Retro World

The Battleground’s Spring Books List

Protests and war belong together. Not because they reflect each other but because conflict stirs the pot. Not just about itself but everything else.

Capital of cosmopolitanism. Berlin, Christmas eve.

Watching international news today, it’s hard to avoid doing double takes. From the labour unrest in France and the UK to the women’s revolution in Iran and the climate protests in Lützerath, the parallels with 1968 are everywhere.

There’s even a new Cold War in the background, with ground zero in Ukraine, to add to the nostalgia. The Americans and Russians are at it again, and everything is destabilised in their wake. It’s been a great year if the 20th century is your thing.

Yet, no one believes today is anything special. The war in Eastern Europe is always the dominant headline, with its daily carnage and reports of European cities getting reduced to rubble. How dare we see progress in French pension protests when American imperialism is so resurgent.

That is, if you’re the sort of progressive who sees Uncle Sam’s hand in everything. Even if they’re just as bad, best to help the Russians cut it off to secure the multipolarity missing from world affairs. He may be a genocidal nationalist, but some Westerners find Putin useful.

This instalment of The Battleground’s seasonal book list is back, in tribute to all this chaos, with a revolutionary reading list to match, featuring titles from our favourite Anglo-American indie houses.



Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy
Peter Mair
Verso Books

Whole World in an Uproar: Music, Rebellion and Repression – 1955-1972
Aaron J Leonard
Repeater Books

A Companion to Marx’s Grundrisse
David Harvey
Verso Books

Blackgirl on Mars
Lesley-Ann Brown
Repeater Books

Controlling Reproduction: Women, Society, and State Power
Nancy E. Riley, Nilanjana Chatterjee

Greater than the Sum of Our Parts: Feminism, Inter/Nationalism, and Palestine
Nada Elia
Pluto Press

Superstates: Empires of the Twenty-First Century
Alasdair Roberts

Street Rebellion: Resistance Beyond Violence and Nonviolence
Benjamin S. Case
AK Press

Back to Beirut
Gabriele Basilico
Contrasto Books

The Postcard
Anne Berest
Europa Editions

Photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit. All rights reserved.