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Top Ten New Items in AK Distro! (May)

By Suzanne | May 4, 2009

As you hopefully know, aside from publishing around 20 titles a year, AK Press also distributes over 3,000 other radical books, CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, and other good stuff to individuals, groups, and stores all over the world. Since distribution is a big part of what we do at AK, we’re always trying to bring in new items to keep our catalog fresh and to make sure we have what folks are looking for. So, since there’s always good stuff coming in, every month on our blog we’ll let you know the highlights of what’s new. If you’d like to get more frequent updates by e-mail (we aim for twice a month), please join our mailing list:

This month you might notice an environmental theme to several of our new distro titles—which is probably because publishers tend to time the releases of their new “green” books to coincide with Earth Day, as AK Press did with The Green Zone ( We’re all very clever!

As a side note, we’re always looking to make contact with new publishers, distros, and stores, too—so please drop us a line if you want to suggest new items we should be carrying, or if you’d like to join our network of tablers or stock your infoshop with new titles.


EXPOSED: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products — By Mark Schapiro. This one was a hit in hardcover when we shared a booth with Chelsea Green Publishing at the Green Festival last year, but now that it’s out in paperback, even people who don’t attend Green Festivals can afford it! A great (and shocking) look at the toxic chemicals that lurk where you least expect them.

VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine — By Bryant Terry. There was a great vegan soul food restaurant in Oakland for a minute. Then it closed and we were all thrown into despair. But now we have this: a new cookbook full of vegan soul food we can make right in our own kitchens! It’s by a local chef, too, so maybe there’s hope for an Oakland vegan soul food revival…

POETS FOR PALESTINE — Edited by Remi Kanazi. One of the more impressive local shows I’ve seen in the past few years was a hip-hop/spoken word show featuring several touring groups of mostly Palestinian artists—so imagine my delight when we got this in and I looked at the table of contents. It’s some of the same acts I remembered from that show—the N.O.M.A.D.S, Nizar Wattad (Ragtop)—but also some big-name poets like Amiri Baraka, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mahmoud Darwish. Interspersed with some stunning black-and-white art.

IN AND OUT OF THE WORKING CLASS — By Michael D. Yates. Yates is a pretty prolific writer (see our other recent arrival by him, the new edition of WHY UNIONS MATTER). But this book is unique among them—instead of another objective analysis, what he gives us here is both personal and political. He draws on his own expertise as a political economist to explain different facets of his own life experience, and the end result is this collection of semi-autobiographical essays on the complexities of class and identity.

IN SEARCH OF THE LOST TASTE — By Joshua Ploeg. Some (OK, most) of the recipes here are weird-sounding enough that you just know they must be delicious. The table of contents reads like the menu of a fancy restaurant, with all its yummy-sounding sauces, spreads, reductions, and relishes…and yet you won’t need the budget of a fancy restaurant to try out these recipes. Joshua Ploeg is the former singer of Behead the Prophet, Mukilteo Fairies and Lords of Lightspeed (I’m pretty uncool myself, so I’m just pretending I know who these bands are). He is now a vegan touring chef to the stars!

THE ANIMAL ACTIVIST’S HANDBOOK: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World — By Matt Ball & Bruce Friedrich. The premise here is pretty simple…rocket scientist goes vegan and starts Vegan Outreach (an animal rights organization); student drops out of college, works at a Catholic Worker soup kitchen, goes vegan and later becomes the vice president of PETA; the two come together to reflect on their experiences, successes, and missteps. Here’s a simple guide for all you aspiring animal rights activists out there, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

HEAT: How to Stop the Planet From Burning — By George Monbiot. There’s been a big push behind this book from our friends at South End Press, and that makes sense. It’s a message that needs to get out sooner rather than later. The premise of the book is that we all know climate change is happening, and it’s still scientifically possible to reverse it by making specific changes, but those changes must be immediate and decisive—there’s no time to waste. Also available as a sale-priced hardcover:

MIX TAPES & COTTON 7″ LP — By Drowning Dog. This is the latest release from our comrades, anarchist hip-hop artists Drowning Dog and Malatesta of Entartete Kunst. An honest, personal look at growing up working-class and the experiences of racism, sexism, and capitalist oppression. Short, to the point, and put out by lovely folks we are glad to support!

ZAPATA OF MEXICO — By Peter Newell. All right, so this isn’t a new release at all—not even new to us. This edition was originally published thirty years ago by Black Thorn Books, and we got ahold of some copies a few years back, but we ran out pretty quickly and thought they were gone forever. Now we’ve located more, and they’re available again at a great price, while they last!

ARMITAGE AVENUE TRANSCENDENTALISTS — A great find for anyone who’s ever lived in Chicago, been fascinated by Chicago, or even wanted to go to Chicago, this is an edited collection of pieces on the city and its unique history and cast of characters. Includes pieces from contributors as wide-ranging as Franklin and Penelope Rosemont, Studs Terkel, Eduardo Galeano, and Daniel Pinkwater (who, incidentally, wrote a book about werewolves and beat poets that I really enjoyed as a kid).

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If you made it this far, then you also deserve to know where to find the cheap books! Since we know it’s tough times all around, and we have kind of a lot of good books here, each week we’re discounting new titles and selling them for $5 until we run out. Have a look, why don’t you!

Till next time!

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