Verso Books

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Verso Books
Verso Books logo.svg
Parent companyNew Left Review
Founded1970; 53 years ago (1970) (as New Left Books)
Headquarters location
DistributionPenguin Random House (U.S.)
Marston Book Services (UK)
Bloomsbury Publishing (Australia)
Publication typesBooks

Verso Books (formerly New Left Books) is a left-wing publishing house based in London and New York City, founded in 1970 by the staff of New Left Review.


In 1970, Verso Books began as a paperbook imprint. It established itself as a publisher of nonfiction works on international politics, focusing on authors such as Tariq Ali. However, Verso Books has also published some fiction over the years as well.[1] The publisher gained early recognition for translations of books by European thinkers, especially those from the Frankfurt School. Verso Books' best-selling title is the autobiography of Rigoberta Menchú, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.[2]

On April 8, 2014 Verso began bundling DRM-free e-books with print purchases made through its website. Verso's managing director Jacob Stevens stated that he expected the new offer on the Verso website to contribute £200,000 to the publisher's revenue in its first year helping to "shake up how publishers relate to their readership, and help to support independent publishing".[3]

In 2019, Verso Books launched its fiction imprint. The fiction editor, Cian McCourt, said, "We want to publish bold, intelligent writing that’s politically astute, but not dogmatic or charmless."[1]

By 2020, Verso Books had published over 1,800 titles.[4]

Verso Books titles are distributed in the United States by Random House. The publishing house is known to host many events in the United States and Europe, focusing on radical politics and history.[5]

Verso has published books by Tariq Ali, Benedict Anderson, Robin Blackburn, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Mike Davis, Norman Finkelstein, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, Max Shachtman, Rebecca Solnit, Ellen Meiksins Wood, and Slavoj Žižek.[6] Updated translations on Jean Baudrillard, Régis Debray, Jürgen Habermas, Rigoberta Menchú, and Paul Virilio have also been published through Verso.


Verso Books was originally known as New Left Books. The name "Verso" refers to the technical term for the left-hand page in a book (see recto and verso), and is a play on words regarding its political outlook and also reminds of the vice versa – "the other way around".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Verso Books launches 'bold' fiction imprint | The Bookseller". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ Verso Books, About Verso
  3. ^ "E-book/print bundling venture from Verso".
  4. ^ Barron, Michael (3 July 2020). "Verso, Feminist Press Turn 50". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Verso". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Verso". Retrieved 11 January 2023.

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