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'This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism'
with author Ashton Applewhite

Monday 20th May, 7pm

'Coiled Verbal Spring/Devices of Lenin's Language'
with Ben Watson and the AMM All-Stars 

Wednesday 22nd May, 7pm

‘The Anarchist Imagination: 
Anarchism Encounters the Humanities and the Social Sciences’
with Carl Levy, Constance Bantman, Ole Birk Laursen and Carne Ross

Thursday 30th May, 7pm

'Cooperation Jackson: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi' with Kali Akuno
Friday 31st May, 7pm 

'The War on Drugs and the Global Colour Line'
with Kojo Koram and Ash Sarkar
Wednesday 5th June, 7pm

'To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe '
with Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande
Wednesday 12th June, 7pm

'Safe as houses: Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell' with Stuart Hodkinson
Friday 14th June, 7pm

‘Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London's Radical History’ with David Rosenberg
Monday 24th June, 7pm

‘Waiting for the Revolution: The British Far Left from 1956’ with Evan Smith, Matthew Worley and Professor John Kelly
Wednesday 26th June, 7pm

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Sunday 12 noon to 6pm

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This page is an archive of our past in-store events. Thanks to all our guests and visitors for making these events so succesful.

'A Girl's Guide to Personal Hygiene: Workshop and Conversation'
withTallulah Pomeroy
Wednesday 8th May, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE


So you think you’re the only one?!

A Girl’s Guide to Personal Hygiene is an illustrated collection of women’s stories about their secret bodily habits. It’s opened our eyes to the private physical worlds we never knew we shared. In this workshop we’ll be encouraged to come into our bodies, open up, loosen up and connect.

We’ll learn techniques for uninhibited drawing, connecting to our bodies and our body-image. We’ll break free from perfectionism and self-censorship. It’s a fun, immersive way to have the conversations we need, about shame, social pressure, and fanny farts. It’s funny, warm, visceral and eye-opening.

All are welcome.

'4 Brown Girls Who Write'
with Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sunnah Khan, and Sheena Patel

Tuesday 14th May, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE

Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sunnah Khan, and Sheena Patel—began their collective performing together across London, and have put their work on the page for the first time in this vibrant new collection of poems.

Their four voices collide and diverge beautifully in this book, with poems divided into four lyrically rich chapters; ‘Silk’, ‘Saffron’, ‘Smoke’ and ‘Temples’. The book explores the spaces we inhabit: the city, the home, our skins, our sexuality, and what it means to navigate these as women of colour.

"Sunnah, Sharan, Roshni and Sheena have given us verse patterned in henna, garlanded with gold thread, alive and alert to the complicated intersections of being both brown and a woman in the world's gaze. Read this collection to see what the contemporary goddess says when she opens her mouth.We're in a glorious new age of Asian women's writing; work like this confirms it with confidence and promising fire."—Shivanee Ramlochan, author of Everyone Knows I am a Haunting

'Queer Heroes Past & Present' with Sarah Tanat-Jones
Postponed! Publication date delayed

Anthony Howell launches 'Consciousness (with Mutilation)'
Wednesday 24th April, 7pm - Free Entry


Consciousness (with Mutilation) is a non-fiction novel. Every sentence that begins any paragraph within it also serves as the concluding sentence of another paragraph. The trigger for the text is an epileptic seizure the author experienced in April 2018. This event prompted an investigation of the meaning of continuity in individuals, families and states. Could we have been somebody else yesterday, or become somebody else tomorrow?

Consciousness annexes a Syrian novella – Mutilation – within its pages; a novella by Mamdouh Adwan, first published in Damascus in 1971. Reading this book is to be drawn into whirlpools, perhaps to drown. It is self-analysis, but, since the author’s lineage is both Jewish and Quaker, it evolves into an analysis of Zionism, of which Howell’s grandfather was a proponent, and of the role of the British in the Middle East. Having experienced sudden lapses of consciousness, the author senses that “life is not a river. Life is a collage.”

This book takes The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet for its literary forbears. In the way of ancient tragedy, the dilemma of the individual becomes the dilemma of the state, in this case Israel, and the author carries the reader into a world of smoke and mirrors, sustained by collage mediated through its formal constraint.

'Anarchism and Education' with Judith Suissa

Thursday 25th April, 7pm - Free Entry


Autonomy Now welcomes Judith Suissa to present a philosophical account of the neglected tradition of anarchist thought on education. Although few anarchist thinkers wrote systematically on education, this analysis is based largely on a reconstruction of the educational thought of anarchist thinkers gleaned from their various ethical, philosophical and popular writings. Primarily drawing on the work of the nineteenth century anarchist theorists such as Bakunin, Kropotkin and Proudhon, Judith's research also covers twentieth century anarchist thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Paul Goodman, Daniel Guerin and Colin Ward.

Judith Suissa is a senior lecturer in philosophy of education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research and teaching are mostly in the area of political philosophy, with a focus on liberal theory, radical theories of education, utopianism, and the role of the state.

"This is an excellent book that deals with important issues through the lens of anarchist theories and practices of education . . .[it] tackles a number of issues that are relevant to anybody who is trying to come to terms with the philosophy of education." "Higher Education Review""

"Suissa's book is a valuable reminder of the possibilities that education can offer anarchists and other radicals working towards social change." "Anarchist Studies""


The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s’
with Mark Sinker and Owen Hatherley

Wednesday 3rd April, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

An anthology of conversations and essays, memories and commentary from the heyday of British pop music writing.

In its heyday, from the 1960s to the 1980s, the UK music press was the forging ground for a new critical culture, where readers could encounter anything from comics and cult films to new musical forms and radical underground politics. It created an off-mainstream collective cultural commons improvised through a networked subculture of rival weeklies, monthlies, and fanzines, including such titles as NME, Melody Maker, Sounds , Record Mirror, Black Echoes, Black Music, Let It Rock, Street Life, Zigzag, and Smash Hits.

This anthology of conversations and essays, memories and commentary explores how this uncharted space first came about, who put it together, what it achieved, and where it went. Along the way, it unearths the many surprising worlds explored by this network of young anarchists, dreamers, and agitators who dared to take pop culture seriously, and considers what remains of their critical legacy.

Contributors Valerie Wilmer, Charles Shaar Murray, Richard Williams, Penny Reel, Jonh Ingham, Jon Savage, Cynthia Rose, Paul Morley, David Toop, Bob Stanley, Barney Hoskyns, Jonathon Green, Simon Frith, Paul Gilroy, and many others

With cover and illustrations by legendary comics artist Savage Pencil.

Mark Sinker
Mark Sinker is a music writer, journalist, and former editor of The Wire magazine.

Owen Hatherley is a writer and journalist based in London who writes primarily on architecture, politics and culture. Amongst his works are A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain was published by Verso in 2010. Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings, a history of communism in Europe told through the built environments of former socialist states, was published by Allen Lane in June 2015. In 2018, he released two books, Trans-Europe Express with Allen Lane, and The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space with Repeater Books.

Authentocracy: Joe Kennedy & Juliet Jacques in conversation
Monday 8th April, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

Join Joe Kennedy and Juliet Jacques to discuss our obsession with authenticity, and the ways it has been instrumentalised politically.

We are entering, we are told, a post-liberal age. Authoritarian populism is in the ascendant, and permissiveness, multiculturalism and “identity politics” have allegedly failed us, meaning that we must now fall back on some idea of tradition. However, it’s not only the usual, conservative suspects who are making this argument, but centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP.

“Authentocracy” is the populism of the centre, with a spurious concern for “real people” that’s part of a broader turn within British culture (as exemplified in the brute masculinity of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the “progressive” patriotism of nature writing, and a televisual obsession with the World Wars), as it withdraws under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards.

In their declaration that the Left can only save itself by becoming less liberal, in Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness, Joe Kennedy charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.

About the speakers:

Joe Kennedy teaches English and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Games Without Frontiers (Repeater Books, 2016) and Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness (Repeater Books, 2018).

Juliet Jacques is a writer and film-maker, whose most recent book was Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). She is the host of Suite (212) on Resonance 104.4fm.

'Chav Solidairty' with D Hunter
Wednesday 10th April - Tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

To the political left Hunter's people are the ignorant and the ill informed, to the victorious right they are the unwashed and discarded waste product of the labouring class. Chav Solidarity is part autobiography, part meditation on trauma, class and identity, part one finger salute into the face of respectability politics, but mostly an articulation of the contradictory heart of Chavvy shit heads across the U.K.

​This collection of essay's pick apart the lived experiences of its author. Hunter uses his experiences as child sex worker, teenage crack addict, violent thug and community activist to examine the ways in which our classed experiences shape the ways in which we think and do our politics.

Hunter is an ageing chav, whose first 25 years depended upon the informal economy including sex work, robbing, and dealing. For the last 12 years he has been an anti-capitalist motivated community organiser and spent too much time watching football. He is currently flogging a book about himself, poverty and anarchism, whilst finishing his first crime fiction novel. He pays his bills by working as a mental health support worker.

"It's full of nuanced self-reflection and complexity that refuses to caricature. Hunter offers us a gift with this book: an essential opportunity to interrogate the ways in which class informs our identities, experiences, relationships and resistance." Tripod: Training for Creative Social Action.

"Chav Solidarity is a very necessary challenge to the academic and ignorant writing on class struggles. It brings us the bluntness and authenticity that remains erased in most conversations." Eshe Kiama Zuri

'Women's Workplace Victories To Remember, That History Wants You To Forget' with Sally Groves and Louise Raw
Wednesday 17th April, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

When the Bryant and May matchwomen walked out of a Bow matchfactory on strike in 1888, even they would never have guessed they were about to launch a whole movement. Their unprecedented victory against a cruelly exploitative, wealthy and very well-connected employers helped to change perceptions of working-class women. Previously, ‘factory lasses’ had been considered the ‘lowest of the low’ and ‘no better than they should be’. Now, they stood revealed as principled and articulate fighters for their sisters and their class.

But the matchwomen were still up against the prejudice of mainstream history. Because of their identities- young working-class, EastEnd and usually from Irish backgrounds at a time when there was literal racism against the Irish (considered black by Victorian eugenicists), they were the ‘wrong sort of heroines’. History re-wrote the strike (where it wrote about it at all) as something imposed on the women by middle-class socialists- making the workers mere puppets.

Louise Raw, author of ‘Striking a Light’, the only in-depth study of the strike, has campaigned for 20 years to have the magnitude of the matchwomen’s victory acknowledged. As a result, Jeremy Corbyn has now hailed them as the 'mothers' of the labour movement. An activist and writer, Louise is also resident historian on BBC London’s Robert Elms show.

The struggle against capitalism of course continued after 1888- but at least now, women could fight from within the union movement. In 1976 in at the Trico-Folberth in Brentford, West London, Sally Groves was one of 400 women who did just that. Trico management had never had any intention of abiding by the Equal Pay Act and paying their female employees more. But they made one fatal mistake- moving men from a nightshift to work alongside women. If they thought these workmates wouldn’t compare payslips, they were wrong! The women soon found out their male workmates were being paid more for exactly the same work.

Throughout the long, hot summer of 1976 and beyond, an historic 21 week battle was fought, with the employer throwing everything it could at the strikers- this was the first time American-style picket-busting convoys of lorries and ‘scab’ labour was used against strikers who were mainly women.

Astonishingly, a tribunal ruled in the employer’s favour: but their union, the AUEW, would not give in. They managed to negotiate equal pay after all. This achievement was unique, and led directly to the Equal Pay Act being amended in 1983. Incredibly well-known in its day, the story has been neglected since- perhaps precisely because it is such an inspiration to trade unionists and all the workers suffering in the so called ‘gig’ economy.

Sally Groves started working at Trico for the very sound reason that, having been offered two jobs, Trico’s hours allowed her an extra half-hour in bed. She became a stalwart union activist, the AUEW Strike Committee’s Publicity Officer, and, now, the co-author of a ground-breaking biography of the strike with Vernon Merritt. The story is highly relevant today, and a call-to-arms to everyone suffering inequality.


‘Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison’
with Caitlin Davies
Wednesday 20th March, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

Society has never known what to do with its rebellious women.

Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HM Prison Holloway, the self-proclaimed 'terror to evil-doers' which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe's largest women's prison.

First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway's women have come from all corners of the UK - whether a patriot from Scotland, a suffragette from Huddersfield, or a spy from the Isle of Wight - and from all walks of life - socialites and prostitutes, sporting stars and nightclub queens, refugees and freedom fighters. They were imprisoned for treason and murder, for begging, performing abortions and stealing clothing coupons, for masquerading as men, running brothels and attempting suicide. In Bad Girls, Caitlin Davies tells their stories and shows how women have been treated in our justice system over more than a century, what crimes - real or imagined - they committed, who found them guilty and why. It is a story of victimization and resistance; of oppression and bravery.

From the women who escaped the hangman's noose - and those who didn't - to those who escaped Holloway altogether, Bad Girls is a fascinating look at how disobedient and defiant women changed not only the prison service, but the course of history.

'Insightful and thought-provoking and makes for a ripping good read' JEREMY CORBYN

'A much-needed and balanced history' OBSERVER

'Davies explores how society has dealt with disobedient women - from suffragettes to refugees to women seeking abortions - for decades, and how they've failed to silence those who won't go down without a fight' STYLIST

An evening of Sex & Politics
with Lucy-Anne Holmes and Robert Woodshaw
Wednesday 27th March, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night

Join Lucy-Anne Holmes and Robert Woodshaw as they delve into the passions and frustrations that led them to write about sex and politics.

With dramatised readings*, author interviewing author, and a frank Q and A, this going to be unlike any author event you've been to.

Lucy-Anne Holmes, award winning rom-com writer and founder of the successful No More Page 3 campaign, talks about her memoir 'Don’t Hold My Head Down'. The story of how she found feminism through sex and took on the The Sun over Page 3.

And Robert Woodshaw talks about his debut novel, The Iron Bird, which takes the premise of Animal Farm and applies it to the life of Margaret Thatcher, a bird of prey. What animal is David Cameron? And why would Baroness Thatcher want to inspect an organ that has been inserted into the mouth of a pig?

Both books are published with Unbound, the world's leading crowdfunding publisher.

*clothes will remain on at all times


Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League -
with David Renton, Ruth Gregory and Apsana Begum

Wednesday 27th February, 7pm – £3 tickets in advance from HERE

Our guests discuss David's new book 'Never Again' which tells the story of the fascist National Front who were rampaging in the late 70s, and the campaigns which played such a key part in counteracting them.

By 1976, the National Front had become the fourth largest party in Britain. In a context of national decline, racism and fears that the country was collapsing into social unrest, the Front won 19 per cent of the vote in elections in Leicester and 100,000 votes in London.

In response, an anti-fascist campaign was born, which combined mass action to deprive the Front of public platforms with a mass cultural movement. Rock Against Racism brought punk and reggae bands together as a weapon against the right.

At Lewisham in August 1977, fighting between the far right and its opponents saw two hundred people arrested and fifty policemen injured. The press urged the state to ban two rival sets of dangerous extremists. But as the papers took sides, so did many others who determined to oppose the Front.

Through the Anti-Nazi League hundreds of thousands of people painted out racist graffiti, distributed leaflets and persuaded those around them to vote against the right. This combined movement was one of the biggest mass campaigns that Britain has ever seen.

Our guests discuss David's new book 'Never Again' which tells the story of the fascist National Front who were rampaging in the late 70s, and the campaigns which played such a key part in counteracting them.

About the speakers:

David Renton is a British barrister, historian and author. His previous books include Fascism: Theory and Practice (1999), Fascism, Anti-Fascism and Britain in the 1940s (2000), This Rough Game: Fascism and Anti-Fascism (2001), British Fascism, the Labour Movement and the State (2004, with Nigel Copsey) and When We Touched the Sky: The Anti-Nazi League 1977–1981 (2006).

Ruth Gregory was a member of the Rock Against Racism steering committee.

Apsana Begum is a member of the Momentum NCG and Labour Against Racism and Fascism.


‘Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships’ with Juno Roche
Wednesday 6th March, 7pm – £3 tickets in advance from HERE

In this frank, funny and poignant book, transgender activist Juno Roche discusses sex, desire and dating with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community. Calling out prejudices and inspiring readers to explore their own concepts of intimacy and sexuality, the first-hand accounts celebrate the wonder and potential of trans bodies and push at the boundaries of how society views gender, sexuality and relationships. Empowering and necessary, this collection shows all trans people deserve to feel brave, beautiful and sexy.

"Ahhh, now these are the sex talks I'd like to have had back when I was first transitioning. This book is sure going to encourage and inspire a whole lot of trans and gender nonconforming family and their lovers." Author: Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw

"Queer Sex is an audacious and inspiring challenge to a system that shames trans bodies and desires. Roche's words are a gift to anyone looking to open their minds and fall in love with the possibilities of love." Author: CN Lester, academic, musician and author of Trans Like Me

‘Switchboard Lgbt+ Helpline’s 45th Birthday’ with Natasha Walker and other Switchboard members
Friday 8th March, 7pm – free tickets in advance from HERE

Join us to celebrate the 45th birthday of Switchboard, a pioneering support organisation that began in the rooms above Housmans Bookshop. A presentation and panel discussion on the history of the organisation will be followed by continued conversations over refreshments.

Switchboard was founded in March 1974 as the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, providing help and information to London's gay community, particularly in the aftermath of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in 1967.

In the 1980s, Switchboard was the leading source of information on HIV/AIDS, with some of Switchboard's volunteers amongst the founding members of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Switchboard rebranded to its current name in 2015 to emphasize inclusion for persons of all sexual orientation and gender identities, and that its services are not limited to London.

Today, it has expanded considerably to more than 30,000 callers each year, and now also provides support through email and instant messaging. Switchboard provides a listening service for people to discuss their feelings in an impartial and non-judgmental way, as well as information and advice for going out in London and the UK. Switchboard also operates an internet database of LGBT+ organisations in the UK known as "queery".

Victorina Press present the launch of
‘The Ardent Witness’ with Danielle Maisano

Saturday 9th March, 6.30 pm – Free entry

"When Lily sets off in her new profession as a development worker in West Africa, she hopes it will be the start of a new, more fulfilling life - far from the trendy gallery scene in Detroit. For two years, in a remote Togolese village, Lily must get used to bucket showers, a life without the internet, and her neighbours' fear of sorcerers. But as she becomes more deeply involved with the community, and makes friends with a local girl, she finds that trying to help can bring unforeseen and sometimes devastating consequences.

Based on the author's own experience, this novel gives a startlingly fresh and intimate perspective on how western aid programs are failing Africa. It also shows, with blistering honesty, how one woman's life can be irrevocably changed by a sojourn in one of the most captivating and complex nations on earth."


'Rethinking Racial Capitalism' with Gargi Bhattacharyya
Wednesday 30th January, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase


How has capitalism created or enhanced racism? In what ways do the violent histories of slavery and empire continue to influence the allocation of global resources?

Rethinking Racial Capitalism: Questions of Reproduction and Survival proposes a return to analyses of racial capitalism – the capitalism that is inextricably linked with histories of racist expropriation – and argues that it is only by tracking the interconnections between changing modes of capitalism and racism that we can hope to address the most urgent challenges of social injustice.

It considers the continuing impact of global histories of racist expropriation on more recent articulations of capitalism, with a particular focus on the practices of racial capitalism, the continuing impact of uneven development, territory and border-marking, the place of reproductive labour in sustaining racial capitalism, the marketing of diversity as a consumer pleasure and the creation of supposedly 'surplus' populations.


Full of intellectual energy and wit, Rethinking Racial Capitalism is a fascinating account of the entanglements between capitalism and racism, from the proliferation of territorial borders, to reparations and indebtedness. Fulfilling her promise of descriptive analysis, Bhattacharyya's storytelling is rich, alert, vibrant. Capitalism's allure appears as a hot bath, a teenage outfit, the opening of a menu. I didn't want the book to end.--Yasmin Gunaratnam, Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths University of London, UK

An acutely observed, innovative and thought-provoking study of the articulation of racism with the development of capitalism. Replete with intersectional insights, it extends contemporary debate through a feminist lens. Careful socio-economic and political analysis is complemented with attention to issues of affect such as the trans-generational carryover of trauma. An excellent combination of analytical rigour with political acumen and compassion. A must-read for anyone concerned about the effects of racial capitalism.--Avtar Brah, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Birkbeck College, University of London

To read Gargi Bhattacharyya is always enlightening: she teaches how to think, not just what to think; she engages her readers as citizens, not just professors; and she grounds her scholarship in movements for liberation. Rethinking Racial Capitalism will transform our understanding of one of the key issues of the day - how capitalism and racism work together.--Arun Kundnani, New York University

About the Author

Gargi Bhattacharyya is Professor of Sociology at the Centre For Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London, UK



‘Anarchism, Syndicalism and the Amsterdam Congress of 1907’
with Anthony Zurbrugg
and Carl Levi
Thursday 31st January, 7pm
Free Entry

The Amsterdam Anarchist Congress of 1907 was a unique occasion for libertarians to meet and discuss. It gathered delegates from 14 different countries, among which important figures of the anarchist movement, including Errico Malatesta, Luigi Fabbri, Benoît Broutchoux, Pierre Monatte, Amédée Dunois, Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, and Christiaan Cornelissen.

Various themes were treated during the Congress, in particular concerning the organization of the anarchist movement and syndicalism. Other issues included popular education, the role of the general strike, and anti-militarism– an International Antimilitarist Congress simultaneously took place in Amsterdam. However, the most important debate concerned the relation between anarchism and syndicalism (or trade-unionism).

In France several libertarians were leading the French Labour Confederation the CGT: did they offer a new and better strategy? What opposition were they facing? Did libertarians offer an alternative to Social-Democracy and the growing threat of war?


Red Utopias with Marylise Vigneau
Saturday 9th February, 7pm
Free entry

Red Utopias is a collection of three books that bring together the photographs and texts of 10 European authors and photographers. These books aim to allude to the portrayal of the political utopia by those directly affected by communism after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. This is being achieved by exploring 3 main topics: the collective memory, the spaces and the People.

Red Utopias are collective memories, spaces and people. We interrogate architectures and places of memory through testimony and theory. Red Utopias are an assembly of large format books that gives as much space to images as it does texts, without relegating one or the other to a secondary plan. Connected together by small notches, Red Utopias are a construction that readers can manipulate, clip, detach, reattach, assemble.

The trilogy Red Utopias brings the resultant content to life through individual launchings, a meeting and a series of lectures in the presence of photographers and authors across France, the UK and more. It gives readers the opportunity to be able to share their thoughts, to exchange, to question: the books become a meeting space.



FAULTLINE: Poetry, Lisa Fannen
Sunday 10th February, 6-7pm
Free entry


Lisa Fannen has been writing, and sharing words both solo and in collaboration with musicians. She launched a debut poetry collection, Faultline in November 2018 published by Active Distribution/Sto Citas. She'll be reading poems and sharing related stories from Faultline (which includes snapshots, lyrics, journal notes and meditations spanning the last ten years) and will welcome any conversation that emerges.

Lisa is also a bodyworker and community herbalist, and is involved with The Radical Herbalism and Radical Bodywork Networks to generate dialogue and information exchange about health and healing in the context of movement for social justice. She has also collated a feminist health book called Threads. | |

Lisa Fannen is a vital, new voice in British poetry, with the courage to stand where the tectonic plates of internal and external forces collide, registering those seismic shocks – and, from that liminal place straddling worlds, the vision and artistry to powerfully express commitment to individual and collective transformation.

Faultline is richly diverse, with poems drawing on acute observation and personal experiences in the UK and US (including bereavement and work at a herbal foot clinic on Skid Row), which are interwoven with other important political poems, many meticulously researched and written in response to events of national and global significance, such as the Hillsborough Final Inquest Verdict and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

This is wild, raw poetry, words bristling off the page with righteous anger against oppression and as satire of the neoliberal capitalist system, juxtaposed with exquisite moments of grief, tender connection, insight.  Lisa Fannen's debut collection deserves attention, as it promises to become a cherished companion for anyone trying to survive within the crazy-making system we're simultaneously attempting to change.

— Helen Moore


CANCELLED - being rescheduled
Authentocracy: Joe Kennedy & Juliet Jacques in conversation

Wednesday 13th February, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase


Join Joe Kennedy and Juliet Jacques to discuss our obsession with authenticity, and the ways it has been instrumentalised politically.

We are entering, we are told, a post-liberal age. Authoritarian populism is in the ascendant, and permissiveness, multiculturalism and “identity politics” have allegedly failed us, meaning that we must now fall back on some idea of tradition. However, it’s not only the usual, conservative suspects who are making this argument, but centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP.

“Authentocracy” is the populism of the centre, with a spurious concern for “real people” that’s part of a broader turn within British culture (as exemplified in the brute masculinity of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the “progressive” patriotism of nature writing, and a televisual obsession with the World Wars), as it withdraws under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards.

In their declaration that the Left can only save itself by becoming less liberal, in Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness, Joe Kennedy charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.

About the speakers:

Joe Kennedy teaches English and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Games Without Frontiers (Repeater Books, 2016) and Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness (Repeater Books, 2018).

Juliet Jacques is a writer and film-maker, whose most recent book was Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). She is the host of Suite (212) on Resonance 104.4fm.

'Marx Returns' a book launch and discussion with Jason Barker, Alberto Toscano and Matthew Beaumont
Wednesday 5th December, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

An imaginative, uplifting, and sometimes disturbing alternative history.
~ Nina Power, Los Angeles Review of Books

If you’re inclined to doubt the dramatic potential of differential calculus then take my advice and read this marvellous novel. ~ Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx: A Life

An outstanding work of fiction that goes to the very heart of Marx’s revolutionary thinking.
~ Slavoj Žižek, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Join writer and filmmaker Jason Barker talking about his acclaimed new novel and what the revolutionary life and ideas of Karl Marx might mean for our current political crises. Joining the conversation will be Alberto Toscano (Reader in Critical Theory, Goldsmiths) and Matthew Beaumont (Professor of English Literature, UCL). 

