LIBRADO RIVERA. Anarchists in the Mexican Revolution by Dave Poole eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf) Also available from Kobo and Kindle

 anarchism, Anarchists in Mexico, libertarian socialism, Mexican Revolution  Comments Off on LIBRADO RIVERA. Anarchists in the Mexican Revolution by Dave Poole eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf) Also available from Kobo and Kindle
Jul 262016
 

Librado Rivera (17 August 1864, Aguacatillos, Rayón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Died 1 March 1932 in Mexico City.)

Librado Rivera and Ricardo Flores Magón

Of the many comrades and collaborators of Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón, Librado Rivera was by far the closest. It was a revolutionary partnership that lasted twenty years, rivalling that of Durruti and Ascaso, ending only with Ricardo’s murder (directly or indirectly by the US authorities) in Leavenworth Federal Prison, Kansas. Librado, a founding member of the Partido Liberal Mexicano, was a man who made fundamental and major contributions to its anarchist orientation.

1913 – Arrest of the PLM Organising Committee prior to their imprisonment on McNeil Island (Washington State): Ricardo Flores Magón, with Pinkerton agent; Anselmo L. Figueroa, Librado Rivera (and Pinkerton agent); Enrique Flores Magón.

Librado, however, has been badly neglected on his own account, partly due to his own natural modesty and reticence. He always shunned the limelight while remaining at the same time in the forefront of the struggle, preferring to adopt the role of a seemingly ‘simple militant’. The reality was very different. A tireless anarchist revolutionary and propagandist, he spent more than thirty years fighting, as he would say, ‘for all the oppressed and exploited of the earth’ against injustice and ‘a new society which would have, as well as liberty, love and justice for all!

In addition to Dave Poole’s English text, the book contains many of Rivera’s most important articles, but unfortunately these are IN SPANISH ONLY.

eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo  and Kindle

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LAND & LIBERTY! Anarchist Influences in the Mexican Revolution — Ricardo Flores Magón Compiled and Introduced by Dave Poole. eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf) Also available from Kobo and Kindle

 Anarchism in Mexico, Mexican Revolution  Comments Off on LAND & LIBERTY! Anarchist Influences in the Mexican Revolution — Ricardo Flores Magón Compiled and Introduced by Dave Poole. eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf) Also available from Kobo and Kindle
Jul 262016
 

landliberty

eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo   and Kindle

 PHOTOS

MagonLeaven1

Cipriano Ricardo Flores Magón (September 16, 1874 – died, Leavenworth Penitentiary, November 21, 1922)

“A succinct biography of Ricardo Flores Magón together with a collection of his essays, a history of Mexican anarchism, and a chronology of the anarchist movement. “It contains the finest collection of Magón’s writings yet seen in English. It also presents important evidence in support of the argument that Magón’s influence within the Mexican left between 1910 and 1920 was far stronger than we have previously recognised.” John M. Hart, Hispanic American Historical Review.”

‘This collection of articles under the title Land and Liberty was first published by the Organising Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party in Los Angeles, California, in 1913. It was intended to be the first of a series of booklets to explain to English speaking readers, mainly in North America, the aims and ideas of the Mexican Liberal Party, and the true social aspect of the Mexican Revolution ignored by the general press. Some of articles published in ‘Land and Liberty’ first appeared in Regeneración during the years 1910-1912 and were written by Ricardo Flores Magón, William C. Owen and Antonio de P. Araujo.

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Zapata of Mexico by Peter E. Newell eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Mexican Revolution, Mexico, Plan de Ayala  Comments Off on Zapata of Mexico by Peter E. Newell eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Jul 262016
 

 

eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo   and Kindle

Emiliano Zapata (born in the pueblo of Anenecuilco in the Mexican state of Morelos on 9 August 1879), possibly the ‘purest embodiment’ of the Mexican Revolution, was betrayed and murdered in the patio of the Hacienda de San Juan, in Chinameca, on 10 April 1919.

