8 Books Published by Verso Books on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Revolution in Our Lifetime: A Short History of the Black Panther Party by Donna Murch Revolution in Our Lifetime: A Short History of the Black Panther Party

by Donna Murch
Verso Books (Sep 01, 2020)
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Donna Murch is an Associate Professor of history at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is the author of Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther party in Oakland, California, which won the Phillis Wheatley Prize. Her research and analysis is featured in the award-winning documentary on the Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution.


Click for more detail about The Groundings With My Brothers by Walter Rodney The Groundings With My Brothers

by Walter Rodney
Verso Books (Oct 02, 2018)
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"I have sat on a little oil drum, rusty and in the midst of garbage, and some black brothers and I have grounded together." - Walter Rodney

In his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the anticolonial revolution, leading movements in North America, South America, the African continent, and the Caribbean. In each locale, Rodney found himself a lightning rod for working class Black Power. His deportation catalyzed 20th century Jamaica’s most significant rebellion, the 1968 Rodney riots, and his scholarship trained a generation how to think politics at an international scale. In 1980, shortly after founding of the Working People’s Alliance in Guyana, the 38-year-old Rodney would be assassinated.

In this classic work published in the heady days of international black power, Groundings with My Brothers details the global circulation of emancipatory ideas, but also offers first-hand reports of Rodney’s mass movement organizing. Introduced and contextualized by leading Caribbean scholar-activists, this updated edition brings Rodney’s legacy to a new generation of radicals.


Click for more detail about Algiers, Third World Capital: Freedom Fighters, Revolutionaries, Black Panthers by Elaine Mokhtefi
Algiers, Third World Capital: Freedom Fighters, Revolutionaries, Black Panthers

by Elaine Mokhtefi
Verso Books (Aug 07, 2018)
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A fascinating portrait of life with the Black Panthers in Algiers: a story of liberation and radical politics

Following the Algerian war for independence and the defeat of France in 1962, Algiers became the liberation capital of the Third World. Elaine Mokhtefi, a young American woman immersed in the struggle and working with leaders of the Algerian Revolution, found a home here. A journalist and translator, she lived among guerrillas, revolutionaries, exiles, and visionaries, witnessing historical political formations and present at the filming of The Battle of Algiers.

Mokhtefi crossed paths with some of the era’s brightest stars: Frantz Fanon, Stokely Carmichael, Timothy Leary, Ahmed Ben Bella, Jomo Kenyatta, and Eldridge Cleaver. She was instrumental in the establishment of the International Section of the Black Panther Party in Algiers and close at hand as the group became involved in intrigue, murder, and international hijackings. She traveled with the Panthers and organized Cleaver’s clandestine departure for France. Algiers, Third World Capital is an unforgettable story of an era of passion and promise.


Click for more detail about Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory (Radical Thinkers) by Michele Wallace Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory (Radical Thinkers)

by Michele Wallace
Verso Books (Nov 08, 2016)
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First published in 1990, Michele Wallace’s Invisibility Blues is widely regarded as a landmark in the history of black feminism.

Wallace’s considerations of the black experience in America include recollections of her early life in Harlem; a look at the continued underrepresentation of black voices in politics, media, and culture; and the legacy of such figures as Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara, Toni Morrison,and Alice Walker. Wallace addresses the tensions between race, gender, and society, bringing them into the open with a singular mix of literary virtuosity and scholarly rigor. Invisibility Blues challenges and informs with the plain-spoken truth that has made it an acknowledged classic.


Click for more detail about Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (Feminist Classics) by Michele Wallace Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (Feminist Classics)

by Michele Wallace
Verso Books (Jun 09, 2015)
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Originally published in 1978, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman caused a storm of controversy. Michele Wallace blasted the masculine biases of the black politics that emerged from the sixties. She described how women remained marginalized by the patriarchal culture of Black Power, demonstrating the ways in which a genuine female subjectivity was blocked by the traditional myths of black womanhood. With a foreword that examines the debate the book has sparked between intellectuals and political leaders, as well as what has—and, crucially, has not—changed over the last four decades, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman continues to be deeply relevant to current feminist debates and black theory today.


