Feb 172014

Berkman1abALEXANDER BERKMAN, ANARCHIST — Life, Work, Ideas, Bill Nowlin ISBN 978-1-873976-69-2 (Kindle edition). First published by ChristieBooks in 2014 —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  — £3.08/€3.76/$5.50  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! LIMITED PRINT EDITION (25 copies) ALSO AVAILABLE — £25.00 (+ £5.00 p+p)

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As a young student in Russia, Alexander Berkman claims to have heard the bomb explode which killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881. He emigrated to America and, inspired by the Haymarket martyrs, became active in Jewish anarchist circles. When Henry Clay Frick of Carnegie Steel sent in armed Pinkertons who killed strikers at Homestead Steel, Berkman traveled to Pittsburg and shot Frick in an assassination attempt of his own, hoping to inspire a workers’ revolt. He spent 14 years in prison, then rejoined his comrade Emma Goldman and was active in the free speech movement, in setting up free schools, in the beginnings of the birth control movement, and in defending numerous activists charged by prosecutors. He and Goldman organized against military conscription during World War I and were deported to Russia, arriving shortly after the Revolution. There, as anarchists, they also ran afoul of the Communist Party authorities who were intent on consolidating political power. They had to leave Russia as well, and then to leave Germany, finally landing in exile in France. Throughout, Berkman was a skilled organizer and both edited and wrote numerous publications. His life, his work, and his ideas are explored in this book.  The way Berkman lived his life, maturing in his thought but remaining true to his principles, has been an inspiration to those who have known of him.

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Mar 272013
Give me your tired, your poor.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
From Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty

SS Buford (“The Soviet Ark”)

Shortly before dawn on a chill overcast December morning, one year after the end of the war, a carefully guarded transport vessel lying in the shadow of the guns of Fort Wadsworth lifted anchor and slipped out of New York Harbor under extremely strange and mysterious circumstances. Not even the captain knew where the ship was bound; he was sailing under sealed orders, to remain unopened until he was twenty-four hours at sea. The only persons aware of the ship’s destination were a few highly placed officials of the United States Government.

Radicals Awaiting Deportation

Radicals awaiting deportation

Through the long tense hours of the night a cordon of heavily armed soldiers had stood on guard at the pier. Aboard ship, other soldiers with fixed bayonets patrolled the decks. A special detachment of marines, several agents of the Department of Justice and a top-ranking member of the Military Intelligence Section of the Army General Staff sailed with the vessel. Shortly before departure, revolvers were distributed among the crew . . .

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Jan 182013

WhiteCover1The Meaning of Anarchism by J.R. White and From Loyalism to Anarchism by Albert Meltzer. ISBN 978-0-904564-42-6

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Field Marshal Sir George White VC held almost every honour the British Army could bestow, especially after his defence of Ladysmith (which was a traumatic battle for the British Government since the public was shaken by the fact that the Boers were defeating the ‘invincible’ British Army, and needed a successful siege or two, at least, to restore confidence).

He belonged to the Anglo-Irish landowning class, the equivalent of Germany’s “Junkers”, who one as the other supplied the most militaristic of officers, born as they were with a garrison mentality, surrounded in their infancy by an alien peasantry of an alien faith.

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Jan 052013
Alexander Berkman in his study in Paris

Alexander Berkman in his study in Paris

BerkmanCoverTHE RUSSIAN TRAGEDY, Alexander Berkman. ISBN 978-0-904564-11-2. Edited, introduced and compiled by William G. Nowlin Jnr. First published as three separate pamphlets in 1922 by Der Syndikalist, Berlin. Compilation first published 1976 by Cienfuegos Press Ltd., Over The Water, Sanday, Orkney. Cover illustration by Flavio Costantini and cover design by Simon Stern. This (Kindle) e-Book edition published 2013 by ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, TN341ZS.

UK : £2.55 ; USA : $4.12 ; Germany : €3.12 ; France3,12 ; Spain3,12 ; Italy : 3,12 ; Japan : ¥ 344 ; Canada : CDN$ 3.99 ; Brazil : R$ 8,19

THE THREE PAMPHLETS, ISSUED HERE in book form for the first time (‘The Russian Tragedy’, ‘The Russian Revolution and the Communist Party’, and ‘The Kronstadt Rebellion‘), are Alexander Berkman’s first writings after leaving Russia in December of 1921. He had entered Russia just two years earlier, filled with devotion to the ideals of the Russian revolution and anxious to contribute his share to the revolutionary process. It was a return home for him, as he had lived his first 17 years in Russia and had grown up among the revolutionaries of that era. Now he was welcomed back as an important revolutionary exile from his adopted United States.

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Sep 162012

SAM DOLGOFF, retired house painter, editor and translator of Bakunin on Anarchy, The Cuban Revolution: A Critical Perspective, The Anarchist Collectives: Workers’ Self-management in the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939), was 83 years old when he completed this Memoir. He started out in life, more than half a century earlier, as a working hobo on the railroads and waterfronts, in lumber camps, canneries, and steel mills of the United States. Caught up early in ideas of radical social change, he moved from reformist socialism to anarchism, publishing his first piece, a criticism of Gandhi, in the anarchist journal Road to Freedom. As a member of the IWW he became a strong propagandist for libertarian labor movements—incidentally teaching himself to read six different languages—lecturing across America in union halls, civic centers and colleges. Under the pen name Sam Weiner, he published innumerable articles in labor and anarchist periodicals, many of which he helped to found and edit.

Fragments: a memoir, Sam Dolgoff, ISBN 978-0-946222-04-9. First published (one edition, now long o/p) 1986 by Refract Publications (formerly Cienfuegos Press Ltd), Cambridge. This Kindle eBook published 2012 by ChristieBooks. (€3,21; £2.58; $4.13UK ; US/Canada/India and RoW ; España ; France ; Germany ; Italy

Aug 032010

PACIFIC STREET first met Federico Arcos during the production of the 1980 film, ANARCHISM IN AMERICA. It soon became clear that his vision of an Anarchist future was, if anything, relentless. Despite decades of privation and isolation he held fast to the notion of universal freedom, unbridled by the twin constraints of government and religion. It was in Canada that Emma Goldman was to live out the rest of her life. Indeed, her dusty old suitcase, representing her years of travel and activism, eventually found its way to Federico, who had also found a new home in Canada. The basement of his nondescript suburban house had now become an enormous archive of Spanish anarchist materials collected from sources around the world. For many years, through the terrible trauma of the Spanish dictatorship, Federico was one of several refugees who helped keep alive the bright light of the Spanish anarchist experience. Certainly, his relentless passion to save the anarchist legacy in Spain – despite Franco’s heated attempts to destroy any trace of the movement – has preserved a period of history that would have long been forgotten.

Pacific Street Films