Oct 292013

AlbertPressAlCoverTHE ALBERT MEMORIAL. The Anarchist Life and Times of Albert Meltzer (7 January 1920 — 7 May 1996). An Appreciation by Phil Ruff, with a postscript by ‘Acrata’. ChristieBooks 2013  ISBN 978-1-901172-10-2 Published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.08/€1.27/$1.70  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

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Albert Meltzer was one of the most notable and influential figures in the British anarchist movement of the second half of the 20th century. This commemorative appreciation of Albert’s life and work by his close friend and comrade, ‘Black Flag’ cartoonist Phil Ruff, also includes contributions from his European activist contemporaries and a response to the calumnies propagated by those who attempted for several decades to revile or belittle his indefatigable efforts in the cause of human liberation. Funeral of Albert Meltzer ; I Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels

Apr 062013

AnsinLondTHE ANARCHISTS IN LONDON. A Personal MemoirAlbert Meltzer (ISBN 978-0-904564-12-9),  £2.03, ChristieBooks. PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN341ZS. First published by Cienfuegos Press, Over the Water, Sanday, Orkney, in 1976. This fully revised ChristieBooks (Kindle eBook) edition published 2013. LOOK INSIDE

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Albert Meltzer was one of the most enduring and respected torchbearers of the international anarchist movement in the second half of the twentieth century. His sixty-year commitment to the vision and practice of anarchism survived both the collapse of the Revolution and Civil War in Spain and The Second World War; he helped fuel the libertarian impetus of the 1960s and 1970s and steer it through the reactionary challenges of the Thatcherite 1980s and post-Cold War 1990s.


Albert Meltzer, anarchist, born London, January 7,1920; died, Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, May 7, 1996.

Fortunately, before he died, Albert managed to finish his autobiography, I Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels, * a pungent, no-punches pulled, Schvejkian account of a radical twentieth century enemy of humbug and injustice. A life-long trade union activist, he fought Mosley’s Blackshirts in the battle of Cable Street, played an active role in supporting the anarchist communes and militias in the Spanish Revolution and the pre-war German anti-Nazi resistance, was a key player in the Cairo Mutiny during WWII, helped rebuild the post-war anti-Franco resistance in Spain and the international anarchist movement. His achievements include Cuddon’s Cosmopolitan Review, an occasional satirical review first published in 1965 and named after Ambrose Cuddon, possibly the first consciously anarchist publisher in the modern sense, the founding of the Anarchist Black Cross, a prisoners’ aid and ginger group and the paper which grew out of it Black Flag.

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Feb 272013

Power&Liberty_TolstoyPower and Liberty by Leo Tolstoy. Introduction by Albert Meltzer. ISBN 978-1-873976-13-5 First published in 1968 by Coptic Press, 10 Gilbert Place, London WC1. This edition (2013) by ChristieBooks (Kindle edition). (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles)

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In this essay, Tolstoy maintains his theory of great men as the myths and tickets of history. History, he asserts, must give up the idea that great men rule us, and busy itself with the discovery of the idea of humanity. One looks for the overthrow of the French Empire not in this or that decision of Napoleon, but in the various factors down to the corporal who enlisted for the bounty once too often. What causes that great motion, the People, to brim over into an historic event? Nobody nowadays believes that the French Revolution happened because Marie-Antoinette was somewhat careless with her jewellery; but many people believe that Churchill, or Stalin, “won the war”, or that Hitler, personally, lost it. Moreover, the whole defence of Nazi war criminals — “we acted under orders” — is relevant to Tolstoy’s critique: it is not your great men who order history. It is a combination of circumstances in which the great man acts merely as the reference-card in the history book. It is not denied that they too like all other individuals play their part in history; but that role is not so decisive as those who wish to avoid responsibility admit.

“The great are only great because we are on our knees”.

Cover illustration: The Vendôme Column, Paris, completed in 1810, to celebrate the French victory at Austerlitz. The column is topped with a statue of a bare-headed Napoleon, crowned with laurels and holding a sword in his right hand and a globe surmounted with a statue of Victory in his left hand.

Dec 292012

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ChinaThe republication of Albert Meltzer’s The Origins of the Anarchist Movement in China is a major event. Outside of The Origins . . . Robert A. Scalapino and George T. Yu’s The Chinese Anarchist Movement (which does not go beyond the early 1920s, stopping short of the Shanghai Commune) and Olga Lang’s Pa Chin and His Writings: Chinese Youth Between the Two Revolutions most of what has been written about Anarchism in China has been as sidelights to other subjects. In the third number of Libero International, organ of CIRA Nippon, there appears a 34-item bibliography (Asian Anarchism in Western Languages (2): China — republished here as an appendix) — heading the list is Origins. . .

“Libero International refers to it as ‘the pioneer libertarian study on the Chinese movement’ — and so it is. The publication is not a comprehensive study, but a broad, sweeping outline of Chinese Anarchism from its beginnings under the dual impacts of Chinese anarchists in France and Japan, all the way to the Cultural Revolution. Neither is it a scholarly work. These limitations must be kept in mind. It was meant as an introduction to a chapter of the Unknown History whose definitive work has yet to be written. This writer was not even aware of there being an anarchist movement in China before reading ‘The Origins . . .’ — that it informs those interested that such a movement did indeed exist, and exerted a powerful influence as well — therein lies the value of The Origins . . . Written in the inimitable Meltzer style, complete with anecdotes and fascinating sidelights (such as the role of Esperanto, or a note on the depiction of Jews as a type in the writings of the anarchist Pa Chin), it is an ideal jumping off point for further studies…” — Shelby Shapiro

Sep 022012

Anarquismo y Lucha de Clases (Floodgates of Anarchy)


Anarquismo y Lucha de Clases por Stuart Christie y Albert Meltzer (traducción directa de Floodgates of Anarchy por Eduardo Prieto). ISBN 978-1-873976-59-3 (€4,12/£3.25/ $5.14)

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Las compuertas que contienen las caudalosas aguas de la anarquía se están resquebrajando. Los liberales aligerarían la presión desviando parte de la corriente; los conservadores apuntalarían diques; los totalitarios construirían una presa todavía más resistente. ¿Pero es la anarquía una fuerza destructiva? La ausencia de gobierno puede alarmar al autoritario, pero ¿es realmente un pueblo liberado su propio peor enemigo? o ¿son el verdadero enemigo de la humanidad –como postulan los anarquistas– los medios por los que se le gobierna? Sin gobierno el mundo podría conseguir acabar con la explotación y la guerra. La anarquía no debería confundirse con un gobierno débil, dividido o múltiple. Solo con la total abolición del gobierno puede la sociedad desarrollarse en libertad. Estos son los argumentos presentados por los revolucionarios Christie y Meltzer.

“Quien quiera conocer qué es el anarquismo en el mundo contemporáneo hará bien en empezar por leer ANARQUISMO Y LUCHA DE CLASES. (…) Nos obliga a replantear nuestra mirada hacia ciertos problemas morales y políticos que otras doctrinas más sofisticadas eluden” – The Sunday Times

“Lúcida exposición de teoría revolucionaria anarquista”  – Peace News

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Jun 042010

The anarchists in London 1935-1955. A personal memoir by Albert Meltzer

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