Click for more detail about Rock ’Til You Drop: The Decline from Rebellion to Nostalgia by John Strausbaugh Rock ’Til You Drop: The Decline from Rebellion to Nostalgia

by John Strausbaugh
Verso Books (Aug 09, 2001)
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In the 1960s and early 70s rock and rebellion went arm in arm. This was the generation that angrily refused to grow up, to settle down. The Who captured the zeitgeist with precision: ‘I hope I die before I get old.’

Yet, thirty years later, many of the icons of rock and roll’s angry childhood are not only still alive but continue to haul themselves up on stage, limping through old standards with performances that have lost all edge and meaning. As the grizzled old men of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young undertake yet another tour, Cher makes her umpteenth comeback, and Yes grind out their old standards to punters at gambling resorts, John Strausbaugh reflects acidly on the declining charm of colostomy rock.

Strausbaugh interleaves acute reflections by commentators such as Ellen Willis, and legendary figures such as John Sinclair (manager of the notorious MC5) and Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs, with his own take on the business of rock and roll. Intemperate and savvy, he rails at the timidity of Rolling Stone‘s hipster capitalism, the sterility of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the appalling prospect of the Stones heading out on the road again after live appearances that were dubbed the ‘Steel Wheelchairs’ tour. He talks to the engaging Giorgio Gromelsky, manager of the Yardbirds, about the early days of rock and roll in London, and to Soul Coughing founder Mike Doughty about how a younger generation of musicians see the business today.

Impassioned and opnionated, Rock Til You Drop is a rousing indictment of a musical generation which started out with pretensions to be world changers and ended up merely as short-changers of their original ideals. The publishers disclaim responsibility for any further medical deterioration of aging rock and rollers who read this book.


Click for more detail about Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman by Michele Wallace Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman

by Michele Wallace
Verso Books (Apr 17, 1999)
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Originally published in 1978, this book caused a storm of controversy as Michele Wallace blasted the masculinist bias of the black politics that emerged from the sixties. She described how women remained marginalized by the patriarchal culture of Black Power and the ways in which a genuine female subjectivity was blocked by the traditional myths of black womanhood. In 1990 the author added a new introduction examining the debate the book had sparked between intellectuals and political leaders; an extensive bibliography of contemporary black feminist studies was also added. Black Macho raised issues and arguments that framed the terms of current feminist and black theory and continues to be relevant today.


Click for more detail about Beyond Black and White: Rethinking Race in American Politics and Society by Manning Marable Beyond Black and White: Rethinking Race in American Politics and Society

by Manning Marable
Verso Books (Oct 17, 1996)
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A generation removed from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power explosion of the 1960s, the pursuit of racial equality and social justice for African-Americans seems more elusive than ever. The realities of contemporary black America capture the nature of the crisis: life expectancy for black males is now below retirement age; median black income is less than 60 per cent that of whites; over 600,000 African-Americans are incarcerated in the US penal system; 23 per cent of all black males between the ages of eighteen and 29 are either in jail, on probation or parole, or awaiting trial. At the same time, affirmative action programs and civil rights reforms are being challenged by white conservatism.

Confronted with a renascent right and the continuing burden of grotesque inequality, Manning Marable argues that the black struggle must move beyond previous strategies for social change. The politics of black nationalism, which advocates the building of separate black institutions, is an insufficient response. The politics of integration, characterized by traditional middle-class organizations like the NAACP and Urban League, seeks only representation without genuine power. Instead, a transformationist approach is required, one that can embrace the unique cultural identity of African-Americans while restructuring power and privilege in American society. Only a strategy of radical democracy can ultimately deconstruct race as a social force.

Beyond Black and White brilliantly dissects the politics of race and class in the US of the 1990s. Topics include: the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy; the factors behind the rise and fall of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition: Benjamin Chavis and the conflicts within the NAAPC; and the national debate over affirmative action. Marable outlines the current debates in the black community between liberals, ‘Afrocentrists’, and the advocates of social transformation. He advances a political vision capable of drawing together minorities into a majority which can throw open the portals of power and govern in its own name.