Born OTD in 1883, economist John Maynard Keynes. A groundbreaking debunking of moderate attempts to resolve financial crises In the ruins of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, self-proclaimed progressives the world over clamored to resurrect the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes. The crisis seemed to expose the disaster of small-state, free-market liberalization and deregulation. Keynesian political economy, in contrast, could put the state back at the heart of the economy and arm it with the knowledge needed to rescue us.

But what it was supposed to rescue us from was not so clear. Was it the end of capitalism or … More

Born OTD in 1868, James Connolly. From Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, to conservative Irish nationalists and the Church, many groups have claimed Connolly as their own, his ideas and strategies used and distorted to justify particular political positions. Kieran Allen breaks this mould, assessing the founder of the Irish Marxist movement ideas from a revolutionary socialist perspective.

Allen considers the strengths and weaknesses of Connolly’s revolutionary strategy, the effect of his commitment to international socialism on his … More

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative & moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying…

Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s … More

Frantz Fanon’s seminal work on the trauma of colonization, The Wretched of the Earth made him the leading anti-colonialist thinker of the 20th century. First published in 1961, Fanon’s classic text has provided inspiration for anti-colonial movements ever since, analysing the role of class, race, national culture & violence in the struggle for freedom. With power & anger, Fanon makes clear the economic & psychological degradation inflicted by imperialism.

It was Fanon, himself a psychotherapist, who exposed the connection between colonial war and mental disease, who showed how the … More

“The trial of Angela Davis is remembered as one of America’s most historic political trials, and no one can tell the story better than Davis herself. Opening with a letter from James Baldwin to Angela, and including contributions from numerous radicals and commentators such as Black Panthers George Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and Erica Huggins, this book is not only an account of Davis’s incarceration and the struggles surrounding it, but also perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough analysis of the prison system of the United States and the figure embodied in Davis’s arrest and imprisonment-the political prisoner.

Since the book was written, the carceral system in the US has grown from strength to strength, with more of … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 80s when punks & Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness & the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations & on the dance floor.

His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry … More

Renegade : The Life and Times of Darcus Howe. Born in Trinidad during the dying days of British colonialism, Darcus Howe has become an uncompromising champion of racial justice. The book examines how Howe’s unique political outlook was inspired by the example of his friend and mentor C.L.R. James, and forged in the heat of the American civil rights movement, as well as Trinidad’s Black Power Revolution.

The book sheds new light on Howe’s leading role in the defining struggles in Britain against institutional racism in the … More

How can getting outdoors help us to look after our mental health? In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years – working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence. Prisoners given the chance to grow plants are less likely to reoffend. At-risk young people who get their hands in the soil are more likely to stay in education. Elderly people who garden live longer & have a better quality of life.

Sue Stuart-Smith tells brilliant, illuminating stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction, from asylum seekers to veterans, … More

Born OTD in 1830, teacher & important figure in the Paris Commune, Louise Michel. Following her penal transportation she embraced anarchism. When returning to France she emerged as an important French anarchist and went on speaking tours across Europe. Set against the background of violence & state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin & the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible & outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat.

Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous … More