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Joint winners of the Bread & Roses Award 2018 announced

3 Jun

‘Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands’ by Stuart Hall (with Bill Schwarz)
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge
joint winners of the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2018

In a first for the Bread & Roses Award, the guest judges have given this year’s prize to two books, ‘Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands’ by Stuart Hall (with Bill Schwarz) and ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and was presented to Bill Schwarz  by guest judge Joan Anim-Addo, at the London Radical Bookfair on Saturday 2nd June.

Bread & Roses Award Trustee, Nik Gorecki, on the sharing of the award.“The decision to share the award was predicated on the notion that these two exceptional books compliment one another so well, offering two different approaches and levels of insight into the inter-relational dynamics of racism.

Stuart Hall drew on a lifetime of experience and academic learning to offer a subtle yet complex perspective on empire, colonialism and identity. Reni Eddo-Lodge’s direct writing style captures the immediacy of political discourse in the social media age, and unflinchingly turns a spotlight on the too-often unacknowledged manifestations of racism across society. The two books together provide readers with a rich inter-generational and inter-sectional narrative of black British experience and analysis.”

Guest judge Katharine Quarmby on ‘Familiar Stranger’

“Familiar Stranger is an outstanding memoir which, with considerable subtlety, marries together memoir with politics, providing readers with a brilliant analysis of the many discontents of colonialism. This posthumous account, written with Bill Schwarz, gave a beautiful sense of point and counterpoint throughout the book.

The chapters on Hall’s childhood were particularly strong in delineating the many complexities of race and class as identity is created – and the sections on the Windrush generation and their descendants heartbreakingly poignant, in the light of what is happening now.There can be no better guide to the intricacies of navigating British identities after the fall of empire than this book.”

Guest judge Joan Anim-Addo on ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’

“Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race is a wonderful and timely book that dares to speak honestly to the contemporary moment in Britain, one that is increasingly characterised by young people, black and white, wanting to understand as fully as they can the society in which they live. While that society is of course multi-racial, the quality of life for too many people continues to be affected by the reality of race, or more accurately, racialised thinking in its varied guises.

Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race, in addressing – so unflinchingly – this concern with race, stands within a radical, though largely hidden tradition of black writing in Britain. Where, for example, Robert Wedderburn had travelled with his Axe Laid to the Root in the nineteenth century and Linton Kwesi Johnson, notably with his Inglan is a Bitch in the twentieth century, Reni Eddo-Lodge, a young, home-grown, Black British woman of the twenty-first century now stands. Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race must rightly be recognised for its radical work.

Kudos, too, to its publisher and the nameless person who quietly in the background refused to consent to the usual gatekeepers and fought for this book to be published. This book is direct. It is clear. It makes no excuses about its political positioning – black, intersectional, feminist – and it brings us all that much closer to the very necessary dialogue that we really need to have about race and that we must no longer sidestep.”


Submissions welcome for the 2018 Bread & Roses Award

5 Sep

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is happy to announce that submissions are now being welcomed for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2018. The Bread and Roses Award celebrates non-fiction which is

  • informed by socialist, anarchist, environmental, feminist and anti-racist concerns
  • inspires, supports or reports on political and/or personal change
  • accessible and readable by the interested reader
  • relates to global, national, local or specialist areas of interest

Previous winners have included:

David Graeber’s ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’ (Melville House, 2011),
Hsiao-Hung Pai’s ‘Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants’ (Verso, 2012),
Joe Glenton’s ‘Soldier Box: Why I Won’t Return to the War on Terror’ (Verso, 2013)
‘Here We Stand: Women Changing The World’, edited by Helena Earnshaw and Angharad Penrhyn Jones (Honno Press, 2014)
‘The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh’ by Jeremy Seabrook  (Hurst, 2015)
‘The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power’ by Alex Nunns (OR Books, 2016)

Award ceremony and prize money

The award will be awarded at the London Radical Bookfair, to be held on a Saturday in June 2018 (precise date tbc). This 2018 London Radical Bookfair will  be taking place at Goldsmiths University.

There is one prize of £500 to the winning title. The prize is run in conjunction with the ARB’s prize for progressive children’s writing, The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award.



For full submissions criteria please visit Bread and Roses website:

Crucially, submitted books must have been published in 2017 and books must be written, or largely written by authors or editors normally living in the UK.

