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Top 10 of 2010: AK Press Publishing

Posted on January 12th, 2011 in AK Distribution, AK News

Okay, so we realize that most people put together their “best-of-the-year” features before said year actually draws to its close. Hope you’ll forgive us the extra couple of weeks. Now that we’ve officially closed out 2010, we’re taking some time to look back at what we managed to accomplish this year (which, by the way, was our 20th anniversary year…look out world, we’re 21 now!).

So, here’s the first of TWO Top 10 lists—the bestselling new AK Press books of 2010. Stay tuned, because coming later this week, we’ll follow it up with a list of the year’s hottest new distribution items!

Top 10 New AK Press Titles of 2010:

1. We Are an Image From the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008 [ed. AG Schwarz, Tasos Sagris, & Void Network]
“The Greek book” made a big splash this year—thanks in part to the inspiring US book tour, and also thanks in part to a very strange mention on Glenn Beck’s TV show. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand what happened in Greece, and what’s still going on in Europe today.

2. How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds [Paul Craig Roberts]
We assume this CounterPunch book did particularly well because it’s short, it’s understandable, and it just so happens to answer the question on everyone’s mind. Amid continuing economic crisis, this is the explanation you’ve been waiting for.

3. Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future [Matt Hern]
This book was released to coincide with the 2010 Olympics (and anti-Olympic struggles) in the author’s home city of Vancouver, which he uses as a case study. It’s been well received this year by everyone from reviewers to radical urbanites to college professors. See what all the fuss is about!

4. Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent [AK Thompson]
This long-awaited release from Upping the Anti‘s AK Thompson sheds light on the omnipresent issue of political violence, looking particularly at the black bloc, the political trajectory of the white middle class, and the anti-globalization movement. Check out this recent review—or just pick up the book.

5. Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States [ed. Team Colors Collective]
Thanks to an exciting release at the US Social Forum, followed by an extensive national book tour, this collection—a wide-ranging look at social movements in the US today—made a big splash. Read the one essay on our blog, and you’ll be hooked! Also check out the companion volume, Wind(s) from Below: Radical Community Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible.

6. Mountain Justice: Homegrown Resistance to Mountaintop Removal, For the Future of Us All [Tricia Shapiro]
Tricia Shapiro launched her new book at this year’s Baltimore Book Festival, and then took it out on tour. An essential book on the fight against mountaintop removal in Appalachia—check out a couple of Tricia’s reports on MTR resistance for our blog, here and here, to get a feel for her book.

7. Anarchism and its Aspirations [Cindy Milstein]
We knew that this basic introduction to anarchism would be a hit at our tables. It debuted at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair, and Cindy has since made appearances at bookfairs in New York, Montreal, Minneapolis, and more! Check out this excerpt from her book, or better yet, read the book and then pass it off to all your anarcho-curious friends.

8. Flash: A Novel [Jim Miller]
AK’s first fiction book! And, thanks to a great launch at the San Diego City College Book Festival, and a touring author (you can catch him in the Bay Area this week—tomorrow evening at Modern Times, Friday at the AK Press warehouse!), it’s been a great success. And, it’s good!

9. Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America [Benjamin Dangl]
This new book, from the author of The Price of Fire, has had a great year! It’s an excellent book if we do say so ourselves, but an extensive author tour and some nice reviews haven’t hurt either. Read all about it (and listen to one of Ben’s talks) here on our blog.

10. Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World [Kolya Abramsky]
This past year has brought its share of environment and energy crises, and it’s time to think about our options for energy production and consumptions outside of capitalism. Kolya Abramsky’s ambitious intervention is a good start. Check out an excerpt from the book, listen to one of his talks, and watch for him on a more extensive tour in 2011!

Honorable mention:
Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now [ed. Dara Greenwald & Josh MacPhee]
Just released in November, but a holiday bestseller, this book has already almost made it into the year’s Top 10—so it’s definitely worth a mention here. It’s a huge achievement, a catalog of social movement artwork from all over the world—and it’s getting noticed. For starters, it was reviewed by Peter Linebaugh in Counterpunch—and even Publishers Weekly did an article on the book and our fundraiser for Dara Greenwald’s recovery fund!

And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Friends of AK Press program here. In 2010, generous support from the Friends of AK Press helped us to publish all 11 titles mentioned here—plus Carlo Tresca, Academic Repression, A Poetics of Resistance, Dispersing Power, Anarchism and the City, Wasting Libby, Come Hell or High Water, In the Crossfire, Paradoxes of Utopia, and the Work: 2011 Calendar. And in return, Friends of AK each received all of these books in the mail, as they came out! Yowza! Sign up now to help us usher in our 21st year, and ensure a 2011 full of worthy reading material. And a round of applause for all you Friends of AK who helped this great year of publishing happen!