Since the 1980s, austerity, gentrification and structural racism have wreaked havoc on inner-city communities, widening inequality and entrenching poverty. In Terraformed, Joy White offers an insider ethnography of Forest Gate – a neighbourhood in Newham, east London – analysing how these issues affect the black youth of today.

Connecting the dots between music, politics and the built environment, it centres the lived experiences of black youth who have … More

‘I really liked this book. I’d forgotten how shit it was in the seventies’ Paul Weller The Jam released their debut single, ‘In The City’, in May 1977. At that time, no-one was happy in Britain, particularly not in Ian Stone’s house. He was fourteen and his days consisted of going to school, watching Arsenal play terrible football and listening to his parents’ marriage disintegrating. Outside, the country was divided – by racism, violence, inner-city riots, police corruption, unemployment and terrorism. But late one evening in 1978, Ian’s eyes and ears were opened to an entirely new world..

..The Jam walked onstage at London’s Music Machine to a huge roar, and launched into ninety blistering minutes of some … More

This is the controversial history of the British government’s involvement in the Zionist project, from the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to the present day. Written by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, the Declaration stated ‘His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.’

Its impact on history has been immense and still reverberates a century later, starting what has been referred to as … More

Our next PM Book Club, we’ll be discussing Reni Eddo-Lodge’s,’Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’. The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

New members welcome. Next meeting is on Monday, 2nd September 6pm at the shop.  Book available in store and online.

David Keenan’s first novel is populated by about 30 beautifully believable and appallingly sad local legends – including that great band (Memorial Device), that drug-dealer survivalist and that expat romantic. The book’s subtitle gives the most succinct description of the whole enterprise: “An Hallucinated Oral History of the Post-Punk Scene in Airdrie, Coatbridge and Environs, 1978‑1986”.

Ross Raymond and Johnny McLaughlin are two fanboys dedicated to the Airdrie post-punk scene of the early ’80s – the … More

“Everyone has their price. It’s just not always monetary. Mine is though. 20 quid.” Single mum. `Stain on society’. Caught in a poverty trap. It’s a luxury to afford morals and if you’re Cash Carraway, you do what you can to survive. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting, blunt, dignified and brutally revealing debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence in austerity Britain – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows – skilfully woven into a manifesto for change. Alone, pregnant and living in a women’s refuge, Cash Carraway couldn’t vote in the 2010 general election that ushered austerity into Britain. Her voice had been silenced. Years later, she watched Grenfell burn from a women’s refuge around the corner. What had changed? The vulnerable were still at the bottom of the heap, unheard.

Without a stable home, without a steady income, without family support – how do you survive? In Skint Estate, Cash … More

British Steel was privatised in 1988 by the Conservative government of Thatcher. It merged with the Dutch steel producer Koninklijke Hoogovens to form Corus Group on 6 October 1999. Corus itself was taken over in March 2007 by the Indian steel operator Tata Steel. In a series of brilliant portraits James Meek shows how Britain’s common wealth became private, & the impact it has had on us all. In a series of panoramic accounts, Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. As our national assets are being sold, the new buyers reap the rewards, & the ordinary consumer is left to pay the ever-rising bill.

LRB journalist James Meek looks at what the great experiment in privatisation has meant for the industries it covered. The … More

It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people’ Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their … More