Who, and what, was Zapata? This book describes what Emiliano Zapata sought to achieve—and just how much he and his compañeros of the Liberation Army of the South actually dld achieve, in Morelos and southern Mexico, between 1910 and 1920. It also includes an account of the evolution of the ejldos and common lands of that country. PHOTO ALBUM

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THE WAR ENDS IN TRAGEDY FOR SOME MISUNDERSTOOD ANARCHISTS by Julián Vadillo Muñoz (Translation of his preface to Teniamos que Perder! by Paul Sharkey)

 Anarchism in Spain  Comments Off on THE WAR ENDS IN TRAGEDY FOR SOME MISUNDERSTOOD ANARCHISTS by Julián Vadillo Muñoz (Translation of his preface to Teniamos que Perder! by Paul Sharkey)
Jul 232016
 
pradascnt

José García Pradas c. 1937 (1910-1988)

“When Stuart Christie put it to me a few weeks ago that I might jot something down in writing by way of a foreword to a re-publication of García Pradas’s ¡Teníamos que perder!, I had no hesitation in taking up the challenge. That re-publication is needed if we are to unravel, with all protagonists and agents to hand, what the history of republican Spain was like during the closing days of the war.

“And the book comes along at an important time. In recent years we have seen the publication of valuable works which have tried to get to grips with the end of the Republic. We might single out a book published in 2009 by the historian Ángel Viñas and Fernando Hernández Sánchez, El desplome de la República (Crítica, Barcelona 2009), coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the ending of the war. A comprehensive and well documented book on what the ending of the war meant. When the 75th anniversary of the war’s end rolled around, a further two important books appeared. Ángel Bahamonde, professor at the Carlos III University in Madrid, published his book Madrid 1939. La conjura del coronel Casado (Cátedra, Madrid 2014), focusing essentially on the military side of things and on the person of Segismundo Casado. Professor Paul Preston released El final de la Guerra. La ultima puñalada a la República (Debate, Barcelona 2014), in which he goes into a detailed analysis of key figures in the conclusion of the war and of the stances of the different, conflicting organisations. Preston’s book has two great assets. For a start he analyses the backdrop that led to the ending of the Civil War, the fierce clashes within the republican camp and the various points at issue in the weakened republican Spain of March 1939. Besides, Preston in his book offers an analysis of three of the protagonists in that finale: Juan Negrín, prime minister of the Second Republic, Segismundo Casado, a soldier loyal to the Republic but ambitious, and Julián Besteiro, one of the most important figures in Spanish socialism during the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s.

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¡TENIAMOS QUE PERDER! José García Pradas — eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain  Comments Off on ¡TENIAMOS QUE PERDER! José García Pradas — eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Jul 222016
 

 ¡TENIAMOS QUE PERDER! José García Pradas eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo   and Kindle

TeniamosCoversmallORIGINES: Salí de España el 30 de marzo de 1939, por el puerto de Gandía, después de caer Madrid y Valencia en poder del fascismo y cuando ya se había retirado de todos los frentes el Ejército Popular. Estuve allí, pues, hasta que se acabó la guerra. Más puedo decir, y esto, con orgullo: que permanecí en Madrid, cara a todos los peligros de la heroica capital de la República, desde el principio al fin de la contienda. Durante el último mes de lucha, intervine en los importantes acontecimientos desarrollados allí, y al expatriarme adopté el propósito de no escribir ni una palabra acerca de lo ocurrido; mas, en París y en Londres, leyendo periódicos de diversos países y recibiendo cartas de compañeros antifascistas, he tenido ocasión de ver que habla y escribe sobre la terminación de la guerra de España todo aquel que desconoce cómo ocurrió, que quienes merecen ser acusados de traición se están convirtiendo en acusadores, que algunos compañeros entienden nuestro silencio como imposibilidad de réplica a las calumnias, y, en fin, que se atreven hoy a pedirnos responsabilidades por haber terminado la guerra en marzo quienes ya la dieron por extinguida en las últimas jornadas del mes de enero.

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The enigmatic Juan Negrín y López. Stalin’s ‘Golden Boy’, visionary, crook, or man of straw?

 Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on The enigmatic Juan Negrín y López. Stalin’s ‘Golden Boy’, visionary, crook, or man of straw?
Jul 182016
 
ultimo_secreto_Negrin

Juan Negrín y López (1892 – 1956)

At this eightieth anniversary of the Spanish Revolution that thwarted, initially at least, the fascist coup of 18 July 1936, it is worthwhile focusing on the character of one of the key players responsible for the suppression of that revolution and the subsequent defeat of the Republic: Juan Negrín López, the last president of the Second Spanish Republic.

