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The Verso Book of Dissent

Reviewed by Fionnchú

Commemorating four decades of radical publishing at Verso, whose name comes from the “left” side of the page, Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim gather hundreds of contrarian voices “from Spartacus to the Shoe-Thrower of Baghdad.” The currency of their effort extends their coverage past these two markers. It begins with an anonymous “Tale of the Eloquent Peasant” ca. 1800 BCE. It ends with Swedish mystery writer Henning Mankell’s judgement on the flotilla he boarded that challenged Israeli forces to end the Gaza blockade this past May: “I believe so strongly in solidarity as an instrument to change the world, and I believe in dialogue, but it’s the action that proves the word.”

Such activism, chanted, muttered, televised, spat, or reasoned, characterizes the tone of the rebels and protesters from four millennia. Tariq Ali’s preface admits that to “preserve a geographical and historical balance,” much had to be excised. This collection, therefore, serves more as a compendium than a book to be read straight through. The editorial effort to ensure fair representation from all over the globe does allow stodgy recitals of platforms and policies. Some leaders rallying resistance lack memorable rhetoric . Speeches by politicians and monologues from theorists drag down the livelier utterances, often spoken from jail cells or at the stake, for many of these revolutionaries died for their courage.

Read the original article at: Blogtrotter

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