A Socialist Introduction

Sumaya Awad and brian bean (editors)

Haymarket Books (December, 2020)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781642592764 • US $15.00 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in • 250 pgs.


Through a socialist, anti-imperialist lens, this book exposes the link between the struggle for freedom here in the US to the larger international struggle to build a better world, from the US to Palestine and beyond. It looks at both the historical and contemporary trajectory of the solidarity movement to describe what lessons can be gleaned for building a movement today, and lays out the unique case that understanding the solution to how justice can be achieved in Palestine has to take up the question of socialism regionally and internationally.


“…an urgent bulletin to socialists everywhere seeking to analyze, understand and organize for Palestinian liberation”

Bill Mullen, Mondoweiss

“In Palestine: A Socialist Introduction, editors Sumaya Awad and brian bean introduce both the Question of Palestine as well as socialist principles—topics that have each produced volumes of scholarly literature—to new audiences. They accomplish this tremendous feat with moral clarity and analytical rigor. The volume provides the reader with an internationalist framework, defined as a commitment to anti-imperialism, and uses it to place Palestine into local, regional, and global historical context. The book connects the past to our present and, despite the daunting odds before us, sustains a commitment to a socialist future where all of us are free because all of us are free.”

Noura Erakat, author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine

“A crucial reminder that Israel’s settler-colonial project is not merely a historical event that we can move past, but an ongoing reality backed by successive western administrations. In moments where those who fight for freedom and equality triumph in their local battles around the world, we (Palestinians) see this as part of the victory in our battle for freedom in Palestine. Only through the strengthening of our civil society, of trade unions and workers, can we build our struggle against occupation and pressure Israel until it ends its project of colonialism and racial segregation. This volume lays bare just that.”

Ahmed Abu Artema, Palestinian journalist and peace activist

“The Vietnam war was once a line in the sand. Protests against the war radicalized a generation, built a new Left, and taught it why imperialism was indispensable for capitalism. Palestine is the Vietnam of our times. This urgent book will offer a new generation of activists lessons on why, to fight capitalism and apartheid today, we need to fight like Palestinians.”

Tithi Bhattacharya, co-author of Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto

“This collection is a poignant and incisive engagement with the past, and possible future, role of the Left in the struggle for justice in Palestine. From critical analysis of organizational matters to the very complex issues of gender and secularism, this book is a must read for anyone whose socialism has brought them to care and act on behalf of Palestine and the Palestinians. As a Left, we are at a crucial juncture of strategic contemplation in general and on Palestine in particular. This book offers ways forward that can re-energize the Left as a robust alliance of identification and solidarity for the sake of the liberation of Palestine as well as that of all the oppressed workers and peoples around the globe.”

Ilan Pappé, author of Ten Myths About Israel

“Ten powerful essays, meticulously woven together by Sumaya Awad and brian bean, combine rich political history with incisive analysis of the current conjuncture and struggle. The book provides an entry-point for new activists to understand a conflict whose history has been so deliberately obfuscated, alongside a rich well of analysis on complex political questions. Awad and bean’s book should be widely read, and its socialist, bottom up vision of transformation acted upon.”

Hadas Thier, author of A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics

“The contributions within this book not only offer an understanding of Palestinian realities, they also provide insight into themes such as Diaspora and the search for belonging, and reflect the voices of all those who wish to return home in dignity, justice, and freedom. In essence it is a book which outlines a roadmap for return, with nuance and an offer to go beyond acknowledging the injustice in order to do something about it.”

Mariam Barghouti, Palestinian American writer

“This collection of essays is an essential contribution to the socialist perspective on the issue of Palestinian liberation. Its authors share a valuable overarching insight: that for socialists the fight for Palestinian individual and national rights is not a mere object of abstract solidarity, but must be approached within the context of the international struggle against imperialism and for socialism.”

Moshé Machover, author of Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution

“A Palestine primer for the growing socialist movement, and an argument for socialism for the growing Palestine solidarity movement, this book is a valuable resource for building the type of US left that the world desperately needs.”

Danny Katch, author of Socialism…Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation

“The truth is simple: Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination. But to get to that truth, you need to understand the history and politics of their struggle. This book is a tremendous roadmap to get to that truth.”

Dave Zirin, author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States

“Essential reading for anybody interested in understanding the past, present, and future of the Palestinian liberation struggle.”

Eric Blanc, author of Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics


Sumaya Awad is a 25-year-old New York–based, Palestinian, socialist writer and activist. She is a cofounder of the Against Canary Mission Project, which helps defend student activists targeted by blacklists because of their advocacy for Palestinian human rights. Sumaya is a senior media editor at the Institute for Middle East Understanding, and an independent writer focused on refugee issues, Palestine solidarity, Islamophobia, and immigration. She has been published and interviewed by a wide variety of outlets including the Feminist Wire, Truthout, In These Times, Open City and the Middle East Solidarity Magazine, and Slate.

brian bean is a Chicago-based socialist activist, writer, and speaker originally from North Carolina. He is one of the founding editors of Masses magazine. His work has been published in Jacobin, Socialist Worker, Red Flag, International Viewpoint, Bel Ahmar, Spring Magazine, Green Left Weekly, Chronique de Palestine, Agency, Viento Sur, and more.


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