How I Became an American Socialist
Garry Leech takes the reader on an exciting and thought-provoking journey from his childhood in Britain to life in the US Marines in Panama, from being a butcher in Detroit to driving a cab in New York and dealing blackjack in Las Vegas, from the war zones of El Salvador and Colombia to indigenous communities in the Amazon, and from post-industrial Canada to the socialist experiments of Venezuela and Cuba.
Leech vividly describes how his adventures and experiences led him, not only on a geographic odyssey, but also on a path of personal discovery that resulted in him questioning the values and beliefs he grew up with. No longer able to ignore the many injustices he has witnessed over the years, Leech concludes that socialism offers us our only hope to achieve a more compassionate, democratic and sustainable world.
“A riveting read, How I Became an American Socialist by Garry Leech will be a page-turner for people from all walks of life. … Today, more than ever, the book is a must-read for Americans, especially the younger generation.”
Author: Garry Leech
Publisher: Misfit Books
Published: January 2016
Paperback, 206 pages
Capitalism: A Structural Genocide
In the wake of the global financial crisis and ongoing savage government cuts across the world, Garry Leech addresses a pressing and necessary topic: the nature of contemporary capitalism, and how it inherently generates inequality and structural violence.
Drawing on a number of fascinating case studies—including the forced displacement of farmers in Mexico, farmer suicides in India, and deaths from preventable diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s natural resources—Leech provocatively argues that capitalism constitutes a form of genocide, and that this genocide is inherent in any social system that adheres to the logic of capital.
Essential and eye-opening, the book questions the legitimacy of a system that inevitably results in such large-scale human suffering, while going beyond mere critique to offer a more democratic, egalitarian and sustainable global alternative.
“With the precision of a skilled prosecutor and the moral force of an Old Testament prophet, Garry Leech reveals the power that moves the world to be actively and structurally genocidal, responsible in its greed and cold calculation for no less than ten million excess deaths a year. As people take on this deadly system, they will find Capitalism an indispensible guide.” – Joel Kovel, author of The Enemy of Nature
“Leech argues, using convincing empirical evidence, of the destructive effects of contemporary capitalism, showing that the only plausible alternative is a socialist perspective.” – Samir Amin, author of Global History: A View from the South
“This is a must read for those participating in the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, the Latin American revolutions, the anti-austerity protests in Europe, and for all those fighting against the depredations of the genocidal system that is global capitalism.” – William I. Robinson, author of Latin America and Global Capitalism
Author: Garry Leech
Publisher: Zed Books
Published: May 2012
Paperback, 192 pages
The FARC: The Longest Insurgency
To many, including the Colombian, US and EU governments, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are terrorists, engaged more in organized crime than ideological struggle. But does this tell the whole story? Is armed revolution possible without acts of terrorism?
The FARC: The Longest Insurgency is the definitive introduction to the guerrilla group, examining its origins, aims, structures and operations. Garry Leech investigates the FARC’s impact on local, regional and global politics and maps its future direction. Having reported from the frontline in Colombia for many years, and having been held captive by the FARC, Leech offers an unparalleled insight into one of the world’s most high-profile armed revolutionary organizations.
“Whether you believe the FARC are terrorists, drug traffickers, the armed poor, freedom fighters or just a group that has lost its way, this book will make you view them differently. The FARC is an essential text. There’s nothing like it in English.” — Adam Isacson, Washington Office on Latin America
Author: Garry Leech
Publisher: Zed Books
Published: June 2011
Paperback, 178 pages
Beyond Bogotá: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia
Drawing on unprecedented access to soldiers, guerrillas, paramilitaries, and peasants in conflict zones and cocaine-producing areas, Leech’s documentary memoir is an epic tale of a journalist’s search for meaning in the midst of violence and poverty, as well as a humanizing firsthand account that supplies fresh insights into U.S. foreign policy, the role of the media, and the plight of everyday Colombians caught in the midst of a brutal war.