The Left Case Against the EU with Costas Lapavitsas
Saturday 8th December, 7pm
Advance tickets available here

Many on the left see the European Union as a fundamentally benign project with the potential to underpin ever greater co-operation and progress. If it has drifted rightwards, the answer is to fight for reform from within. In this iconoclastic polemic, economist Costas Lapavitsas combats this view. He contends that the EU's response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries.

These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the interests of capital against labour. The solution is therefore a direct challenge to the EU project that stresses popular and national sovereignty as preconditions for socialism and true internationalism. Lapavitsas's manifesto for a socialist opposition to the EU will be a challenging read for all on the left interested in the future of Europe.

With Brexit negotations reaching their crunch point by December, join us for what will no doubt be a fascinating discussion on what lies ahead for European politics.

"For those wanting a clear and concise summary of the left case against the euro and of the misrepresentation of German European hegemony as the consummation of the "European idea," there is no way around this book. Nowhere has the political economy of the common currency and of German ascendancy in Europa been more clearly exposed. There is now no excuse anymore for denying or ignoring the disastrous consequences of German predominance, as established through the euro, for the unity of Europe and for the great majority of its citizens."
Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

Costas Lapavitsas is a Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is a member of Research on Money and Finance (RMF). He is the lead author of the new RMF report Breaking Up? A Route Out of the Eurozone Crisis. His previous publications include Crisis in the Eurozone; Social Foundations of Markets; Money and Credit; and Political Economy of Money and Finance.

'A Radical History of the World' with Neil Faulkner
Wednesday 12th December, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

History is a weapon. The powerful have their version of events, the people have another. And if we understand how the past was forged, we arm ourselves to change the future.

This is the history of the struggle and revolution of human society: of hominids, hunters and herders; of emperors and slaves; of patriarchs and women; of rich and poor; of dictators and revolutionaries. From the ancient empires of Persia and Rome to the Russian Revolution, the Vietnam War, and the 2008 Crash, this is a history of greed and violence, but also of solidarity and resistance.

Many times in the past, a different society became an absolute necessity. Humans have always struggled to create a better life. This history proves that we, the many, have the power to change the world.

Join Neil to give an overview of a people's history of the world, copmressed into an hour!

Neil Faulkner is a historian and archaeologist. He is the author of numerous books, including A Radical History of the World (Pluto, 2018),A People's History of the Russian Revolution (Pluto, 2017) and Lawrence of Arabia's War (Yale, 2016).


AUTONOMY NOW present: 'Great Anarchists' with Ruth Kinna
Friday 23rd November, 7pm
Advance tickets available here

A talk to celebrate the launch of the Great Anarchists pamphlet series published by Dog Section Press. The pamphlets delve into the anarchist canon to recover some of the distinctive ideas that historical anarchists advanced to address problems relevant to their circumstances. Many of the issues the anarchists wrestled with still plague our lives: Anarchists developed a body of writing about power, domination, injustice and exploitation, education, prisons and a lot more besides. The history of ideas contains a theoretical toolbox that is available for us to use, amend and adapt.

Ruth Kinna works at the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, specialising in political theory. Since 2007 she has been the editor of the journal Anarchist Studies.

'Corbyn: The Resurrection' with Steve Bell
Wednesday 21st November, 7pm
Advance tickets available here

Since the 2015 Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn has been on a seemingly unstoppable upward trajectory, from 'the unelectable' to 'the prime minister-in-waiting'. And Britain's best-loved political cartoonist, Steve Bell, has been with him every step of the way.

In Corbyn: The Resurrection, Steve has curated an unmissable selection of his most caustically witty cartoons charting the rise and rise of Corbyn. From his long-running Star Wars pastiche depicting Jez-Bi-Wan Conorbyn's leadership saga, to last year's shock snap election result and beyond, the result is an endlessly entertaining account of Corbyn's ascent, and one of the most turbulent periods in the history of UK politics.

Steve will be sharing his thoughts on the state of British politics and we'll have the projector out to show some pictures too.


Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair programme
London Anarchist Federation present:
‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Anarchism...’
Saturday 20th October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Members of the London Anarchist Federation will discuss anarchism as a political philosophy, its history, key thinkers and modern currents as well as an anarchist FAQ. This talk is aimed at those interested in learning more about anarchism and will also include an overview of the many anarchist groups you can get involved with.The talk will be followed by a Q&A in case we miss anything in the FAQ and then a social in a nearby pub.

Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair series of events taking place across London. Please visit for the full programme.

Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair programme
‘The Leaderless Revolution’
with Carne Ross in discussion with Wail Qasim
Sunday 21st October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Carne Ross is best known for once working as a British diplomat before leaving the civil service in disgust over the Iraq war, and testifying against the government at the Butler Review. He has gone on to become an advocate for anarchist organising. Carne will discuss his personal insights of the British state and ideas of what role anarchism can play in reshaping society.

Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair series of events taking place across London. Please visit for the full programme.

‘David Bowie, Pop Music and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded’
with Jason Heller

Wednesday 24th October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Jason Heller discusses his book ‘Strange Stars’, which tells the story of how incredibly well read artists - David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and many more - brought Sci Fi's cosmic flare to their lyrics, sounds, and styles, and changed pop music forever.

60 Years of Raya Dunayevskaya’s ‘Marxism and Freedom’:
On Class, Race and Automation

Wednesday 7th November, 7pm
Tickets in advance are available here

Since Raya Dunayevskaya’s classic, ‘Marxism and Freedom’, was published in New York in 1958 with preface by Herbert Marcuse. There have since been several later editions and numerous translations.

As Paul Mason wrote recently in the New Statesman:
“As Dunayevskaya understood, the impulse towards freedom is created by more than just exploitation: it is triggered by alienation, the suppression of desire, the humiliation experienced by people on the receiving end of systemic racism, sexism and homophobia. Everywhere capitalism follows anti-human priorities it stirs revolt – and it’s all around us. In the coming century, just as Marx predicted, it is likely that automation coupled with the socialisation of knowledge will present us with the opportunity to liberate ourselves from work. That, as he said, will blow capitalism ‘sky high’. The economic system that replaces it will have to be shaped around the goal he outlined in 1844: ending alienation and liberating the individual.”

Speaking at this event will be: 
Kevin B Anderson, author of ‘Marx at the Margins’.
Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
Dana Naomi Mills, author of a critical study of Rosa Luxemburg (forthcoming with Reaktion Press).
David Black, author of ‘The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism’.

Meeting sponsored by the International Marxist-Humanist Organisation.

An Outbreak of Peace: Stories and Poems in response to the centenary of the ending of WWI
Wednesday 14th November, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

Join Arachne Press in celebrating the launch of An Outbreak of Peace Stories and Poems in response to the centenary of the ending of WWI.

After all the commemorative works of art over the past four years, we felt it was important to reflect on what comes after – an outbreak of peace, and what that meant to the combatants and those left at home. This wide-ranging collection brings together stories and poems from many countries, on both sides of the 1914-18 conflict, finding their inspiration in many wars and their endings; together with stories and poems which are not about war at all, which is as it should be.

Readings from Clare Owen, CB Droege, Katy Darby, Chantal Heaven (fiction) Valerie Bence, Peter Kenny, Sarah Tait (Poetry) more details about the authors on the Arachne website


‘Kettling the Unions?’ with Alan Tuckman
Wednesday 3rd October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Trade Union Act was a transparent attempt to contain and constrain trade unions. It has introduced draconian restrictions on the right to strike and new restrictions covering balloting and picketing. Alan Tuckman discusses the act and considers how it can be repealed.

"This very welcome book is intended to provide an analysis of the roots of the Trade Union Act 2016. Those roots lie in Thatcher’s legislation of the 1980s and further back to the undermining of collective bargaining in UK industrial relations that developed in the 1970s, in the context of neoliberalism’s rise to dominance.

As well as aiming to be a guide to the 2016 Trade Union Act and its effect on the trade union movement, this book sets it in the context of decades of attacks on the rights of workers to organise by Conservative governments."
Mark Serwotka - PCS General Secretary

David Rovics and Jack Harris Unplugged at Housmans
Friday 5th October, 7pm
Tickets £8 Waged / £6 Unwaged / £10 Solidarity Price
Tickets @
Advance booking recommended

David Rovics is coming back to England. Do not miss this uniquely intimate unplugged show with one of the finest radical songwriters around. A true, international favourite.

Supporting him will be the fantastically talented, award-winning folk guitarist and songwriter Jack Harris. Do check him out here

Tickets are limited and advanced booking is recommended. Tickets are available here and are £8 waged £6 unwaged and £10 solidarity price - in recognition of an artist who's always given away so much of his music for free. Get them at

"If the great Phil Ochs were to rise from the dead today, he would probably be hailed as the new David Rovics." - Andy Kershaw, BBC

‘Fault Lines’ poetry with Laura Taylor and Janine Booth
Saturday 6th October, 7pm – entry by donation

An evening of powerhouse, passionate, angry and hopeful class-struggle poetry.

Laura Taylor reads from her second collection 'Fault Lines'.

"'Fault Lines' is a poetic battle cry written by a woman who has learnt to suit herself. Laura Taylor’s poems fuse her fury, kindness and eye for the collective good. I’d like my teenage daughter to read these poems because, as women, we shouldn’t have to wait for middle age to claim the right to be ourselves." Alice Nutter, ex-Chumbawamba, screenwriter and playwright.

She is joined by Janine Booth, reading from her collections 'Mostly Hating Tories' and 'The 3 Rs: Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting'.


"At a time when it’s not fashionable for poets to express their political opinions in their work, Janine Booth’s feisty pamphlet bucks the trend, staunchly telling it like it is. It’s a spirited collection of energetic short poems that will make you laugh, cheer or clap, sometimes all at the same time."
Agnes Meadows, poet and writer

‘Singing for Our Lives: Stories from the Street Choirs’ with the Campaign Choirs Writing Collective
Wednesday 10th October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Join members of the Campaign Choirs Writing Collective as they discuss their new book, Singing for Our Lives: Stories from the Street Choirs published by HammerOn Press, which draws on over 40 oral histories with members of the UK’s many street choirs.

The discussion will reflect on street choirs’ origins in and connections with other social movements, notably Greenham Common, the Miners’ Strike, anti-apartheid and Palestinian struggles and will explore how making music can contribute to non-violent and just social transitions.

Singing for Our Lives 'speaks to us as political activists, bringing to our attention the street choir movement as a valuable space we may have overlooked, in which rousing and effective political work can be done, lifting spirits, energizing and unifying people of a locality and community' (Cynthia Cockburn), and has been warmly endorsed by Peggy Seeger, Boff Whalley and Frankie Armstrong.

Alongside readings from the book there will be opportunities for singing, facilitated by members of London-based choirs Raised Voices and Strawberry Thieves.

The Colour of Madness: exploring BAME mental health in the UK
Friday 12th October, 7pm
Tickets in advance from Billetto

A powerful anthology from BAME voices who have had experiences with mental health issues.

Did you know that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people with mental health issues are more likely:

to be sectioned,
to be medicated,
to be ostracised,
to be forgotten.

There is a huge disparity between mental health funding for minority mental health research and the wider community. Our anthology gives voice to these particularly marginalised groups and showcase their remarkable talent and powerful words.

The Colour of Madness is a seminal anthology, comprised of poetry, fiction, essays, memoirs and art submitted by BAME writers, academics, mental health workers, artists and those who are still navigating life with mental health problems.

BAME mental health is seriously underfunded and largely ignored by the community. Our mission is to raise awareness about the serious issues surrounding BAME mental health all the way to Number 10 and start some robust dialogue that will change the way marginalised sectors of society with mental health issues are treated.

Samara Linton is a final-year medical student at University College London and a University of Cambridge graduate. She has published research on mental health stigma and frequently writes about gender, race and health for various online publications. In 2016, she was awarded Best New Journalist at the Ending Violence Against Women Media Awards for her work on the mental health of black women and the experiences of migrant women in UK detention centres.

Samara is particularly interested in the role of communities in tackling oppression, and March 2016 saw the Parliamentary launch of the report she co-edited for the Africa All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Ebola crisis and the role of communities in strengthening health systems. Samara welcomes the opportunity to create a platform for people from BAME communities to shape conversations about mental health in the UK.

Associate Editor
Rianna Walcott is a PhD candidate at Kings College London, where she is researching how women of colour form communities in digital spaces, following an English literature undergraduate and masters degree at Edinburgh University. She is passionate about decolonising curricula and promoting diversity in academia, and co-founded in pursuit of that goal: a website that crowdsources recommendations and reviews of diverse materials for inclusion in curricula.

As a black woman who suffers from poor mental health, and who was turned away by a white mental healthcare professional in a time of need, Rianna is adamant about the need for more BAME healthcare professionals who are sensitive to contemporary BAME needs and issues, and who are able to recognise that trauma may look different on a non-white face.

Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair programme
Peace News present:
'Nonviolent Anarchism/Nonviolent Revolution' with Milan Rai

Friday 19th October, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Nonviolent action and nonviolent strategies have been central to many revolutionary movements, including the anarchist parts of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Indian independence movement, the armed anarchist revolution in Spain in 1936, and the Arab Spring. This talk traces some of the connections between anarchism and the peace movement, including the way that anarchist ways of doing things have become part of the common values of many grassroots movements.

Peace News editor Milan Rai, author of Chomsky's Politics, is one of those brought to nonviolent anarchism by the British anarcho-pacifist punk band Crass in the late 1970s.

Part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair series of events taking place across London. Please visit for the full programme.


Dostoyevsky Wannabe Night with Rosie Šnajdr, Paul Hawkins, and Lara Alonso Corona
Thursday 27th September, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase - tickets from here

The Locomotrix is having a special evening dedicated to indie publisher Dostoyevsky Wannabe authors. DW "publish" independent / experimental / underground things. They publish a lot of books, any types of books − short books, long books, flash fiction, poetry, anthologies, samplers, chapbooks, experimental things.

Rosie Šnajdr writes experimental prose and co-edits the Cambridge Literary Review. First short story collection, A Hypocritical Reader, recently published by Dostoyevsky Wannabe

Paul Hawkins is a poet, text artist, performer & collaborator sometimes known as bob modem &/or haul pawkins | they studied the art of sleeping standing up & drinking lying down with nearly disastrous consequences | they've written a number of books, some collaborative, some not | they co-run Hesterglock Press with partner-in-crime Sarer Scotthorne | Editor of DW Cities: Bristol, as well as Lou Ham: RAS (both published by Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018) find out more at

Lara Alonso Corona is a queer writer from the north of Spain. They studied Film and TV in Madrid before making the decision to write in a second language and move to London. Their fiction has appeared in venues like Literary Orphans, Whiskey Island, FIVE:2:ONE Magazine, Burning House Press and the noir anthology Betty Fedora, among others. They are the current reviews editor at the literary magazine Minor Literature(s). You can find them on Twitter at @lalonsocorona.


Dream Nails Live Acoustic Gig
Wednesday 12th September, 7pm
tickets from Billeto here

DREAM NAILS are renowned for their riotous live shows and powerful punk songs. Over the last three years the four punk witches have already built a name for themselves far beyond the DIY punk circuit and toured across Europe and headlined the Sisterhood stage at Glastonbury. Encouraging girls to the front and declaring all profits from their releases will go to Abortion Support Network, they're fearless in their beliefs throughout - and their political passion is matched by their brilliant musicianship.

Imagine The Ramones meets Bikini Kill, with some stand-up comedy thrown in. Expect storming guitar, three part harmonies and infectiously catchy songs about choking rapists and setting fire to Donald Trump's dick.

‘Decolonising the University’ with Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial, Kerem Nişancıoğlu

Friday 14th September, 7pm


In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town demanded the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the imperialist, racist business magnate, from their campus. The battle cry '#RhodesMustFall' sparked an international movement calling for the decolonisation of the world's universities.

Today, as this movement grows, how will it radically transform the terms upon which universities exist? In this book, students, activists and scholars discuss the possibilities and the pitfalls of doing decolonial work in the home of the coloniser, in the heart of the establishment. Subverting curricula, enforcing diversity, and destroying old boundaries, this is a radical call for a new era of education.

Offering resources for students and academics to challenge and resist coloniality inside and outside the classroom, Decolonising the University provides the tools for radical pedagogical, disciplinary and institutional change.

Gurminder K. Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (Palgrave, 2007) and Connected Sociologies (Bloomsbury, 2014), and the co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2018).

Dalia Gebrial is a PhD candidate at LSE, University of London, and the editor of a special issue of the Historical Materialism journal on identity politics and co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2017).

Kerem Nisancioglu is a Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS, University of London. He is the co-author of How the West Came to Rule (Pluto, 2015), and the co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2018).

‘Miseducation : Inequality, education and the working classes’
with Diane Reay

Wednesday 19th September, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

In this book Diane Reay, herself working class turned Cambridge professor, brings Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s pioneering Education and the Working Class from 1962 up to date for the 21st century.

Drawing on over 500 interviews, the book, part of the 21st Century Standpoints series published in association with the British Sociological Association, includes rich, vivid stories from working class children and young people. It looks at class identity, the inadequate sticking plaster of social mobility, and the effects of wider economic and social class relationships on working class educational experiences.

The book addresses the urgent question of why the working classes are still faring so much worse than the upper and middle classes in education. It reveals how we have ended up with an educational system that still educates the different social classes in fundamentally different ways, and vitally – what we can do to achieve a fairer system.


‘Decolonising the University’ with
Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial, Kerem Nişancıoğlu

In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town demanded the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the imperialist, racist business magnate, from their campus. The battle cry '#RhodesMustFall' sparked an international movement calling for the decolonisation of the world's universities.

Today, as this movement grows, how will it radically transform the terms upon which universities exist? In this book, students, activists and scholars discuss the possibilities and the pitfalls of doing decolonial work in the home of the coloniser, in the heart of the establishment. Subverting curricula, enforcing diversity, and destroying old boundaries, this is a radical call for a new era of education.

Offering resources for students and academics to challenge and resist coloniality inside and outside the classroom, Decolonising the University provides the tools for radical pedagogical, disciplinary and institutional change.

Gurminder K. Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (Palgrave, 2007) and Connected Sociologies (Bloomsbury, 2014), and the co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2018).

Dalia Gebrial is a PhD candidate at LSE, University of London, and the editor of a special issue of the Historical Materialism journal on identity politics and co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2017).

Kerem Nisancioglu is a Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS, University of London. He is the co-author of How the West Came to Rule (Pluto, 2015), and the co-editor of Decolonising the University (Pluto, 2018).

‘Changing the World, One Rhyme at a Time’ with Potent Whisper
Monday 3rd September, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

We’re delighted to welcome the always-devastating Potent Whisper for an evening of powerhouse spoken word. His pieces have actively served campaigns on the ground for the past two years having been delivered at demonstrations, in council chambers, on television news channels and at political occupations.

‘Archive That, Comrade! Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance’ with Phil Cohen
Wednesday 5th September, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase


Phil Cohen considers what the political legacy of 1960s counter culture reveals about the process of commemoration and the notion of historical legacy and its role in the ‘dialectic of generations’. How far can the archive serve as a platform for dialogue and debate between different generations of activists in a culture that fetishises the evanescent present, practices a profound amnesia about its past, and forecloses the sociological imagination of an alternative future? Can the Left establish its own autonomous model of commemoration?


‘The Labour Party in Historical Perspective’ with Graham Taylor, David Morgan and Duncan Bowie
Tuesday 7th August, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

Launch of a Socialist History Society Occasional Publication, considering such topics ascommunist politics in Oxford between the wars, the origins of Jeremy Corbyn, and the influence of Leonard Woolf on Labour’s foreign policy. 

'The Shock Doctrine of the Left'
with Graham Jones & Alex Williams
Wednesday 1st August, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase


How can the left create a movement able to overcome neoliberalism - one that proactively brings about the future, and doesn't just react against the present?

Graham Jones's new book The Shock Doctrine of the Left looks to the neoliberal strategy of using moments of shock to push through reforms, and turns it on its head. Combining his experience in grassroots organising with a 'systems thinking' approach, he shows how understanding, preparing for and even creating chaos is necessary to building a strategy for the left.

This framework is used to show how different existing focuses of the left can be brought together, so that we are simultaneously Smashing our enemies, Building new alternatives, Healing from oppression and our capacity to oppress, and Taming the worst effects of capitalism. By balancing acute analysis with accessibility, the book aims to provide a set of empowering tools for social movement action and strategic thinking.

Graham will be joined in conversation on the topics of the book by Alex Williams, co-author of Inventing the Future.

'Through a series of personal expositions and structural analyses, The Shock Doctrine of the Left presents a captivating and disarmingly accessible reflection on strategy for the left today. With a unique ability to synthesise what are often divisively opposed positions, this illuminating book is a must-read for anyone wondering how to build power.'
– Nick Srnicek, University of London, author of Platform Capitalism (Polity, 2016) and Inventing the Future (Verso, 2015 with Alex Williams)

'The Shock Doctrine of the Left is a forceful, concise, and accessible guide to multi-scalar organising. It balances original theoretical insights with practical political acumen, and deserves the widest possible audience.'
– Helen Hester, The University of West London, author of Xenofeminism (Polity, 2018)

Graham Jones is a social movement activist who has been involved in a range of grassroots campaigns and educational initiatives, such as the Radical Think Tank and Radical Housing Network. He is a hairdresser by profession.

Alex Williams is a lecturer in the department of Politics, Philosophy, and Language Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is the author, with Nick Srnicek of Inventing the Future (2015), as well as the forthcoming Political Hegemony and Social Complexity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and Hegemony Now: Power in the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2019, with Jeremy Gilbert).

Depraved & Corrupted: Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity Law

with Catherine Scott, Lola Phoenix, Zak Jane Keir, Itziar Bilbao Urrutia 
Wednesday 27h June, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase
Tickets in advance from Billetto essential

In what promises to be a lively, risque and feminist-centric discussion as part of Feminist Book Fortnight, four people with very different experiences of obscenity law discuss what the term means in supposedly liberal modern society, and its implications for those whose sexuality still falls outside of Gayle Rubin’s ‘charmed circle’. 

Catherine Scott’s upcoming book "To Deprave & Corrupt" applies a sex-positive, feminist lens to the strange and inconsistent history of how obscenity has been defined in Britain. In conversation with erotic writer Zak Jane Keir, author and LGBT activist Lola Phoenix and feminist porn producer Itzi Urrutia.

As Scott’s book explores, how did we get from a world where the term ‘atheist’ used to be synonymous with ‘pervert’, to a legal landscape where face-sitting is seen as a life-threatening act which must be censored?

Reviews of Catherine Scott

“In her debut, Thinking Kink, Catherine Scott demolished the myths behind the barbed relationship of feminism and BDSM. Now, in To Deprave and Corrupt, she turns her gimlet eye on the chequered history of British obscenity laws. Scott’s breadth of knowledge is astonishing, and her prose is immensely readable (and, at times, very funny indeed): she’s achieved in To Deprave and Corrupt that rare goal of scholarly writing that doesn’t snare the reader at every turn in theoretical thickets of academic jargon.” Dr Emma Rees, Institute of Gender Studies, Chester University

Catherine Scott will lead a panel featuring:

Lola Phoenix  
Lola is an agender identified LGBT activist, working in various capacities for a better world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people since the ripe age of 12. Lola volunteers for a variety of organisations including Action for Trans Health and Stonewall Housing.

Zak Jane Keir
Zak Jane Keir is a veteran writer about sex and sexuality, happy to be known as a pornographer, feminist, storyteller and Morris dancer. She has been a member of Feminists against Censorship for a couple of decades at leat and was part of the launch team on For Women magazine in the early 90s. Now she writes mainly erotic fiction though is considering putting her memoirs out, runs bookstalls at fetish markets and does a few other things when she gets round to it.

Itziar Bilbao Urrutia 
Aka Ms Tytania, aka The Urban Chick Supremacy Cell, is a fetish video producer, visual artist and writer. Her background in art, with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, gave her a creative and critical approach to fetish, and specifically, to her her sexuality, Femdom.

From 2010, she has been working on, The Urban Chick Supremacy Cell (, a fetish content website where she explores new narratives and representations of female sexual dominance, challenging the male gaze hegemony of mainstream porn. 

The UC-SC places Femdom within the aesthetics and rhetoric of historical political radicalism, such as Valerie Solanas and Ulkrike Meinhoff. The UC-SC was the first independent adult studio to win against ATVOD's proposed banning and censorship of non-normative porn production in UK.

'Two Summers of Billy Morton'
with Barry Stewart Hunter

Wednesday 11th July, 7pm
Free entry, all welcome

Come and hear Barry Stewart Hunter read from his latest novel, a rites of passage tale set in that year of years, 1968.


1968. The world is on fire, and so is the imagination of a young English photographer hungry for self-knowledge. But knowledge comes at a price. When he swaps London for Paris on the eve of the May événements, falling disastrously for handsome Lafcadio in the process, the stage is set for the fateful choice that threatens to curse Billy forever. The road from innocence to experience has seldom been as sensitively mapped as in this meticulously scripted psychodrama that is also a hallucinatory metafiction, a hymn to photography, and a vivid portrait of the age.


Barry Stewart Hunter is the author of a novel, Aden, and two collections of short stories, Stories for Boys and Other Tales and Something You Once Told Me. As well as featuring in literary magazines and reviews, his stories have been collected in anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A former BAFTA Scotland ‘Best Newcomer’ (script) and a graduate in screenwriting of the National Film and Television School, he lives in north London.

'Class Matters: Inequality and Exploitation in 21st Century Britain' with Charles Umney, Barbara Samaluk and Richard Seymour
Wednesday 18th July, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase
*Advance booking recommended*
Tickets available here

Social class remains a fundamental presence in British life in the twenty-first century. It is woven into the very fabric of social and political discourse, undiminished by the end of mass industry; unaugmented despite the ascendancy of 'ordinary working people' and other substitute phrases. Absent from this landscape, however, is any compelling Marxist expression or analysis of class.

