From the imaginations of Gothic short-story writers such as Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Shelley and H.P. Lovecraft came one of the most complex of villains – the mad scientist. Promethean Horrors presents some of the greatest mad scientists ever created, as each cautionary tale explores the consequences of pushing nature too far. These savants take many forms: there are malcontents who strive to create poisonous humans; technologists obsessed with genetic splicing; mesmerists interested in the way consciousness operates after death and inventors who believe in a hidden reality. United by an unhealthy obsession with wanting to reach beyond their circumstances, these mad scientists are marked by their magical capacity to alter the present, a gift that always comes at a price. .

Available in store and online.

The GND has the potential of becoming one of the largest global campaigns of our times, and it started in Ann Pettifor’s flat. In 2008, the first Green New Deal was devised by Pettifor and a group of English economist and thinkers, but was ignored within the tumults of the financial crash. A decade later, the ideas was revived within the democratic socialists in the US, forefront by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The Green New Deal demands a radical and urgent reversal of the current state of the global economy: including total de-carbonisation and a commitment to fairness and social justice. Critics on all sides have been quick to observe that the GND is a pipe dream that could never be implemented, and would cost the earth. But, as Ann Pettifor shows, we need to rethink the function of money, and how it works within the global system.

  How can we bail out the banks but not the planet? We have to stop thinking about the imperative … More

Born OTD in 1878, American writer who wrote nearly 100 books and other works in several genres, Upton Sinclair. Sinclair had spent about six months investigating the Chicago meatpacking industry for Appeal to Reason, the work which inspired his novel. He intended to “set forth the breaking of human hearts by a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profit”. The novel featured Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who works in a meat factory in Chicago, his teenaged wife Ona Lukoszaite, and their extended family. Sinclair portrays their mistreatment by Rudkus’ employers and the wealthier elements of society

For nearly a century, the original version of Upton Sinclair’s classic novel has remained almost entirely unknown. When it was … More

July 15, 1942, Wednesday. Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world. Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia’s world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto.

But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a … More

Born OTD in 1963, English musician, actor, presenter; and the founder, frontman, and sole consistent member of the band Pulp, Jarvis Cocker. A new release in the Rough Trade Editions series sees two speeches made by the Pulp mainman in 2017 see print. We find the word Br**it hard to say, so let’s just say that these two speeches are concerned with leaving the European Union. Witty, erudite and made to make you think. Oh, and the design by Craig Oldham, in the yellow and blue of the EU, is a pretty nice way to frame them.

Available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1921, Brazilian educator and philosopher who was a leading advocate of critical pedagogy, Paulo Freire. Freire proposes a pedagogy with a new relationship between teacher, student, and society. It was first published in Portuguese in 1968, and was translated by Myra Ramos into English and published in 1970. The book is considered one of the foundational texts of critical pedagogy.

Available in store and online.

‘Now We Have Your Attention’ makes sense of what is happening in British politics by taking a radically different perspective: the people’s. From a warehouse in Manchester to a pub in Essex, from the outskirts of Glasgow to a racecourse in Durham, Jack Shenker uncovers the root causes of our current crisis and the future direction of British politics through the lives of ordinary individuals. Taking us deep into communities hollowed out by austerity and decades of economic disadvantage, among a generation crippled by precarious work and unaffordable housing, he shows where the chaos at Westminster ultimately springs from – and how disillusionment with it is fuelling a passionate engagement with politics of a completely different kind: local, personal, effective and utterly fearless.

Joining a `McStrike’ protest on a roundabout in Cambridge and a gathering of the London Renters’ Union in the aftermath … More

Born OTD in 1956, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer, Chris Hedges. “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a 2012 illustrated non-fiction book authored by Chris Hedges and illustrated by Joe Sacco, chronicling life in poverty in different parts of the United States. The book is interspersed with interviews with several individuals as well as monographs capturing the devastation caused to people and the environment by unchecked post-industrial free market capitalism in the United States, in so called sacrifice zones.”

Available in store and online.

Book launch tomorrow of ‘Stolen’ with Grace Blakeley at St Mary in the Castle. 6pm. “Stolen tells the story of how and why this financialization occurred, what it means for our society and politics, and what the left can do to fight it. At present, the odds are stacked against labour and in favour of finance capital. But what follows it will be determined by which group — the many or the few — manages to take power in this moment of crisis. How we understand this moment, and what we do with it, will determine the course of the future.”

Available in store and online.

From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids and M Train, a profound, beautifully realized memoir in which dreams and reality are vividly woven into a tapestry of one transformative year. Following a run of New Year’s concerts at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, with no design yet heeding signs, including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat.

In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger’s … More