My Granny Made me an Anarchist: The Christie File: Part 1, 1946-1964. First published by ChristieBooks in 2002 in a limited edition of 100 copies, this fully revised, updated, unabridged eBook (Kindle edition, 2014) is published by Christie(e)Books — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.51/€3.03/$4.00 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
“This fascinating personal account offers a remarkable picture of the late-20th century, seen through sensitive eyes and interpreted by a compassionate, searching soul.” Noam Chomsky
“Stuart Christie’s granny might well disagree, given the chance, but her qualities of honesty and self-respect in a hard life were part of his development from flash Glaswegian teenager — the haircut at 15 is terrific — to the 18-year old who sets off to Spain at the end of the book as part of a plan to assassinate the Spanish dictator Franco. In the meanwhile we get a vivid picture of 1950s and early 1960s Glasgow, its cinemas, coffee bars and dance halls as well as the politics of the city, a politics informed by a whole tradition of Scottish radicalism. Not just Glasgow, because Stuart was all over Scotland living with different parts of his family, and in these chapters of the book there is a lyrical tone to the writing amplified by a sense of history of each different place. When we reach the 1960s we get a flavour of that explosion of working class creativity and talent that marked the time, as well as the real fear of nuclear war and the bold tactics used against nuclear weapons bases. It is through this period of cultural shake-up that Stuart clambers through the obstructive wreckage of labour and Bolshevik politics, and finds a still extant politics of libertarian communism that better fitted the mood of those times. Now, in 2002,it is Stuart who finds himself quoted in an Earth First pamphlet as the new generation of activists for Global Justice by-pass the dead hand of Trotskyist parties and renew the libertarian tradition.” John Barker
The International Brigades and the Comintern in the Spanish Civil War by Stuart Christie. Published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.05/€1.24/$1.65 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
” … With the UK’s Foreign Recruitment Act making enlistment in a foreign army illegal, the British authorities became increasingly rigorous in their attempts to enforce non-intervention and implement the law, so Brigaders were recruited discretely through the Communist Party network by local cadres and ‘Spanish Aid Committee‘ organisers who took it on themselves to vet all volunteers, especially non-party members. Politically, around sixty per cent of the Scottish IB volunteers were paid-up CPGB members with twenty per cent or so drawn from the Labour Party, with, perhaps, a scattering of ILP, Scottish Socialist Party or Scottish Workers‘ Republican Party members. The remaining twenty per cent claimed to have no formal political allegiances. These figures were more or less the same for the whole of the British Battalion the the XVth International Brigade, although it’s impossible to say how many of the 110 Labour Party members were also — as Lewis Clive was — covert CP members. The British Battalion appears to have had at least seven ILP volunteers which to me was unusual given that the ILP line was close to that of the CNT defence committees: that the social revolution was inseparable from the war. It was for this reason that most of the 175 ILPers who fought in Spain did so with the anarcho-syndicalist militias or, like George Orwell, with the anti-Stalinist Marxist POUM. Few British workers had passports in those days so the usual practice was for the volunteers to make their way across the Channel on special weekend returns — which didn’t require passports — and then travel down to Spain with the help of the efficient and well-disciplined French Communist Party— and the French authorities mostly turning a blind eye. The first batch of foreign volunteers to arrive in Spain in the autumn of I936 were obliged to surrender their passports to the ‘Foreigners’ Bureau of the Catalan Communist Party, the PSUC, then controlled by the NKVD, Stalin‘s secret police. Later the International Brigade established its own ‘Control and Security Service’ headed by Alexander Orlov, chief of NKVD operations in Spain. Their passports were never returned and were used in covert NKVD and GRU clandestine operations. There was also an IB ‘Cadre Commission‘ set up in Albacete in February 1937 to monitor and assess the ‘trustworthiness’ of volunteers and to expose ‘fascist’ spies and ‘Trotskyist-anarchist provocateurs. A cadre report on the British Battalion, for example, listed 363 British volunteers, half of them CPers, and described forty-one them as ‘cadres’, 142 as reliable, and I33 — of whom forty were Party members — as ‘weak or bad’…”
WAR & REVOLUTION — The Writings of Camillo Berneri (edited by Frank Mintz) ISBN 978-1-873976-65-4 published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.29/€1,52/$2.13 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
‘To guarantee revolution, it is not enough for the mob to be armed or for them to have expropriated the bourgeoisie: it is necessary for them to destroy the capitalist system entirely and to organise their own system. They must be able to combat the ideas put forward by Stalinist and reformist leaders with the same vigour with which they attack capitalist individuals and the leaders of the bourgeois parties. As of May 1937, any revolutionary endeavour that does not remain faithful to this experience condemns itself purely and simply to not existing. Attacking the state, unhesitatingly confronting the Stalinist-reformist counter-revolution: such are the distinctive characteristics of the coming revolution.‘
These extracts from the secret republication in Spanish of Berneri’s writings in 1973 by the Iberian Liberation Movement (whose symbolic ﬁgure is Puig Antich, who was garrotted on 2nd March 1974), and explain the reason for their re-publication. Also included are some of Berneri’s articles from this period that best reveal his thoughts on Marxism and the militias.