In Class Matters, Charles Umney brings Marxist analysis out of the 19th century textiles mill, and into the call centres, office blocks and fast food chains of modern Britain. He shows how core Marxist concepts are vital to understanding increasing pay inequality, decreasing job security, increasing routinisation and managerial control of the labour process.

Providing a critical analysis of competing perspectives, Umney argues that class must be understood as a dynamic and exploitative process integral to capitalism - rather than a descriptive categorisation - in order for us to better understand the gains capital has made at the expense of labour over the last four decades.


'A sophisticated answer to impoverished sociologies and cheap media cliches ... A sharp and deeply necessary book' - Richard Seymour, author of Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (Verso, 2017).

'Charles Umney presents a powerful and nuanced alternative narrative driven by Marxist political economy. With a keen eye for irony, paradox, and the absurd, he analyses work, politics, and technology in capitalist societies. This is a witty and wise antidote to the mainstream diagnoses of our times' - Professor Ian Greer, Cornell University

'By reinstating the importance of Marxist analysis for understanding the relationship between class and social inequality in 21st century Britain, Charles Umney has written a highly cogent and perspicacious account of the formation of contemporary inequality and exploitation... a vital source' - Professor Paul Stewart, former editor of Work, Employment and Society

About the Speakers

Charles Umney is a Lecturer at the University of Leeds. He teaches, researches and writes on the subjects of trade unionism, working conditions and employment policy across Europe, and has also published extensively on the topic of working life in live music. He is the author of Class Matters (Pluto, 2018).

Barbara Samaluk is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour, University of Greenwich. Through her research projects she has actively cooperated with trade unions and emerging social movements. She has presented papers and organised international workshops and special sessions at international conferences, published book chapters, reports, commentaries and articles in academic journals, such as Work, Employment and Society, Industrial Relations Journal and Ephemera.

Richard Seymour is a writer and broadcaster, activist and owner of the blog Lenin's Tomb. He is the author of books such as The Meaning of David Cameron (2010), Unhitched (2013), and Against Austerity (2014).

'War to Windrush: Black Women in Britain, 1939 to 1948'
with Stephen Bourne

Thursday 19th July, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase


From the author of Black Poppies, Fighting Proud and Evelyn Dove comes a timely new account exploring Britain’s diverse history from the Second World War to the Empire Windrush and beyond, told through the experiences of black British women.

Commemorating the 70th anniversaries of the arrival of the Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 and the birth of the National Health Service on 5 July 1948, Stephen Bourne’s War to Windrush shines a light on the lives of black women in Britain in the decade leading up to and just after those historic occasions.

Spanning the years from the start of World War II to the arrival of the Empire Windrush, this engaging and informative book celebrates the contribution of black women to British society in a decade of major upheaval and social change.

Alongside key figures such as wartime heroes Lilian Bader, Nadia Cattouse and Norma Best, and pioneers in the arts and media Una Marson and Winifred Atwell, War to Windrush pays homage to the unsung heroines who were integral to the post-war effort. It acknowledges those ordinary black women who contributed signficantly to rebuilding post-war Britain and creating a home for later generations, through their everyday lives.

Through strong imagery and evocative prose including many rare and previously unpublished photographs from Stephen Bourne’s private collection, War to Windrush retraces the history of the black women who helped to build the great, multicultural Britain we know today. A much needed book in today’s political climate.


Stephen Bourne is a writer, film and social historian specialising in black heritage and gay culture. As noted by the BBC among others,"Stephen has discovered many stories that have remained untold for years." Bonnie Greer, the acclaimed playwright and critic, says: "Stephen brings great natural scholarship and passion to a largely hidden story. His is highly accessible, accurate and surprising. You always walk away from his work knowing something that you didn’t know, that you didn’t even expect."

Stephen graduated from the London College of Printing with a bachelor’s degree in film and television in 1988, and in 2006 received a Master of Philosophy degree at De Montfort University on the subject of the representation of gay men in British television drama 1936-1979.

After graduating in 1988, he was a research officer at the British Film Institute on a project that documented the history of black people in British television. The result was a two-part television documentary called Black and White in Colour (BBC 1992), directed by Isaac Julien, that is considered ground-breaking. In 1991 Stephen was a founder member of the Black and Asian Studies Association. In the 1990s he undertook pioneering work with Southwark Council and the Metropolitan Police that resulted in the founding of one of the first locally-based LGBT forums to address homophobic crime. In 2003 Stephen received the Metropolitan Police Volunteer Award. It was presented to him by Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens at City Hall, London. The citation said: "Stephen has discharged this responsibility with enthusiasm and conscientiousness in a number of high profile cases, most notably the tragic murder of Peckham schoolboy Damilola Taylor. In each he has provided good advice on strategy and tactics whilst informing the public of difficulties encountered within investigations and efforts made by police to achieve successful outcomes."

In 1991, Stephen co-authored Aunt Esther’s Story with Esther Bruce (his adopted aunt), which was published by Hammersmith and Fulham’s Ethnic Communities Oral History Project. Nancy Daniels in The Voice (8 October 1991) described the book as "Poignantly and simply told, the story of Aunt Esther is a factual account of a black working-class woman born in turn of the century London. The book is a captivating documentation of a life rich in experiences, enhanced by good black and white photographs." For Aunt Esther’s Story, Stephen and Esther were shortlisted for the 1992 Raymond Williams Prize for Community Publishing.

In 1998 Stephen researched and scripted the BBC Radio 2 series Their Long Voyage Home, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald, for the BBC’s Windrush season. For his acclaimed book Black in the British Frame: The Black Experience in British Film and Television (2001), Stephen received the Southwark Civic Award. In 2004 Stephen began contributing biographies about black Britons to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press) and by 2016 Stephen’s total had reached forty.

In 2008 Stephen researched Keep Smiling Through: Black Londoners on the Home Front 1939-1945, an exhibition for the Cuming Museum in the London Borough of Southwark and that same year he worked as a historical consultant on the Imperial War Museum’s War to Windrush exhibition.

In 2014 Stephen’s book Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community and the Great War was published by The History Press to coincide with the centenary of Britain’s entry into World War I. Reviewing it in The Independent (11 September 2014), Bernadine Evaristo said: "Until historians and cultural map-makers stop ignoring the historical presence of people of colour, books such as this provide a powerful, revelatory counterbalance to the whitewashing of British history." For Black Poppies Stephen received the 2015 Southwark Arts Forum Literature Award at Southwark’s Unicorn Theatre.

'Work: The Last 1,000 Years' with Andrea Komlosy
Wednesday 25th July, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase


Say the word “work,” and most people think of some form of gainful employment. Yet this limited definition has never corresponded to the historical experience of most people—whether in colonies, developing countries, or the industrialized world.

That gap between common assumptions and reality grows even more pronounced in the case of women and other groups excluded from the labour market.

In this important intervention, Andrea Komlosy demonstrates that popular understandings of work have varied radically in different ages and countries. Looking at labour history around the globe from the thirteenth to the twenty-first centuries, Komlosy sheds light on both discursive concepts as well as the concrete coexistence of multiple forms of labour—paid and unpaid, free and unfree. From the economic structures and ideological mystifications surrounding work in the Middle Ages, all the way to European colonialism and the industrial revolution, Komlosy’s narrative adopts a distinctly global and feminist approach, revealing the hidden forms of unpaid and hyper-exploited labour which often go ignored, yet are key to the functioning of the capitalist world-system.

Work: The Last 1,000 Years will open readers’ eyes to an issue much thornier and more complex than most people imagine, one which will be around as long as basic human needs and desires exist.


“Andrea Komlosy has written an important book on the global history of work during the past 800 years … she thinks about labour on a global scale, thus overcoming a deep Eurocentric bias in much of the labour history as it exists, and she brings feminist conversations on labour into an analysis of virtually all aspects of labour history. Her book is unique, I am not aware of any other such volume.”
– Sven Beckert

“As Andrea Komlosy argues in Work: The Last 1,000 Years, our conception of what constitutes work has changed markedly over time. The professor of social history at the University of Vienna writes that our commonly accepted definitions are too narrow, too European, too male and too modern”
– John Thornhill, Financial Times

“Komlosy’s analysis is a helpful reminder that our familiar understanding of work is narrow and historically exceptional. The hierarchy we have established in the industrialized West, placing permanent, full-time, legally contracted wage work at the top of a pyramid of social good, is deeply flawed—denigrating not only those millions who work outside its confines, but also devaluing and neglecting the kinds of nonwork activities that enrich and give meaning to human lives. By showing that ‘work’ may exist without wages, a boss or a workplace outside the home, Komlosy’s analysis allows us to think more broadly about what we value, and whether we want to continue to separate work and life.”
– Joanna Scutts, In These Times

“Teeming with insights, from the contempt for manual labour in ancient Greece to the historical tendency for all kinds of subsistence tasks to be ‘housewife-ized’ into unpaid domestic labour.”
– Barbara Kiser, Nature

About the Author

Andrea Komlosy is Professor in the Department of Economics and Social History at the University of Vienna, Austria, where she coordinates the Global History and Global Studies programmes. She has published on labour, migration, borders and uneven development on a regional, European and global context. She was also a 2014/2015 Schumpeter Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Relations.


JUNE 2018

‘Sex, Shame and Problematic Ancestry in Queer Poetry’
with Richard Scott and Keith Jarrett.
Hosted by Eleanor Penny
Wednesday 6th June, 7pm
Booking essential. Tickets here.

We are very excited to announce poets Richard Scott and Keith Jarrett will be reading at the Summer Locomotrix alongside Housmans Poet in Residence Eleanor Penny.

Richard will be reading from his critically acclaimed collection 'Soho' (published by Faber) and Keith will be reading from his collection 'Selah'. They will be joined by Eleanor to explore the theme of (often problematic) literary gay ancestry and how sex and shame have influenced their work.

About the Speakers

Keith Jarrett is a former UK and Rio International slam champion, Keith Jarrett is a PhD scholar at Birkbeck University, where he is completing his first novel. His monologue, Safest Spot in Town, was aired on BBC Four last summer. His book of poetry, Selah, was published in 2017.

Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His pamphlet Wound (Rialto) won the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2016 and his poem 'crocodile' won the 2017 Poetry London Competition. Soho (Faber & Faber) is his first book.

Eleanor Penny is a writer, poet and journalist. She's the online editor at Red Pepper, a senior editor at Novara Media, and Housmans Writer in Residence 2018.

The Experiment:
Georgia's Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921’
with Eric Lee
Wednesday 13th June, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

For many the Russian Revolution of 1917 was a symbol of hope. In the eyes of its critics, however, Soviet authoritarianism and the horrors of the gulags have led to the revolution becoming synonymous with oppression, threatening to forever taint the very idea of socialism.

The experience of Georgia, which declared its independence from Russia in 1918, tells a different story. In this riveting history, Eric Lee explores the little-known saga of the country’s experiment in democratic socialism, detailing the epic, turbulent events of this forgotten chapter in revolutionary history. Along the way, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of characters – among them the men and women who strove for a more inclusive vision of socialism that featured multi-party elections, freedom of speech and assembly, a free press and a civil society grounded in trade unions and cooperatives.

Though the Georgian Democratic Republic lasted for just three years before it was brutally crushed on the orders of Stalin, it was able to offer, however briefly, a glimpse of a more humane alternative to the Soviet reality that was to come.

About the Speakers

Eric Lee is a journalist and historian who has spent over thirty years researching independent Georgia, and has himself been active in trade union and political struggles in both the US and UK. His previous works include Saigon to Jerusalem: Conversations with Israel's Vietnam Veterans (1993) and Operation Basalt: The British Raid on Sark and Hitler's Commando Order (2016).

Feminism is Magic: Feminist Book Fortnight Launch Party
Friday 15th June, 7pm
Free Entry

To celebrate Feminist Book Fortnight at Housmans, come join us on Friday June 15 from 6.30pm for drinks, feminist tunes and...

**very special discount on feminist titles (fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and small press) plus new titles specially in store for FBF** 

No need to pre-book, free entry so just turn up with all your intersectional feminist mates!

What is Feminist Book Fortnight?

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of (some) UK women getting the vote, a group of independent bookshops is launching Feminist Book Fortnight, to take place 16-30 June 2018: https:// feminist-fortnight-769166

Housmans is proud to be participating in Feminist Book Fortnight by holding a variety of events, which include:

-Feminism and Complicity (Wed 20 June)
-Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Thurs 21 June)
-Depraved & Corrupted: Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity Law (Wed 27 June)

Feminism and Complicity

with Ellie Jupp, Sara de Jong and Sanders-McDonagh
Wednesday 20th June, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase
Tickets in advance from Billetto essential

In 2017 the words ‘feminism’ and ‘complicity’ were both chosen as the ‘words of the year’ by respectively Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

In this roundtable, three feminists and academics discuss the relation between the two terms. 

They will reflect on how some forms of feminism have been complicit with perpetuating injustices and inequalities, for example by colluding with neoliberalism, racism and trans-exclusion. Each of the speakers will draw on their respective research projects on women and austerity, sex workers, and NGOs to challenge feminist practices and ask if we are doing enough to build solidarities across movements. 

They will also discuss questions of the co-optation and instrumentalisation of feminisms, majority women’s investments and interests as well as strategies to refuse and resist complicity.

Ellie Jupp is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Kent. She is interested in women and community organising, especially in the context of austerity; and gender, emotions and embodiment in relation to welfare and social policy.

Sara de Jong is co-lead of the Justice, Borders, Rights research stream and Research Fellow of the Strategic Research Area Citizenship & Governance at The Open University. Her political and academic interests include social movements and NGOs’ activities in the field of migration, development and gender, and the dilemmas raised when trying to ‘do good’.

Erin Sanders-McDonagh is a Critical Criminologist and the Director of Studies for the Criminology Programme at the University of Kent. Her research explores inequality in different forms, and she has worked with a range of marginalised groups in recent research projects (eg. sex workers, young men in gangs, women who have experienced sexual or domestic violence). Erin has a strong commitment to working with scholars from across disciplinary boundaries and to moving research findings beyond academia into the public arena.

Recent publications include:

Women and Sex Tourism Landscapes. UK: Routledge by Sanders-McDonagh, (2016) Erin Sanders-McDonagh,

Complicit Sisters: Gender and Women's Issues across North-South Divides by Sara de Jong (2017)

Emotional States: Sites and spaces of affective governance
Edited by Eleanor Jupp

Hallelujah for 50ft Women: Poems with The Raving Beauties

Thursday 21st June, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase
Tickets in advance from Billetto recommended

Come to Housmans to celebrate Feminist Book Fortnight with a performance by Raving Beauties of poetry selected from Hallelujah for 50ft Women, a poetry anthology that sings the praises of women's bodies: bodies of all sizes, ages and colours.

Raving Beauties women’s theatre company was born out of a deep sense of frustration with domesticity, naivete and a burning need for a creative outlet. It led to an enormous personal, political and professional learning curve. Hallelujah for 50ft Women is their third anthology of women’s poetry. Their first book, In the Pink (The Women’s Press), sold thousands and was reprinted six times.

Our relationship to our bodies is affected by many things including culture, religion, family, sex, hunger, pleasure and pain. This newanthology is inspired by a passionate desire to celebrate our bodies in a fully realised way, leaving Barbie’s grotesque silent pliability in her box for good. Instead of pouting, our mouths have the power of language, our romantic fluttering hearts give and receive compassion, skin ages with grace when we see beauty in everything, a pierced belly button connects us to our ancestors and a belly needs to be strong before it's flat.

The poems within Hallelujah for 50ft Women selected from over a thousand submissions. New poets share this anthology with established writers such as Selima Hill, Kim Addonizio, Jackie Kay and Helen Dunmore. By revealing the complex depths of our relationships with our bodies Hallelujah for 50ft Women makes a much needed contribution to a compassionate understanding of our evolving selves.

Raucous feminist fun and irreverence guaranteed!

Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy with Lynne Segal

Friday 22nd June, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase
Tickets in advance from Billetto essential

What is the true meaning of happiness? Lynne Segal explores the radical potential of being together

Why are we so obsessed by the pursuit of happiness? With new ways to measure contentment we are told that we have a right to individual joy. But at what cost?

In an age of increasing individualism, we have never been more alone and miserable. But what if the true nature of happiness can only be found in others? In Radical Happiness, leading feminist thinker Lynne Segal believes that we have lost the art of radical happiness— the art of transformative, collective joy. She shows that only in the revolutionary potential of coming together it is that we can come to understand the powers of flourishing.

Radical Happiness is a passionate call for the re-discovery of the political and emotional joy that emerge when we learn to share our lives together.


“The socialist feminist we need to listen to right now. Her book is an important one because we need 'a politics of hope' like never before.”

– Emma Rees, Times Higher Education

Radical Happiness ultimately arrives at a convincing argument about our need to overcome the now-common tendency to view dystopian thinking as a political act in and of itself … If happiness is ‘not so much an emotion, a psychic state or inner disposition, but rather a way of acting in the world,’ then so is the path to real social change. It is defined not by a list of demands, but by a commitment to the common good. A feminism that’s about showing up for each other and not merely ourselves: how radical.”

– Charlotte Shane, Nation

“A vital intervention that draws on on a wide range of radical thinkers to offer a real breadth and depth of perspectives in an accessible read. Segal reminds us that a joy shared has a longer-lasting impact, and her defiant approach to radical happiness is thorough, frank and refreshing.”

– Red Pepper

About the Author

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Her books include Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men; andStraight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure. She co-wrote Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright.

Rojava: Revolution, War and the Future of Syria's Kurds’
with Thomas Schmidinger
Thursday 31st May, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against purchase

The Kurdish territory of Rojava in Syria has become a watchword for radical democracy, communalism and gender equality. But while Western radicals continue to project their own values onto the revolution, the complexities of the situation are often overlooked or misunderstood.

Based on over 17 years of research and fieldwork, Thomas Schmidinger provides a detailed introduction to the history and political situation in Rojava. Outlining the history of the Kurds in Syria from the late Ottoman Empire until the Syrian civil war, he describes the developments in Rojava since 2011: the protests against the regime, the establishment of a Kurdish para-state, the conflicts between the parties about the administration of the Kurdish territory and how the PYD and its People’s Councils rule the territory.

The book draws on interviews with political leaders of different parties, civil society activists, artists, fighters and religious leaders in order to paint a complex picture of the historical conflict and the contemporary situation.

About the Speaker

Thomas Schmidinger is a Political Scientist and Cultural Anthropologist based at the University of Vienna. He is Secretary General of the Austrian Association for Kurdish studies. He is the author of Rojava (Pluto, 2018), which received the Mezlum Bagok award. He has written extensively on Kurdistan, Sudan, Kosovo, jihadism, migration and Muslim communities in Europa.


Stewart Home & Poetry for the Poorly Educated

Friday 11th May, 7pm
Tickets in advance essentiall! Available here.

On 11 May 2018 Morbid Books releases the collected poetry of avant-garde pioneer Stewart Home entitled SEND CA$H and  POETRY FOR THE POORLY EDUCATED, a collection of poetry written for members of the public by L. "Tumbleweed" Parker from 2014-2018. Includes work from streets, festivals and corporate parties in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Hull, Hay-on-Wye, Ledbury & on the internet. 

Ticket price includes a performance, a glass of cheap wine and £3 off a book.

About the authors
Stewart Home is a prose machine but when his settings malfunction sometimes poetry spews out instead. He is the author of fifteen novels including the pulp/avant-garde classics "Pure Mania," "Defiant Pose," "Blowjob," "Cunt," and "69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess." His work since the late 1970s has included interventions and manifestoes in the Neoist movement such as the Art Strike, and a non-fiction history of avant-garde movements, "The Assault on Culture: Utopian currents from Lettism to Class War." This is the first collection of his poetry, song lyrics and snippets from his mother Julia Callan's diary entries.

L. "Tumbleweed" Parker founded Morbid Books in 2015 as a way of tormenting himself and others. Morbid Books titles include A Void magazine, Takeaway by Tommy Hazard, and Sex with Theresa May & Other Fantasies.

‘May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France’
with Mitch Abidor
Tuesday 15th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

May 1968: students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, and institutiosn were occupied, leading French political leaders to fear civil war or revolution. Mitch Abidor presents eye-opening oral testimonies of the students and workers who took part and reflects on the legacy of the uprising.

The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 were exciting, dangerous, creative and influential, changing European politics to this day. Students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, factories and universities were occupied. At the height of its fervour, it brought the entire national economy to a halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution.

Fifty years later, here are the eye-opening oral testimonies of those young rebels. By listening to the voices of students and workers, as opposed to those of their leaders, May '68 appears not just as a mass event, but rather as an event driven by millions of individuals, achieving a mosaic human portrait of France at the time.

This book reveals the legacy of the uprising: how those explosive experiences changed both those who took part, and the course of history. May Made Me will record these moments before history moves on yet again.

'These powerful and moving testimonies create an eye-opening account of the inspiring events of May '68, which are more relevant for today's activists than ever before' - Paul Mason

About the Speaker

Mitchell Abidor is a writer and translator living in Brooklyn, USA. Amongst his many works, he is the author of May Made Me (Pluto, 2018) and the translator of Jean Jaures's A Socialist History of the French Revolution (Pluto, 2015).

Gary Younge on Martin Luther King Jr
Thursday 17th May, 7pm

In 2013 Gary Younge published ‘The Speech’ (Guardian Books), a meditation on King’s most famous “I have a dream” speech. Fifty years on it is clear that in eliminating segregation - not racism but formal, codified, explicit discrimination - the civil rights movement delivered the last significant moral victory in America for which there is still a consensus. The speech's appeal endures because it remains the most eloquent, poetic, unapologetic and public articulation of that victory.

Marking the passing of fifty years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, Gary Younge reflects on King’s life and legacy, and how King’s nonviolent practice relates to the anti-racist struggles of today.

About the Speaker

Gary Younge is an author, broadcaster and editor-at-large for The Guardian, based in London. He also writes a monthly column, Beneath the Radar, for the Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute. He has written five books: Another Day in the Death of America, A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives; The Speech, The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream; Who Are We?, And Should it Matter in the 21st century; Stranger in a Strange Land, Travels in the Disunited States and No Place Like Home, A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South. He has made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from gay marriage to Brexit.

‘A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx’
with Sven-Eric Liedman

Wednesday 9th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

In this essential new biography — the first to give equal weight to both the work and life of Karl Marx — Sven-Eric Liedman expertly navigates the imposing, complex personality of his subject through the turbulent passages of global history. A World to Win follows Marx through childhood and student days, a difficult and sometimes tragic family life, his far-sighted journalism, and his enduring friendship and intellectual partnership with Friedrich Engels.

Building on the work of previous biographers, Liedman employs a commanding knowledge of the nineteenth century to create a definitive portrait of Marx and his vast contribution to the way the world understands itself. He shines a light on Marx’s influences, explains his political and intellectual interventions, and builds on the legacy of his thought. Liedman shows how Marx’s masterpiece, Capital, illuminates the essential logic of a system that drives dizzying wealth, grinding poverty, and awesome technological innovation to this day.

Compulsively readable and meticulously researched, A World to Win demonstrates that, two centuries after Marx’s birth, his work remains the bedrock for any true understanding of our political and economic condition.

About the Speaker

Sven-Eric Liedman, Professor Emeritus of the History of Ideas at the University of Gothenburg, has been reading and writing about Karl Marx for over fifty years. His textbook on political ideologies (originally titled From Plato to Lenin in 1972, rechristened From Plato to the War Against Terrorism in 2014) has been through fourteen editions.

‘Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet’
with Anitra Nelson

Friday 4th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

Does small mean less? Not necessarily. In an era of housing crises, environmental unsustainability and social fragmentation, the need for more sociable, affordable and sustainable housing is vital. The answer? Shared living - from joint households to land-sharing, cohousing and ecovillages.

Using successful examples from a range of countries, Anitra Nelson shows how 'eco-collaborative housing' - resident-driven low impact living with shared facilities and activities - can address the great social, economic and sustainability challenges that householders and capitalist societies face today. Sharing living spaces and facilities results in householders having more amenities and opportunities for neighbourly interaction.

Small is Necessary places contemporary models of 'alternative' housing and living at centre stage arguing that they are outward-looking, culturally rich, with low ecological footprints and offer governance techniques for a more equitable and sustainable future.

About the Speaker

Anitra Nelson is Associate Professor in the Centre for Urban Research School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Australia. She is the author of Marx's Concept of Money: The God of Commodities (Routledge, 1999), and she co-edited Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies (Pluto, 2011), Housing for Degrowth (Routledge, 2018) and is the author of Small is Necessary (Pluto, 2018).

“There was just this enormous sense of solidarity”:
London and the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike
with Terry Conway, Hilary Wainwright,
Terry Harrison and Liz French
Wednesday 2nd May, 7pm
Free Entry

In March 1984 over 150,000 miners walked out on strike against plans for widespread pit closures in action supported by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Alongside the dispute developed a large and diverse support movement within Britain and internationally, which provided invaluable practical solidarity. Thousands of people collected food and money, joined picket lines and demonstrations, organised meetings, travelled to mining areas and hosted activists from the coalfields in their homes.

This event will mark the publication of a booklet which brings together some of their stories, experiences and reflections on the strike. It is based on a series of workshops and interviews, organised in collaboration with the TUC Library Collections, which sought to provide a record of these solidarities and experiences. This launch event will offer reflections on the solidarities shaped during the strike and their contemporary political relevance.

APRIL 2018

'Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House'
with Mike Wendling

Thursday 26th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

This book is a vital guide to understanding the Alt-Right - the white nationalist, misogynist, far-right movement that rose to prominence during Donald Trump's successful election campaign in the United States. It looks at the support for this reactionary network, arguing that while Trump is in office and the far-right grows across Europe, we need to gain a deeper understanding of the movement's philosophy, history and role in politics today.

