The Battleground is no exception to the heads down iPhone demographic. We may publish books and records, but we spend most of our time checking live feeds and watching Al Jazeera.
Still, we’re old enough to have grown up with paper and experience a sense of relief when we get article submissions longer than 400 words, the upper limit of most newswires these days.
Long reads, for lack of a better description, are better for the imagination and give us a less finite sense of time. Even for writing agency copy, they really help. Sometimes you need to read a lot to say anything at all.
Reading books also allows us the freedom to break with the kinds of restraints we self-impose as journalists writing for the 24/7 news cycle. Nothing is more narratively conservative than news journalism.
Reporters are frequently too self-conscious of their markets to take chances and experiment. We can blame editors all we want for the sameness of most news media. But how we work can be just as much a problem.
All of these concerns factor into why The Battleground publishes reviews. We don’t do it to pimp product from our favourite imprints. We do it for selfish reasons, because it’s pleasurable to read for hours on end and listen to records, not playlists.
The Battleground’s editorial goal has always been to publish imaginative, progressive content, which allows us to stay creative, and not mimic the publications we both read, and, unfortunately, compete with, though we prefer to not think about that.
Our Spring 2022 books list bears this out. Featuring titles from our favourite publishers, mostly from the UK, but also the US and France, here’s our seasonal self-help itinerary.
You Are Where You Live
The Passenger: Rome
The Mastercard World
Late Capitalist Fascism
Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen
Migrants Without Oligarchs
Here to Stay: Eastern Europeans in Britain
For Your Inner Foreign Fighter
Brigadistes: Lives for Liberty
La République en Podemos
The European Radical Left: Movements and Parties since the 1960s
Everyone Wants to Be Pasolini
Sur la route de Pier Paolo Pasolini, Contro-Corrente
Chantal Vey, Roberto Chiesi, David Grieco and Guido Mazzon
Europe Above All Else
Race, Place, Trace: Essays in Honour of Patrick Wolfe
Edited by Susan Slyomovics and Lorenzo Veracini
In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing
Never Forget Your Name: The Children of Auschwitz
The American Way
The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now: Debating Left Politics and Black Lives Matter
The Revolution at Poundland
Suburban Socialism (Or Barbarism)
A Heterodox Marxist and His Century: Lelio Basso
Edited by Chiara Giorgi
Photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit. All rights reserved.