.
As the year winds down, The Hindu picked Comrade Pansare’s book to mention as one of six important books of the year. This is the paper’s statement on the book:
On February 16, 2015, Govind Pansare, a public intellectual and rationalist, was shot at, at point-blank range, outside his house in Kolhapur. This English translation of Shivaji Kon Hota? from the Marathi original of a 1987 speech, and published by Leftword, was one among many important quick turnaround books published after the murder to retrieve the texts and ideas for which Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi were killed. Indeed, Kalburgi’s murder, in August this year, turned out to be a tipping point, and sparked a movement by writers and artists to protest increasing incidents of intolerance in India. Writers, with Nayantara Sahgal among the most prominent and articulate in stating their concern, returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, to protest the institution’s — and the Central government’s — inaction on defending freedom of speech and expression. Soon enough, the movement caught the imagination of civil society — with film directors, artists and scientists joining the protests, and leading historians issuing statements — and the questions raised will surely continue to demand answers in the new year.
As the new year opens before us, we have a list of books that we hope you will find as useful as the list from 2015. Opening the year are two important titles from us:
(1) Saadat Hasan Manto, The Armchair Revolutionary and Other Sketches, Translated by Khalid Hasan. Edited, with an introduction, by Ali Mir and Saadia Toor. Prologue by Nandita Das. Cover by Ayaz Jokhio.
(2) Michael Denning, Noise Uprising: the Audiopolitics of a Musical Revolution, with an introduction by Naresh Fernandes.
Coming soon thereafter are several important books:
• Teesta Setalvad’s memoir.
• Socialist Register 2016: The Politics of the Right.
• Jyotsna Singh and Akshay Deshmane’s collection of some of the best new journalistic writing in and on India.
• Antonio Gramsci’s The Modern Prince, with an introduction by Aijaz Ahmad.
• Rahul Sankrityayan’s From Ganga to Volga, translated by Victor Kiernan and introduced by Maya Joshi.
• Prabir Purkayastha on net neutrality and the Internet.
• Nagraj Adve on climate change.
• Dakshayani’s memoir, introduced by Meera Velayudhan.
• Vijay Prashad, The Lotus and the Settler: India-Palestine-Israel.
We are also at work on our books for 2017, the anniversary of the revolution that created the USSR. For that year, we have in mind the following books:
• John Reed, The Ten Days that Shook the World.
• N. Krupskaya, Working Women (the first English translation of this classic from 1900).
• Walter Rodney, 1917.
• Lenin’s 1917 writings.
• Prabhat Patnaik on the Soviet experiment.
Our website is newly designed and working well. We hope you have visited us. We hope you have signed up for our Book Club. We rely upon you!
Warm regards for 2016,
Sudhanva and Vijay.
[Vijay Prashad is Chief Editor, and Sudhanva Deshpande Managing Editor, of LeftWord Books. They are supported by Suvendu, Akshay, Shivani, Sagar and Akshay, who do an amazing job servicing your orders and overall keeping chaos at bay. Mostly.]
"Delving into buried archives, and ranging from Comintern documents to the yet unfinished dialectic of revolution and counterrevolution in China, and from Cuba and Mexico and Black America to little corners of the Bombay and Calcutta of yesteryears, Communist Histories instructs and inspires. Social History, History from Below, of a different kind. Communist archeologies as it were. Audacious beginning. May there be more." — Prof. Aijaz Ahmad, author of In Theory: Nations, Classes, Literatures
Edited by Vijay Prashad
9789380118338 | HC | pp. 320 | 2016 | LeftWord Books
Reclaiming historiography for Communist praxis.
The contemporary world cannot be fully understood without the struggles of the Communists over the past century. Rooted in South Asia, Communist Histories has a global sweep, with essays examining Communist praxis from Bengal to Maharashtra, from Cuba to China. This volume – the first in a series – looks closely at the Communist international with an emphasis on how the core idea of internationalism impacted the campaigns of Communists. Deeply researched and richly written, these essays are a counterpoint to the erasure of Communist movements in bourgeois historiography.
VIJAY PRASHAD Introduction: Communist Histories
SUCHETANA CHATTOPADHYAY Being ‘Naren Bhattacharji’
FREDRIK PETERSSON The ‘Colonial Conference’ and Dilemma of the Comintern’s Colonial Work, 1928-29
MARGARET STEVENS Cuba and the Red International, 1934
ELISABETH ARMSTRONG Indian Peasant Women’s Activism in a Hot Cold War
LIN CHUN The Lost International in the Transformation of Chinese Socialism
ARCHANA PRASAD The Warli Movement and its Living Histories
Vijay Prashad is the Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Darker Nations: A Biography of the Short-Lived Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (both from LeftWord). His most recent book is Red Star Over the Third World (LeftWord 2017). He writes regularly for Frontline, The Hindu, Alternet and BirGun. He is Chief Editor at LeftWord Books.