While the movement appears to have burst out of nowhere, Mike Wendling has been tracking the Alt-Right for years. He reveals the role of technological utopians, reactionary philosophers, the notorious 4chan and 8chan bulletin boards, and a range of bloggers, vloggers and tweeters, highlighting the extreme ideas which underpin the movement's thought.

This is an analysis of what the Alt-Right stands for and who its followers and leaders are. Including exclusive interviews with members of the movement and evidence linking extremists with terror attacks and hate crimes, it is clear that despite its high-profile support, the movement's lack of a coherent base and its contradictory tendencies is already leading to its downfall.


'An urgently needed dose of clarity for anyone hoping to understand the twists and turns of far right politics beyond the Khakis and Tiki torches' - Mark Bray, historian and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook

About the Author

Mike Wendling is a Senior Broadcast Journalist at the BBC. He works in the BBC's Digital Current Affairs department, where he is a blogger and editor of BBC Trending. He produced the BBC radio series America's Own Extremists. He has also presented documentaries for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service on Native Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement. He is the author of Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House (Pluto, 2018).

'Anarchist Accounting'
with Anders Sandström
Wednesday 18th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase


How would an economic system based on libertarian socialist principles actually work in practice? What kind of information would need to be recorded in order to enable democratic participation, efficient decision-making and equitable outcomes?

Using the economic model Participatory Economics as a framework, this book proposes a set of accounting principles for an economy comprised of common ownership of productive resources, federations of worker and consumer councils, and democratic planning.

About the Author

Anders Sandström is a trained accountant with a degree from Uppsala University. He is a co-founder of Parecon Sverige, a Participatory Economics advocacy group in Sweden.

'Poetry: Community and Self-Care'
with Ari Haque
Thursday 19th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

Locomotrix and Birdsong -the feminist ethical fashion company selling sweatshop-free product that give back to their women makers- invite you to come along and read your favourite poems or literary passages, in an intimate circle, alongside a line-up of women/non-binary/queer/immigrant/working class poets, writers, artists and makers reading work they cherish.

The event will celebrate writing and reading poetry as self-care, as well as orality as a powerful community-making act.

Vera Chok
Iris Colomb
Serena Braida

More tbc

Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale of Stadium-led Regeneration in North London', author Mark Panton in conversation with community activists Dave Morris and Martin Ball

Wednesday 4th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans is delighted to welcome Dr Mark Panton for the launch of Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale OF Stadium-led Regeneration in North London.

In 2010 Haringey Council in London granted planning permission to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club for a new stadium and other linked developments. In 2012 Haringey unveiled regeneration plans for the borough that included demolition of homes and businesses to make way for a proposed fans’ walkway from a relocated train station entrance to the site of the new stadium. A process that was already challenging for the football club, the council and the local community now became tortuous. Those most affected by the proposals felt left out of the decision making and had to find a voice. 

Mark Panton will be in conversation with Haringey community activist Dave Morris to discuss the demolition of properties for the fans’ walkway in Tottenham, the Our Tottenham network of community groups and the Haringey Development Vehicle.

‘Tottenham’s Trojan Horse?’ is fully illustrated by Amanda Lillywhite in a comic format. It features research from Mark Panton’s doctoral thesis and dialogue from interviews conducted by him. It was funded by the Birkbeck School of Business, Economics and Informatics, University of London.


'You two have come up with an innovative way to turn research for a dissertation which is often read by a few into a book that will reach many.
The issues the book has raised, of course, are not limited in this case or North London. Mega structures like sports stadiums and mega events like the Olympic Games and World Expo all have complicated impact on urban life. Grass roots movements, citizen participation in the decision-making process and resistance (think the right to the city), all very important indeed.' -Qin Shao, author of ‘Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity’

'Have been looking through this book. Really accessible and easy to follow. Tells a very complicated story very clearly. A must read about how regeneration works these days.' -Zena Brabazon, Haringey Councillor

'This looks really great! @MarkLPanton has turned his PhD thesis on sports-led redevelopment in Tottenham into a graphic novel with @AJLillywhite'- Joe Penny, PhD candidate at @UCL_BSP and Social Media Editor of @urbgeog

'My copy of Tottenham's Trojan Horse has arrived. It chronicles the dispute over the regeneration project linked to the new #THFC stadium. It's as good as I hoped. Features Dave Morris, Claire Kober and various other key Haringey figures. Congrats to @AJLillywhite and @MarkLPanton' - Andrew Smith, Reader at University of Westminster

'Tottenham's Trojan Horse - this brilliant important little book tells the story of Tottenham regeneration done @haringeycouncil style. @2billiongamble @MarkLPanton @AJLillywhite #HDV' - Bob Hare, Liberal Democrat Councillor, Highgate

About the Authors and Speakers

Dave Morris is a former McLibel defendant. He is local activist promoting grass roots development and is active in the Our Tottenham network.

Another community activist will be taking part in the event, details to come soon.

Mark Panton joined the Birkbeck Sports Business Centre as a PhD student and recently obtained his doctorate from the University of London based on his research into the use of sport stadiums in urban regeneration projects. His research interests include the sociology of sport, the work of football community trusts and the influence of community groups.  Mark currently teaches on a number of courses at Birkbeck College.

Amanda Lillywhite is a writer, illustrator and comic maker.

'Lost Connections:
Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions' with Johann Hari
Wednesday 11th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Tickets available here


What really causes depression and anxiety - and how can we really solve them? Award-winning journalist Johann Hari suffered from depression since he was a child and started taking anti-depressants when he was a teenager. He was told that his problems were caused by a chemical imbalance in his brain. As an adult, trained in the social sciences, he began to investigate whether this was true - and he learned that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong.

Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. Haris journey took him from a mind-blowing series of experiments in Baltimore, to an Amish community in Indiana, to an uprising in Berlin. Once he had uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, they led him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions - ones that work.

It is an epic journey that will change how we think about one of the biggest crises in our culture today. His TED talk - 'Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong' - has been viewed more than 8 million times and revolutionized the global debate. This book will do the same.


“Wise, probing and deeply generous Hari has produced a book packed with explosive revelations about our epidemic of despair ... I am utterly convinced that the more people read this book, the better off the world will be” –   Naomi Klein

“This is an astonishing book, that transforms our understanding of one of the crucial issues of our times. Johann Hari asks the big questions and provides the big answers– answers that have been neglected for far too long. You cannot fully understand this great curse of our age until you have read it” –   George Monbiot

“Extraordinary ... A highly personal book, written with humility, humour and candour, it nonetheless heralds a crucial new discussion about our mental health - and health of the world we've created for ourselves … I honestly couldn't put it down. What a stunningpiece of work” –   Brian Eno

‘The Book of Riga’
with Svens Kuzmins and Dace Ruksane

Friday 13th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Tickets available here


Housmans is very pleased to host the launch of independent publishers Comma Press's latest instalment of their Reading the City series. Comma Press bring The Book of Riga to UK readers, featuring some of Latvia's best known and most exciting short story writers. This launch coincides with the Baltic States Market Focus at London Book Fair.

Located on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, Riga is not just the capital of Latvia, but the largest city in the Baltic region.

In the year in which Latvia celebrates a centenary as an independent state, we bring you stories which demonstrate how Riga has established itself as a vibrant creative centre, attracting artists, performers and writers from across the region and beyond. 

This rare showcase of contemporary Latvian writing gathers together stories by some of the country's finest writers, chronicling the city's continuing growth and transformation after centuries of foreign rule.

Reflecting on the past, and looking to the future of the city once dubbed 'the Paris of the North', these stories are told with dark humour, cynicism, and compare what was and what can become reality if it's citizens aspire to greatness.

Readings by special guest authors (all the way from Riga) Svens Kuzmins and Dace Ruksane.

The foreword of the collection is written by Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Republic of Latvia (1999-2007).


"Latvian poet Aleksandrs Čaks described Riga as 'gold swallow and swing of happiness'. The Book of Riga takes us on a magical journey to this Baltic city on the Daugava river. The storytellers in this collection show an extraordinary love for their hometown, from the hearts of natives of Riga and from the depths of language." -Nora Ikstena, Market Focus Author of the Day at the London Book Fair 2018

About the Authors


Sven Kuzmins (1985) is a Latvian writer, artist and actor. He mainly writes prose fiction, critical articles, and journalism, but also experiments with various forms of visual arts and literature.

He is actively involved in other media projects, and is known to the wider public as one of the initiators and authors behind the NERTEN sketch theatre project. Pilsetas šamani/ Urban Shamans (Dienas Gramata, 2016) is Kuzmins' first collection of stories, complimented by his own graphic drawings. His works have been translated into English, Russian and Lithuanian, and published in various printed and online platforms.


Dace Rukšane-Ščipčinska (born 1969) is a Latvian writer and jounalist. After finishing high school she studied Medicine and Biology and additionally participated in the SOURCES 2 Script Development Workshop in Vienna. Rukšane became known in 2002 for her novel Romaninš/The Little Affair that touched upon the subjects of feminine sexuality gained great popularity. It was followed by books Beatrises gultas stasti/ Bedtime Stories of Beatrice, and Kapec tu raudaji?/ Why were you crying?, as well as several articles and columns devoted to intimate subject matters and relationships.

During the 1990's Rukšane wrote poetry, and in early 2000's several of her plays were staged in various theatres in Latvia. Her novels have been published in Germany and Denmark. In 2002, Rukšane became a regular contributor to a weekly column in Sestdiena magazine. From 2004 until 2012 she was editor-in-chief of Lilit magazine.

MARCH 2018

'In Our Hands: Changing the Way we See the Homeless'
with Papakow Baiden,
Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith) and Tom Copley (London Assembly Member, Heads Up Housing Committee)
Wednesday 28th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In Our Hands explains the scope of the issue, what the government does and doesn’t do, and also tells stories of homeless people – with the aim of re-humanising this neglected portion of society.

When we walk past homeless people, or talk about the issue of homelessness, what should we do or say? In what we should we look both at them, and at the issue of homelessness itself? How should we feel? And how can we prevent homelessness, let alone end it? Only when we have a good understanding of what we’re looking at can our opinions and efforts hope to be in the right direction.

In Our Hands is a courageously honest look at the world of homelessness in the UK. It brings refreshing clarity to the issue whilst celebraating some organisations who are doing incredible work to help those in need, and finally offers ways that you too can support the effort to alleviate homelessness.

The charity that inspired the book, The Upper Room, is also brought to life through uplifiting rectials of interviews with homeless guests at the meals programme the charity delivers.

About the Author

Papa, or Papakow Baiden, is a UK activist on Homelessness, offering policy suggestions, engaging with frontline care providers, and raising the profile of the issue in the hope that it creates enough 'demand' to create solutions. Papa was formerly a Sustainability Project Manager in Nando’s UK. Since joining the company in 2010 as a cashier, he developed into restaurant management, and eventually into the sustainability team in their Central Support office. His role spanned environmental sustainability as well as social impact, with the latter emerging to be his preferred field. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram: @papakowbaiden.

'Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW'
with Peter Cole
Saturday 31st March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This book is the first to look at the history of the IWW from an international perspective. Bringing together a group of leading scholars, it includes lively accounts from a number diverse countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and Ireland, which reveal a fascinating story of global anarchism, syndicalism and socialism.

The Industrial Workers of the World is a union unlike any other. Founded in 1905 in Chicago, it rapidly gained members across the world thanks to its revolutionary, internationalist outlook. By using powerful organising methods including direct-action and direct-democracy, it put power in the hands of workers. This philosophy is labeled as ‘revolutionary industrial unionism’ and the members called, affectionately, ‘Wobblies’.

Drawing on many important figures of the movements such as Tom Barker, Har Dayal, Joe Hill, James Larkin and William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, and exploring particular industries including shipping, mining, and agriculture, this book describes how the IWW and its ideals travelled around the world.


"Finally! A book about the IWW that takes seriously their global self-description. This book is a landmark and a sea beacon in the history of the planetary proletariat." - Marcus Rediker, Slave Ship: A Human History

"A splendid project and a vitally important contribution to the understanding of labor as a social movement." - Paul Buhle, Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World

"As a second-generation member of the IWW, I am delighted to see this outstanding collection of essays on the Wobblies, their achievements, and their substantial impact despite severe repression." - Noam Chomsky

About the Author

Peter Cole is Professor of History at Western Illinois University and Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. He is the author of Wobblies on the Waterfront (University of Illinois Press, 2007) and editor of Wobblies of the World (Pluto, 2017).

Housmans in collaboration with
Sheroes of Literature Talk Series
‘Mary Shelley and Frankenstein'

with Lauren Davis
Thursday 15 March, 7pm
Tickets available here

Come discover Mary Shelley's complex, multifaceted sheroic figure: the prolific writer and editor, the deeply emotional woman, and the mother.

A talk by University of Oxford Romantic Literature Researcher Lauren Davis, organised by as part of their Sheroes Social Exhibition. This talk is organised in collaboration with Housmans.

As a Shero, what Mary Shelley demonstrates is an alternative, more realistic way of conceptualizing the "strong" female figure. The "strong woman" is a type that we are confronted with in literature, but it often falls flat, taking the form of one-dimensional female characters that are "strong" at the expense of all other characteristics, namely intense emotion. 

Frankenstein is an intensely psychological novel, drawing from events and anxieties from Mary's own life, particularly the deaths of her mother and several of her children. For this reason, the novel is obsessed with birth narratives and exploring what it means to be a parent. Is it the act of giving or creating life? Is it nurture? Or is it something else?

The odd narrative style taken in consideration with Mary's biography makes this question of parent-child relationships especially interesting and invites us to think about Mary Shelley as a complex, multifaceted figure: the prolific writer and editor, the deeply emotional woman, and the mother.

About the Speaker

Lauren Davis is an Alabama native, researching Romantic literature at the University of Oxford.  Her current research focuses on narrative theory and birth narratives in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Her publications include: Litany – Ash (Hurst Street Press, 2018),  Casings – Ash (Hurst Street Press, 2017) and moon children – Slash Pine Poetry Anthology (Slash Pine Press, 2017)

'The Water-Watcher'
with Nancy Charley
Friday 16th March, 7pm
Tickets £4/£5 on the door

Summoned to sentinel the shingle beach, the Water-Watcher sees mysteries of birds & people, shore & sea. Discover giants & spit sprites, alchemy & ancient rites. Follow the ebb & flow of the tide as it reveals the myths of the North Kent Coast. A poetry-telling show brought to you by Nancy Charley in which she weaves poems from Little Blue Hut (Smokestack Books, 2017) written following her residency at a beach hut on the Whitstable coast. This one-woman show will bring the sounds of the sea into the heart of London.


‘Taking Back The Debate:
Left Wing Approaches to Fighting Antisemitism’
Speakers: Aviah Day, Keziah Berelson and Annie Cohen
Chaired by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
Wednesday 28th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Antisemitism has been a drought topic in recent years, with the political right accusing the left of being soft on it, and the left tending to view accusations of antisemitism as attempts to derail the Corbyn project.

This discussion will attempt to bring insight and nuance to the topic, and reclaim the fight against antisemitism as a left wing, anti-racist cause. It will consider the question of anti-Zionism and antisemitism, intersections between antisemitism and other racisms and the complexities of being a majority group in one state and a minority everywhere else.

The discussion will be rooted in the new book from the US group Jewish Voice for Peace: ‘On Antisemitism; Solidarity and the Struggle for Social Justice’.

This event is organised by Jewish Voice for Labour.

With speakers Aviah Day (Member of Sisters Uncut), Keziah Berelson (Jewdas) and Annie Cohen (Jewdas, Union of Jewish Students) and chaired by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (Jewish Voice for Labour).

Left Book Club present:
‘A Party with Socialists in It:

A History of the Labour Left’ with Simon Hannah
Saturday 24th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

For over a hundred years, the British Labour Party has been a bastion for working class organisation and struggle. However, has it ever truly been on the side of the workers? Where do its interests really lie? And can we rely on it to provide a barrier against right-wing forces? By looking into its history, this book shines a light on the internal dynamics of the 'party with socialists in it'.

From its origins in the late nineteenth century, the Labour Party was uncomfortably divided between a metropolitan liberal and a working class milieu, which characterises the party to this very day. This history guides us through the Bevanite movement and the celebrated government of Clement Attlee, to the emergence of a New Left that was highly sceptical of the Labour party during the Wilson era. It explores the move towards Blairism and the disheartening story of the decline of the Labour Left after their historic defeat in the 1980s.

With the emergence of socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party's fate rests in the balance. Will they reconcile their internal divisions or split into obscurity?

Published in partnership with the Left Book Club.


'The rise to prominence of Jeremy Corbyn has made relevant again the history of the Labour Left from which he comes. But that history is not generally known. Simon Hannah has therefore done us a great service. At a very crucial time in British politics, his book helps us to fill in important gaps in our knowledge' - David Coates, author of Prolonged Labour: The Slow Birth of New Labour in Britain

'A well-timed explanation of the class contradictions at the root of the Labour Party from its creation to the present day' - Graham Bash, Labour Briefing

'This informative and thought-provoking historical account allows us to assess the Party's history, whilst acknowledging that the progressive movement inspired by Corbyn's leadership is something new and exciting' - Liz Davies, Labour Party Activist

About the author

Simon Hannah
is a writer and political activist. He is the author of A Party with Socialists in It (Pluto 2018). His work has been featured in Open Democracy and New Left Project. He is currently researching at King's College the municipal socialist movement of the 1980s. He is an active trade unionist and a member of the Labour Party.

‘Your Silence Will Not Protect You. Celebrating Audre Lorde’
with Bridget Minamore in discussion with Sarah Shin
Wednesday 21st February, 7pm

An evening exploring the work of writer, feminist, librarian, and civil rights activist, Audre Lorde. Your Silence Will Not Protect You (Silver Press 2017) brings Lorde’s essential poetry, speeches and essays together in one volume for the first time.

Audre Lorde (1934-92) described herself as ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet’. Born in New York, she had her first poem published while still at school and her last the year she died of cancer. Her extraordinary belief in the power of language – of speaking – to articulate selfhood, confront injustice and bring about change in the world remains as transformative today as it was then, and no less urgent.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You (Silver Press 2017) brings Lorde’s essential poetry, speeches and essays, including ‘The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House’, together in one volume for the first time.

'The Fountain in the Forest and the French Republican Calendar'
with Tony White and Dr Sanja Perovic
Thursday 22 February, 7pm

Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest views the end of the UK Miners’ Strike through the lens of  the French Revolutionary Calendar. Join us for readings and discussion with Tony White and Dr Sanja Perovic from the Department of French, King’s College London.

The Fountain in the Forest (Faber and Faber) is a thriller that explores the legacy of a decisive period in recent British history, the ninety days between the end of the UK Miners’ Strike on 3 March and the ‘Battle of the Beanfield’ on 1 June 1985.

When a brutally murdered man is found hanging in a Covent Garden theatre, Detective Sergeant Rex King becomes obsessed with the case. Who is this anonymous corpse, and why has he been ritually mutilated? But as Rex explores the crime scene further, the mystery deepens, and he finds himself confronting his own secret history instead. Who, more importantly, is Rex King? Shifting between Holborn Police Station, an abandoned village in rural 1980s France, and the Battle of the Beanfield at Stonehenge, The Fountain in the Forest transforms the traditional crime narrative into something dizzyingly unique.

White’s new novel also draws on research undertaken during his residency at King’s, and looks at the events of 1985 through the lens of the French Revolutionary Calendar. Funded by Creativeworks, Tony was Creative Entrepreneur in Residence in the Department of French at King’s College London, where he worked with Dr Sanja Perovic on a project exploring the work of British artist Stuart Brisley.

One of the most unusual decisions of the leaders of the French Revolution was to abandon customarily-accepted ways of calculating date and time to create a Revolutionary calendar. Perovic’s study traces the course of the Revolutionary Calendar, from its cultural origins to its decline and fall. Tracing the parallel stories of the calendar and the literary genius of its creator, Sylvain Maréchal, from the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic era, Sanja Perovic reconsiders the status of the French Revolution as the purported ‘origin’ of modernity, the modern experience of time, and the relationship between the imagination and political action.

Reviews of Sanja Perovic

‘The Calendar in Revolutionary France is an exhilarating book that invites one to think about the calendar and its history in ways that move between different time scales and that complicate the terms through which we imagine historical periodization altogether.’ - Deborah Elise White, Nineteenth-Century French Studies

Reviews of Tony White

‘Rejecting familiar influences of the past 20 years, White joins a handful of contemporary writers who are proving that the novel has never been more alive. He is a serious, engaging voice of the modern city.’ - Michael Moorcock, Guardian

‘White is our nimblest political novelist … With Tony White’s fiction there is always an engaging lightness of touch, a deft ability to wind out stories that carry a freight-load of edgy material with a beguiling ease.’ 3am Magazine

About the Authors

Sanja Perovic is Senior Lecturer in French at King’s College London and co-director of the Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s. Recent publications include The Calendar in Revolutionary France: Perceptions of Time in Literature, Culture, and Politics (Cambridge: CUP, 2012) and the edited volume Sacred and Secular Agency in Early Modern France: Fragments of Religion (London: Continuum, 2011). She has also published more widely on the aesthetics and politics of time, from the early modern period to the present.

Tony White’s latest novel is The Fountain in the Forest. He is the author of five previous novels including Foxy-T and Shackleton’s Man Goes South, and the non-fiction work Another Fool in the Balkans, as well as novellas and numerous short stories published in journals, exhibition catalogues, and anthologies. White was creative entrepreneur in residence in the French department of King’s College London, and has been writer in residence at London’s Science Museum and the UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies. He recently collaborated with artists Blast Theory on the libraries live-streaming project A Place Free Of Judgement, and currently chairs the board of London’s award-winning arts radio station Resonance 104.4fm.

‘Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right’
with Liz Fekete
Wednesday 14th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

It is clear that the right is on the rise, but after Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the spike in popularity of extreme-right parties across Europe, the question on everyone’s minds is: how did this happen?

An expansive investigation of the ways in which a newly configured right interconnects with anti-democratic and illiberal forces at the level of the state, Europe’s Fault Lines provides much-needed answers, revealing some uncomfortable truths.

What appear to be “blind spots” about far-right extremism on the part of the state are shown to constitute collusion—as police, intelligence agencies and the military embark on practices of covert policing that bring them into direct or indirect contact with the far right, in ways that bring to mind the darkest days of Europe’s authoritarian past.

Old racisms may be structured deep in European thought, but they have been revitalised and spun in new ways: the war on terror, the cultural revolution from the right, and the migration-linked demonisation of the destitute “scrounger.” Drawing on more than three decades of work for the Institute of Race Relations, Liz Fekete exposes the fundamental fault lines of racism and authoritarianism in contemporary Europe.


“Racism, for Liz Fekete, is the breeding ground of fascism, and her struggle to combat both—on the ground and in her writings—has earned her the reputation of being an intrepid organiser, an inspirational speaker and an organic intellectual.” – A. Sivanandan, Director Emiritus of the Institute of Race Relations

“For twenty-five years, Fekete relentlessly monitored Europe’s far right while the continent’s leaders preferred to look away. With right-wing extremism finally recognised by the mainstream as a fundamental threat to Europe’s future, her indictment of those who enabled, amplified, and aided the rise of the hard right is an essential contribution to the defense of democratic values.” – Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming

“For the twenty-five years I have known Liz Fekete she has been a tireless anti-racist and anti-fascist fighter, as well as a people’s intellectual and a political inspiration. Fekete brings that cumulative experience, insight and commitment to her brilliant new book, Europe’s Fault Lines, which maps the shifting terrain of racism and right wing populism in Europe, as well as continued forms of resistance. This book not only paints a gut-wrenching portrait of the vulgarity and violence of Neoliberalism, but through her clarity of analysis, Fekete gives us sustenance for the struggles that lay ahead.” – Barbara Ransby, author of Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs Paul Robeson

About the Author

Liz Fekete is Director of the Institute of Race Relations, where she has worked for over thirty years. She heads its European Research Programme (ERP) and is Advisory Editor to its journal Race & Class. She is the author of A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe.


‘Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic!
How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Alien Next Door’
with Featuring Bidisha, Esther Manito and Yumna Mohamed
Wednesday 7th February, 7pm

Contributors to this provocative and at times laugh-out-loud funny collection of subversive pieces challenge preconceptions of what it is to be a Muslim. Advance tickets essential.

How can you tell if your neighbour is speaking Muslim? Is a mosque a kind of hedgehog? Can I get fries with that burka? You can’t trust the media any longer, but there’s no need to fret: Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic provides you with the answers.

Read this book to learn how you too can spot an elusive Islamist. Discover how Arabs (even 21-year-old, largely innocuous and totally adorable ones) plant bombs and get tips about how to interact with Homeland Security, which may or may not involve funny discussions about your sexuality.

Commissioned in response to the US travel ban, Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic includes cartoons, graffiti, photography, colouring in pages, memoir, short stories and more by 34 contributors from around the world. Provocative and at times laugh-out-loud funny, these subversive pieces are an explosion of expression, creativity and colour.

Join us and critically acclaimed comedian Esther Manito for some stand-up comedy. Included in Don't Panic, I'm Islamic, which was published by Saqi Books this summer in response to Trump's 'Muslim ban,' Esther will later be joined by stand-up comedian Yumna Mohamed, and journalist, author and broadcaster Bidisha and other published writers from Don't Panic, I'm Islamic for a lively look at what the arts and comedy can do to combat stereotypes and regressive identity politics. 

