"Fred Hampton dead body" by Chicago Police Department - from the documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton Image © Public Domain via Commons

The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Dissent in the U.S.

Ward Churchill and Jim Van der Wall

Fascinating dissection of the war against “subversives,” everything from assassinations to fomenting race wars.

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 468 pages


London Labour and the London Poor: Volume 1

Henry Mayhew

Extraordinary document of Victorian London, told from the bottom up, by a literary gadfly and one-time editor of Punch, the British humor magazine. “The image of London that emerges from Mayhew’s pages is that of a vast, ingeniously balanced mechanism in which each class subsists on the drippings and droppings of the stratum above, all the way from the rich, whom we scarcely glimpse, down to the deformed and starving, whom we see groping for bits of salvageable bone or decaying vegetables in the markets. Such extreme conditions bred weird extremities of adaption, a remarkably diverse yet cohesive subculture of poverty. Ragged, fantastic armies, each with its distinctive jargon and implements, roamed the streets: ‘pure-finders’ with bucket and glove, picking up dog dung and selling it to tanners; rag-gatherers, themselves dressed in the rotted cloth they salvaged, armed with pointed sticks; bent, slime-soiled ‘mud-larks,’ groping at low tide in the ooze of the Thames for bits of coal, chips of wood, or copper nails dropped from the sheathing of barges… The rapid, wrenching industrialization of England (London’s population trebled between 1800 and 1850) was breeding a new species of humanity, a rootless generation entirely environed by brick, smoke, work and want.” Hundreds of first-person narratives, told in the vernacular of the workers themselves. Puts Dickens to shame. GR

Publisher: Dover
Paperback: 494 pages

The Mad King: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria

Greg King

If there is beauty to madness, then that beauty might best be exemplified by this eccentric Bavarian regent, whose Neuschwanstein Castle served as the model for Walt Disney’s romantic castle. A practicing homosexual, Ludwig II ascended the throne at the age of 18. While never as shockingly flamboyant as the utterly depraved Roman Emperor Heliogabalous, Ludwig nevertheless was a servant to his passions: music, architecture, and a slave-like devotion to Richard Wagner. Along with Bismarck, Ludwig II became the founder of Germany’s Second Reich, which was followed by the better known Third Reich of Adolf Hitler, who was also devoted to Wagner and architecture… hmmm… have we missed anything here? Aside from these peripheral issues, what sort of man was Ludwig? To a friend he confided, “I dreamed I was breaking a large jug of water over the Queen’s head, dragging her about on the ground by her hair and stomping on her breast with my heels.” JB

Publisher: Birch Lane
Hardback: 335 pages

Malcolm X as Cultural Hero and Other Afrocentric Essays

Molefi K. Asante

“With the Age of Malcolm a new epoch began in the conception of national culture or cultural nationalism causing a far-reaching revolution in traditional views held by members of African-American institutions. Malcolm was not merely ‘our manhood,’ as Ossie Davis nobly put it at Malcolm’s funeral, but the keeper of the ancestral flames of a proactive response to the human condition, his own life represented the rebirth of the extensive African-American commitment to cultural reconstruction which are not yet concluded.”

Publisher: Africa World
Paperback: 191 pages

The Man in the Ice: The Discovery of a 5,000-Year-Old Body Reveals the Secrets of the Stone Age

Konrad Spindler

“In 1991, a group of tourists found the body of a mountaineer in an Alpine glacier on the Austrian-Italian border… the body of a Neolithic hunter, a man who had died some 5,300 years ago.” This scientific detective story, written by the first scientist on the scene, “details the Iceman’s well-preserved equipment and clothing, and interprets these fascinating clues to the nature of daily life in the Stone Age.” What was he doing miles up in the harsh alpine mountains? What can we learn from the cruciform tattoo on his inner right knee, the birch-bark container found nearby, his grass-cord shoes or his bow-stave, and five crude arrow-shafts? “Finally, how did he die?” This discovery answers many questions about human prehistory. GR

Publisher: Crown
Paperback: 306 pages

Man, God and Civilization

John G. Jackson

“Nearly all the so-called world histories and histories of civilization so popular in contemporary academic circles are based mainly on what is known as European Civilization,” says John G. Jackson. “This species of parochialism gives a false picture of human history, and few students become aware of the fact that European Civilization, speaking historically, is a product of the recent past, and that European Culture was not indigenous but was derived from older civilizations of Africa and Asia.”

Publisher: Citadel
Paperback: 327 pages

Ministry of Lies: The Truth Behind the Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews

Harold Brackman

A point-by-point refutation of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks And Jews authored anonymously and published by the Nation Of Islam. Not surprisingly, the author concludes that Jewish slave owners were no better or worse than the average Christian of the period. In fact, according to rabbinical laws, a Jewish slave holder was technically prohibited from having sexual relations with slave girls—causing amazement among Old World Arabs that the Jews didn’t use slave girls for sex. SC

Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows
Paperback: 160 pages

Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics —Conversations with Felix Chuev

V.M. Molotov

Best known in the West as Soviet foreign minister during World War II and the Cold War, V.M. Molotov spent 70 years at the top of the Soviet heap. Right-hand man under Lenin and then Stalin, diplomat to Hitler, insider to the rise and fall of Khrushchev, Molotov was a rubber-stamping yesman who turned out to be a valuable historical source on “the politics and psychology of the most influential movement of the 20th century,” since neither Stalin nor Lenin left any biographical musings. “Eerily fascinating,“ says Woodford McClellan, professor of Russian history. “One does not so much read this book as engage in a one-on-one conversation with a major figure in a gigantic criminal organization. The answers come readily, couched not in anything resembling normal human emotions but rather in the stupefyingly cynical amorality that characterized the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” GR

Publisher: Dee
Hardback: 439 pages

The Movement of the Free Spirit

Raoul Vaneigem

“This book by the legendary Situationist activist and author of The Revolution of Everyday Life is a fiercely partisan historical reflection on the ways religious and economic forces have shaped Western culture. Within this broad frame, Raoul Vaneigem examines the heretical and millenarian movements that challenged social and ecclesiastical authority in Europe from the 1200s into the 1500s… At the core of these heresies, Vaneigem sees not only resistance to the power of the state and church but also the immensely creative invention of new forms of love, sexuality, community and exchange. Vaneigem vividly portrays the radical opposition presented by these movements to the imperatives of an emerging market-based economy and he evokes crucial historical parallels with other anti-systemic rebellions throughout the history of the West.”

Publisher: Zone
Hardback: 302 pages

The Name “Negro”: Its Origin and Evil Use

Edited by Moore, Turner and Moore

A compressive study and definition of the name “Negro,” starting from its origins at the beginning of the slave trade. Moore proves how the word was used to divide the peoples of African descent and reinforce their supposed inferiority. SC

Publisher: Black Classic
Paperback: 108 pages

The Nation of Islam: An American Millenarian Movement

Martha F. Lee

“The Nation of Islam as a millenarian movement underwent a fateful transformation when its prophecies concerning the end failed. The result was the transformation of the Nation, after the death of Elijah Muhammad, into two quite different entities. The first is the American Muslim Mission… led by Imam Wallace D. Muhammad… the second is the reconstituted Nation of Islam under the guidance of the controversial Minister Louis Farrakhan… a history of the Nation of Islam movement from its beginnings early in this century to 1986.”

Publisher: Syracuse University
Paperback: 200 pages