A. M. Gittlitz with Blair Taylor: I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism

"A provocative and clear-eyed account of communist lunacy, its costs, and why we might need it anyway." —Malcolm Harris

 

Third Place Books welcomes journalist, social critic, and cohost of the Antifada podcast A. M. Gittlitz for a discussion of his latest work of investigative nonfiction, I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse CommunismWhether you're well-versed in the exploits of controversial Trotskyist leader J. Posadas or just sick of late-stage capitalism, Gittlitz's deep dive into one of socialism's most unusual movements will bring you face to face with aliens, cynicism, nuclear war, and what "a better world" could actually mean. Gittlitz will be in conversation with Blair Taylor from the Institute for Social Ecology.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance. Copies of I Want to Believe will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About I Want to Believe. . .

Advocating nuclear war, attempting communication with dolphins and taking an interest in the paranormal and UFOs, there is perhaps no greater (or stranger) cautionary tale for the Left than that of Posadism. 

Named after the Argentine Trotskyist J. Posadas, the movement's journey through the fractious and sectarian world of mid-20th century revolutionary socialism was unique. Although at times significant, Posadas' movement was ultimately a failure. As it disintegrated, it increasingly grew to resemble a bizarre cult, detached from the working class it sought to liberate. The renewed interest in Posadism today - especially for its more outlandish fixations - speaks to both a cynicism towards the past and nostalgia for the earnest belief that a better world is possible.

Drawing on considerable archival research, and numerous interviews with ex- and current Posadists, I Want to Believe tells the fascinating story of this most unusual socialist movement and considers why it continues to capture the imaginations of leftists today.
 

Praise for I Want to Believe. . .

"Under the grim pressures of 20th century history, and now climate change, Gittlitz shows how explosions of black political humour also contain utopian hopes very necessary to keep alive. As an advocate of Partially Automated Adequate Socialism I can only agree, and applaud this fine addition to leftist history."
Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Ministry for the Future

"This book has it all: Trotskyist drama, South American revolutions and aliens from inner and outer space. What's not to like?"
McKenzie Wark, author of Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse?

"A provocative and clear-eyed account of communist lunacy, its costs, and why we might need it anyway."
Malcolm Harris, author of Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

"While Posadism is often treated as a political curiosity, quickly set aside, Gittlitz skillfully paints J. Posadas and his followers in all their depth and complexity: paranoid, idealistic, cultish, fractious, bizarre, proud, far-reaching dreamers. In their bizarre, sometimes revolutionary own ways, they fought for a more just world, one that could finally join the ranks of a far more advanced fraternity awaiting them in the galaxy."
Anna Merlan, author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power


A.M. Gittlitz is a journalist and social critic based in Brooklyn, New York. He has contributed to The New Inquiry, The New York Times, The Outline, Baffler, Real Life, Salon, and Vice. He cohosts the Antifada podcast. 

Blair Taylor is program director of the Institute for Social Ecology and has written on U.S. social movements, contemporary far-right politics, political ecology, antisemitism, and the history of the left. He is co-editor of the Murray Bookchin anthology The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso, 2014). He lives outside Seattle, Washington, and organizes with West Sound Democratic Socialists of America.


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