Contributors: Hassan Abdulrazzak, Leila Aboulela, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Shadi Alzaqzouq, Chant Avedissian, Tammam Azzam, Bidisha, Chaza Charafeddine, Molly Crabapple, Carol Ann Duffy, Moris Farhi, Negin Farsad, Joumana Haddad, Saleem Haddad, Hassan Hajjaj, Omar Hamdi, Jennifer Jajeh, Sayed Kashua, Mazen Kerbaj, Arwa Mahdawi, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alberto Manguel, Esther Manito, Aisha Mirza, James Nunn, Chris Riddell, Hazem Saghieh, Rana Salam, Karl Sharro, Laila Shawa, Bahia Shehab, Sjón, Eli Valley, Alex Wheatle.

Sunday Times Best Humour Book of the Year 2017
‘Bursting with creativity, wit and intelligence’ Brian Eno


‘Countering youth militarisation in the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK’
with War Resisters’ International
Monday 5th February, 7pm
Free Event

Activists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK come together for a public discussion on countering youth militarisation.

On 5th February, activists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey and the UK are coming together at Housmans Bookshop for a public discussion on countering youth militarisation.

Today militaries, armed groups and others profiting from war are using various ways to access young people, not only to recruit bodies, but also to recruit minds into their military cause. In some countries, youth militarisation is more visible and obvious: young people (mainly, though not exclusively, young men) are forced to join the military through conscription. In other places – including where conscription has been suspended or abolished – governments, arms dealers and other war profiteers have a vested interest in indoctrinating young people to be positive about military actions.

In this public forum organised by War Resisters' International (WRI), we will be discussing what strategies and practices are used by state and non-state actors to convince young people to support their war, and looking at what we can do to counter these strategies. We will be joined by WRI activists from the Czech Republic (NESEHNUTI), Finland (Committee of 100 and Union of Conscientious Objectors, AKL), Turkey and the UK. Join us at 7pm to be part of this discussion and hear from others about their countries and work.



Control and Repressive Technologies:
’Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today’ and
'The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11'

Anna Feigenbaum in conversation with Matthew Longo
Wednesday 31st January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

How are citizens are imagined through controlling and repressive technologies?
Join Anna Feigenbaum, author of Tear Gas, in conversation with Matthew Longo, author of The Politics of Borders

An engrossing century-spanning narrative, Tear Gas is the first history of this weapon, and takes us from military labs and chemical weapons expos to union assemblies and protest camps, drawing on declassified reports and witness testimonies to show how policing with poison came to be.

The story of how a chemical weapon went from the battlefield to the streets.

One hundred years ago, French troops fired tear gas grenades into German trenches. Designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of “less-lethal” police force. In 2011, the year that protests exploded from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, tear gas sales tripled. Most tear gas is produced in the United States, and many images of protestors in Tahrir Square showed tear gas canisters with “Made in USA” printed on them, while Britain continues to sell tear gas to countries on its own human rights blacklist.

Borders sit at the center of global politics. Yet they are too often understood as thin lines, as they appear on maps, rather than as political institutions in their own right. The Politics of Borders takes a detailed look at the evolution of border security in the United States after 9/11. Far from the walls and fences that dominate the news, it reveals borders to be thick, multi-faceted and binational institutions that have evolved greatly in recent decades. The book contributes to debates within political science on sovereignty, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, human rights and global justice. In particular, the new politics of borders reveal a sovereignty that is not waning, but changing, expanding beyond the state carapace and engaging certain logics of empire.


“A vivid history of the time and also - as good radical accounts should be - a source of encouragement to those fighting all too similar battles today” – Hilary Rose

“There is something epic about Anna Feigenbaum’s Tear Gas, its scope and intensity, the way that chemistry — the orienting science of the industrial revolution — provides the material to manage that revolution’s epic collapse . . . There is crucial knowledge to be found here.” – Joshua Clover, author of Riot.Strike.Riot

“A passionately argued history of the development and gradual spread of tear gas around the world . . . a clarion call for reassessment of the widespread availability and misuse of tear gas.” – Patrick Wicklen, Researcher on Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International

“Fascinating, deeply researched and lucid . . . We have become so accustomed to the use of tear gas during protests that it comes as a shock when we realize, in reading this book, how little we know about the longer-term effects of what is in some ways a chemical weapon.” – Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows

About the Author

Anna Feigenbaum is co-author of the book Protest Camps, and her work has appeared in Vice, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, Salon, Financial Times, Open Democracy, New Internationalist, and Waging Nonviolence. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. Her website is Follow her on Twitter: @drfigtree.

Matthew Longo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. Previously, he was the Clayman Junior Research Fellow in Politics and Political Ideas at St Anne's College, Oxford. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, Connecticut in 2014 and was awarded the American Political Science Association's Leo Strauss Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation in Political Philosophy. His work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science and Democratization, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and has been featured in the Washington Post and National Public Radio.

‘The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online’ with Houman Barekat, Joanna Walsh and Robert Barry
Wednesday 10th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guests take stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its potential mutation, in a world of Facebook likes, Twitter wars, and Amazon book reviews.

What do we think of when we think of literary critics? Enlightenment snobs in powdered wigs? Professional experts? Cloistered academics? Through the end of the 20th century, book review columns and literary magazines held onto an evolving but stable critical paradigm, premised on expertise, objectivity, and carefully measured response. And then the Internet happened.

From the editors of Review 31 and 3:AM Magazine, The Digital Critic (OR Books, 2017) brings together a diverse group of perspectives—early-adopters, Internet skeptics, bloggers, novelists, editors, and others—to address the future of literature and scholarship in a world of Facebook likes, Twitter wars, and Amazon book reviews. It takes stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its mutation, perhaps, into something else entirely.

With contributions from Robert Barry, Russell Bennetts, Michael Bhaskar, Louis Bury, Lauren Elkin, Scott Esposito, Marc Farrant, Orit Gat, Thea Hawlin, Ellen Jones, Anna Kiernan, Luke Neima, Will Self, Jonathon Sturgeon, Sara Veale, Laura Waddell, and Joanna Walsh.

About the Speakers

Houman Barekat reviews for the TLS, Literary Review, the Irish Times, Prospect and the London Magazine, and contributes to online journals including 3:AM, Full Stop and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the founder and managing editor of the online literary journal Review 31.
Joanna Walsh is a writer and illustrator. Her work has been published by Granta, Tate, The London Review of Books, The White Review and others. Her story collection, Fractals, is published by 3:AM Press.
Robert Barry writes for publications such as The Wire, Frieze, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC Music, Fact, The Quietus, Thump, Wired, and Art Review. He is the visual art editor at The Quietus and technology and digital culture editor at Review 31.

‘The New Povery’ with Stephen Armstrong
Wednesday 17th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

We are living in an age with unprecedented levels of poverty. Stephen Armstrong travels across Britain to tell the stories of those who are most vulnerable, betrayed by the retreat of the welfare state and considers what we can do to stop the destruction of our welfare state.

We are living in an age with unprecedented levels of poverty. Who are the new poor? And what can we do about it?

Today 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK. According to a 2017 report, 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line. The new poor, however, are an even larger group than these official figures suggest. They are more often than not in work, living precariously and betrayed by austerity policies that make affordable good quality housing, good health and secure employment increasingly unimaginable.

In The New Poverty investigative journalist Stephen Armstrong travels across Britain to tell the stories of those who are most vulnerable. It is the story of an unreported Britain, abandoned by politicians and betrayed by the retreat of the welfare state. As benefit cuts continue and in-work poverty soars, he asks what long-term impact this will have on post-Brexit Britain and—on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1942 Beveridge report—what we can do to stop the destruction of our welfare state.

About the Author

Stephen Armstrong is a journalist and author. He writes extensively for the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. He also appears occasionally on Radio 4 and Radio 2. His books include War PLC, The Super-Rich Shall Inherit the Earth and The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited.


‘The Hippy Trail: A History’ with Sharif Gemie
Wednesday 6th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Dr Sharif Gemie presents his history of the 60s/70s Hippy Trail, and considers the trail in respect to counterculture, drugs, sexual liberation, tourism, pilgrimage and media representation. 

This is the first history of the Hippie Trail. It records the joys and pains of budget travel to Kathmandu, India, Afghanistan and other 'points east' in the 1960s and 1970s. Written in a clear, simple style, it provides detailed analysis of the motivations and the experiences of hundreds of thousands of hippies who travelled eastwards.

The book is structured around four key debates: were the travellers simply motivated by a search for drugs? Did they encounter love or sexual freedom on the road? Were they basically just tourists? Did they resemble pilgrims? It also considers how the travellers have been represented in films, novels and autobiographical accounts.

About the Author

Dr Sharif Gemie is a historian of modern Europe. He has mainly researched on minority peoples, including refugees, Muslims in Europe, Bretons and Galicians. 

‘The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right’
with Julia Ebner and Paul Stocker
Thursday 7th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In his book ‘English Uprising Brexit And The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right’ (Melville House, 2017), Paul Stocker examines how ideas of the far right - always a fringe movement in Britain - have become part of the cultural and political mainstream, especially via a noxious right-wing press, and how these issues are not unique to Britain. Rather, the growth of far-right populism is a Western phenomenon and one with trends which can be witnessed in several European countries, as well as the United States.

He will be in discussion with Julia Ebner, author of ‘The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism’, which explores the interaction between the "new" far right and Islamist extremists and considers the consequences for the global terror threat.

Julia argues that far right and Islamist extremist narratives – "The West is at war with Islam" and "Muslims are at war with the West" - complement each other perfectly, making the two extremes rhetorical allies and building a spiralling torrent of hatred - The Rage. By looking at extremist movements both online and offline, she shows how far right and Islamist extremists have succeeded in penetrating each other's echo chambers as a result of their mutually useful messages.

About the Authors

Julia Ebner is a terrorism and extremism researcher based in London. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and a Global Fellow at the Project for the Study of the 21st Century. She spent two years working for the world’s first counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. In her role as the coordinator of the pan-European network Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE), she carried out radicalisation prevention projects across Europe and North Africa.

Paul Stocker has a doctorate in British far-right history at Teesside University. Based in the Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, he has published research on the history of far-right and fascist movements in Britain from the 1920s until the 1960s. He lives in London and this is his first book.

‘Not here: a queer anthology of loneliness’ with Richard Dodwell, Timothy Thornton, Verity Spott and
Bertie Marshall
Wednesday 13th December, 7pm

What does it mean to be lonely? 31 contemporary artists, poets and performers including Olivia Laing, Colby Keller, Timothy Thornton, Marc Hundley, Alice Goodman, Verity Spott, Charlie Porter and David Hoyle consider the queer experience of loneliness in the debut publication from Pilot Press.

Founded in London by Richard Dodwell, Pilot Press aims to shed new light on contemporary queer lives.   

For this event at Housmans, Richard Dodwell will be joined by Timothy Thornton ('Controlled Explosions' Penguin Modern Poets, PLANES, Yard Theatre) and Verity Spott (Click Away Close Door Say, Contraband Books, TRANS* MANIFESTOS, Shit Valley) for an evening of readings, chit chat and things that are nice mulled. 


'In words and pictures, Not here is the rainbow of queer loneliness: alive, angry, despairing, enquiring, humane' - Niven Govinden, author 

About the Speakers and Contributors

Richard Dodwell is an artist, performer and the founder of Pilot Press. He is based in London, UK. 

Timothy Thornton does queer writing which is usually about ghosts, foxes, cities, and the sea. He is based in Brighton, UK. 

Verity Spott is a poet, musician and, a quick Google will tell you, attends Roedean School and achieved 9 SATS. She is based in Brighton, UK. 


‘Building Better Societies:
Promoting social justice in a world falling apart’
with Rowland Atkinson, Lisa Mckenzie and Simon Winlow
Wednesday 22nd November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

What would it take to make society better? For the majority, conditions are getting worse and this will continue unless strong action is taken. This book offers a wide range of expert contributors outlining what might help to make better societies and which mechanisms, interventions and evidence are needed when we think about a better society.

The book looks at what is needed to prevent the proliferation of harm and the gradual collapse of civil society. It argues that social scientists need to cast aside their commitment to the established order and its ideological support systems, look ahead at the likely outcomes of various interventions and move to the forefront of informed political debate.

Providing practical steps and policy programmes, this is ideal for academics and students across a wide range of social science fields and those interested in social inequality.

About the speakers

Rowland Atkinson is Chair in Inclusive Societies, in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. His research crosses urban studies, sociology, geography and criminology and looks at different forms of exclusion and inequality. Among other interests his work has focused on questions of wealth and poverty in societies and the often invisible harms generated by social inequality in urban settings. Rowland lead the first study of gated communities in the UK as well as the first key study of the rich in London and continues to work to connect the lives of the affluent to social problems, he is the author of (with Sarah Blandy) Domestic Fortress.

Dr Lisa Mckenzie is a research fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science, working as part of the Great British Class Survey Team. Her previous research focused upon the poor working class and her current research interests relate to the precarious and vulnerable nature of particular groups in our society through insecure housing, work, social benefits, health care, and education. She is author of the bestselling Getting by: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain (Policy Press, 2015).

Professor Simon Winlow is at the Centre for Realist Criminology, Teesside University. He has research expertise in both sociology and criminology and has published widely on violence, criminal markets and cultures, and social, political and economic change.

‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’
with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim

Monday 27th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

From the birth of the first Official Secrets Act in 1889 to present times, investigative journalist Ian Cobain takes a look at the history of the British Government’s clandestine bureaucracy and its political impact on the nation.

In 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed, creating offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then a culture of secrecy has flourished.

As successive governments have been selective about what they choose to share with the public, we have been left with a distorted and incomplete understanding not only of the workings of the state but of our nation's culture and its past.

In this important book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of some of the key moments in British history since the end of WWII, including: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor, GCHQ, for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 1970s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the sometimes opaque workings of the criminal justice system; the state's peacetime surveillance techniques; and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.

Drawing on previously unseen material and rigorous research, The History Thieves reveals how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing governments to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.


‘[A] terrifying account of politics and cover-ups since the 1889 Official Secrets Act. Spin? This is dizzying, disturbing stuff’- Jeanette Winterson, Best Books of 2016

‘A meticulously researched, eye-opening triumph. Essential reading in the age of Snowden and Assange’ - Charles Cumming

‘An engrossing account of how government officials burned the records of imperial rule as the British empire came to an end’ - Ian Jack

‘Cobain gives an authoritative and accessible account of the lengths the British authorities have gone to in order to keep secrets from its citizens since the nineteenth century’ - Samantha Newberry

‘Cobain's easy prose turns potentially dry subject matter into an intriguing set of stories... Cobain punches holes in the idea that Britain is an open, transparent country and he worries about the growing trend towards 'closed procedures' in the justice system. While concerned with protecting civil liberties and holding government to account, this book also questions the core of national identity. If so much of their history is concealed, the British are not who they think they are’- Hazel Healy

‘[The History Thieves] sets out the history of state secrecy and its vital importance in shaping the public image of the nation... Cobain's book demonstrates the function that secrecy played in allowing the British state to maintain a veneer of accountability and transparency. To peek behind this veneer is to see the atrocities committed during wars of decolonization, the secret deployment of British troops in various theaters of war, the colonial files hidden in secret archives, the cover-up of state-sponsored death squads in Northern Ireland, and the obstruction of justice through secret courts’ - Rosa Gilbert

About the Author

Ian Cobain was born in Liverpool in 1960. He has been a journalist since the early 1980s and is currently an investigative reporter with the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK's involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. Cobain lives in London with his wife and two children.

‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ with Chris Nineham
Wednesday 29th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The post-war consensus is breaking up. The general election result, the 2014 Scottish referendum and the Brexit vote all testify to an insurgent mood amongst swathes of the population. This book attempts to explain these dramatic developments and to show how they question received notions about politics, history and how change happens.

A highly readable, fast moving account of how the British establishment have lost the plot. Chris Nineham reveals, often using their own words, that they know they have, but they would rather you didn’t read it here... ~ Danny Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%

An important and perceptive history of post-war Britain and the effects of neoliberalism. A critique with a robust philosophical basis, it explains where the inequalities that led us to this point originated, how they are being perpetuated, and how they can be deconstructed. Essential reading for anybody wishing to understand the state we’re in. ~ Brian Eno

The sub-text of this book is 'Against Pessimism'. Chris Nineham gives us a guide to the fractures and fault-lines in the establishment, reminding us how often our rulers don't get their own way, and how the Left can make the most of these weaknesses. ~ Mike Rosen

About the Author

Chris Nineham is a vice chair of the Stop the War Coalition. He was one of the organisers of the two million February 15th, 2003 demonstration in London and central to the international co-ordination that led to the protests going global. He was also an international organiser of the Genoa G8 protests in 2001 and played a central role in the co-ordination of the European Social Forum in Florence (2002), Paris (2003) and London (2004) as well as being a co-ordinator of the WSF assembly of social movements.

‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’
M. John Harrison in conversation with Lara Pawson
Thursday 30th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Pre-book tickets here

The Locomotrix is excited to present New Wave pioneer M. John Harrison in conversation with author and journalist Lara Pawson on the publication of his first collection of short fiction in over 15 years, You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts.

Acclaimed by writers such as Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Clive Barker, William Gibson and Iain Banks (who called him ‘a Zen master of prose’), M. John Harrison is the winner of numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K Dick, and James Tiptree Junior Awards, as well as the Boardman Tasker Prize and Tahtivaeltara Award. 

Considered one of the most important stylists of modern fantasy and science fiction working today, and a pioneer of the New Wave, M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing – just as his characters occupy the no man’s land between the spatial and the spiritual.

Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world’s financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house… these are weird stories for weird times.


‘M. John Harrison moves elegantly, passionately, from genre to genre, his prose lucent and wise, his stories published as SF or as fantasy, as horror or as mainstream fiction. In each playing field, he wins awards, and makes it look so easy. His prose is deceptively simple, each word considered and placed where it can sink deepest and do the most damage.’ - Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

‘With an austere and deeply moving humanism, M. John Harrison proves what only those crippled by respectability still doubt – that science fiction can be literature, of the very greatest kind.’ - China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station

‘M. John Harrison's sentences have the power to leave the world about you unsteadied; glowing and perforated in strange ways.’ - Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks

‘Slippery, subversive, these stories mix the eerie and familiar into beguiling, alarming marvels.’  - Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City

'Harrison maps a rediscovered fictional hinterland, one tucked behind the glossier edifices of modernity and genre with views down alleyways into pubs and flats where Patrick Hamilton glares balefully at J. G. Ballard.' - Will Eaves, author of This is Paradise

About the Speakers

M. John Harrison is regarded by many as a figurehead of modern fantasy and science fiction. He is the author of eleven novels (including In Viriconium, The Course of the Heart and Light), as well as four previous short story collections, two graphic novels, and collaborations with Jane Johnson, writing as Gabriel King. He won the Boardman Tasker Award for Climbers (1989), the James Tiptree Jr Award for Light (2002) and the Arthur C Clark Award for Nova Swing (2007). He reviews fiction for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and lives in Shropshire.

Lara Pawson is a freelance writer born in London, a city she left at sixteen for a hamlet in Somerset. She is the author of This Is The Place To Be, a fragmentary memoir which was published in September 2016 with CB editions. In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (IB Tauris, 2014) was her first book. It was nominated for several awards and longlisted for The Orwell Prize 2015. Her commentary, essays and reviews have been published in many places, most recently in the Times Literary Supplement, VersoNew Humanist and Art Review.

Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen 
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Please RSVP to Owen Everett at

Anthony will read from his fifth collection of poetry, 'The Nagasaki Elder' (V.Press), which was inspired by his experiences growing up during the Cold War, and travelling to Hiroshima in 2015 to hear testimonies of atomic-bomb survivors. You can read more about Anthony, including his biography, at
The book has been described as: 
stark and vivid… the Senru poems… leave powerful and indelible images that haunt you long after the poem has been read and absorbed.’ - Hong Kong Review of Books (see  
                ‘both tender and melancholic, and his imagery of flesh transmuted is as beautiful as it is horrific.  This book sings and weeps of loss’ -  Helen Ivory (
                ‘his best yet’ - Morning Star (

There will also be: a Q&A with Anthony; a creative writing activity for all those present - facilitated by Anthony; a brief overview of the work of CND Peace Education; and mingling (with free drinks and nibbles!).
BOOK YOUR SEAT! Entrance costs £3: this is redeemable against any purchase from the shop, and there will be a nice array of free drinks and nibbles. RSVP to Owen Everett at (though you can of course try just turning up on the night). We are particularly keen to have some children/teenagers there, so please bring your children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews etc if they are keen!     


‘Tinned Goods'
with Fiona Whitelaw
Monday 6th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Sue and Rachel have not spoken since the miners walked out three months earlier. With their friendship suffering from the strain of politics, picket lines and principles, forgotten wrongs resurface and loyalties are pushed to the limit. In this tight-knit town, as the miners’ wives move from background to centre-stage, can the women find a voice in a battle to save their relationships and their way of life?

Tinned Goods features a cast of women playing multiple roles. With its historical context and pacey dialogue, it will entertain and provoke thought in equal measure.

"Whitelaw brings a new perspective that is both politicising and uplifting" - Carmel Thomason, Manchester Theatre Awards

About the Author

Spanning a variety of genres, Fiona’s driving force as a writer is to tell stories that have not been heard with the voices of those not usually listened to. Fiona has scripted devised work for a number of companies, written Theatre In Education plays, Forum Theatre for the elderly community in Care Homes and Sheltered Housing and other Site Specific projects. Her catalogue includes Tinned Goods (which played at the Arcola and toured nationally), Acceptable Damage and Chosen, to name but a few.

Left Book Club Present:

‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’
with Matt Myers
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Left Book Club launch their most recent title Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation which focuses on the 2010 student protests. Author Matt Myers will be discussing his experience as a participant and reflecting on the lessons that can be learned from the movement.

Whatever happened to the student revolt? In 2010 young people across Britain took to the streets to defy a wave of government attacks on education, increasing tuition fees, and cuts to grants for college students. Months of occupations, 'kettling' and outbreaks of violence ensued, but to what effect? Today, students face new attacks on higher education from the current Conservative government.

Student Revolt tells the story of the year that introduced a generation to the power of the mass movement, through the voices of the people involved. Activists', students', university-occupiers', young workers' and politicians' testimonies are woven together to create a narrative which starkly captures both the deep divisions as well as the intense energy that sprung from its actors. The 'Millbank Generation' has since moved on - some fell into political inactivity - but many went on to explore different forms of politics, where they continue to fight.

This book will provide poignant reminder of the revolt for today's activists, as well as an opportunity to reflect on its many lessons. With an introduction from journalist Paul Mason, Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation gathers testimonies from figures including Vince Cable, Aaron Bastani, David Willetts, Nina Power and Malia Bouattia to tell the story of the year that introduced a generation to "the power of the mass movement".


'The student revolt represented a turning point in British politics. It was the first visible sign that austerity would meet resistance and, we hope, will eventually be reversed. But less visible, until now, was what lessons the students took from those days of rage. In the words of participants, Myers' important work captures a sense of the trajectory that leads us from Millbank in 2010 to Jeremy Corbyn today' - Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North

About the Author

Matt Myers is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. A writer and contributor to several publications and journals, he was a participant in the 2010 student movement.

‘Pages of Protest: Can Books Influence Politics?’
with Sam Berkson, SJ Bradley,
Abondance Matanda and Holly Pester
Thursday 16th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Authors from recent publications by Comma Press, Dead Ink Books and Influx Press join us to read from their work and to discuss the influence of books on politics.    

About the Speakers

Sam Berkson’s new book Settled Wanderers is published by Influx Press. Sam is a poet from London. He is the author of best selling collection Life In Transit (Influx Press 2012). He runs workshops in schools and wrote words for Lorenzo Vitturi’s photobook Dalston Anatomy. Sam has been performing poetry for many years as ‘Angry Sam’. He is part of the Hammer & Tongue collective. 

SJ Bradley is a writer, organiser & award-winning editor from Leeds UK, for the Remembering Oluwale anthology (Valley Press.) Her short fiction has been published widely in the US & UK and her second novel, Guest, is out now and is published by Dead Ink Books.

Abondance Matanda is a contributor to Know Your Place published by Dead Ink books. Abondance is an arts and culture writer and poet. Her home city London informs the subversive, colloquial voice she uses to dissect themes and identities like girlhood, class, blackness and language. Other influences range from Ms Dynamite to Toni Cade Bambara to old school Congolese music videos.

Holly Pester is a poet and story writer working through archives and written histories, with gossip, radical tales and dream logic. Her book, go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip is a collection of archive fan-fiction (Book Works 2015) and her album, Common Rest (Test Centre 2016) is a collection of collaborative lullabies and sound poems. She is lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Essex.

About the Books 

Protest: Stories of Resistance is a historically accurate anthology of fiction published by Comma Press. 

In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the antiIraq War demo of 2003. 

Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses – who also contribute afterwords – these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a street level perspective on the noble art of resistance. 

Dead Ink Books placed an open call for writers to submit essays on the lived experience of being working class in the UK today. Know Your Place isthe result: a collection of essays about the working class, written by the working class, offering unique and fascinating views on working class life.

Settled Wanderers (Influx Press) is a collection of interpreted (Hassaniya to English) poems from the greatest living poets of the Western Sahara, such as Badi, Beyibouh and Al Khadra. 

The book contains a fascinating essay by American academics Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy explaining the history of the region, and a foreword from a Saharawi Senior official of the Saharawi Arab Demcoratic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and writer, Mustafa Kattab, outlining the history of Saharawi poetry. 

This is first time a collection of poetry from the Western Sahara has been translated and interpreted into English. Additionally, Settled Wanderers contains some of the original Hassaniya language poems transliterated into Arabic, creating an invaluable record of an oral culture which is undergoing ‘a slow genocide based on political identities.’ 


‘Out of his struggles - the poems of Kosuke Shirasu’
with Bruce Barnes, and reader Akiko Shindo
Friday 13th October,7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Kosuke Shirasu (1905-1943) was born in Tokyo, and worked as a journalist and pamphleteer. His involvement in the Japanese Communist Party was reflected in his work in Akita City, producing and circulating a newsletter for local workers as well as documenting the farmers’ riots against local landowners. In 1928 he joined NAPF, the All Japan Federation of Proletarian Arts, contributing to its official magazine, Battle Flag; by 1930 he had collected and published many of these contributions in his pamphlet Strike. 

