These are tough times for publishers. The closure of hundreds of high-street stores, the power wielded by online retailers such as Amazon, the turbulence of the digital transition, shrinking review space in the broadsheets: this litany of anxieties is hard to escape.

Yet talk to smaller radical publishers and a less doomy picture emerges. Whether it’s Verso (who brought out Owen Jones’s Chavs and Paul Mason’s Meltdown), The New Press (Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, a study of the mass incarceration of black Americans, has become a New York Times bestseller), or OR Books (whose titles include the well-received, rapid-response Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America), progressive houses are finding that readers are hungry for incisive analyses of capitalism’s failures, exposés of the flawed infrastructure of liberal democracy, passionate dispatches from the frontlines of social change.

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