Contents: Preface; Camillo Berneri; Unpublished letter on militarisation; The State and Classes; The Abolition and Extinction of the State; What can we do?; Dictatorship of the Proletariat and State Socialism; Beware, Dangerous Corner!; Madrid, sublime city; Between the War and the Revolution; The Third Stage; Interview in Spain and the World; The Wisdom of a Proverb; Problems of the Revolution: the City and the Country; Open Letter to Comrade Federica Montseny; War and Revolution; Counter-Revolution on the March; The Death of Berneri; 1937-1978: Four Decades without a History
WE, THE ANARCHISTS! A Study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927-1937 (fully revised and updated) ISBN 978-1-901172-06-5 published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.58/€3,05/$4.13 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
Since the official birth of organized anarchism at the Saint Imier Congress of 1872, no anarchist organization has been held up to greater opprobrium or subjected to such gross misrepresentation than the Federación Anarquista Ibérica. Better known by its initials, the FAI, was a group of twentieth-century militants dedicated to keeping Spain’s largest labour union, the CNT, on a revolutionary, anarcho-syndicalist path.
NOSOTROS LOS ANARQUISTAS! Un Estudio de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) 1927-1937, Stuart Christie ISBN 978-1-873976-64-7, published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.64/€3,13/$4.13 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
Desde el nacimiento oﬁcial del anarquismo organizado en el Congreso de Saint- Imier de 1872, ninguna formación anarquista se ha visto sujeta a una tergiversación tan ﬂagrante como la Federación Anarquista Ibérica. La FAI era un grupo de militantes del siglo XX dedicado a mantener el sindicato más grande de España, la CNT, en un camino revolucionario y anarcosindicalista.
Esta obra posee dos dimensiones. La primera es descriptiva e histórica: repasa la evolución del anarquismo en España y su relación con el movimiento obrero en general y, al mismo tiempo, permite comprender mejor las ideas que convirtieron al movimiento obrero español en uno de los más revolucionarios de los tiempos modernos. La segunda es analítica, puesto que el libro trata — desde una perspectiva anarquista— el problema de entender y saber sobrellevar el cambio en el mundo contemporáneo: ¿cómo pueden los ideales sobrevivir al proceso de la institucionalización? El libro constituye un relato apasionante y una rectiﬁcación histórica e informativa que va más allá de la historia aportando lecciones para las organizaciones contemporáneas y para las luchas individuales que buscan el cambio social y económico.
ANARCHIST CINEMA DURING THE SPANISH REVOLUTION AND CIVIL WAR by Emeterio Diez* — with appendices on Armand Guerra, Aranda’s ‘Libertarias’ (a review by Andrew H. Lee), and a general database on anarchist films by Santiago Juan-Navarro. These articles first appeared in Arena 1 (2009), Editor Richard Porton — LOOK INSIDE!
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*Emeterio Diez is a Spanish historian specialising in Spanish cinema whose published work has appeared in Archivos de la Filmoteca, Secuencias, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, Cuadernos de la Academia and Historia 16.
‘Pedagogical imperatives also come to the fore within Emeterio Diez’s discussion of the role of film in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War. The films of the CNT-FAI, in addition to having performed the traditional functions of agitation and propaganda traditionally embraced by a political faction during wartime, are now important documents that illuminate the anarchist experiments in self-management during the early days of revolutionary upheaval. Diez’s discussion of the anarchist “socialisation” of the Spanish film industry — particularly attempts to assert workers’ control over the realms of production and exhibition — is the most complete treatment of the subject I am aware of. While Diez ultimately pinpoints major contradictions that stymied the socialisation process (which included internecine conflicts among the anarchists themselves and the cinemas’ dependence upon Hollywood film which clashed blatantly with the CNT-FAI’s revolutionary ethos), his article nevertheless chronicles a seminal utopian moment in the history of the anarchist movement.’
Richard Porton (editor), author of Film and the Anarchist Imagination, teaches cinema studies at New York University, writes on film for a variety of publications, and is on the editorial board of Cineaste.
FRANCO’S PRISONER. Anarchists against the Dictatorship by Miguel García García and annotated by José Ignacio Alvarez Fernandez ISBN 978-1-873976-52-4, ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.71/€3,17/$4.12 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! Fully annotated by José Ignacio Alvarez Fernandez, Department of Foreign Languages, Emmanuel College, Boston
Miguel García García was born in Barcelona in 1908, the seventh of nine children. He became a newspaper-seller at the age of nine, and an apprentice printer at twelve; he was a lifelong member of the CNT, the anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Spain.
Miguel García García fought for nearly forty years for the freedoms we take for granted. A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Miguel then put his experience as a printer to good use — forging documents and printing pamphlets for the Resistance.
On 21 October 1949, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death together with eight comrades. He spent thirty-eight days in the condemned cell until his sentence was commuted to thirty years’ imprisonment. Four of his comrades were executed.
Towards the end of February 1939 I was summoned to attend an ‘invitation only’ plenum of militants of the Madrid CNT, the word being “this was a very important plenum at which decisions would be made regarding the war and Dr Negrín’s policies.” I remember that I was, initially, reluctant to attend the plenum, not because I had no interest in organisation business, but rather because I was swamped by the problems on the front lines. At the time I was acting chief of staff of the 50th Mixed Brigade under Alfredo Pérez and was personally involved in the intense fortification works being carried out in the sector with an imminent enemy attack in prospect. We were, to all intents and purposes, in a state of alert, since our own observers plus the intelligence from the 12th Division and IV Army Corps were reporting unusual vehicle movements and troops mustering in the enemy’s rear.