Unfortunately, there is a vindicative trend in mainstream social-democrat historical circles1 to exalt Negrín’s ‘visionary’ right-wing, counter-revolutionary, ‘socialist’ premiership while calumnifying and denigrating the role of the Defence Committee of the CNT-FAI for the Central Region and the Madrid Defence Junta that on March 5 1939 ousted the compromised President Negrín: Eduardo Val Bescós, Manuel Salgado Moreira, and José García Pradas —supported by Cipriano Mera Sanz, commander of the IVth Army Corps, and others — to prevent a Communist Party coup and to try to avoid needless further bloodshed when the Republic was clearly defeated.

Dr Juan Negrín López (1892–1956), a middle-class physician and Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) member from 1929, was appointed finance minister (proposed by Indalecio Prieto without any experience in setting fiscal policy) in the Republican government headed by Francisco Largo Caballero in September 1936. In this role he quickly set about building up the strength of the carabineros (armed, highly mobile customs guards) to around 20,000 men, primarily to retake control of the French border posts from CNT members who had seized them after the defeated military coup of 18 July. The following month, in October 1936, he transferred 510 tonnes of Spain’s gold reserves — 72.7 per cent of the total! — to the Soviet Union in return for Stalin’s promise of arms and other war materials to continue the war against the fascists.

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THE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War Gerald Brenan eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain, Spain, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on THE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War Gerald Brenan eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Jul 012016
 

SpanLabyrinthsmallTHE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo

Written during the Spanish Civil War, published in 1943, revised in 1950 and republished in paperback in1960, The Spanish Labyrinth assesses the social and political background of the war, not the war itself. Brenan a middle-class, liberal, Anglo-Irish expatriate who lived in Spain from 1919 until 1936, returning in 1953 — wrote comprehensively about the political and religious divisions in Spain from the 16th to the 20th centuries: the church, the tensions with Liberalism, the ‘patria chica’ and the main autonomous regions, Carlism, industrialisation, the agrarian question, communal life, the Republic, the Constituent Cortes, class struggle, etc. — not forgetting the important role of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism in Spanish politics. And although his attitude to the Spanish anarchist–anarcho-syndicalist movement and working class in general is patronising and condescending, it is to an extent understandable given his middle-class upbringing, prejudices and friendship circles.

Brenan swallowed, uncritically, contemporary hysterical, calumnious and propagandistic accounts of ‘irresponsible’, ‘ruthless’ and ‘typical’ acts of mass terrorism allegedly ‘carried out by the Durruti column in Aragón, and by the militia in Madrid on their way to the front’. Describing them as ‘the counterpart of the September Massacres of 1792’, he goes on to compare Durruti to the fanatical ultra-Catholic Carlist general Ramón Cabrera, and refers to the FAI (Iberian Anarchist Federation) as a ‘secret society’, which it most definitely was not (see my We, the Anarchists. A Study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927—1937). He also states as fact (and without adducing any evidence) that the advent of the FAI brought with it an increasingly noticeable trend in Spanish anarchism: ‘the inclusion within its ranks of professional criminals — thieves and gunmen who certainly would not have been accepted by any other working class party — together with idealists of the purest and most selfless kind.’

In spite of Brenan’s shortcomings as an historian and his ambivalence toward the Spanish anarchist movement, as a personal insight The Spanish Labyrinth remains a highly readable, comprehensive and valuable account of social and political life in Spain in the years leading up to the Civil War.

REVIEW OF THE SPANISH LABYRINTH BY MARIE LOUISE BERNERI, an editor of War Commentary and 
later Freedom, until her death at the age of 31 in 1949. She was the
 author of Journey Through Utopia (Routledge) and Neither East Nor
 West (Freedom Press). Her article was originally written for Now! in
 1944 as a review of the original edition of Brenan’s book:

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LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM — the lost ballads of John Olday

 Anarchism in Germany, Music  Comments Off on LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM — the lost ballads of John Olday
Jun 222016
 
Olday

John Olday: left – in Australia, 1957; right, at the piano with one of his illustrations behind him, at an Anarchist Black Cross cabaret evening at the Centro Iberico, Haverstock Hill, in the early 1970s.

