New Left Books was launched by New Left Review in 1970, and took as its logo the Tatlin Tower—a planned monument to the Third International. Focusing initially on translating works of European political and social theory, economics and philosophy, the list during that decade included Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Ernest Mandel, Jean-Paul Sartre and Max Weber, as well as major original works by Perry Anderson, Terry Eagleton, Tom Nairn and Raymond Williams. NLB’s list challenged established opinions both in the United States and the Soviet Union, and their respective satellites, as well as providing important critical analyses of China, India and South America. The publishing house was always intended to be far broader in its reach than NLR. An early bestseller was Against Method by Paul Feyeraband.
Verso—the left-hand page—was launched as a paperback imprint at the end of the seventies. Since becoming NLB’s sole imprint, Verso has published landmark books by Tariq Ali, Benedict Anderson, Robin Blackburn, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David Harvey, Eric Hobsbawm, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, Rebecca Solnit, Ellen Meiksins Wood and Slavoj Žižek. New translations have included Jean Baudrillard, Régis Debray, Rigoberta Menchú, Roberto Schwarz and Paul Virilio. It is the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world, publishing eighty books a year.