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This magisterial analysis of human history - from "Lucy," the first hominid, to the Great Recession of 2008 - combines the insights of earlier generations of Marxist historians with radical new ideas about the historical process.Reading history against the grain, Neil Faulkner reveals that what happened in the past was not predetermined. Choices were frequent and numerous. Different outcomes - liberation or barbarism - were often possible. Rejecting the top-down approach of conventional history, Faulkner contends that it is the mass action of ordinary people that drives great events.At the beginning of the 21st century - with economic disaster, war, climate catastrophe and deep class divisions - humans face perhaps the greatest crisis in the long history of our species. The lesson of A Marxist History of the World is that, since we created our past, we can also create a better future.
The Russian Revolution may well be the most misunderstood event in modern history. In A People's History of the Russian Revolution, Neil Faulkner sets out to debunk the myths. In this fast-paced introduction to the tumultuous events, the Russian people are the heroes. Faulkner shows how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action, destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers and warmongers.He rejects caricatures of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as authoritarian conspirators, 'democratic-centralists' or the progenitors of Stalinist dictatorship. He argues that the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and creativity - and that it was crushed by bloody counter-revolution and replaced with a monstrous form of bureaucratic state-capitalism.Laced with first-hand testimony, this history seeks to rescue the democratic essence of the revolution from its detractors and deniers, offering a perfect primer for the modern reader.
What was it like to attend the Olympics in 388 B.C.? Would the experience resemble Olympic festivals as we celebrate them today? This remarkable book transports us back to the heyday of the city-state and classical Greek civilization. It invites us to enter this distant, alien, but still familiar culture and discover what the Greeks did and didn't do during five thrilling days in August 2,400 years ago. In the Olympic Stadium there were no stands, no shade—and no women allowed. Visitors sat on a grassy bank in the searing heat of midsummer to watch naked athletes compete in footraces, the pentathlon, horse and chariot races, and three combat sports—wrestling, boxing, and pankration, everyone's favorite competition, with virtually no rules and considerable blood and pain. This colorfully illustrated volume offers a complete tour of the Olympic site exactly as athletes and spectators found it. The book evokes the sights, sounds, and smells of the crowded encampment; introduces the various attendees (from champions and charlatans to aristocrats and prostitutes); and explains the numerous exotic religious rituals. Uniquely detailed and precise, this guide offers readers an unparalleled opportunity to travel in time, back to the excitement of ancient Olympia.
Five times in the last 40 years, the working class has posed a radical alternative to the status quo. In each of these cases, the actions of workers themselves were the driving force of struggles with revolutionary potential. Each episode offers an inspiring glimpse of the way in which workers rise to the challenge of fighting for a better world-and pose their own alternative to the system. Although none of these struggles ultimately achieved their goals, they were 'revolutionary rehearsals' that hold important lessons about the struggle for modern socialism.
A narrative exploration of the American Revolution in the context of the African-American experience analyzes questions about what freedom and democracy mean for black Americans, covering such topics as the tasks faced by freedom-seeking slaves, the revolutionary nature of abolitionist sentiments and how slaves remembered the Revolution.
A controversial call to break up the Eurozone and stop the debt crisis. First, there was the credit crunch, and governments around the world stepped in to bail out the banks. The sequel to that debacle is the sovereign debt crisis, which has hit the eurozone hard. The hour has come to pay the piper, and ordinary citizens across Europe are growing to realize that socialism for the wealthy means punching a few new holes in their already-tightened belts. Building on his work as a leading member of the renowned Research on Money and Finance group, Costas Lapavitsas argues that European austerity is counterproductive. Cutbacks in public spending will mean a longer, deeper recession, worsen the burden of debt, further imperil banks, and may soon spell the end of monetary union itself. Crisis in the Eurozone charts a cautious path between political economy and radical economics to envisage a restructuring reliant on the forces of organized labour and civil society. The clear-headed rationalism at the heart of this book conveys a controversial message, unwelcome in many quarters but soon to be echoed across the continent: impoverished states have to quit the euro and cut their losses or worse hardship will ensue.

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