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

Oct 152010

Faithfully based on Alexander Pushkin’s A History of Pugachev and the novella The Captain’s Daughter, the stirring historical Russian drama Russkiy Bunt (literal translation is Russian Riot but the film was released as The Captain’s Daughter) blends a love story against the backdrop of the Pugachev Rebellion 1773-1775, the final and arguably one of the most significant revolts against Muscovite domination and expansionism. Fascinated by Pugachev, Pushkin traveled to the Urals to gather information about this legendary, dissident Cossack. Tsar Nicholas I ordered Pushkin to alter the title of his work from A History of Pugachev to A History of the Pugachev Rising, and according to Paul Avrich’s wonderful book Russian Rebels 1600-1800, the Tsar decreed, “a criminal like Pugachev can have no history”. This statement is a rather naked affirmation of the fact that history is both created and destroyed by the state. Furthermore, Pushkin was subjected to increasing censorship and surveillance, and his death in a duel in 1837 was a targeted assassination.