Spike the Gypsy is a man for all seasons, that is, except for August Bank Holiday weekends. He arrives in London from Kingston, Jamaica at the beginning of the 1950’s & lives in a slum tenement owned by the infamous landlord Peter Rachman at St Stephens Gardens in Ladbroke Grove. The Gypsy knows people from all over London: musicians from jazz clubs, high class society women, politicians for whom he performs small services, drug dealers and whores. He scrapes a living by selling marijuana, shoplifting, cat burglary and intermittent bouts of gambling.

Other prominent characters are the journalist Betty Hayes, who works on the Tottenham & Wood Green Journal; an ingenuous adolescent named Frank…

Born OTD in 1952, American author, feminist & social activist, bell hooks. In this classic study, cultural critic bell hooks examines how black women, from the seventeenth century to the present day, were and are oppressed by both white men and black men and by white women. Illustrating her analysis with moving personal accounts, Ain’t I a Woman is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class.

While acknowledging the conflict of loyalty to race or sex is still a dilemma, hooks challenges the view that race…

Are oil-rich countries prone to war? There is a widely held belief that contemporary wars are motivated by the desire of great powers like the United States or Russia to control precious oil resources & to ensure energy security. This book argues that the main reason why oil-rich countries are prone to war is because of the character of their society & economy. Sectarian groups compete for access to oil resources and finance their military adventures through smuggling oil, kidnapping oil executives, or blowing up pipelines.

Outside intervention only makes things worse. The use of conventional military force as in Iraq can bring neither stability nor…

A blistering character study & an examination of the American melting pot & the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases.

Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to…

Do you trust the liberal media? While the tabloid & right-wing press – the Sun, The Times, the Mail & the Express – are constantly criticised for dangerous bias, outlets like the BBC & the Guardian are trusted by their readers to report in the interests of the public. However, the reality is that all corporate media is systematically filtered by the powerful interests that own, manage and fund it. Propaganda Blitz shows that the corporate media does not just ‘spin’ the news – it fundamentally distorts everything it touches, hiding the real issues from public view, and often completely reversing the truth.

This book uncovers a storm of top-down campaigns behind war reporting from Iraq, Syria and Palestine, as well as the…

The Storm is a work of journalism & science reporting by Defoe. It has been called the first substantial work of modern journalism, the first detailed account of a hurricane in Britain. It relates the events of a week-long storm that hit London starting on 24 November & reaching its height on the night of 26/27 November 1703. Known as the Great Storm of 1703, & described by Defoe as “The Greatest, the Longest in Duration, the widest in Extent, of all the Tempests & Storms that History gives any Account of since the Beginning of Time.”

Defoe described the storm as “the tempest that destroyed woods and forests all over England” “Most People expected the Fall…

The turbulence of the financial markets is often explained in terms of the immorality of market agents, misguided economic theory or unsuitable regulation. Even when these explanations are not false ones, they leave aside the main problem: the nature of financial value. Starting out from the concept of fictitious capital, Cedric Durand argues that finance pre-empts future production, appropriating for itself wealth that is yet to be created.

  Using comparative data covering the last four decades, he shows that the rise in private and public debt, the…

The eminent radical historian recalls his struggles against American racism and war, and he expresses his hope for the future, in this memoir and manifesto. The son of poor Jewish immigrants to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Zinn worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and served as a bombardier in Europe in WW II.

He attended Columbia University, received a doctorate in history in 1956, and became head of the history department at Spelman…