Independent journalist Garry Leech has spent the last decade working in the most remote and dangerous regions of Colombia, uncovering the unofficial stories of people living in conflict zones. Beyond Bogotá is framed around the eleven hours that Leech was held captive by the FARC, Colombia’s largest leftist guerrilla group, in August of 2006. He recalls nearly thirty years of travel and work in Latin America while weaving in a historical context of the region and on-the-ground reporting with each passing hour of his detention.
“In this remarkable saga, Garry Leech conveys brilliantly and with vivid insight the magical qualities of this rich and tortured land, and the struggles and torment of its people … inspiring in their courage and dedication in the face of terror from within and from outside. Leech shows how our insatiable greed and easy resort to violence play no small part.” – Noam Chomsky
Author: Garry Leech
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published: February 2010
Paperback, 280 pages
The Failure of Global Capitalism: From Cape Breton to Colombia and Beyond
What do Cape Breton in Atlantic Canada and Colombia in South America have in common? Coal, for one thing. Coal mining was the backbone of Cape Breton’s industrial economy for more than one hundred years, but the last mine was closed in 2001 when the province’s utility company took advantage of neoliberal globalization by importing coal—from Colombia. Cape Breton and Colombia epitomize the loss of well-paid, unionized industrial jobs in the global North—primarily North America and Europe—as a result of neoliberal globalization allowing multinational corporations to exploit the natural resources and cheap labour of the global South—Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The Failure of Global Capitalism uses the examples of Cape Breton and Colombia to illustrate the harsh realities suffered by people in both the global North and the global South under neoliberal globalization, particularly with regard to socio-economic and environmental issues. Ultimately, it exposes the failure of industrial capitalism, and looks toward more sustainable and egalitarian alternatives.
“A shocking exposure of the ugly tapestry of oppression, inequality and environmental degradation of global capitalism. A fine piece of scholarship and a must read for community activists, social movements and committed scholars.” – William I. Robinson, author of Latin America and Global Capitalism
Authors: Terry Gibbs and Garry Leech
Publisher: Cape Breton University Press
Published: March 2009
Hardcover, 176 pages
The People Behind Colombian Coal: Mining, Multinationals and Human Rights
Since the Cerrejón Mine opened in 1983, its operations and constant expansion have forcibly displaced indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Colombian communities. The reports and articles in this book, written by various Colombians, North Americans and Europeans familiar with the issue, document this process and the human rights and environmental consequences. This book, as the title suggests, is about the people behind Colombian coal. More precisely, it is about the people behind the coal produced at El Cerrejón, the world’s largest open-pit coal mine, which is located in La Guajira in northern Colombia. The book aims to illustrate how the multinational mining companies that own El Cerrejón profit at the expense of the “people” of the Guajira region whose plight has remained hidden “behind the Colombian coal” that many of us in North America and Europe rely on to generate our electricity.
“… full of useful testimony, analysis, and reflection on the state of contemporary capitalism as it expresses itself in the mining zones of Guajira, Colombia … a valuable resource for activists, students, and critical scholars alike.” – Upside Down World
Authors: Aviva Chomsky, Garry Leech and Steve Striffler
Publisher: Casa Editorial Pisando Callos
Published: July 2007
Paperback, 200 pages
Crude Interventions: The United States, Oil and the New World (Dis)Order
By focusing on the US role in Iraq, Central Asia, West Africa, Colombia and Venezuela, Crude Interventions makes evident the connections between energy interests, the war on terror, globalization, human rights abuses and other social injustices endured by those peoples of the South cursed with an abundance of the world’s most sought after resource.
At the beginning of the 21st Century, a new world disorder is emerging in which battles over resources are playing an increasingly prominent role. The importance of oil to this picture is underscored by the unilateral and militaristic foreign policy of the world’s largest power in its attempt to secure access to this critical resource. In this global context, oil-rich communities of the South are being drawn into struggles to defend their sovereignty, cultural integrity, human rights and threatened ecosystems.