Proletarian writers such as Kosuke worked under extremely adverse conditions: state censorship, the mass arrests of communists and other political activists that began in 1928, and the impact on morale of the renunciation of communism by the Party’s two most experienced activists, Manabu Sano and Sadachika Nabeyama, in 1933.

His poems are influenced by European styles of free verse and often explore multiple perspectives; however his main concern appears to be a desire to record the day to day experience of workers in struggle.   

The ‘interpretation’ process

Over a four year period, Jun Shirasu, the poet’s grandson, searched libraries and journals for Kosuke’s work and then shared his partial English translation with the co-author Bruce Barnes; a definitive interpretation was then developed through email exchange, and through Bruce Barnes background reading on the Japanese social history of the period, the development of Communism and the proletarian writers movement in Japan.       

About Ichiko Shirasu

Ichiko Shirasu, the poet’s daughter, was the inspiration for the publication: a BBC World Service journalist, translator, and a polymath who kept faith with her father’s socialist principles by demonstrating them through her kindness and generosity. Sadly, her untimely death meant that she was unable to see her idea come to fruition.

The reading is in memory of Ichiko. 

Peace News present:
‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai

Wednesday 25th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Launch of a new Peace News pamphlet written by Milan Rai, highlighting the crucial role of mass nonviolent action in the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

The Russian Revolution started in Petrograd in February 1917 with a mass nonviolent uprising of women protesting against the lack of break on International Women's Day (pictured), and continued through to the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October 1917 and the triumph of the Bolsheviks.

The role of mass nonviolent action - in the streets, in the factories, on the railways, and in the barracks - in the making of the revolution has never been properly emphasised. For example, the attempted coup by General Kornilov in August was defeated not by gunfire but by nonviolent action

The evening will include a critique of Neil Faulkner's A People's History of the Russian Revolution, paying attention to the way that Lenin and the Bolsheviks diminished and then crushed the grassroots workers' revolution of soviets and factory committees. 

About the Speaker

Milan Rai is an anarchist and radical activist, editor at Peace News, and the author of ‘Chomsky's Politics’ (Verso, 1995) and ‘War Plan Iraq’ (Verso, 2002) among other books. He is currently working on ‘The Anarchist Reader’ for Verso.

Witchy Night at Housmans
Tuesday 31st October, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

In celebration of the original proto-feminist, the Witch, we are having a special late night opening at Housmans on the 31st of October. Witchy toons, spooky special items, potions to drink and 20% discount off all purchases. More info here.

‘We're Queer And We Should Be Here: The perils and pleasures of being a gay football fan’
with Darryl Telles
Friday 6th October, 7pm
Free Entry

Darryl Telles discusses his personal experiences of homophobia and racism as a football fan, and his wider campaign work to change the culture around and within football.

Telles’s sexuality is as important to him as his lifelong passion for his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, yet like other gay football supporters, he has had to endure decades of abuse and threats from homophobic fellow fans in a sport where homosexuality is still so reviled that there is not a single ‘out’ gay player in the top four tiers of the Football League.

This is the story of his campaign against homophobia in the football world, his work with the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) and his attempts to advance the cause through media publicity and TV interviews.

“Most of the crowd are white, so you stick out because of your brown face. They're singing the sort of chants that make you feel unwelcome, and not only because of your colour - they just can't stand anyone who's a poof, an arsebandit, a queer or a raving homosexual. And that's exactly what you are…”


‘The Last London’ with Iain Sinclair

Wednesday 11th October, 7pm
**Ticketed event: entry £3, redeemable against any purchase.
Tickets here**

Housmans are proud to welcome seasoned London chronicler Iain Sinclair on the publication of his latest book The Last London, an angry, poignant and frequently hilarious elegy to a London that Sinclair feels has lost its soul.

Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?

Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique, a love letter, The Last London is a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.

**Ticketed event: entry £3, redeemable against any purchase. Tickets here**

‘The Women's Peace Crusade 1917-1918’
with Alison Ronan
Wednesday 4th October,7pm
Free Entry

To celebrate the launch of this year’s Housmans Peace Diary we welcome Dr Alison Ronan to tell the lesser-known tale of the antimilitarist, socialist and internationalist Women’s Peace Crusade, which spread like wildfire across the country during the last years of the First World War.

Her book on the subject contains new research about these spontaneous women-led demonstrations against the war. It tells of riots in Oldham, stories of local women imprisoned for handling out anti-war material, and remembers the unsung heroes made up from the ranks of weavers and spinners of Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn, Bolton,  Burnely and Nelson.

The research is the result of a co-production project between Voices of War and Peace, Manchester Metropolitan University,  Manchester Centre for Regional History, archives +, Clapham Film Unit and Peace News.

The themes of the study chime with that of the 2018 Housmans Peace Diary, which includes a special feature relating to the centenary of the end of the First World War. It looks at anti-militarist approaches to the end of a war: at new movements and alternative symbols which that period gave rise to; and to a century of building reconciliation and resistance to militarism.  This year the cover art for the diary has been drawn by celebrated artist Kate Evans, whose previous work includes the graphic novels Red Rosa and Threads, published by Verso.  


‘Tan Raptures’ with Alan Morrison and further readings from Niall McDevitt and Chris McCabe
Thursday 21st September,7pm

Taking its title from the brown envelopes that strike fear into benefit-claimants and the biblical ‘Rapture’, Alan Morrison’s eighth collection imagines these letters as passports to a twisted Tory notion of salvation through benefit sanction.

Tan Raptures is a series of verse-missives from the frontline of the war against the poor and its spirit-stripping weapons of food banks, poor doors and homeless spikes.

It’s a people’s history, from Dale Farm and the firebombing of the Freedom Bookshop to Troika-shackled Athens, featuring the Bryant & May Matchgirls, the International Brigades, the Runnymede Diggers, Los Indignados, Gerrard Winstanley, Joe Hill, Wal Hannington, Conrad Noël and Christopher Caudwell.

The title poem is a Catholic Socialist polemic in opposition to self-proclaimed ‘Roman Catholic’ Iain Duncan Smith’s despotic six year grip at the DWP.

Alan Morrison’s poetry collections include A Tapestry of Absent Sitters, Keir Hardie Street, Captive Dragons, Blaze a Vanishing and Shadows Waltz Haltingly. He edited two anti-austerity anthologies, Emergency Verse and The Robin Hood Book and is the founding editor of The Recusant and of Militant Thistles.

Alan is joined by Niall McDevitt and Chris McCabe who will be reading from their respective works.

 Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.

Chris McCabe’s collections include The Hutton Inquiry (2005), Zeppelins (2008) THE RESTRUCTURE (2012, all with Salt Publishing) and Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins, 2014). He has recorded a CD with the Poetry Archive and had work in a number of anthologies, including The Best of British Poetry 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. His plays Shad Thames, Broken Wharf and Mudflats have been performed in London and Liverpool.

‘How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power’
with Matthew Bolton
in conversation with Wail Qasim
Wednesday 27th September,7pm

It's easy to feel dispirited by the world around us. We need change but as one person alone, it can all seem far too daunting. What can one person alone achieve? Where to begin?

How to Resist reminds us that all great social change movements in history have been organised by ordinary people coming together, being brave and changing the course of history. Whoever and wherever we are, if we want to effect change, the first step is to look at ourselves. We need to think about what we care about, what motivates us and how we want to be remembered. We need to do more than react against others: we need to look forwards.

With illuminating stories and clear procedures, change seems genuinely achievable. Matthew Bolton, who created and led the successful campaign in Britain that led to millions of people in the UK being given the Living Wage, calmly and clearly shows us how together, we can effect positive change in the world around us.


“There's a huge appetite right now for radical change and How to Resist can equip a generation of politically engaged young people with the practical tools to organise and campaign” –  Paul Mason

“An amazingly inspiring book coming at just the right moment. A leading light in an invaluable organisation, Matthew Bolton really knows how to make stuff happen - and he wants you to know too. You might have heard that things don't have to be this way - here's the official guidebook to changing them” –  Marina Hyde

About the speaker

Matthew Bolton, Deputy Director of Citizens UK and Lead Organiser for London Citizens, has built a nationwide alliance of thousands of community campaigners who have driven two of the most effective, strategic and widest-reaching campaigns in the UK of the past two decades.

The Refugee Welcome and Safe Passage campaign has secured entry for over 1,100 vulnerable Syrian children, including hundreds from the 'jungle' camps of Calais.


‘A New Man: Lesbian. Protest. Mania. Trans Man.’
with Charlie Kiss
Friday 15th September,7pm

Imagine you are a proud lesbian and a feminist. You have the odd doubt about your sexuality but you understand how the male-dominated world works and are angry about it. You even go to prison to protest at the ultimate in male violence: nuclear weapons. Then one day, a shock realisation occurs that not only are you not a lesbian, but you are in fact, a man. Your world is turned upside down. This is Charlie’s story.

‘A New Man’ is a story of broken families, isolation and a total collapse of identity. It’s also inspirational: after suffering destructive episodes of mania, homelessness and loss of friends and dignity, Charlie manages to continue life without medication and get by.

Throughout all these challenges lies the conflict of self-identity within, as Charlie knows deep down that he is male. He represses this, believing that he should fight against stereotypes of what it is to be a woman. The repressed feelings keep resurfacing and Charlie finally takes steps to be a man. He becomes heterosexual and remains a feminist. Living as a man, the world treats him differently and he has to adjust quickly. Charlie, however, is now stable, far happier and feels right in his new body.

‘Shy Radicals: The Antisystemic Politics Of The Militant Introvert’
with Hamja Ahsan and Dolly Sen
Wednesday 13th September,7pm

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear” – Lao Tzu

Drawing together communiqués, covert interviews, oral and underground history of introvert struggles (Introfada), here for the first time is a detailed documentation of the political demands of shy people.

Radicalised against the imperial domination of globalised PR projectionism, extrovert poise and loudness, the Shy Radicals and their guerrilla wing the Shy Underground are a vanguard movement intent on trans-rupting consensus extrovert-supremacist politics and assertiveness culture of the twenty first century. The movement aims to establish an independent homeland – Aspergistan, a utopian state for introverted people, run according to Shyria Law and underpinned by Pan-Shyist ideology, protecting the rights of the oppressed quiet and shy people.

Shy Radicals are the Black Panther Party of the introvert class, and this anti-systemic manifesto is a quiet and thoughtful polemic, a satire that uses anti-colonial theory to build a critique of dominant culture and the rising tide of Islamophobia.

Hamja will be joined by Dolly Sen who will be exploring anti-psychiatry aspects of Shy Radicalism as well as talking about DSM 69, her parody of the Diagnostic Manual

About the speakers

Hamja Ahsan is an activist, writer, curator and artist. He is a campaigner for prisoners, human rights and civil liberties under the War on Terror, and was shortlisted for the Liberty Human Rights awards for the Free Talha Ahsan campaign. He has presented art projects at Tate Modern, Gwangju Biennale, Shaanakht festival Pakistan and Shlipa Academy, Bangladesh. He co-founded DIY Cultures Festival in 2013.

Dolly Sen is an award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker.  She has had 10 books published, been nominated twice for a Dadafest Literary Award (2006 & 2007), and won several awards for her poetry. Her subversive blogs around art, disability and humour have a huge international following.  Since 2004 she has exhibited and performed internationally. Her most recent projects have been a digitally commissioned work for Short Circuit and the Brighton Digital Festival, where she gave an ordinary website a psychotic episode and changed its programming forever, and the creation of the popular Madvent Calender for Christmas 2014.  To find out more go to


Camden Fringe Comedy Night

'If I Can't Laugh, It's Not My Revolution'
with Daphna Baram, Anna Dominey, William Stone, James Ross, Rebecca Shortall, and David Mills
Wednesday 9th August, 7pm

Daphna Baram ( * * * * * "Masterful!") hosts five further political comedians for some emergency laughs and a glass of wine in the safe haven of Housmans!

MC: Daphna Baram is an Israeli born, East London based lapsed human rights lawyer turned journalist gone comedian. Her comedy combines the personal with the political, and her style is warm and slightly outrageous. “* * * * * "masterful .... Her fantastic way with words and bone dry humour have the audience in fits of laughter... Superbly refreshing" Bunbury Magazine.

Anna Dominey as Iona Fortune.
Iona Fortune is an uncompromising CEO with a heap of business acumen (inherited wealth), and she is eager to share her wisdom and views (conservatism) through this special business seminar. Iona has been described by David Shakespeare of Honest Comedy as 'one of my favourite comedy characters', and is the creation of Anna Dominey, an aspiring stand-up and comedy writer who last year reached the semi final of the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year competition.

William Stone - William Stone is definitely gathering moss. Stuck somewhere between reality and dreams in the nineties, he navigates his way through life with one liners that highlight the absurdity of the mundane. "Astute, erudite, observational comedy" - Voice Magazine; "More dry lines than a fishing shop in the sahara" House Of Idiot; Semi-Finalist South Coast Comedian Of The Year 2017

James Ross - James Ross is founder and resident MC of Quantum Leopard Comedy - London's premiere pay-what-you-like, BYOB, anti-racist/sexist/homophobia/transphobia/chav-bashing, gender-balanced, no-picking-on-the-audience, zone 1 Saturday night comedy night.
* * * * *  One4Review, * * * * *  Daily Mirror, "[the] irresistible momentum of a drunk on an obstacle course." - The Socialist

Rebecca Shortall - Rebecca Shortall has appeared on numerous BBC Three comedy shorts and has been a finalist in the Brighton Comedy Festival Squawker Awards 2015, a regional finalist in the 2016 Funny Women Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2016 Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year awards.

David Mills - An established cabaret performer, David Mills won the New Act of the Year competition formerly run by the Hackney Empire in 2011, after turning to stand-up. “Caustic, controversial and politically incorrect… genuinely funny and thought-provoking”, THISISCABARET.COM` “His claws are as sharp as his suit”, The List., @DavidMillsDept

‘The Promised Land: Poems from Itinerant Life’
with André Naffis-Sahely's
Wednesday 16th August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

While half the world swept west,
we trickled eastward, one by one,
single-file, like fugitives. Next stop:
Abu Dhabi, where my father had a job,

and money, for the first time in years . . .

Flitting from the mud-soaked floors of Venice to the glittering, towering constructions of the Abu Dhabi of his childhood and early adulthood, from present-day London to North America, André Naffis-Sahely's bracingly plain-spoken first collection gathers portraits of promised lands and those who go in search of them: labourers, travellers, dreamers; the hopeful and the dispossessed.

'Naffis-Sahely's poems usher the reader in to a world of reversals and risk . . . His narratives hold memory to account'

About the author

André Naffis-Sahely was born in Venice in 1985 to an Iranian father and an Italian mother, but raised in Abu Dhabi. His poetry has been featured in Ambit, Areté, The Best British Poetry 2014 (Salt), New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015), PN Review and Swimmers, among others, and his nonfiction writing has appeared in such publications as the Economist, The Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman and The White Review. He has been awarded fellowships from bodies including MacDowell Colony and Dar al-Ma'mûn. He is also a literary translator from the Italian and the French; his Selected Poems of Abdellatif Laâbi, winner of a PEN Translates award, was published by Carcanet in 2016.

‘Pride – The Book’
with Lesbians & Gays Support The Miners

Wednesday 23rd August,7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Mike Jackson, Jonathan Blake and Gethin Roberts - members of the original LGSM crew - launch ‘Pride’, the book of the hit film, which tells the true story of how in 1984 a group of gay men and lesbian women came to befriend and support a very traditional mining community in the remote valleys of South Wales.

In 1984, a small group of metropolitan homosexual men and lesbian women stepped away from the vibrant culture and hedonism of London's defiant gay scene to befriend and support the beleaguered villages of a very traditional mining community in the remote valleys of South Wales.

They did so in the midst of the 1984 miners' strike - the most bitter and divisive dispute for more than half a century, and in one of the most turbulent periods in modern British history.

In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher's hardcore social and fiscal policies devastated Britain's traditional industries, and at the same time, AIDS began to claim lives across the nation. At the very height of this perfect storm, as the government and police battled 'the enemy within' in communities across the land and newspapers whipped up fear of the gay 'perverts' who were supposedly responsible for inflicting this lethal new pestilence upon the entire population, two groups who ostensibly had nothing in common - miners and homosexuals - unexpectedly made a stand together and forged a lasting friendship.

It was an alliance which helped keep an entire valley clothed and fed during the darkest months of the strike. And it led directly to a long-overdue acceptance by trades unions and the Labour Party that homosexual equality was a cause to be championed.

Pride tells the inspiring true story of how two very different communities - each struggling to overcome its own bitter internal arguments and long-established fault lines, as well as facing the power of a hostile government and press found common cause against overwhelming odds. And how this one simple but unlikely act of friendship would, in time, help change life in Britain - forever.

'Revenge of the Spoken - Gordon Lish in a Little Island Hotel’
with David Winters, David Hayden, and Will Eaves
Thursday 24th August,7pm
Ticketed event - Entry £3/£5

To celebrate the publication of Gordon Lish's new fiction White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings (Little Island Press, 2017), Little Island Press and Hotel co-host an evening of readings on and around the works of Gordon Lish, with writers reading from their own works and from this new collection.
Please book tickets in advance from


To celebrate the publication of Gordon Lish's new fiction White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings (Little Island Press, 2017), Little Island Press and Hotel co-host an evening of readings on and around the works of Gordon Lish, with writers reading from their own works and from this new collection. Chaired by David Winters, the program will include readings from David Hayden and Will Eaves and will conclude with a pre-recorded reading from Lish himself, broadcast exclusively on this occasion.

As fiction editor of Esquire from 1969 to 1977, then as an editor at Knopf and of The Quarterly until 1995, Gordon Lish has worked closely with many of the most daring writers of the past fifty years, including Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Harold Brodkey, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, Anne Carson, Amy Hempel, Jack Gilbert and Ben Marcus. More than a dozen books have appeared under Lish's own name – including the novels Dear Mr. Capote (1983), Peru (1986), and Zimzum (1993). These have won Lish a passionate cult following as a writer of recursive and often very funny prose.

Lish's latest work of exquisitely crafted fiction, White Plains sees a narrator – variously 'Gordon!', 'I', 'He' – approaching the precipice of old age. Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and consistently hilarious narratives. White Plains is Lish at his sharpest, tackling his perennial subject – the memory of memory itself – with spellbinding mastery.

In addition to a celebration of the UK publication of Gordon Lish's work through the years, this evening will also see in the publication of Hotel's third issue; a collation of writings, conversations, and artworks pertaining to a varied cast of characters including Lish, Nick Cave, Mark Kozelek, Jason Shulman, Frederic Tuten, Jack Robinson, Hanya Yanagihara, Jasmine Parker, Rowan Evans and Owen Booth, amongst others.

Copies of White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings will be available on the night and copies of Hotel #2 & #3 will also be for sale. Hotel #3 includes a sequence of works from White Plains and a hitherto unreleased story, 'Bamford or Bust!,' that appears exclusively in Hotel for the first time.

*May-Lan Tan will be unable to attend, contrary to earlier advertising.

‘Is Monogamy Dead?’
with Rosie Wilby
Wednesday 30th August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby presents her hilarious and thought-provoking mix of memoir, heartache and science that puts 21st century relationships under the microscope.

Comedian Rosie Wilby found herself in a quandary - when people asked, 'who's the love of your life?' there was no simple answer. Is Monogamy Dead? details her very personal quest to find out why Western society is clinging to a concept that is not only laden with assumptions but isn’t always fit for purpose in the 21st century.  

Part memoir, part sociological study, the book was inspired by a trilogy of solo comedy shows investigating love and relationships written and toured by Rosie over a seven-year period.

Highlighting the huge disparities in people’s definition of what a ‘relationship’ is, Rosie also draws on her own experience and interviews with dozens of people, gay and straight, male and female, to discover that, even if we think of ourselves as 'monogamous', that word can mean a myriad of different things. 

Some of the burning questions Rosie’s book poses include –
• Can one person ever meet all your relationships needs or is monogamy a damaging myth?
• What really counts as “cheating” on a partner?  With nearly 50% of people in a monogamous partnership admitting to having affairs, have we been wrong all along about infidelity? 
• How have break-ups changed in the 21st century, and is a relationship “gap year” ever ok?
• What actually constitutes sex? Is it really what we think is it? 

About the Author

Rosie Wilby is an award-winning comedian who has appeared on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Loose Ends. A Funny Women finalist in 2006, Rosie has performed at Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, Secret Garden Party and Latitude, as well as being published in The Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent and more. She's currently the cohost of Radio Diva. Is Monogamy Dead? is her first book and follows Rosie’s TEDx talk and comedy show of the same name, and her solo shows The Science of Sex and The Conscious Uncoupling.    . 

Praise for the author

 ‘My favourite way to learn is when a funny, clever, honest person is teaching me – that's why I love Rosie Wilby!’ Sara Pascoe ‘One of London's doyennes of thoughtful, intimate, and warmly entertaining comedy.’ Metro  ‘A winning self-deprecating personality.’ Evening Standard ‘Hilarious… Jo Brand-meets-Eddie Izzard.’ DIVA magazine Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard About the Book: Prepare to enter a world of metamours, platonic partners, cuddle-buddies and more… 


JULY 2017

‘I Don’t See Race’ with Vera Chok
Wednesday 5th July, 7pm

An informal discussion around skin colour politics, (in)visibility and the intersection between race and gender, with a reading from ‘The Good Immigrant’, curated by Vera Chok,  co-author of the book.


"The Good Immigrant is a lively and vital intervention into the British cultural conversation around race. Instead of statistics and dogma we find real human experience and impassioned argument – and it's funny and moving, too. A must read!" (Zadie Smith)

"The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes brutal, always honest … if I could, I’d push a copy of this through the letter box of every front door in Britain." (Independent)

About the author

Vera grew up in Malaysia and is of Chinese descent.  Vera contributed a chapter to The Good Immigrant (Book of the Year 2016, BBC Book of the Week, #1 on Guardian Books and Amazon bestseller) and is also published by the Guardian, Rising, Yauatcha Life, and The Brautigan Free Press.

In 2015, Vera was listed as one of the UK's 15 Theatre Faces to Watch (What' s On Stage) and was nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award (Best Debut Performance).  As a maker, Vera writes and produces mischievous and subversive pieces that investigate the construction of meaning, connection, and performativity. Vera is particularly interested in race, sex and gender and uses comedy as a weapon. 

'Extravagant Stranger: A Memoir'
with Daniel Roy Connelly and special guest Luke Kennard

Thursday 13 July, 7pm
Tickets here, £3 redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are proud to present a special Locomotrix evening for the launch of Daniel Roy Connelly's Extravagant Stranger: A Memoir, with special guest Luke Kennard.

Ian Fleming’s Bond meets the lyricism of Rimbaud in this fast-paced, genre-defying debut, encompassing six decades and three continents of absurd and often life-threatening experience.

At once personal and hauntingly universal, Extravagant Stranger is the compelling memoir of self-professed ‘global scalliwag’ Daniel Roy Connelly – former diplomat, theatre director, Shakespeare scholar and conscience-stricken father.

Laced with international intrigue and hilarious moments of well-aimed self-scrutiny, here is a book – like the life it relates – truly without comparison.

Published by Little Island Press.

About the Poets

A former British diplomat, Daniel Roy Connelly is a theatre director, actor and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and the American University of Rome. He has acted in and directed theatre in America, the UK, Italy and China, where his 2009 production of David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly was forced to close by the Chinese secret police.

He was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. Recent work has appeared in The North, The Transnational (in German), Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Moth, Acumen and Critical Survey and he has a forthcoming pamphlet from Eyewear Publishing as part of their Aviator Series.

Watch Daniel perform 'Black Dog', a poem for his son, here.

Luke Kennard is the author of five collections of poetry. His latest, Cain (Penned in the Margins, 2016) was shortlisted for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize and his first novelThe Transition (4th Estate, 2017) was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Debut Fiction Award. He teaches at the University of Birmingham.

‘Big Capital: Who Is London For?’
by Anna Minton
Tuesday 18th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Anna Minton discusses the politics and complexities of the ongoing housing crisis, which is felt particularly sharply here in London, and which has been brought into even sharper relief by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

London is facing the worst housing crisis in modern times, with knock-on effects for the rest of the UK. Despite the desperate shortage of housing, tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of affordable homes are being pulled down, replaced by luxury apartments aimed at foreign investors. In this ideological war, housing is no longer considered a public good.

Instead, only market solutions are considered - and these respond to the needs of global capital, rather than the needs of ordinary people. In politically uncertain times, the housing crisis has become a key driver creating and fuelling the inequalities of a divided nation.  

Anna Minton, author of the influential book on the privatisation of public space  ‘Ground Control’ (2012, Penguin),  cuts through the complexities, jargon and spin to give a clear-sighted account of how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it.


‘Diligent and determined ... Eye-opening ... Minton builds a powerful case ... A call to imagine what is politically possible’ (Richard Godwin Evening Standard)

‘Fierce, incisive, important.  Anyone who lives or works in a building should read this book’ (Will Self)

‘A studied, sustained attack on a market that has been mishandled by successive governments for 40 years, not because politicians have been unable to remedy it but because it has been expedient not to. It makes for painful - yet compelling – reading’ (Nathan Brooker Financial Times)

‘Cutting through the jargon and spin [Minton] argues that housing is a human right, not purely a financial asset, and offers clear-sighted solutions’ (Antonia Charlesworth Big Issue)

Freedom Press present:
‘Kropotkin,  Anarchist Geographer – his continued relevance’
with Brian Morris
Wednesday 19th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

To celebrate the publication of a new Freedom Press essay collection of key anarchist theorist Pyotr Kropotkin, Brian Morris discuses Kropotkin’s influence on geography, and geography’s influence on him.


