Born OTD in 1925, French West Indian psychiatrist, political philosopher, revolutionary, & writer from the French colony of Martinique, Frantz Fanon. Fanon’s works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory & Marxism. Philosopher, psychoanalyst, politician, propagandist, prophet…although difficult to categorize, Fanon is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century & one of our most powerful writers on race & revolution. The book opens with a biography, following Fanon from his birthplace of Martinique through combat in World War II & education in France, to his heroic involvement in the fights for Algerian independence & African decolonization.

Fanon For Beginners concludes by examining Fanon’s influence on political practice, such as the Black Power movement in the United States, … More

Inspired by the surreal accounts of the explorer and ‘man of a million lies’ Marco Polo, Imaginary Cities charts the metropolis and the imagination, and the symbiosis therein. A work of creative nonfiction, the book roams through space, time and possibility, mapping cities of sound, melancholia and the afterlife, where time runs backwards or which float among the clouds. In doing so, Imaginary Cities seeks to move beyond the cliches of psychogeography and hauntology, to not simply revisit the urban past, or our relationship with it, but to invade and reinvent it.

Following in the lineage of Borges, Calvino, Chris Marker and Kenneth White, the book examines the city from global macrocosm … More

Born OTD in 1918, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Nelson Mandela. Freedom fighter, fugitive, celebrated prisoner, president: the hero of a nation. Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist, forced into hiding, captured, threatened with the death penalty and eventually thrown into prison for 27 years, but nothing could stop him from fighting to liberate his country from the infamous sytem of apartheid, which for so many years sought to separate people by race in South Africa. A hero in the struggle, he never gave up.

Even when he was a prisoner, he worked secretly with his comrades to undermine South Africa’s oppressive government. This is … More

Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population? And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do? Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable. There is No Planet B maps it out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis.

For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in … More

Born OTD in 1933, neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and author, Oliver Sacks. Born in Britain, and mostly educated there, he spent his career in the United States. He believed that the brain is the “most incredible thing in the universe.” He became widely known for writing best-selling case histories about both his patients’ and his own disorders and unusual experiences, with some of his books adapted for plays by major playwrights, feature films, animated short films, opera, dance, fine art, and musical works in the classical genre

From the bestselling author of Gratitude and On the Move, a final volume of essays that showcase Sacks’s broad range … More

Born OTD in 1907, Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature & artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country’s popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, & race in Mexican society. A reissue of the beautifully illustrated and authoritative biography of Frida Kahlo. Born near Mexico City, she grew up during the turbulent days of the Mexican Revolution and, at 18, was the victim of an accident that left her crippled and unable to bear children. To salvage what she could from her unhappy situation, Kahlo had to learn to keep still – so she began to paint.

Kahlo’s unique talent was to make her one of the century’s most enduring artists. But her remarkable paintings were only … More

The story of how your NHS was sold off and why you will have to buy private health insurance soon. Dr Youssef El-Gingihy a GP tells the story of how the NHS has been gradually converted into a market-based healthcare system over the past 30 years. This process was accelerated under the Coalition government and the very existence of a National Health Service is in danger.

He fears that there will not be an NHS as our generation grows old and certainly not for our children. … More

Born OTD in 1880, American author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes.

This unique book presents a generally unrecognized aspect of Helen Keller’s life: her radical socialism, her defense of the IWW … More

Born OTD in 1869, anarchist political activist and writer, Emma Goldman. Born in Kovno, Russian Empire (now Kaunas, Lithuania) to a Jewish family, Goldman emigrated to the United States in 1885. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women’s rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands.

Anarchist, journalist, drama critic, advocate of birth control and free love, Emma Goldman was the most famous—and notorious—woman in the … More

Caroline Crampton was born on the Thames Estuary to parents who had sailed there from South Africa in the early 1980s. Having grown up with seafaring legs and a desire to explore, Caroline is both a knowledgeable guide to the most hidden-away parts of this overlooked and unfashionable part of the country, and a persuasive advocate for its significance, both historically and culturally. As one of the key entrances and exits to England, the estuary has been pivotal to London’s economic fortunes and in defining its place in the world.

It has also been the entry point for immigrants for generations, yet it has an ambivalent relationship with newcomers, and … More