Discover the best radical writing, carefully curated for you, with the UK’s leading not-for-profit book subscription. Left Book Club was founded by Victor Gollancz in 1936 to oppose fascism and inequality. Relaunched in 2015, today it is a thriving subscription book club building reading groups across the UK – and a membership would make the perfect radical Christmas gift.
Left Book Club history
Left Book Club was founded in 1936 by publisher Victor Gollancz and it quickly became a mass movement with over 57,000 members. Running thousands of reading groups around the UK, it is often credited with laying the groundwork for Labour’s victory in 1945 and the introduction of the welfare state.
At least eight members of the 1945 Labour cabinet were Left Book Club authors, including Clement Attlee. Another famous club author was George Orwell, as it published the original edition of The Road to Wigan Pier.
Books were printed in their thousands and sent out to members every month via local bookshops.
Now, the world is ready for a Left Book Club suited to the 21st century – hence its relaunch in 2015.
Maxine Peake, actor, said:
The magnificent Left Book Club is a window into an alternative future.
As an example of the kind of content you can expect with a membership, October’s book was the hugely acclaimed A Nation of Shopkeepers by Dan Evans.
A Nation of Shopkeepers
A Nation of Shopkeepers explores the class structure of contemporary Britain and the growth of the petty bourgeoisie following Thatcherism. It shows how the rise of home ownership, small landlordism and huge changes to the world of work have promoted individualism and conspicuous consumption – and what this means for the left.
Academic Danny Dorling called it:
A brilliant account of how and why “working class” and “middle class” have become such useless labels in the UK, and how we are actually divided.
Ethnographer and lecturer Lisa Mc Kenzie said it’s:
A fantastically-written romp filled with humour and pathos.
Reading groups and community
The organisation supports reading groups and community libraries around the UK. Reading groups provide an inclusive and accessible space to debate political ideas and strengthen community networks. It also organises online events, where you can put your questions to authors and special guest speakers. Left Book Club is also building a network of reading groups, and it can help you get your own group off the ground.
Events are listed on its website and in the Left Boom Club community app.
Overall, a membership makes a fabulous and affordable gift, with membership options starting from just £6.99 a month plus postage.
A Left Book Club membership this Christmas
• The best books exploring politics, economics & society, carefully selected for you.
• Beautiful, unique editions of every book.
• Access to the Left Book Club community app & invites to reading groups and events.
With every gift membership this Christmas the Left Book Club will send you – the gift buyer – a set of three foiled bookmarks. Plus, if you choose to pay annually, new members will also receive an extra free book and membership pin in their first parcel.
So, start a membership plan with Left Book Club today for you or someone close to you.
Featured image and additional images via Left Book Club