The Bread and Roses Submission List 2017

9 Mar

We are very happy to announce here the books submitted for the 20167 award, which this year features 53 entries. To qualify, all titles must fit the award’s political requirements, and have been published in 2016 by an author who is primarily resident in the UK.

The Shortlist will be announced in April, and the award ceremony will be taking place at the London Radical Bookfair on Saturday June 24th. This year’s bookfair will be held at Goldsmiths University’s Great Hall.

Our thanks to all publishers and authors who have submitted titles.
The Submission List is presented here in alphabetical order, by publisher.

The Egyptians: A Radical Story Jack Shenker Allen Lane
The Optician of Lamedusa Emma Jane Kirby Allen Lane
The Descent of Man Grayson Perry Allen Lane
1917: Russia’s Red Year John Newsinger and Tim Sanders Bookmarks
A Rebel’s Guide to Malcolm X Antony Hamilton Bookmarks
Schools Out! : The Hidden History of Britain’s School Student Strikes Steve Cunningham & Michael Lavalette Bookmarks
This is the Place to Be Lara Pawson CB Editions
Lean Logic & Surviving The Future David Fleming & Shaun Chamberlin Chelsea Green
Moranifesto Caitlin Moran Ebury Press
And the Sun Shines Now: How Hillsborough and the Premier League Changed Britain Adrian Tempany Faber&Faber
Gee Vaucher: An Introspective Stevphen Shukaitis Firstsite
See Red Women’s Workshop – Feminist Posters 1974-1990 See Red Members & Sheila Rowbotham Four Corners Books
The Apocalypedia: A Utopian Guide to What is and What isn’t Darren Allen Green Books
Another Day in the Death of America Gary Younge Guardian Faber
The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis Patrick Kingsley Guardian Faber
The Long Depression Michael Roberts Haymarket
Six Authors in Search of Justice: Engaging with Political Transitions Michael Newman Hurst
A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt H.A. Hellyer Hurst
The Bleeding Edge: Why Capitalism Musn’t Get its Hands on New Technologies Ever Again Bob Hughes New Internationalist
Portraits of Violence : Ten Thinkers on Violence: A Visual Exploration Brad Evans & Sean Michael Wilson New Internationalist
NoNonsense Guide: Rethinking Education Adam Unwin & John Yandell New Internationalist
Shadow State: Inside the Secret Companies that Run Britain Alan White One World
Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East Christopher M. Davidson One World
The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power Alex Nunns OR Books
The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed a War Plane Andrea Needham Peace News
Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War Robin Yassin-Kassab & Leila Al-Shami Pluto
Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres Jamie Woodcock Pluto
The Rent Trap: How we Fell into It and How we Get Out of It Rosie Walker & Samir Jeraj Pluto
Cut Out: Living Without Welfare Jeremy Seabrook Pluto
1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition Kieran Allen Pluto
The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation Ian Cobain Portobello Books
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp Ben Rawlence Portobello Books
Being a Beast: An Intimate and Radical Look at Nature Charles Foster Profile Books
Reminiscences of RAR Roger Huddle & Red Saunders Red Words
Lean Out Dawn Foster Repeater Books
Games Without Frontiers Joe Kennedy Repeater Books
The Long Depression Michael Roberts Haymarket Books
Island Story J.D. Taylor Repeater Books
Until We Are Fire Shirin Ebadi Rider
The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde Stevphen Shukaitis Rowman & Littlefield
Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising 2016 Gilbert Achcar Saqi Books
The Battle for British Islam: Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism Sara Khan Saqi Books
The Leveller Revolution John Rees Verso
Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States Sheila Rowbotham Verso
The BBC: Myth of a Public Service Tom Mills Verso
Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School Stuart Jeffries Verso
The Last Communard: Adrien Lejeune, the Unexpected Life of a Revolutionary Gavin Bowd Verso
Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics Richard Seymour Verso
Ending the War on Drugs Richard Branson Virgin
The Last Days of the Spanish Republic Paul Preston William Collins
Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics Chris Knight Yale
Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East Christopher Phillips Yale
Angry White People: Coming Face-to-Face with the British Far Right Hsiao-Hung Pai Zed Books
No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance, Natasha King Zed Books


‘The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh’ by Jeremy Seabrook wins the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2016

8 May


The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is delighted to announce the winner of this year’s Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing as ‘The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh’ by Jeremy Seabrook, and published by Hurst Publishers.

