Mar 282014

FrancoCoverGENERAL FRANCO MADE ME A TERRORIST. The Christie File: part 2, 1964-1967 (The interesting years abroad of a West of Scotland ‘Baby-boomer’) Stuart Christie ISBN 1 873976 19 4 (Kindle edition).  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  — £2.50/€2.99/$4.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! UK : £2.50 ; USA : $4.00 ; Germany : €2.99 ; France :  €2.99 ; Spain:  €2.99 ; Italy:  €2.99 ; Japan: ¥ 409 ; India: R244 : Canada: CDN$ 4.49 ; Brazil: R$9.30 ; Mexico: $52.93 ; Australia: $4.40

‘This volume picks up where the last one ended, namely his leaving Britain to take part in an anarchist plan to assassinate Franco. Christie, however, was arrested by Franco’s secret police long before he completed his mission to give the explosives he smuggled into Spain to those who were planning the assassination. Christie recounts his experiences being arrested and his time in various Spanish prisons with assurance, humanity and wit. He is not afraid to talk about the failures and cock-ups, the bickering and the surreal along with the bravery and dedication. As such, it is a real treat to read, giving the human side which history books never really manage to do. His account of the characters he met and the life of political prisoners in Franco’s regime is engrossing. Flag Blackened

Jan 252014

ReAppropriationPDF of the first issue of REAPROPIACIÓN, a journal (in Spanish) focused on ‘The Events of May 1937′ in Barcelona (las Jornadas de Mayo de 1937 en Barcelona),

Jan 122014

Juventudes LibertariasLas Juventudes Libertarias en España (Análisis Espectral) by Fabián Moro, France 1970 (Kindle edition — £1.25/€1.50/$2.00) (in Spanish). First published in 1968 by Edition CNT in the Imprimerie des Gondoles, France. This eBook (Kindle edition) is published by ChristieBooks in conjunction with the Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne and Acracia Publications —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.25/€1.50/$2.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

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Nov 022013

IBBookCoverThe 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!

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” … 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’…”

Oct 192013

Layout 1WAR & 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!

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‘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

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May 242013

Gregorio Gallego García (1916-2007). CNT militant and acting chief of staff of the 50th Mixed Brigade (Army of the Centre) in February 1939

 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.

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May 102013

DurrutiFrontThe Death of Durruti by Joan Llarch (translated by Raymond Batkin); 174pp, 230mm x 152mm, photos/illustrations, bibliography and index, £9.95 (p+p UK £1.80; Europe £4.50; US/Canada £7.00). ISBN 978-1-873976-61-6, ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.65  READ INSIDE!

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Buenaventura Durruti was the most outstanding figure in Spanish anarchist history. Born in León on 14 July 1896, of Basque and Catalan parents,  he dedicated his life from the age of 16 until his untimely death at 40 to the struggle for justice, social revolution and the anarchist idea. It was his commitment to the ‘idea’ that led Durruti to spend the rest of his life in clandestinity, jail, exile and — ultimately — as the inspirational figurehead of the social revolution that confronted the clerical-fascist-military uprising of July 1936. Shortly after mid-day on 19 November 1936, at the height of the Francoist assault on Madrid, Durruti, accompanied by his driver and military advisers, was mortally wounded in mysterious circumstances and died in the early hours of 20 November. The circumstances surrounding his death have never been satisfactorily explained. La Muerte de Durruti (The Death of Durruti), first published in 1973,  remains, forty years on, the only book devoted, exclusively, to the events leading up to —  and after — the anarchist’s  death, some four months after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Written in the style of investigative journalism, the author sets out the many conflicting theories circulating at the time, and which have remained the subject of debate up to the present day. In addition he has interviewed those who either knew Durruti or had served in the Durruti column up to the time of his death

See also The Man Who Killed Durruti by Pedro de Paz (also available on Kindle)

Apr 302013

OneMansWarFrontCoveraOne Man’s War in Spain. Trickery, Treachery and Thievery by Joaquín Pérez Navarro (Translated and Edited by Paul Sharkey) ISBN 978-1-873976-62-3, pp. 256,  229mm x 153mm, £12.95 inc p+p UK. (Europe €17,50; USA $17.00). ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE £2.67  READ INSIDE!

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The collected memoirs and documents in this book, penned or preserved by the author with such belief and ideological conviction over so very many years of effort, can be described as a masterwork. Without euphemism or any other sort of circumlocution, they bluntly set out facts that will come as a revelation to anyone who knows only the accounts sympathetic to those who had a hand in the loss of the Revolution and War in 1936–39 – works indeed often written by counter-revolutionaries themselves to conceal the malicious intent that they so cravenly pursued. The revolutionary structures of the anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist movement were undermined to their very roots by all its foes without and within, by Bolsheviks in particular and by the cohorts of the state in general.

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Feb 182013

GomezPelaez2Santiago Carrillo – or history falsified by Fernando Gómez Peláez

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With the death last year (18 September 2012) of Santiago Carrillo, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) (1960-1982), we can expect a few biographies of the ‘father of Eurocommunism’ over the coming year or so. As a matter of record and in the interests of, as they say, ‘balance’, we have republished an extensive review — by ‘Frente Libertario’ editor, Fernando Gómez Peláez — of ‘Dialogue on Spain. Santiago Carrillo in interview with Regis Debray and Max Gallo’ (Lawrence & Wishart, London 1976). The review appeared, originally, in the Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review (No, 4, Sanday, Orkney, 1978). Further information on Santiago Carrillo’s role in the Spanish Civil War— and subsequently — is available here:

-  La venganza mortífera sobre camaradas de partido:

- Exiliados y maquis asesinados por el PCE:

- El protagonismo de Santiago Carrillo en la “Operación Reconquista de España”:

- La entrega de Julián Grimau a la policía:

- Desbancamiento de Fernando Claudín y Jorge Semprún en la lucha por el poder en el partido:

- Desaparición gubernamental de sumarios judiliales que ponían en evidencia la política de Santiago Carrillo:

Check also

Constructive reviews of Paul Preston’s new biography of Carrillo — El Zorro Rojo. La vida de Santiago Carrillo




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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