Archive for the ‘Paul Mason’ Category

Paul Mason introduces Slavoj Žižek for BBC Newsnight

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More details on the book Living in the End Times.

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Indeed. Cheerio.

Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown by Chris Harvie.

Good Riddance to New Labour by Tony Wood.

The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq by Patrick Cockburn.

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed by Paul Mason.

The Liberal Defence of Murder by Richard Seymour.

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Zizek.

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See below some key Verso writers on understanding the issues around (and beyond – or against!) the general election.

Tony Wood: Good Riddance to New Labour – from NLR 62 Mar/Apr 2010

As the British general election approaches, a balance-sheet of New Labour’s thirteen years in office. The record of Blair and Brown—imperial wars abroad, subservience to the City at home—as so many reasons to cheer their downfall. Tony Wood is the author of Chechnya: The Case for Independence.

Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown – Chris Harvie – Paperback Original – 9781844674398 –£8.99 – 2010 (March)

An essential anatomy of New Labour’s bankrupt policies and a caustic portrait of a decade that went from boom to bust. All you need to know about Gordon Brown’s rule.

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed – Paul Mason – Paperback Original – 9781844673964 – £7.99 –


The issue that will dominate the election and the reason for all those cuts – why did it happen?

“What people need is a reliable guide to the financial crisis … Meltdown is the book they are looking for.” — John Gray, New Statesman

A page turning account … Mason is refreshingly clear-eyed — and angry. — Will Hutton, Guardian

NHS Plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care – Allyson Pollock –

Paperback – 9781844675395 – £9.99 – 2005

Another key election issue – what is the future of the NHS? Will we see more privatisation after the election?

“A rallying point for those against public-private partnerships, Pollock plays a powerful role as one of the few people to provide academic evidence to make the case for little or no private sector involvement in the public realm. Pollock is a fearsome critic of foundation hospitals, which she says will kill the NHS. Expect to hear lots more from her.” — Guardian

The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition – Marx & Engels, with an intro by Eric Hobsbawm – Hardback (gift format and size) – 9781859848982 – £9

Forget the party manifestoes – this is still the only one that counts!

“Every paragraph breaks over us like a wave that leaves us shaking from the impact and wet with thought. This prose evokes breathless momentum, plunging ahead without guides or maps, breaking all boundaries, precarious piling and layering of things, ideas and experiences.”— Marshall Berman, The Nation

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce – Slavoj Zizek – Paperback Original – 9781844674282 – £7.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Slavoj Zizek writes a caustic epitaph for neoliberalism and speculates on the possibilites for a new communuism.

“Characteristically enjoyable development of his recent journalistic commentary … , which digs joyfully into the ideological cracks of the financial crisis.” — Steven Poole, Guardian

Hatred of Democracy – Jacques Ranciere – New in Paperback – 9781844673865 – £8.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Ranciere reminds us of the power of the democratic idea and tears strips off those who seek to give it limits.

“This tastily sardonic essay is partly a scholarly sprint through the history of political philosophy, and partly a very enjoyable stream of insults drected to rival penseurs.” – Steven Poole, Guardian

The Left Alternative – Roberto Mangabeira Unger – Paperback – 9781844673704 – £7.99 – 2009 (Autumn)

Which way for the Left? Unger sets out a powerful manifesto.

“This book has influenced how I think and what I do. It sets out the principles for a future Left and crucially challenges us to think not just about how we spend revenues but how we might create them.” — Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat – Steven Lukes – New in Paperback – 9781844673698 – £7.99 – 2009 i(Autumn)

A wonderful Swiftian satire of the key political ideas of our age.

“A delightfully edifying comedy.” — Guardian

“This book is a box of delights, often wonderfully funny and always deliciously clever, a contemporary political satire to set among the best.” — New Statesman and Society

Putney Debates – The Levellers – introduced by Geoffrey Robertson – Paperback Original – 9781844671755 – £7.99 – 2007

Renowned human-rights lawyer and author Geoffrey Robertson makes a passionate argument for the relevance of the Levellers’ stand today, showing how they were the first Western radical democrats.

Storytelling: Bewitching the Modern Mind – Christian Salmon – Hardback – 9781844673919 – £14.99 – 2010 (March)

An essential guide to the spin doctors’ plans and how electoral campaigns become attempts to market political life as if it was an attractive narrative. An essential manual for seeing through the nonsense.

The New Old World – Perry Anderson – Hardback – 9781844673124 – £24.99 – 2010 (January)

Perry Anderson on the history of the European Union and discusses the possibilities for its future.

“This is a hugely ambitious and panoramic political book, of a sort rarely attempted in our era of quick leader biographies and reheated histories of the second world war.” — Andy Beckett, Guardian

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Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, is the keynote speaker at World Development Movement Activist Gathering and 40th anniversary party on Saturday 19 June 2010 at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Sheffield.

For more information and to book your free place, visit WDM’s website here.

Read Paul’s blog post on Idle Scrawl following the rumblings from Eyjafjallajökull:

I live on the Heathrow eastern approach path and have now woken up two days running to a total sky silence. Soon the smoothie-makers and power-drills will get going, but – as with the fuel protests – we’re having another inadvertent glimpse of what a post-carbon future might look like, or in this case sound like.

Tens of thousands are stranded. At the whim of nature this could turn into a serious economic event, with airlines already projected to lose tens of millions of pounds, air freight disrupted and global mobility impaired. British shoppers may soon get to find out what non-Keynan green beans taste like; in fact we may be forced back to seasonal veg. The supermarkets may even be forced to find some British lamb to put on the shelves.

A couple of days ago I tweeted this thought in jest but it is worth thinking about: the original Krakatoa eruption of 1883 killed tens of thousands in the blast and tens of thousands more with the tsunami. Then its dust cloud spread into the global atmosphere: it lowered the temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree, turning the sky red, making Edvard Munch paint The Scream. Crops were disrupted. But air traffic was OK because, er, there wasn’t any. Has anybody modelled what a Krakatoa-scale eruption would do to modern air transport?


Big events trip us, psychologically, into awareness. The fuel protests unleashed a complex re-appraisal of our love affair with the car. Katrina made us understand how rapidly modern society disintegrates. This ash cloud is, already, making us appreciate how reliant we are on air freight and air travel.

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Watch Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, meet Slavoj Zizek, author of many books including  First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, and the forthcoming Living in the End Times, on the BBC Culture Show, Episode 22 (about 40 minutes in).

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On tomorrow’s episode of the Culture Show, Thursday 28th January, 19:00 on BBC Two, Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, meets Slavoj Zizek to talk about First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.

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On next week’s Culture Show, Thursday 28th January, 19:00 on BBC Two, Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, meets Slavoj Zizek to talk about First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.

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