In ‘The Song of the Shirt’ Seabrook shines a light on the seemingly forgotten plight of Bangladeshi textile workers, and compares, contrasts and links their situation with the histories of Britain’s own textile workers at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Remarkably, Seabrook does so with a uniquely lyrical prose style, and with an insight that is both highly knowledgeable and unmistakably heartfelt.

Official synopsis

“Labour in Bangladesh flows like its rivers in excess of what is required. Often, both take a huge toll. Labour that costs $1.66 an hour in China and 52 cents in India can be had for a song in Bangladesh 18 cents. It is mostly women and children working in fragile, flammable buildings who bring in 70 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange. Bangladesh today does not clothe the nakedness of the world, but provides it with limitless cheap garments through Primark, Walmart, Benetton, Gap.

In elegiac prose, Jeremy Seabrook dwells upon the disproportionate sacrifices demanded by the manufacture of such throwaway items as baseball caps. He shows us how Bengal and Lancashire offer mirror images of impoverishment and affluence. In the eighteenth century, the people of Bengal were dispossessed of ancient skills and the workers of Lancashire forced into labour settlements.

In a ghostly replay of traffic in the other direction, the decline of the British textile industry coincided with Bangladesh becoming one of the world’s major clothing exporters. With capital becoming more protean than ever, it wouldn’t t be long before the global imperium readies to shift its sites of exploitation in its nomadic cultivation of profit.”


IMG_5424 Cropped

Quotes from guest judges:

Guest judge Nina Power said of the book “Global, passionate, informative: Seabrook’s The Song of the Shirt is an elegiac and enraging account of the garment industry, placing humanity firmly at its heart.”

Co-guest judge Owen Hatherley added “This panoramic yet elliptical account of the textile towns raised and ruined (and back again) by industrial revolution in Lancashire and Bengal is unusual, powerful, and moving.”

The award was presented by Natalie Bennett, Nina Power and Owen Hatherley at the London Radical Bookfair. The author was presented with a cheque for £500, with the award money funded by the General Federation of Trade Unions.

The ARB would like to thank all publishers and authors who took part, resulting in an incredibly strong shortlist, all of which we would highly recommend reading.

The Bread and Roses Longlist 2016

21 Jan

We are very happy to announce the Longlist for the 2016 award, which this year features a record 57 entries. To qualify, all titles must fit the award’s political requirements, and have been published in 2015 by an author who is primarily resident in the UK.

The Shortlist will be announced in March, and the award ceremony will be taking place at the London Radical Bookfair on Saturday May 7th. This year’s bookfair will be held at Goldsmiths University’s Great Hall.

Our thanks to all publishers and authors who have submitted titles.
The Longlist is presented here in alphabetical order, by publisher.

