Two books on working-class politics and theory have just been published in Arabic translations.
One is Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism by Jack Barnes, national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. The other is Sexism and Science by Evelyn Reed, a longtime SWP leader and fighter for women’s rights who died in 1979.
Both books, originally published in English by Pathfinder Press, were produced earlier this year by Trigraphics Design and Printing. Based in Beirut, Trigraphics sells books in Lebanon, Iraq and other Arabic-speaking countries.
Along with several other Pathfinder titles already available in Arabic, these two books will help working people in the Mideast, North Africa and beyond learn about the workings of capitalism, which is today in a deepening world crisis. Both present a working-class course to wrest power from the capitalists and advance the fight to end exploitation, national oppression, women’s second-class status and imperialist wars.
Trigraphics made the agreement with Pathfinder during the February 2019 Baghdad International Book Fair.
Two months later, at the Erbil International Book Fair in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Trigraphics signed an agreement to publish two more Pathfinder titles — Cosmetics, Fashions, and the Exploitation of Women by Joseph Hansen, Evelyn Reed and Mary-Alice Waters; and Problems of Women’s Liberation, also by Reed.
Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? in English was by far Pathfinder’s best seller at the two book fairs, with more than 150 copies in Baghdad and 158 in Erbil. Workers and youth there were interested in a book, as its back cover explains, that “takes apart the self-serving rationalizations of a growing layer of well-paid professionals that their schooling and ‘brightness’ equip them to ‘regulate’ the lives of working people, who can’t be trusted to know what’s in our own interests.”
What Barnes says in the books is as important for working people in Iraq and Kurdistan as in the U.S.: that it’s through “coming battles forced upon us by the capitalist rulers [that] workers will begin to transform ourselves and our attitudes toward life, work, and each other. Only then will we discover our own worth and learn what we’re capable of becoming.”
Titles by Reed and other books on women’s emancipation were also big sellers in both Baghdad and Erbil.
Pathfinder distributors in the U.S. and U.K. will make these newly produced books available for sale in North America, Europe and worldwide.