The chant of ‘Azadi!’ – Urdu for ‘Freedom!’ – is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism. Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom – a chasm or a bridge? – the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The Coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, & bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could. In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.

The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations … More

The Conquest of Bread is an 1892 book by the Russian anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin. Originally written in French, it first appeared as a series of articles in the anarchist journal Le Révolté. It was first published in Paris with a preface by Élisée Reclus, who also suggested the title. Between 1892 and 1894, it was serialized in part in the London journal Freedom, of which Kropotkin was a co-founder. In the work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism and why he believes they thrive on and maintain poverty and scarcity.

He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the … More

The must-read, pocket-sized Big Think book of 2020. It feels like the world is falling apart. So how do we keep hold of our optimism? How do we nurture the parts of ourselves that hope, trust & believe in something better? And how can we stay sane in this world of division? In this beautifully written & illuminating polemic, Booker Prize nominee Elif Shafak reflects on our age of pessimism, when emotions guide & misguide our politics, & misinformation & fear are the norm

A tender, uplifting plea for optimism, Shafak draws on her own memories and delves into the power of stories to … More

The late Michael Brooks takes on the new “Intellectual Dark Web.” As the former host of The Michael Brooks Show and co-host of the Majority Report, he lets his understanding of the new media environment direct his analysis of the newly risen conservative rebels who have taken YouTube by storm.

Brooks provides a theoretically rigorous but accessible critique of the most prominent “renegades” including Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, and Brett … More

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

How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport? Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is `wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated & used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go `home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick `Other’?

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants … More

In his first full-length work of journalism in a decade, the ‘heir to R. Crumb & Art Spiegelman’ brings his comics mastery to a story of indigenous North America, resource extraction, & our debt to the natural world. The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie River Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around – it is central to their livelihood & their very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest Territories are also home to valuable natural resources, including oil, gas & diamonds.

With mining came jobs and investment-but also road-building, pipelines and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape; and alcohol, drugs, and … More

By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change – what was happening, why it was happening, & how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed. Nathaniel Rich’s groundbreaking account of that failure – & how tantalizingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry & politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism

It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we … More

In an effort to grasp the scale of the response to Michael Brown’s death & understand the magnitude of the problem police violence represents, Lowery conducted hundreds of interviews with the families of victims of police brutality, as well as with local activists working to stop it. Lowery investigates the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with constant discrimination, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure & too few jobs. Offering a historically informed look at the standoff between the police & those they are sworn to protect, They Can’t Kill Us All demonstrates that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice.

And at the end of President Obama’s tenure, it grapples with a worrying and largely unexamined aspect of his legacy: … More

In the dying months of the First World War, Spanish Flu suddenly overwhelmed the globe, killing up to 100 million people. it was one of the most devastating natural disasters in world history. But behind the staggering figures are human lives, stories of those who suffered and those who fought back – at the Front, at home, in the hospitals and laboratories.

Digging into archives, unpublished records, memoirs, diaries and government documents, Catharine Arnold traces the course of the disease through the … More