Prince Peter (Pyotr Alexeivich) Kropotkin was born into the wealthy Russian aristocracy in 1842, but chose to identify himself with the suffering of the workers and peasants. He became a convinced anarchist, opposed to the power of the state, after witnessing the brutality of the Tsarist regime.

Imprisoned twice, he spent most of his life in exile. In his writings and speeches, he strove to bring about revolution by the Russian people themselves, hoping that local peasant communes would govern themselves in Russia.  The arrival of Bolshevism dashed these hopes, but Kropotkin’s ideas were influential, inside and outside Russia.

A geographer by profession, Kropotkin was also a forerunner of today’s ecologists with his love and understanding of nature. He was one of the first to challenge Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest in evolution, suggesting instead in his influential Mutual Aid (London, 1902) that human beings and other creatures also co-operate to survive.

To celebrate the publication of a new Freedom Press essay collection ‘Kropotkin: Anarchism & The State’, Brian Morris will be discusing Kropotkin’s influence on geography, and geography’s influence on him.

About the speaker

Brian Morris, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College,  London, has written books and articles on a wide range of issues and topics in the fields of ecology,  botany, philosophy, history, religion and anthropology. His titles include Western Conceptions of the Individual (Berg, 1991), The Anthropology of the Self (Pluto Press, 1994), Religion and Anthropology (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and a full-length book about Peter Kropotkin: Kropotkin – the Politics of Community (Humanity Press, 2004).

JUNE 2017

‘Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter; a political biography’
with Gregor Gall
Wednesday 28th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes Gregor Gall to the shop to introduce his new book on Bob Crow. Bob Crow was likely the most high-profile and militant union leader of his generation. This biography focuses on his leadership of the RMT union, examining and exposing a number of popular myths created about him by political opponents.

Using the schema of his personal characteristics (including his public persona), his politics and the power of his members, it explains how and why he was able to punch above his weight in industrial relations and on the political stage, helping the small RMT union become as influential as many of its much larger counterparts. 

As RMT leader, Crow oversaw a rise in membership and promoted a more assertive and successful bargaining approach. While he failed to unite all socialists into one new party, he established himself as the leading popular critic of neo-liberalism, “New” Labour and the age of austerity.


“In this well -written new biography Gregor Gall explains how and why Bob Crow achieved this fame. Central to Bob’s rise to power was the position of the RMT workers on the London Underground.” Bernadette Hyland, Lipstick socialist

“Gregor Gall’s biography does justice to Crow - the socialist, leader and fighter. He was a complicated figure and some of that complexity comes over in the book.”
Paul Salveson, Tribune - April 2107

“There’s a great exploration of the structures that Crow inherited, the limitations they placed on him and what he did to change the situation, thereby encouraging the development of the RMT on the trajectory that it became renowned for.”
Alan Crowe, Socialist Review May 2017

“The late leader of the small but politically important RMT union - a ‘Marxist Millwall supporter’, as the papers had it, and he was both; ‘the most hated man in Britain’, as some papers tried on, and he wasn’t - is well served by an account of his career set against informed analysis of 21st-century UK trade unions’ far-from-dinosaurish determination to grapple with changing workplaces, state rollback, electoral politics after Labour’s Blairite takeover, gender equity and globalisation. Gall is wary of the ‘great man’ approach, but wherever Crow’s own words appear, the tale shifts from scholarly grey to vivid, quotable, charismatic and quip-filled Red Flag red - and the words ‘great man’ look pretty spot on.” 

“As the first book about Bob Crow published since his untimely death three years ago, Gregor Gall’s political biography of Crow provides us with an opportunity to review his life and his time in the rail workers’ union NUR and its successor RMT, to highlight the key reasons for his effectiveness and impact, and to examine the limits of those.” Janine Booth, Solidarity Newspaper  

About the Author

Gregor Gall is Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Bradford.

live performance by A. A. Walker
& music by Ozlem Simsek, with special guest Susana Medina
Thursday 29th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A. A. Walker gives a live performance of ‘Licentia’ with theremin and harp loops played by multi-instrumentalist, Ozlem Simsek. They are joined by guest, Susana Medina, author of ‘Philosophical Toys’, published by Dalkey Archive Press.

‘Licentia’ is a beguiling, haunting, erotic prose-poem, an ‘artefact of desire’ published by Thin Man Press. The theatrical and musical live performance gives the audience the poetic licence to take a psychedelic frolic through altered states and parallel realities, and immerse themselves in the wayward dreams and desires of characters and scenes from the fragmented narrative of ‘Licentia’.


Licentia – A. A. Walker

‘Imagination unbound, Licentia is the enemy of conformity. Read and be free. As intoxicating as a thousand years of incense and poppies; A. A. Walker has fulfilled the poet’s eternal calling.’ — Nina Antonia, music writer, author, ‘The New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon’

‘I read Licentia as a poetic novel — A literary experiment in time and story. A. A. Walker has dexterously met the exciting challenge of expressing the inexpressible.’ — Thachom Poyil Rajeevan, poet, novelist, literary reviewer for ‘The Hindu’

Philosophical Toys – Susana Medina

‘A prose both spare and lush, a commendable tension about the enterprise.’ – Will Self

‘A shockingly beautiful innovative voice in which the sublime and laughter are perfectly matched.’ – Andrew Gallix

About the Performers

Written works by A. A. Walker have appeared in literary magazines and websites such as Great Works, Cauldron and Net, Muse Apprentice Guild, Prakalpana Literature, Carnivorous Arpeggio, Sidereality, and Plinth. He has produced literary and theatrical events and radio plays, and performed in independent films, TV shows, commercials and touring theatre productions.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer, Ozlem Simsek, performed in opera and musicals from age 11. She studied harp at Istanbul University State Conservatory, sang in successful Turkish band, Tamburada, and worked as voiceover artist for TV and radio. Ozlem creates music for short film and animation and has collaborated with numerous artists, dancers and performance artists, including Fiona Banner and Viv Albertine.

Susana Medina is the author of Philosophical Toys, offspring of which are the short films Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys and Leather-bound Stories. Other books include Red Tales Cuentos Rojos (bilingual ed.)and Souvenirs del Accidente. She has been awarded the Max Aub Short Story International Prize, a Writing Grant from the Arts Council of England and ‘Poem 66,’ translated by R. Marteau, was the runner-up in Good Morning Menagerie Translation Contest and will be published in a bilingual ed. by the USA press in 2017.

'Threads: From the Refugee Crisis’ with Kate Evans
Wednesday 7th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Kate Evans, creator of the smash-hit Red Rosa, presents Threads: From the Refugee Crisis, a heartbreaking, full-colour graphic novel of the refugee.

In the French port town of Calais, the historic home of the lace industry, a city within a city has arisen. This new town, known as the Jungle, is the home of thousands of refugees, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, all hoping, somehow, to get to the UK.

Into this squalid shantytown of shipping containers and tents, full of rats and trash and devoid of toilets and safety, the artist Kate Evans brought a sketchbook and an open mind. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans has produced this unforgettable book, filled with poignant images—by turns shocking, angering, wry, and heartbreaking.

Weaving into the story hostile comments about the migrants from nativist politicians and Internet trolls, Threads addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times—making a compelling case, through intimate evidence, for compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of peoples. Evans’s creativity and passion as an artist, activist, and mother shine through.


“Kate Evans is one of the most original talents in comics I’ve seen in a long time.” Steve Bell - The Guardian.

About the Author

Kate Evans is a cartoonist, artist, and activist. She is the author of numerous books and zines including Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth a Baby and Funny Weather: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know about Climate Change but Probably Should Find Out.

‘Engagement, Disengagement and Resistance in WW1’
with Julian 'Guff' Putkowski
Monday 12th June, 7pm
Free Entry

Julian 'Guff' Putkowski tells the too often untold stories of WW1 soldiers collectivising and resisting the British warfare state...

Military historians have oversold working class enthusiasm for war. Seduced neither by recruitment propaganda and patriotic flummery, before the introduction of conscription economic imperatives prompted the rush to the colours. However, wartime engagement and volunteers’ deference to military authority was always qualified, and the Army employed coercion, bribery and censorship to quell dissent.

Nevertheless, soldiers sporadically engaged in collective bargaining throughout the war and the hundreds of thousands took part in post-war mutinies about tardy demobilization effectively challenged the warfare state.

The military authorities frequently gave way and in 1919 government capitulated but the latter simultaneously subverted development of political solidarity between soldiers, sailors, airmen and militant industrial workers.

Whilst mass disengagement was also influenced by a combination of anti-militarism and economic imperatives, recent debate also seeks to embrace individual acts of refusal akin to the behaviour of the anti-heroic and thoroughly bad soldier, Josef Schweik.

Great War 100th anniversarianism neglects rank and file resistance to authority but when resurrecting and parading the ghostly rebels and rascals, exactly who and what is to be celebrated?

About the speaker

Julian 'Guff' Putkowski has been a manual labourer, shop steward, community worker, adult education tutor, freelance journalist and university lecturer. Though biodegrading and more or less retired nowadays, it was as an active libertarian socialist fifty years ago that he began researching about discipline and dissent in the British Army during the First World War.

The latter interest animated but failed to sustain postgraduate studies but continued to be articulated in active support for the successful ‘Shot at Dawn’ pardons campaign and publications, including: (with Julian Sykes) Shot at Dawn (1989); The Kinmel Park Camp Riots, 1919 (1989); British Army Mutineers 1914-1919 (1998); Murderous Tommies (2012), co-authored with Mark Dunning, and contributions to Mutiny (Revolutionary History, vol. 8, No.2, 2002). He acted as consultant for the Monocled Mutineer TV series and a succession of other film and radio productions about military dissent.

Left Unity Present:
‘After the Election – What now?’
a participatory discussion with Duncan Thomas of RS21,
Kate Hudson of Left Unity and guest from Alliance for Green Socialism
Wednesday 14th June, 7pm
Free Entry

Left Unity invite you to join in the discussion of how best to respond to the election result.  Whatever the result there will be work to be done!

Left Unity is a political party formed in 2013 which stands for equality and justice and is socialist, feminist, environmentalist, anti-racist and against all forms of discrimination. It is affiliated with the Party of the European Left.

MAY 2017

‘One Year Anniversary of Elephant’
with Siana Bangura and Special Guests
Thursday 18th May, 7pm
Special ticketed event: tickets available here

Poet in Residence Siana Bangura returns to Housmans to celebrate the one year anniversary of the publication of her award winning debut collection of poetry, Elephant. Special guests to be announced.

Earlier this year, Housmans was proud to announce our very first Poet in Residence as Siana Bangura.

Siana is a poet and founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. As Housmans’ Poet in Residence, Siana celebrated the launch by reading from Elephant and outlining her plans for the residency. Her special guests included poet Aliyah Hasinah and signer songwriter Asabi Hawah. Aliyah performed her own poetry and Asabi provided an acoustic set for the evening.

Elephant tackles issues such as black womanhood, gender and racial politics, as well as family, fatherlessness, identity, Black British girlhood, unemployment, gentrification, disenfranchisement, love and loss.

As Poet in Residence, Siana will also curate three poetry workshops over an 8 month period, finalising in a closing event in October 2017 in which she will announce the next Housmans’ Poet in Residence. Further details can be found here.

We are delighted to welcome such a talented poet and committed activist and look forward to her events and workshops. Please follow Housmans and Siana on social media to keep updated with regards to the Poet in Residence events.


“[She] is one seriously amazing force to reckon with. This prolific blogger, spoken word artist, poet, writer and women’s right activist is more than just a cute face and fashionista – her lyrics run deep with meaning and touch a raw nerve that allows us all to connect with each other on the most simple, yet intricate level – as human beings. And then there’s her sweet and demure performance style that is captivating, simply allowing her words and unique flow to seep into her soul one minute and the next sweep you into into a hurricane of letters!” – Emma Ako, Carpe Diem Nights, September 2015

About the Poet

Siana Bangura is a writer, blogger, poet and freelance journalist from London. She is the founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. She is the author of Elephant, a candid collection of poetry on black womanhood, black British identity, migration, love and loss; and she is the producer of 1,500 And Counting ( You can follow her on Twitter (@Sianaarrgh) and find out more about the project at

‘From Inside’
with Anthony Howell
Wednesday 31st May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

“In a sluggish society, as actual societies are, tradition is ever lapsing into superstition, and the violent stimulus of novelty is required.” - T.S Eliot

Housmans is very pleased to welcome poet Anthony Howell on the launch of his new collection of poetry, From Inside.

Howell makes no bones about aiming to jolt the listener with this violent stimulus
- his new collection of often uncomfortable poems. Chilcot, Arkan, Dick Cheney, the Middle East all find expression in these poems which take us beneath the external face of society. 

Howell taught in prisons until he was taken off the books for helping inmates write material the authorities deemed inappropriate. This experience informs the poems of From Inside. An incarcerated view and a criminal underworld get contrasted with an “overworld” of privilege and conspiracy. From Inside takes us beyond the pale of convenient mores, to lines which may have lost touch with decency.   


‘Howell has style to spare and is happily unclassifiable.’  - Peter Porter,  The Observer

‘So much good poetry that one is astonished that Howell’s name is not better known.’   John Greening, The Poetry Review

‘Curiously strong.’ - John Ashbery, The PN Review

‘It is possible to overstress the similarities between one writer and another.  Howell, however, courts such an approach - not because he is an emulator, rather that he is an eclectic original’ – Peter Reading, The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Anthony Howell’s
first collection, Inside the Castle, came out in 1969.  In 1973 he was invited to participate in the Iowa International Writers Program.  In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. His versions of the poems of Statius were well received and those of Fawzi Karim were a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for 2011.  He was the founder of The Theatre of Mistakes and editor of Grey Suit: Video for Art and Literature.  His most recent book of poems is Silent Highway, Anvil 2014.


‘Surviving The Future:
culture, carnival, and capital in the aftermath of the market economy’
with Shaun Chamberlin
Wednesday 10th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Shaun Chamberlin introduces the posthumous work of David Fleming, who explored practical ways of repairing and replacing the atrophied social structures on which most human cultures are built, so as to form the basis of a cohesive society that might survive the turbulent times to come.

Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision.

Recognising that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyable writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format.

The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”

Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world.  One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.”

This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humour, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.

“I would unreservedly go so far as to say that David Fleming was one of the most original, brilliant, urgently-needed, underrated, and ahead-of-his-time thinkers of the last 50 years. History will come to place him alongside Schumacher, Berry, Seymour, Cobbett, and those other brilliant souls who could not just imagine a more resilient world but who could paint a picture of it in such vivid colours. Step into the world of David Fleming; you'll be so glad you did.”--Rob Hopkins, cofounder of the Transition Network

About the author

Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, cofounding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He is managing director of the Fleming Policy Centre and former chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues ranging from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course he has written for or edited a diverse range of books, magazines, academic journals, and other publications, including co-authoring a significant UK All Party Parliamentary report with his close friend and regular collaborator David Fleming. His website is


'Crises in Paris: Racism, fascism, police brutality & terrorism'
with Dr Moustafa Traore

Sat 13th May, 6.30pm
£5 suggested entry

France is going through an intense combination of terrorist attacks, police brutality, the rise of fascism, a state of emergency and a general rise and intensification of racism for African, Arab, Asian and migrant communities. This event seeks to explore these issues just after the French national elections.

*Dr Moustafa Traore is of Malian heritage who grew up in Paris in the 'banlieue' and is an academic and runs the website . His area of research and advocacy is in the processes of integration and assimilation inherited from colonialism that shape the social cohesion and multiculturalism we experience today France and in Britain. Troare is also a co-ordinator at the Malcolm X Movement.

‘Chelsea Manning's Freedom Celebration’
Wednesday 17th May, 7pm
Free entry

Join us to mark the day the U.S. whistleblower Chelsea Manning walks free from military prison. Speakers from Veterans for Peace to be confirmed. Wine, soft drinks and snacks provided.

Chelsea Manning is a whistleblower who was working for the US military as a data analyst during the US-led coalition war in Afghanistan. She is currently serving a 35-year sentence in military prison for leaking classified US government documents to the Wikileaks website, and revealing to the public that the US army, the CIA and Iraqi and Afghan forces committed human rights violations.
Chelsea has always claimed that she released information in the public interest. The crimes she exposed have never been investigated.

In one of his final acts before leaving office, US President Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence; the 29-year-old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning, will be freed on 17th May, instead of her scheduled 2045 release.



‘Hook Magazine Issue 2 Launch’ with Esme Rose
Friday 5th May, 7pm till 9pm
Free entry

Housmans celebrates the end of #IndieMagWeek with the launch of the second issue of independent feminist magazine Hook and a special late night opening.

From 7pm onwards, there'll be 20% off ALL STOCK (books, mags, t-shirts etc.), plus a free beer and tote bag (till stock lasts) with every purchase. Esme Rose, Hook's editor, will be on hand to introduce the magazine and there will be a special performance by writer, artist, banshee and prose performer Nicoletta Wylde.


About the Editor

Esme Rose lives the five year old’s dream of cut and stick. Through her favourite medium of collage and a distaste for the hierarchies of glossy magazines - she created Hook. She found that her dichotomy of interests in indie publishing and spirit/the occult provided scope to create a zine that opens these subjects up to a larger audience. Hook Magazine was a blog for four years before she was able to take the leap to print - an inevitable step for someone that’s been creating zines about polar bears since she was 8.

‘Signal Failure: London to Birmingham, HS2 on foot’
with Tom Jeffreys
Thursday 4th May 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A pyschogeographic tale of the failures of capitalism, of community, of the city and the suburbs, of architecture and agriculture, and, in the end, of our age-old failure to find our place in the world we live in...

One November morning, Tom Jeffreys set off from Euston Station with a gnarled old walking stick in his hand and an overloaded rucksack. His aim was to walk the 119 miles from London to Birmingham along the proposed route of HS2. Needless to say, he failed.

Over the course of ten days of walking, Jeffreys meets conservationists and museum directors, fiery farmers and suicidal retirees. From a rapidly changing London, through interminable suburbia, and out into the English countryside, Jeffreys goes wild camping in Perivale, flees murderous horses in Oxfordshire, and gets lost in a landfill site in Buckinghamshire.

Signal Failure weaves together poetry and politics, history, philosophy and personal observation to form an extended exploration of people and place, nature, society, and the future.

In part, Signal Failure is the story of the author’s multiple shortcomings – his inability to understand the city he lives in, to forge a meaningful relationship with his home-county hometown, to emulate those great nature writers he admires so much, to put up a tent or read a map.

About the author

Tom Jeffreys is a writer, editor and occasional curator with a particular interest in contemporary art that crosses over into the sciences or explores our relationship with the environment. His work has been published in, among others, Monocle, Apollo, Vice, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, Cricinfo, and World of Interiors. He is also online editor for the Institute of Art and Ideas and editor of The Learned Pig, an online magazine with four areas of interest: art, thinking, nature, writing.

APRIL 2017

‘Voices from the “Jungle” -
Stories From The Calais Refugee Camp’
Wednesday 26th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Often called the Calais Jungle, the refugee camp in Northern France epitomises for many the suffering, uncertainty, and violence that characterizes the lives of many refugees in Europe today. Migrants from ravaged countries, such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, arrive by the hundreds every day hoping for sanctuary from their war-torn homelands and a chance to settle in Europe. Going beyond superficial media reports, Voices from the “Jungle” gives voice to the unique individuals living in the camp—people who have made the difficult journey from devastated countries simply looking for peace.

In this moving collection of individual testimonies, Calais refugees speak directly in powerful and vivid stories, offering their memories up with stunning honesty. They tell of their childhood dreams and struggles for education; the genocides, wars, and persecution that drove them from home; the simultaneous terror and strength that filled their extraordinary journeys; the realities of living in the Calais refugee camp; and their deepest hopes for the future.

Through their stories, these refugees paint a picture of a different kind of Jungle—a powerful sense of community that has grown despite evictions and attacks and a solidarity that crosses national and religious boundaries. Interspersed with photos taken by the camp's inhabitants, taught by award-winning photographers Gideon Mendel and Crispin Hughes, original artwork by inhabitants, and powerful poems, Voices from the “Jungle” must be read by anyone seeking to understand the human consequences of our current world crisis.


Julie Christie
"These first-hand accounts of the suffering endured by refugees fleeing unmitigated horror in their homelands paints a far more vivid picture than anything we read in the press or see on television. If you want to understand fully the extent of what refugees are being forced to endure under our very noses, please read this book."

JJ Bola
"Home is the first thing we experience as human beings in this world; somewhere we know, safe and warm, somewhere that keeps us. When we are forced out, we lose a little bit of ourselves; leaving us less whole. However, through these poems, these stories, we reclaim that home and the humanity that is lost with what comes with being labelled a refugee. Writing this is not only a way for the world to know us, but a way that we may know ourselves, once again."


‘Sound System: The Political Power of Music’
with Dave Randall
Wednesday 5th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.
Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what exactly makes music so powerful. Years of touring, protesting, and performing have given Dave Randall an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the most tightly held secrets of celebrity, commodification, and culture.

He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum.
A blistering, intelligent polemic about the political power of music, Sound System investigates the raves, riots, and revolution of contemporary culture to answer the question—how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?

Published in the Left Book Club Series


"This engaging, hugely readable book…should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the state of the world—and in the essential, life-affirming role music can play in changing it for the better." - Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

 "A thrilling trip through the dark corners and secret gardens of the music world! Randall leaves no stone unturned and has produced a work of rare insight." - Maxi Jazz, lead vocalist for Faithless

"Fascinating… A deeply intelligent look at music and society and in particular pop’s tempestuous relationship with commerce. Thought provoking, readable and clever stuff." – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music

"What an imaginative idea, what a terrific, exciting book, weaving together the strands of music, politics and worldwide struggles." – Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

About the Author

Dave Randall is a musician and activist. He was the former guitarist in Faithless and has toured the world playing guitar with Dido, Sinead O’Connor and many others.

‘Free Movement and Beyond: Agenda Setting for Brexit Britain’
with Kate Hudson

Wednesday 12th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Free Movement and Beyond is an edited collection that draws together the current thinking of many of Britain’s most prominent ‘critical Remainers’ – those who argued to remain within the European Union while seeking its democratic and progressive transformation.

Seeking to contribute to the policy agenda for the Brexit process, the contributors centrally address the controversial issue of free movement of people, defending it as central to Britain’s economic success and as an advance for the working class across Europe; myths that blame migration for economic woes are debunked and the racism that such myths give rise to is condemned.

Contributors also outline policy proposals and principles in the areas of democracy, economics, trade policy, security policy, environmental legislation and workers’ rights.

Editor: Kate Hudson is a political activist, peace campaigner and academic, author of CND – Now More Than Ever: The Story of a Peace Movement; Breaking the South Slav Dream: The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia; European Communism Since 1989; and The New European Left: a socialism for the twenty-first century?

Book contributors: Diane Abbott MP, Yanis Varoufakis / Caroline Lucas MP / Mary Kaldor / Marina Prentoulis / Andrew Burgin / Luke Cooper / Zoe Gardner / Laleh Khalili / Nick Dearden / Tom O’Leary / Neil Faulkner

‘The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan -
Kurdistan, Women's Revolution And Democratic Confederalism’
with Dr Kamran Matin, Dilar Dirik, and Reimer Heider
Wednesday 19th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Abdullah Öcalan actively led the Kurdish liberation struggle as the head of the PKK from its foundation in 1978 until his abduction on February 15, 1999. Now, writing from isolation in Turkey’s Imrali Island Prison, he has shaped a new political movement in the Middle East called Democratic Confederalism, which is rapidly developing and spreading across the Middle East because it combats powerful religious sectarianism while also providing the blueprints for a burgeoning democratic society.

Bringing together Öcalan’s ideas in one slim volume for the first time, The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan contains a selection of his most influential writings over his lifetime. These ideas can be read in light of Öcalan’s continuing legacy during the ongoing revolution and the battle against conservatism and religious extremism. As the political situation in Syria intensifies, this book offers a timely and essential introduction for anyone wanting to come to grips with his political ideas on the Kurdish question, gender, Democratic Confederalism, and nationalism.


Dr Kamran Matin is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex

Dilar Dirik is part of the Kurdish women's movement, a writer, and PhD student at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

The event will be chaired by Reimer Heider from the Network for an Alternative Quest.


MARCH 2017

‘The End of Politicians’
with Brett Hennig
Wednesday 15th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The truth is out: we don’t need politicians to govern us any more. We can fix our broken politics and create a democracy fit for the twenty-first century without them.

The information revolution is disrupting every aspect of society. Newspaper sales plummet. Television watching declines. Book publishing is being transformed. Networks expand and proliferate throughout our workplaces and our everyday lives.

Politics is also in line for a major disruption. The new norms of participation, inclusiveness and open communication are infiltrating democracy and the era of politicians is coming to an end. The time is ripe to remake democracy for the twenty-first century.

Brett’s The End of Politicians is a succinct, inspiring, and carefully researched book, which outlines how to fix our broken politics. Combining jaw-dropping insights from the history of democracy with a critical understanding of the current information revolution, it explains how a real democracy would eliminate politicians and replace them with a representative network of randomly selected, ordinary citizens. The surprising evidence from the many recent citizens’ assemblies is that they work: ordinary people can and do make good, informed, and balanced decisions. The tantalising possibility that we can govern ourselves has presented itself – it’s time for the end of politicians.

Come and hear about an alternative to our tired electoral democracy, about the groups experimenting with new ways of doing democracy (in particular the UK's first G1000) and the campaign to institute this democratic alternative by putting deliberating, informed, ordinary citizens back into politics.


