New Books [Rebel Alliances, Anti-Fascist, Bending the Bars, Bash the Rich, Reviewed]

Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms, Benjamin Franks

It’s not always pleasant (or profitable) to read academic studies of anarchism. Fortunately, Franks is no anarchaeologist and tries to make his specialised philosophical language accessible. Also, he writes from a class struggle perspective, so we’re spared being told ‘old anarchism’ was stupid or monolithic. Inevitably, he goes some things in anarchist history wrong, but the book’s main strength is to critically examine anarchist ideas. How do we bring about a free society? This book is both a useful contribution to the debate and a good introduction to the modern anarchist movement. £15 AK Press. ISBN: 1904859402.

Anti-fascist, Martin Lux

Phoenix Press make a welcome return with a personal account of militant anti-fascism in 1970s Britain. Anyone who enjoyed ‘Bash the Fash’ should read this. It may not get through to anyone who thinks Gandhi, Trotsky or Kropotkin have all the answers, but its also an intelligent (if exasperated) criticism of the cult of non-resistance: to some ‘we were as bad as the nazis. Our insistence on aggro was “macho” and therefore sexist. The police and nazis were human beings and maybe even the fucking police horses as well. But were we?’ It all ends happily with the ‘master race’ getting a kicking and the prospect of an even more turbulent decade ahead. £5.95 Phoenix Press, PO Box 824, London, N1 9DL ISBN-10 094898435X

Bending the Bars

John Barker’s excellent set of prison stories Bending the Bars (both rebellious and lyrical, reviewed in KSL #33) is now available in a small format paperback, published by Christiebooks, also available from us for £6

Another new book Bash the Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK, Ian Bone

This is an insider’s view of the history (and prehistory) of Class War: a personal and partisan account. Bone is not so much interested in settling old scores as celebrating the good fight itself. Thankfully as well as funny and entertaining, he also manages to be pretty honest (and reflective) so it has ‘how not to’ as well as ‘how to’ lessons in it. From taking down the ‘Swansea mafia’ to the Miner’s Strike, this is history at its most inspiring. Unfortunately he stops in 1985: roll on volume two! £9.99 ISBN-10: 0954417771