A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things with icons for nature, work, care, food, energy, money and lives (in the shape of a seven)

A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things

We continue our series on the environmental and climate crises with a discussion of Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore’s “A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet”, at Black Book Cafe on June 19th, 7.30-9.30pm. Events are free to attend but we ask for a donation of £2-3 from anyone who can afford it to cover venue costs. Please contact us about any accessibility requirements. We aim to make the sessions a welcoming space for anyone interested in the topic, you do not need to have a university education or have ever been to a reading group before!

Our discussion will focus on the Introduction – download a pdf: PatelMooreHistory7CheapThings (7.4Mb), though we encourage people to read the whole book if possible. Get in touch if you would like to be included in a bulk purchase with Stroud Bookshop.

“How has capitalism devastated the planet—and what can we do about it?

Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, governed, and devastated the Earth.

In A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore present a new approach to analysing today’s planetary emergencies. Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, Patel and Moore demonstrate that throughout history crises have always prompted fresh strategies to make the world cheap and safe for capitalism. At a time of crisis in all seven cheap things, innovative and systemic thinking is urgently required. This book proposes a radical new way of understanding—and reclaiming—the planet in the turbulent twenty-first century.” (from University of California Press page about the book)

Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything, says “Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore have transformed ‘cheapness’ into a brilliant and original lens that helps us understand the most pressing crises of our time, from hyper-exploitation of labor to climate change. They demystify the systemic forces that have gotten us here, showing how our various struggles for justice are connected. As we come together to build a better world, this book could well become a defining framework to broaden and deepen our ambitions.”

The series on climate and environmental crises will continue with a discussion of Wangari Maathai’s A Challenge for Africa on July 17th, and this session follows Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime by Bruno Latour on May 15th.

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