Title Author Publisher
Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary Anita Anand Bloomsbury
Soldier, Spy: A Survivor’s Tale Victor Gregg with Rick Stroud Bloomsbury
The Health Gap Michael Marmot Bloomsbury
Marxism and Womens Liberation Judtih Orr Bookmarks
Them and Us: Fighting the Class War 1910-1939 John Newsinger Bookmarks
Fighting on All Fronts: Popular Resistance in the Second World War (ed) Donny Gluckstein Bookmarks
Bob Marley: Roots, Reggae & Revolution Brian Richardson Bookmarks
Fighters in the Shadows Robert Gildea Faber & Faber
Bitter Freedom Maurice Walsh Faber & Faber
The Planet Remade Oliver Morton Granta
Don’t Trust Don’t Fear Don’t Beg Ben Stewart Guardian Books
Cameron’s Coup Polly Toynbee and David Walker Guardian Books
Swimming with Sharks Joris Luyendijk Guardian Books
Doing Good Better William Macaskill Guardian Books
The Song of the Shirt Jeremy Seabrook Hurst
2071 The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren Duncan Macmillan and Chris Rapley John Murray
Northern ReSisters: Conversations with Radical Women Bernadette Hyland Mary Quaile Club
Blacklisted Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith New Internationalist
Austerity: The demolition of the welfare state and the rise of the zombie economy Kerry-Anne Mendoza New Internationalist
Rise of the Robots Martin Ford Oneworld
Unfinsihed Business Ann-Marie Slaughter Oneworld
My Life on the Road Gloria Steinem Oneworld
Empire of Fear Andrew Hosken Oneworld
Breadline Britain Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack Oneworld
The Play of Political Culture, Emotions and Identity Candida Yates Palgrave
Social and Psychological Dimensions of Personal Debt and the Debt Industry ed. Serdar M. Degirmencioglu and Carl Walker Palgrave
Inscription, Diagnosis, Deception and the Mental Health Industry Craig Newnes Palgrave
Do We Need Midwives? Michel Odent Pinter and Martin
Men, Love & Birth Mark Harris Pinter and Martin
A Passion for Birth. My life: anthropology, family and feminism Sheila Kitzinger Pinter and Martin
Bare Reality: 100 Women, Their Breasts, Their Stories Laura Dodsworth Pinter and Martin
Rebel Footprints David Rosenberg Pluto Press
Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth Kevin Ovenden Pluto Press
The Mythology of Work Peter Fleming Pluto Press
Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts Mel Evans Pluto Press
Whose Land Is Our Land? The use and abuse of Britain’s forgotten acres Peter Hetherington Policy Press
Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Brtiain Lisa McKenzie Policy Press
Honourable Friends? Caroline Lucas Portobello
Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? Katrine Marcal Portobello
Do It Like A Woman Caroline Criado-Perez Portobello
The Cabaret of Planets Richard Mabey Profile Books
Social Theory William Outhwaite Profile Books
Other People’s Money John Kay Profile Books
What Nature Does For Britain Tony Juniper Profile Books
LGBT Diversity and Inclusion in Early Years Education Deborah Price and Kath Taylor Routledge
All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain At Work Joanna Biggs Serpent’s Tail
Thatcher’s Secret War Clive Bloom The History Press
Petticoat Heroes Rhian E. Jones University of Wales Press
No Such Thing as a Free Gift Linsey McGoey Verso
The Extreme Centre: A Warning Tariq Ali Verso
Trans: A Memoir Juliet Jacques Verso
The Rise of the Islamic State Patrick Cockburn Verso
Red Rosa Kate Evans Verso
Inventing the Future Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams Verso
I Call Myself a Feminist ed. Amy Annette, Rachel Holmes, Martha Mosse, Victoria Pepe and Alice Stride Virago
Clothing Poverty Andrew Brooks Zed Books
The Racket Matthew Kennard Zed Books


Award Ceremony at London Radical Bookfair & Alternative Press Takeover

15 Apr















The winner of the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2014  will be announced at the London Radical Bookfair & Alternative Press Takeover on Saturday 10 May at Bishopsgate Institute. This free event will include a programme of talks on all of the shortlisted titles, with speakers including Rob Evans, Ben Griffin, Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Barry Kushner, Katharine Quarmby, Andrew Simms and Imogen Tyler. The announcement will be made by the guest judges of the prize: editor of The F-Word blog Jess McCabe, associate editor at The Guardian Seumas Milne, and writer, philosopher and activist Nina Power. For more information, please visit:

The winner of the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award will also be announced at the ceremony, the shortlist for which can be found here.




Guest judges for the Bread and Roses Award 2014

4 Oct

We’re delighted to announce the judges for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2014.


Jess McCabe

Jess McCabe is editor-at-large of the F-Word blog, which continues to be highly influential in debates around contemporary feminism. The Guardian listed it as one of The World’s 50 Most Powerful Blogs in 2008, and it continues week-on-week to chart in the Top 50 most visited political blogs in the UK.

Seumas Milne

Seumas Milne is a Guardian columnist and associate editor. He was the Guardian’s comment editor from 2001 to 2007 after working for the paper as a general reporter and labour editor. He has reported for the Guardian from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, south Asia and Latin America.

He is the author of ‘The Enemy Within: Thatcher’s Secret War Against the Miners’ (Verso 2004) and ‘The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty-first Century’ (Verso 2012).

Nina Power

Nina Power is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University. She is the author of ‘One-Dimensional Woman’ (Zero Books 2009), co-editor of Alain Badiou’s ‘On Beckett’ (Clinamen 2002), and the author of several articles on European Philosophy, atomism, pedagogy, art and politics.

Nina also writes for several magazines, including New Statesman, New Humanist, Cabinet, Radical Philosophy and The Philosophers’ Magazine. She is reviews editor for The Philosophers’ Magazine and also runs a film club (Kino Fist) in her spare time.