Don Pedelty, veteran Syndicalist Workers’ Federation (SWF) activist of the 1950s and ’60s, author of THE GREAT DECEPTION How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the Workers and THE WRITER AND THE REALITY. Jane Austen and Her World and close friend and comrade of cabaret- and graphic artist John Olday (the Scots-German anarchist involved with Hilda Monte – his wife – and Georg Elser in the unsuccessful 1939 Munich Löwenbräu Bierkellar plot to kill Hitler) has just sent me copies of the six records (78s) John made, privately, at the HMV studios in 1954, shortly before sailing to Australia (11 March 1954). Sadly, the tapes Don made of John’s memorable Anarchist Black Cross cabaret evening at the Centro Iberico in the early 1970s, shortly after John’s return from Australia were lost when  his tape recorder was stolen during a break-in. However, hearing John’s hauntingly melodious voice again today — which reminds me of that of Tino Rossi! — has brought back lots of cheery memories… 1. ‘Rose rot, Rose weiß (a lyric poem written by Hermann Löns, a popular early 20th century author, written in hochdeutsch, high or standard German, and set to music by Haydn. 2: ‘Dat du min leevsten büst’, ein plattdeutsches Volkslied (a low German folksong), a night-visiting song in which the girl tells the boy how to find her without waking her parents. 3: ‘Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten Bronnen’, a song of the Landsknecht, the mercenary soldiers who fought in the armies of the Holy Roman Emperor in Flanders. 4. Dar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ’, also in North German dialect, tells of how a young country maiden (Buurdeern) courted by two young men (twee Jungs), one of whom is just a labourer (Schipper = digger), then other the son of a man with a position, perhaps a bailiff (Amtmann) asks her mother (Moder) which of them she should marry. Take the Amtmann’s son she tells her, and the Devil (Düwel) can take the Schipper. The Devil comes in and flies around and out of the chimney, presumably taking the Schipper with him.

Rose Rot, Rose weißDat du min leevsten büst Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten BronnenDar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ; Once I was single …  ; Molly Malone ; The Cuckoo ; Dance, dance… The Nightingale…  ; The Cherry Tree  ; When all is dark and quiet   ;  Forget-me-not     and as a special treat German Folk Songs 1: Martha Schlamme and Pete SeegerGerman Folk Songs 2: Martha Schlamme and Pete Seeger

Illustrations (John Olday)

Olday Home Office File 1 (Contains a facsimile of Olday’s ‘The March to Death’)

Olday Home Office File 2

Olday Home Office File 3

 

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FROM DEFENCE CADRES TO POPULAR MILITIAS by Agustín Guillamón eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Barcelona  Comments Off on FROM DEFENCE CADRES TO POPULAR MILITIAS by Agustín Guillamón eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Jun 112016
 

DefenceCadrescoversmallFROM DEFENCE CADRES TO POPULAR MILITIAS by Agustín Guillamón eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo  and Kindle

A short history summarising the transformation of Barcelona’s CNT Defence Committees during the 1930s from their origins as street fighting units to their reorganisation as integrated combat/ intelligence formations, to their suppression by the Republic after the working class defeat of May 1937. The defence cadres were formed shortly after the proclamation of the Republic, and were a continuation of the armed defence groups of the years of ‘pistolerismo’.

1936

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THE WRITER AND REALITY: Jane Austen and Her World by DONOVAN PEDELTY eBook — £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Literary criticism, Literature, Northanger Abbey  Comments Off on THE WRITER AND REALITY: Jane Austen and Her World by DONOVAN PEDELTY eBook — £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Jun 062016
 

JaneAustenCover4asmallTHE WRITER AND REALITY: Jane Austen and Her World eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo  and Kindle

One hundred and ninety nine years ago, in an English country churchyard, a lady was laid to rest who enraptures the hearts of millions around the world today. She was only forty one years old, and had never married, though her thoughts were all of girls in love with love and getting wed; and from those thoughts she spun tales which still enchant us. The world of her words has the crystallised completeness of fairytale. The actual world in which she wrote was, of course, as messy as ours. And different though it was in many ways, in two absolutely fundamental respects nothing at all has changed: the division into ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, and the careful ways in which the ‘haves’ portion out their concern for those less fortunate than them. … And so it is in reading stories. This book is dedicated to lovers of literature who have a thought to spare for the never-enough-considered undistinguished multitude who “keep those wheels a-turnin’.” This is the book about Jane Austen that you were looking for. Without presupposing any background, it takes the reader on a fascinating intellectual journey documenting the enormous contribution Austen has made to the genre of literary fiction. Carefully crafted and beautifully written, as far as books on literature go, this is a masterpiece. — LOOK INSIDE!

From the author of: THE GREAT DECEPTION. How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the Workers, Donovan Pedelty

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