Issue 192 of SOCIALIST REVIEW Published December 1995 Copyright Socialist Review

Between the lines

A selection of books for socialists recommended for Christmas reading or presents by our contributors

Novels

Pride & Prejudice

What a Carve Up! Jonathan Coe, a hilarious attack on Thatcher's Britain
Birdsong Sebastian Faulks, a powerful and disturbing novel about the First World War
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers, a moving account of a small American town in the 1930s
Funny Boy Shyam Selvadurai, racism, sexuality and civil war in Sri Lanka, told through the eyes of a seven year old
God's Bits of Wood Ousmana Sembane, a wonderful story of a railway workers' strike in Senegal
Rebellion of the Hanged B Traven, brilliant and moving story of oppression, resistance and rebellion
Strumpet City James Plunkett, stunning tale of workers' struggles in Dublin between 1907 and 1914
The Moor's Last Sigh Salman Rushdie, witty and energetic novel about Indian life and religion
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck, one of the all time great novels set during the American Depression
Paris Trout John Dexter, the story of a white American man who murders a black and gets away with it
Native Son Richard Wright, an incredible tale of downtrodden blacks in America
Postcards Annie Proux, a working class American's life on the run from the law told through postcards
The Redundancy of Courage Timothy Mo, in a country which closely resembles occupied East Timor, a man is drawn towards the rebels in spite of himself
The Black Album Hanif Kureishi, a young Asian comes to terms with Islamic fundamentalism, politics and sexuality
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky, about the faults of a society based on individualism
Children of the Arbat Anatoli Rybakov, brilliant novel about the impact of Stalinism in the 1930s
Desperadoes Joseph O'Connor, thriller that reveals a lot about Nicaraguan politics
Children of Rebecca Vivien Annis Bailey, tale set against the Rebecca riots and the Chartists' struggle in the 1830s and 1840s
Rivethead Ben Hamper, funny, brutal and sad tales from the assembly line at General Motors in Flint
An Unmentionable Man Edward Upward, a collection of short stories by a socialist writer
A Place of Greater Safety Hilary Mantel, the French Revolution brilliantly brought to life
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway, a wonderful novel set in the Spanish Civil War
The Year of the French Thomas Flanagan, the exciting tale of French revolutionary forces landing in Ireland in 1798
All That Remains Patricia Cornwell, latest story of the female forensic pathologist
Complicity Iain Banks, compelling thriller and an indictment of Tory Britain
The Chamber John Grisham, deals powerfully with racism and the death penalty in the US


History

History

The Brown Plague Daniel Guerin, political documentary account of the rise of the Nazis in Germany
The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Gar Alperowitz, proves that Japan was defeated before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
The Class Struggle in Ancient Greece G E M de St Croix, uses Marx to analyse slavery from Athenian democracy to the fall of the Roman Empire
The People's War Angus Calder, traces the deep radicalisation of the British population during the Second World War
Perish the Privileged Orders Mark O'Brien, best introduction to the Chartists, Britain's first mass working class movement
The New Model Army Ian Gentles a marvellous book about the army that won the English Revolution in the 1640s
Collision of Empires A D Harvey, a brilliant look at the rise and fall of Britain as a world power
The British Communist Party and the Trade Unions 1933-45 Nina Fishman, details how British Communists helped unionise engineering plants in the 1930s
Ten Days that Shook the World John Reed, describes the heroism of workers and peasants in revolutionary Russia in 1917
Battle Cry of Freedom James M McPherson, brilliant account of the American Civil War in which all the battles come to life
Labour in Irish History James Connolly, explains why a divided Ireland would be a 'carnival of reaction' north and south
The Fatal Shore Robert Hughes, account of the transportation of convicts and the creation of white Australia
Women and Families:An Oral History 1940-1970 Elizabeth Roberts, the changing role of women and the family
Age of Extremes Eric Hobsbawm, a gripping, if politically frustrating, account of the short 20th century
Wild Swans Jung Chang, China's traumatic history wonderfully told through the eyes of three generations of women
Upside Your Head! Johnny Ottis, an angry indictment of what's happened to American blacks from the 1930s to the Los Angeles riots of 1992
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spain Felix Morrow, a wonderful account of the Spanish Civil War
The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany Leon Trotsky, the best Marxist masterpiece of revolutionary polemic with a brilliant analysis of fascism


Biographies

Biographies

Memoirs of a Revolutionary Victor Serge, eyewitness account of revolutions
Darwin Adrian Desmond and James Moore, fascinating account of how Darwin developed the idea of evolution
Soledad Brother George Jackson, the rage and power of Jackson's letters before his death
Shelley: the Pursuit Richard Holmes, inspiring biography about the politics, poetry and life of Percy Bysshe
Antonio Gramsci: Life of a Revolutionary Giuseppe Fiori, fascinating account of the life of the Italian Marxist and his ideas


Politics

Animal Lib

The State We're In Will Hutton, devastating account of the British economy and the effects of Tory rule
The Death of Yugoslavia Laura Silber and Allan Little, a fascinating, evenhanded account of the breakup of the Yugoslav federation
The Fall of Yugoslavia Misha Glenny, perceptive book about the causes and realities of the carnage in Yugoslavia
Economics of the Madhouse Chris Harman, exposes the faults of bourgeois economists and argues the Marxist case
The Communist Party and the Autoworkers' Union Roger Keeran, the story of the growth of the union in the 1930s
The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism Ralph Darlington, a study of workplace organisation in Liverpool
Lenin's Final Fight G Fyson, A collection of speeches and writings from Lenin's last years
The Jewish Question Abram Leon, a left wing analysis of Jewish history


Miscellaneous

Painting of Modern Life T J Clarke, how the first modern artists were the product of social and political turmoil in 19th century France
The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, is an impressively clear statement of the new science by its founder
The Fear of Freedom Eric Fromm, ties a class analysis of the rise of capitalism to a psychoanalytical view of its psychic consequences
The Making of Memory Steven Rose, a fascinating voyage of discovery into the human brain by a left wing scientist


Children's books 0-5

Kids book

We're Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, beautifully illustrated book with good use of repetition
Avocado Baby John Burningham, funny and improbable story with great pictures
Are We Nearly There? Louis Brown, fun story of a little boy's journeys between his dad and mum, who are separated
Peace At Last Jill Murphy, a family of bears hears lots of different noises in the night
The Very Busy Spider Eric Carle, a spider spins her web and you can feel the web grow as it is woven on every page
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Bill Martin, illustrated by Eric Carle, simple, repeated text about animal and colours
Mr Gumpy's Outing John Burningham, all the animals join an adventure on a boat


Children's books 5-8

A Balloon for Grandad Nigel Gray, illustrated by Jane Ray, beautiful true story about mixed cultures
The Turtle and the Island Barbara Kerr Wilson, painting by Frane Lessac, a folktale from Papua New Guinea about how the world began
Katie Morag and the New Pier Mairi Hedderwick, wonderful, simple and well illustrated story of a girl who lives on a Scottish island
Katie's Picture Show James Mayhew, a boring visit to a picture gallery becomes enormous fun as Katie meets the people in the pictures
Princess Smartypants Babette Cole, story of a princess who won't marry any of her suitors and lives happily ever after without a man
The Queen's Knickers Nicholas Allan, a hilarious story about her majesty's knicker collection
Greedy Zebra Murenye Hadithi, illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway, a folkstory from Kenya about how animals got their coats and colouring
Most of these books are available from Bookmarks, 265 Seven Sisters Road, London N4, phone 0181 802 6145


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