“Garry Leech’s book is not a book about oil so much as what the United States does in the world in order to control it. Leech’s clear and succinct style … opens the door to seeing one of the world’s most urgent issues in context, and from the point of view of some of those who suffer the most.” – ZNet
Author: Garry Leech
Publisher: Zed Books
Published: September 2006
Paperback, 256 pages
Killing Peace: Colombia’s Conflict and the Failure of U.S. Intervention
Drawing from on-the-ground reporting as well as historical sources, Killing Peace addresses all aspects of the Colombian conflict, particularly the dangerous and expanding involvement of the United States as part of its drug war—and now the “war on terror.”Over the past half-century, Colombia has been plagued by violence—its people caught in the middle of a civil conflict raging between the army, leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, narco-traffickers, and U.S. anti-drug warriors. Killing Peace: Colombia’s Conflict and the Failure of U.S. Intervention provides a timely and much-needed overview of the war that is ravaging Colombia including its root causes in the country’s gross social and economic inequalities.
“Garry Leech’s fine study … is a lucid and informed introduction to one of the most painful tragedies of the current era.” – Noam Chomsky
Author: Garry Leech
Published: April 2002
Paperback, 116 pages with photos
French Language Editions
Le capitalisme, un génocide structurel
Avec la précision d’un procureur aguerri et la force morale d’un prophète de l’Ancien Testament, Garry Leech révèle que la puissance qui gouverne le monde à notre insu est responsable de dizaines de millions de morts chaque année. Ses actes sont froidement calculés ; ses crimes, prémédités ; les preuves, indiscutables.
Mais le monstre n’a pas de visage, ou plutôt il en a mille. Mu par une avidité sans limites, il contrôle tout, avale tout, détruit tout. Son nom : la mondialisation néolibérale ; son géniteur : le capitalisme.
Puisant dans l’histoire bouleversante des paysans dépossédés de leurs terres au Mexique et en Inde, dans celle des Africains qui meurent par millions chaque année faute de soins, Garry Leech démonte méthodiquement les mécanismes meurtriers de la mondialisation néolibérale et livre un réquisitoire implacable sur la nature génocidaire du capitalisme. Il montre aussi comment les révolutions d’Amérique Latine peuvent établir les fondations d’une alternative mondiale viable, plus égalitaire, plus démocratique.
Auteur: Garry Leech
Editeur: Le Retour aux Sources
Spanish Language Editions
Bajo el Manto del Carbón: Pueblos y multinacionales en las minas de El Cerrejón, Colombia
Bajo el Manto del Carbón, así como su título lo sugiere, se trata de los pueblos invisibles detrás de la minería de carbón en Colombia. Más precisamente, se trata de los pueblos alrededor de El Cerrejón, la mina de carbón a cielo abierto más grande del mundo, ubicada en el departamento de La Guajira al noreste del país. Nuestro objetivo de dar a conocer la forma en que las compañías mineras multinacionales dueñas de El Cerrejón devengan sus ganancias a expensas de los pueblos que habitan la región de La Guajira, y de cómo su difícil situación se ha mantenido oculta “bajo el manto del carbón” que muchos de nosotros en Norteamérica y Europa usamos para producir nuestra electricidad.
Compiladores: Aviva Chomsky, Garry Leech y Steve Striffler
Editor: Casa Editorial Pisando Callos
Julio de 2007
EE.UU., el Petróleo y el (des)orden Mundial
Al concentrarse en el papel de los EE.UU. en Irak, Asia Central, África Occidental, Colombia y Venezuela. Este libro desvela las conexiones entre los intereses energéticos de EE.UU., la guerra contra el terrorismo, la globalización, los abusos en derechos humanos y otras innumerables injusticias sociales padecidas por los pueblos del Sur en esta frenética carrera. En este libro se examina la política económica y militar de la administración Bush en las diversas regiones del mundo ricas en petróleo. Con solo el 4% de la población mundial, los EE.UU. consumen el 25 % de la producción energética.
Autor: Garry Leech
Editor: Editorial Popular
Junio de 2007