The New Statesman's "Red Reads" - why are they all so old?

Here's an alternative top ten from the past two decades

Our 'Red Reads' feature in this week's magazine - the top fifty left-wing, liberal and progressive books "guaranteed to inspire" - caused much debate and discussion here in the New Statesman offices. Should C.L.R. James be number 1? Is Tom Paine a lefty? How high should the New Testament be? And my own personal, unanswered question: why are there so few contemporary classics included in the list? There are hardly any books from the nineties and the noughties: only six books ("What a Carve Up" (49), "How We Should Rule Ourselves" (48), "Tom and Clem" (43), "No Logo" (23), "Persepolis" (26), Mi Revalueshanary Fren (11)) from these two decades and none of them make the top 10.

So what contemporary classis of left-wing thinking, polemicizing, analysing and writing might be missing from our - by definition - subjective list? Here are ten books, off the top of my head, and in no particular order, from the past twenty years that didn't make it into the "Red Reads":

Naomi Klein/"The Shock Doctrine" (2007)
Read the review here

Barack Obama/"Dreams from my Father" (1995)
Read the review here

John Pilger/"Hidden Agendas" (1998)
Read the review here

Paul Krugman/"The Conscience of a Liberal"(2007)
Read the review here

Mark Curtis/"Web of Deceit" (2003)
Read the review here

Tariq Ali/"The Clash of Fundamentalisms" (2003)
Read the review here

Christopher Hitchens/"No One Left To Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton" (1999)
Read the review here

Will Hutton/"The State We're In" (1995)
Read the review here

Joseph Stiglitz /"Globalization and its Discontents" (2002)
Read the review here

Seymour Hersh/"Chain of Command" (2005)
Read the review here

Have you got any quibbles with my list? Feel free to comment below.

If you would like to suggest your own list to the New Statesman, you can do so here.

 

 

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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