"Darn! This is the book I wish I had written. Compelling, inspiring, evidence-based. Hennig explains how democracy got us into this mess, and how we can fix it." – Professor Lyn Carson, The University of Sydney, Director of the newDemocracy Foundation

"Do you believe holding elections every couple of years means you live in a democracy? Short, powerfully argued and carefully researched, Hennig shows how elections have for a long time been known to serve the interests of the powerful – and how ordinary citizens can regain control of their government." – Professor Manuel Arriaga, New York University, author of Rebooting Democracy: A Citizen's Guide to Reinventing Politics

"Hennig takes stock of democracy in the past and present. His bold assessment will enable us to step out of the shadows of the political elite. Hennig does not stop there, however. In a fast-forward to the future, he outlines ways and systems that will make the dream of democracy come true. This book is an energy drink for social action." – Dr Bettina Wittneben, Research Associate, University of Oxford

"The End of Politicians provides a powerful critique of the democratic deficits inherent in all forms of electoral democracy. But it does much more than explore the undemocratic qualities of electoral democracy; it proposes a compelling and provocative alternative – the random selection of ordinary citizens to serve as fully empowered legislators. Whether one agrees with this or not, the clarity of the argument will generate productive debate."
– Professor Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of Envisioning Real Utopias

About the author

Brett Hennig is a director and co-founder of the Sortition Foundation whose aim is to promote the ideas within The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy and institute the use of stratified, random selection (also called sortition) in government.

Before co-founding the Sortition Foundation, Brett wore a variety of hats: as a taxi driver, a software engineer, a social justice activist, a mathematics tutor, and the primary carer of four boys; he finished his PhD in astrophysics just before his first son arrived.

After spending several disheartening years trying to influence political decisions, both from within and without the system, he became inspired by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s trilogy on political philosophy and began investigating and researching network forms of democracy. The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy is the result of those years of work.

‘Poet in Residence Launch’
with Siana Bangura
Plus Special Guests Aliyah Hasinah and Asabi Hawah
Thursday 16th March, 7pm
Special ticketed event: tickets available here

Poet and feminist activist Siana Bangura launches her poetry residency at Housmans with readings from her award winning collection Elephant. Special guests to be announced.

Housmans is dedicated to the idea of poetry as an instrument for political change in uncertain times. We are therefore proud to announce Siana Bangura as our first Poet in Residence.

Siana is a poet and founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. As the Housmans’ Poet in Residence, Siana will curate three poetry events and three poetry workshops over an 8 month period, finalising in a closing event in October 2017 in which she will announce the next Housmans’ Poet in Residence.

At this launch, Siana will be reading from her award winning collection Elephant.The collection tackles issues such as black womanhood, gender and racial politics, as well as family, fatherlessness, identity, Black British girlhood, unemployment, gentrification, disenfranchisement, love and loss.

Siana will also outline her plans for the residency and will be accompanied by special guests Aliyah Hasinah and Asabi Hawah. Aliyah will perform poetry and Asabi will be providing an acoustic set for the evening.

We are delighted to welcome such a talented poet and committed activist and look forward to her events and workshops. Please follow Housmans and Siana on social media to keep updated with regards to the Poet in Residence events.


“[She] is one seriously amazing force to reckon with. This prolific blogger, spoken word artist, poet, writer and women’s right activist is more than just a cute face and fashionista – her lyrics run deep with meaning and touch a raw nerve that allows us all to connect with each other on the most simple, yet intricate level – as human beings. And then there’s her sweet and demure performance style that is captivating, simply allowing her words and unique flow to seep into her soul one minute and the next sweep you into into a hurricane of letters!” – Emma Ako, Carpe Diem Nights, September 2015

About the Performers

Siana Bangura is a writer, blogger, poet and freelance journalist from London. She is the founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. She is the author of Elephant, a candid collection of poetry on black womanhood, black British identity, migration, love and loss; and she is the producer of 1500 And Counting ( You can follow her on Twitter (@Sianaarrgh) and find out more about the project at Picture of Siana by Adama Jalloh.

Aliyah Hasinah is a freelance artivist and poet whose writing focuses on personal understandings of history, politics and social commentary.

Asabi Hawah is an East London based soulful singer/songwriter with a diverse style and range – effortlessly meandering from Soul to Reggae to Afrobeat.


‘1956:John Saville, E.P. Thompson and The Reasoner’
with Paul Flewers
Wednesday 1st March, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

1956 was a year of political drama. It saw the Anglo-French seizure of the Suez Canal, Nikita Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, denouncing Stalin,unrest across Eastern Europe and the Russian invasion of Hungary.

This book discusses the convulsions which enveloped the Communist Party of Great Britain in the aftermath of Khrushchev’s revelations. It reprints the text of The Reasoner for the first time in 60 years. It tells the story of this dissident journal and its editors: John Saville and E.P. Thompson. The Reasoner proved critical in organising opposition to Stalinism in the Communist Party.

• Original essays explore how the events of 1956 came about, their impact on British Communism and the political thinking of Saville and Thompson
• The editors have provided detailed notes on each issue and a selection of documents from both the party leadership and its

Meticulously evidenced, thought-provoking and iconoclastic, this text will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand British Communism and the politics of Marxism in the second half of the twentieth century.

About the Speaker

Paul Flewers is the author of The New Civilisation? Understanding Stalin’s Soviet Union 1929-1941 and an editor of Revolutionary History.



‘Training for Exploitation?’,
Book launch with the Precarious Workers Brigade

Wednesday 1st February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

"For many years the members of the Precarious Workers Brigade have been developing insightful analyses, tools and actions questioning wageless and other exploitative forms of labour in the arts and education sectors. 'Training for Exploitation?' is no exception.

As an educator I support the effort the book makes to provide the analysis and the tools needed to challenge the conversation, now predominant in the classroom, concerning 'employability'. As a feminist I recognise many of these tools from past and contemporary practices of consciousness raising. They are effective and I encourage readers to use them."

- Silvia Federici (from the Foreword)

Join Precarious Workers Brigade and the book's designers, Evening Class, for a launch celebration and preview of the new publication Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education.

With a foreword by Silvia Federici and published by the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press, Training for Exploitation? is a critical resource pack for educators teaching employability, 'professional practice' and work-based learning.

This publication provides a pedagogical framework that assists students and others in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy. Training for Exploitation? includes tools for critically examining the relationship between education, work and the cultural economy. It provides useful statistics and workshop exercises on topics such as precarity, employment rights, cooperation and solidarity, as well as examples of alternative educational and organising practices. Training for Exploitation? shows how we can both critique and organise against a system that is at the heart of the contemporary crises of work, student debt and precarity.

Precarious Workers Brigade (PWB) are a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture and education. We call out in solidarity with all those struggling to make a living in this climate of instability and enforced austerity. Our praxis springs from a shared commitment to developing research and actions that are practical, relevant and easily shared and applied. If putting an end to precarity is the social justice we seek, our political project involves developing tactics, strategies, formats, practices, dispositions, knowledges and tools for making this happen.

‘A People's History of the Russian Revolution’
with Neil Faulkner
Wednesday 8th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


The Russian Revolution may well be the most misunderstood event in modern history. In A People's History of the Russian Revolution, Neil Faulkner sets out to debunk the myths. In this fast-paced introduction to tumultuous events, the Russian people are the heroes. Faulkner shows how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action, destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers, and warmongers.

Faulkner rejects caricatures of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as authoritarian conspirators, 'democratic-centralists', or the progenitors of Stalinist dictatorship. He argues that the Russian Revolution was an explosion of democracy and creativity - and that it was crushed by bloody counter-revolution and replaced with a monstrous form of bureaucratic state-capitalism. Laced with first-hand testimony, this history seeks to rescue the democratic essence of the revolution from its detractors and deniers, offering a perfect primer for the modern reader.


“A People's History of the Russian Revolution, written by one of the finest historians on the left, is a vital contribution to the debate over the legacy of the Revolution and an essential defence of the revolutionary experience.” - John Newsinger, author of The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire

“Among the countless books which are beginning to appear as the centenary of the Russian Revolution approaches, there is a real need for a clear, historically reliable popular account from a socialist perspective. Neil Faulkner's A People's History is that account.”- Neil Davidson, author of We Cannot Escape History: Nations, States, and Revolutions (Haymarket, 2015)

“A People's History of the Russian Revolution reeks of the vodka, blood, and gunpowder of one of the most vital and important periods in human history. It is a powerful book for an anniversary those in charge would rather we forgot.” -Tansy E. Hoskins, author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion (Pluto, 2014)

About the Author

Neil Faulkner is a leading Marxist historian. A Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, he is the author of numerous books, including A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to Neoliberals (Pluto, 2013) and Lawrence of Arabia's War (Yale, 2016). He appears regularly on TV and was a lead consultant on Sky Atlantic's The British series.

with Serena Braida, Vera Chok, Livia Franchini and Gloria Sanders
Friday 17th of February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

For the second Locomotrix event of 2017, we're proud to host SEESAW, a night of poetry on collaboration/community, solitude, identity and arts politics.

Join us for another Friday of poetry and wine with four exciting writers sharing new solo and collaborative work.

The readers are:

Serena Braida is a poet and singer working both in Italian and English. Her
poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Nuovi Argomenti, Birkbeck blog and Colla, among others, and in Italian nonfiction anthology Quello che hai amato (UTET 2015).
She has sung, read and performed at Umbria Jazz Festival, Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Pantheon, Platform Theatre, Goldsmiths Lit Live and more. Serena is an alumna of RomaTre and Birkbeck and is currently working on a poetry pamphlet.

Vera Chok is a writer and performance maker. Her prose and poetry has been published in, among others, Rising, The Guardian, and The Brautigan Free Press. Forthcoming work will appear at The Roundhouse in Camden, in Transect Magazine, and within the inaugural edition of the BareLit anthology. Vera contributed a chapter to the award-winning collection, The Good Immigrant.

Livia Franchini is an Italian writer and literary translator. Her work has been featured in The Quietus, 3 a.m. Magazine, Nuovi Argomenti and The White Review, among others. She has read and performed her work widely, in London and elsewhere in the U.K., including Global City (Southbank Centre), The European Poetry Festival 2016, Standon Calling and The Shuffle at the Poetry Cafè. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths under the tuition of Jack Underwood, where she also runs the award-winning literary series ‘Lit Live’. She is currently at work on her second novel and on a new English translation of Natalia Ginzburg’s The Road to the City, funded by the Italian Cultural Institute and due out for Twins Edition in 2017.

Gloria Sanders works at heritage sites telling true stories. She devised and performed The Clock, "as philosophical as it is a good old-fashioned fairy tale." She directed Sarah Blake's adaptation of Woolf's 'A Room of One's Own' and is currently working on a collection of poems from her time in Seville.

Capitalism's Next Crisis? Michael Roberts on 'Trumponomics'

Wednesday 22nd February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Donald Trump's first days in office have seen the birth of what might yet become a mass opposition movement. Yet some continue to see his ostensible rejection of the neoliberal consensus of recent decades as offering a way forward for workers in the United States.

Acclaimed Marxist economist Michael Roberts explains the reality of 'Trumponomics', its likely effect upon a global capitalist economy still reeling from the 2008 crash, and its inadequacies as a response to the challenges of globalisation and inequality.

Admission is first-come-first-serve and costs £3 on the door, redeemable against any book purchase.

Michael Roberts has worked as an economist for over thirty years in the City of London financial center. He is author of The Long Depression (2016) and blogs at


Praise for The Long Depression:

"This book is a tour de force analysis of the current global economic crisis and the preconditions and prospects for recovery in the years ahead. Based largely on empirical data and Marx’s theory of the falling rate of profit, Roberts argues that the world economy is in a long depression due to a falling rate of profit and a massive increase of debt. He argues further that a full recovery and a return to more prosperous conditions requires a prior even more severe depression, characterized by widespread bankruptcies, which would devalue capital and restore the rate of profit and would also wipe out much of the debt. He argues that a much better alternative would be to wipe out capitalism and construct a more democratic and egalitarian economy that is not vulnerable to recurring depressions."
—Fred Moseley, professor of economics, Mount Holyoke College

“With great clarity, Michael Roberts explains capitalism’s necessary proneness to profound economic crises and surveys the course of the current and previous depressions. Extensive use of empirical evidence, very accessibly presented, make his own main, Marxist argument and refutations of rival explanations persuasive. This book is at once an engaging read and a powerful political weapon.”
—Rick Kuhn, honorary associate professor at the Australian National University and winner of the 2007 Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize

“Since the global economic crisis, Michael Roberts’s blog has become the indispensable source for those on the left seeking to understand and challenge capitalism. This book presents, with admirable clarity, the ideas drawn from Marxist political economy upon which his analysis rests. Anyone who wants to understand how we ended up here, where we are going, and what we should do about it must read The Long Depression.”
—Joseph Choonara, author of Unravelling Capitalism: A Guide to Marxist Political Economy

“Michael Roberts has established himself as one of the foremost bloggers and theoreticians of classical Marxism. Here he takes on the economic orthodoxy, both Keynesian and neoclassical, as to the causes of the Great Recession and of depressions in capitalism going back to the nineteenth century. [While] ‘the new normal’ and ‘secular stagnation’ have be[come] clichés rather than explanations for the slow growth in the world economy since the 2008 crash, Michael Roberts reaches deep into the history of capitalism to set out a Marxist explanation for recent developments.”
—Mick Brooks, author of Capitalist Crisis: Theory and Practice

“The Long Depression is an impressive review of the global economic crisis. Marshalling a wide range of evidence, Michael Roberts counters the facile explanations of establishment commentators and many ‘alternative’ economists, showing instead how the origins of this crisis, and other historical examples, have clear links to declining capitalist profitability. Covering a wide range of topics, from stagnant productivity growth and high unemployment to the prospects for the BRICS countries, robots, and climate change, this book will educate readers about the outlook for capitalism today.”
—Tony Norfield, author of The City: London and the Global Power of Finance

"...a comprehensive review of the world economy...Roberts is a respected blogger This year has been an annus mirabilis for Marxian political economy. It has to be said that some of the other writings do not make easy reading for the general reader. Roberts’ book is fairly accessible to the non-specialist. It’s your best bet."
—Mick Brooks, Labour Briefing

About the Author

Michael Roberts has worked as an economist for over thirty years in the City of London financial centre. He is author of The Great Recession: A Marxist View (2009).

‘October 1917 –Workers in Power’
with Paul Le Blanc

Friday 24th February, 7pm
Free entry: register for ticket at eventbrite

Paul Le Blanc visits Housmans to to dispel some of the myths surrounding the Russian Revolution, highlighting its profoundly proletarian democratic nature and therefore giving readers a fresh glimpse of the events of October 1917.


"October 1917: Workers in Power” provides a stimulating starting-point for centennial reassessment of the Russian revolution. Paul Le Blanc provides a sparkling and authoritative survey of major historical studies; David Mandel expertly analyses workers’ control in the Russian upheaval. Classic assessments of the October upheaval by Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and more recently, Ernest Mandel round out this important addition to socialist literature on 1917."
- John Riddell, editor of eight-volume documentary series on the world revolutionary movement in Lenin’s time and ecosocialist activist.

"The massive publicity given to right wing anti-communist work, and the identification between Stalinism and Bolshevism, means that the dominant way of looking at the Russian Revolution in the year of its centenary is a deeply flawed one. The collection edited by Paul Le Blanc has the great merit of bringing to life the proletarian democratic character of the Russian revolution minimizing the acrimonious polemical tone. This will help the lay readers to have a fresh glimpse of what happened in Russia, 1917. Le Blanc’s introduction sets the tone, by laying out an elaborate survey of the historiography of the Russian revolution from 1918 to the present. Several essays highlight the absurdity of the counterfactual about how totalitarian Bolshevism pushed out liberal democracy, by stressing that crucial elements of democracy were absent from the anti revolutionary side. For an objective study of 1917, not uncritical, but firmly rooted in the revolutionary tradition, this book can be unhesitatingly recommended." -Soma Marik, author of Revolutionary Democracy: Emancipation in Classical Marxism, Haymarket and IIRE (forthcoming, 2017).

"The Russian Revolution of October 1917 gave hope to millions of exploited and oppressed around the world, by showing that working people could take society into their own hands.  This collection, containing both texts by participants and retrospective historical analyses, defends the achievements of the Revolution while honestly recognizing its limitations, and will stimulate informed discussion."- Ian Birchall, socialist historian.

"This is an important collection celebrating the legacy of the Russian Revolution in its centenary year.  Paul Le Blanc’s Introduction provides rich historical context for past events.  But the book is really about the future. It is an effort to nourish the lessons of past such that they may irrigate new struggles of the future." - Tithi Bhattacharya, Professor of History, Purdue University; editorial board member, International Socialist Review.

"A fascinating and unexpected collection of materials that shine a needed light on the workers revolution of 1917. The centerpiece is David Mandel’s classic essay ‘The historical legitimacy of the October Revolution’, one of the best ever statements of the meaning of a central aspect of the revolution: worker support for soviet power. Longer essays by the two Mandels – David and Ernest – fill out the book. Extremely useful is Paul Le Blanc’s guide to some of the best (and some of the worst) accounts of the tumultuous year. And finally, we have the eloquent words of revolutionary participants: Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky. All in all, a spirited defence of the October revolution at a time when many people would like to forget all about it."- Lars Lih, author of Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context, Haymarket 2008.

About the Author

Paul Le Blanc is an American historian and activist. Professor of History at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), he has written and/or edited more than 20 books, mostly dealing with the labor and socialist movements, in which he has been active.



Dissent Magazine Presents:
‘Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Transatlantic Left’

with Dawn Foster, Peter Mandler, and Pragna Patel,
moderated by Natasha Lewis
Wednesday 4th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

2016 was a surprising year for politics on both sides of the Atlantic. In June, the UK voted to leave the European Union; in November, Donald Trump was elected American president. How did we get here? What should we do next? Join Dissent magazine editors and contributors to discuss last year's political shocks, and how the left should respond in 2017.

‘The Autonomous Life?: Paradoxes of Hierarchy and Authority in the Squatters Movement in Amsterdam’ with Nazima Kadir
Wednesday 18th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The Autonomous Life? is an ethnography of the squatters' movement in Amsterdam written by an anthropologist who lived and worked in a squatters' community for over three years. During that time she resided as a squatter in four different houses, worked on two successful anti-gentrification campaigns, was evicted from two houses and jailed once.

With this unique perspective, Kadir systematically examines the contradiction between what people say and what they practice in a highly ideological radical left community. The squatters' movement defines itself primarily as anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian, and yet is perpetually plagued by the contradiction between this public disavowal and the maintenance of hierarchy and authority within the movement.

This study analyses how this contradiction is then reproduced in different micro-social interactions, examining the methods by which people negotiate minute details of their daily lives as squatter activists in the face of a fun house mirror of ideological expectations reflecting values from within the squatter community, that, in turn, often refract mainstream, middle-class norms.

Using a unique critical perspective informed by gender and subaltern studies, this study contributes to social movements’ literature through a meticulous analysis of the production of power and hierarchy in a social movement subculture.


‘This is far and away the best ethnography of a squatters movement, or really any European anti-authoritarian movement, I have yet to come across. Nazima Kadir's bold interrogation of the concept of “autonomy” alone is well worth the ticket. But the book is much more. Combining vivid and sensitive ethnography with a willingness to ask challenging and fundamental questions about contemporary anti-authoritarian ideas, this book does everything good anthropology - the best anthropology - should do. I hope it provides a model for the ethnography of social movements in the future.’ - David Graeber, Professor at the London School of Economics, activist and author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011) and The Democracy Project (2014)

About the Authors

Nazima Kadir is an Urban Anthropologist based in London. Prior to squatting houses in Amsterdam, she received awards from the Fulbright program and the National Science Foundation.

Preparing for Trump’
with Susan Pashkoff, Kate Hudson, Somaye and Les Levidow.
Thursday 19th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

On 20th January Donald Trump will become US President. Across the world there will be demonstrations protesting against this. This discussion meeting on the day before will hear from US socialist Susan Pashkoff recently returned from the States on 'Trump and Women' and from Kate Hudson on the implications of Trump's presidency for international politics.

The poet and singer Somaye will provide music and song along with Les Levidow. The meeting is organised by London Left Unity, Public Reading Rooms and Transformuk. It will be supporting the demonstrations against Trump in the UK.

Check out the FB event here:

‘Polyphonic Scars & The 4th Brain’ 
with Lisa Luxx and Elizabeth Clough
Friday 20th January, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

For our first Locomotrix event of 2017, Housmans is proud to host poet Lisa Luxx’s performance Polyphonic Scars & The 4th Brain. Lisa’s work reflects on technology and social media and how it impacts culture and identity. Our world wide web redefines consciousness and mortality, identity and activism, solitude and fear. What does this age say about who we are now and who we've always been?

Polyphonic Scars & The 4th Brain is a collection of poems and prose exploring our relationship to the web. It's also about one woman's journey with technology, after growing up on the net from the age of ten and what happened when she rejected it in her twenties.

This thought-provoking book philosophises on madness, perception and freedom in the modern day. Written by Lisa Luxx, editor of post-net magazine Prowl, and illustrated by Elizabeth Clough.

The book also reveals how blacklisting extended beyond construction activists to environmental campaigners, journalists, politicians and academics. And it adds an international perspective with related stories from America and Europe. Attendees will be able to pre-order copies of the new book.


Polyphonic Scars places Lisa Luxx squarely in a generation of contemporary poets, including Kate Tempest, Aly Stoneman, Lauren K Alleyne, Jo ‘Spice’ Blackwood and George the Poet, who combine performance and verse with a fresh, bruised candour.” Bidisha, BBC Arts

About the Speakers

Lisa Luxx Preditor-in-Chief of PROWL. Published poet and artist. Writer for Sunday Times, Telegraph, Elle, Red, Tank, The Numinous and more. Founded Prowl magazine and Prowl House in a move to put positive and honest media into the world that celebrates what it is to be liberated and compassionate human beings. Doing so by forming an annex for the independent, radical movements of now.

Elizabeth Clough is an artist and musician. She set up The Red Door, a small community-focused collective of artists based in a unique space in East Ham. She believes truly independent thinking happens outside the realms of the commercial and away from anything trend driven. Her plan is to remain creatively free about all else.

Please note Lisa Luxx's event takes place in the Vaults which is non accessible for wheelchair users. If you would like to attend please ring the shop.

What Books Do in Prison:
A Conversation with Erwin James to Celebrate
Haven Distribution’s 20th Anniversary
Thursday 26th of January, 7pm
Free entry, donations welcome


Housmans is very proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Haven Distribution.  This organisation has been purchasing and supplying books for prisoners across the UK since 1996. A tiny volunteer-run charity, it is the only UK organisation dedicated to sending books to those in prisons, secure units and detention centres who want to further their education. Each year around 1500 books leave their shelves, and almost all the prisons in Britain have received at least a handful of books from Haven. The number of prisoners who have benefitted from their work ranges into the tens of thousands.

This event will be an opportunity to hear more about Haven’s work, more about the role that books play in our prisons, and more about the continued struggle that prisoners face getting access to the books they need. It will also be a chance to hear from someone whose life was changed during his time inside by books, self-education and writing – Erwin James.

About the speaker  

A long-time supporter of Haven’s work, Erwin James is a Guardian columnist and Editor-in-Chief of Inside Time, the national newspaper for people in prison. It was during his own 20 years in prison that he became a writer, penning a popular Guardian column from his cell which gave the outside world an insight into his life inside. He is now the author of three books: A Life Inside – A Prisoners Notebook, (Atlantic, 2003), The Home Stretch – From Prison to Parole, (Atlantic, 2005) and Redeemable – a Memoir of Darkness and Hope (Bloomsbury, 2016). He is also a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust and a patron of the charities: Create, Blue Sky, Human Writes, the Writers in Prison Foundation, and the Prison Phoenix Trust. He is a Fellow of the RSA and an Honorary Master of the Open University.



‘This is the Place to Be’ and ‘Wound’
with Lara Pawson and Richard Scott
Wednesday 14th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Part of our Locomotrix series of events, Housmans is thrilled to invite Lara Pawson and Richard Scott to read from their work and discuss the power of self revealing and confessional writing both for the writer and reader.

At a time when self branding is on the rise from selfies to indulgent self-reflections across social media, the resonance and importance of recounting the lived experience and personal facts in an intimate, lucid and honest manner becomes not only important for our connections to each other but a necessary antidote to the current trends of confessional writing.

To mark the publication of Lara Pawson’s extraordinary new memoir, This is the Place to Be, join us for an intimate evening with Lara Pawson and poet Richard Scott for an exploration and conversation on the themes of memory and confession.


Lara Pawson:

‘What makes a life? Lara Pawson’s lucid, sudden and subtle memoir unpicks the spirals of memory, politics, violence, to trace the boundaries and crossing points of gender and race identity.’ Joanna Walsh

‘A crushingly honest memoir of war, war correspondence and personal mayhem … Her focus is direct, bleakly honest, and as a result full of hope.’ M. John Harris

Richard Scott:

Wound impresses with its colourful cast of lovers, martyrs, predators and porn stars, leading the reader on a journey into the lower lit corners of sexual experience and desire. Scott is a poet with something to say and the considerable skills with which to express it in the most memorable lyric terms. ‘All of us are capable of great change’, reflects one of his striking characters: I was reminded, throughout, of the transformative power of art.‘ Colette Bryce

‘In Wound, Richard Scott conveys the affliction of desire, that entanglement of cruelty and tenderness, with an unwholesome intensity. His carefully shaped poems are both poignant and pungent, articulated with a smarting self-awareness. They read like the kind of official warning you can’t help taking as a recommendation.‘ Gregory Woods

About the Authors

Lara Pawson was born in London, a city she left at sixteen for a hamlet in Somerset. For stretches, she has also lived in Abidjan, Accra, Bamako, Johannesburg, Luanda and an auberge in the Alpes-Maritimes. She is now back in London, firmly in its north-east corner, working on a novel.

Richard Scott was London in 1981 and was educated at The Royal College of Music, The Faber Academy and Goldsmiths College. His poetry has been published in numerous  magazine.  His pamphlet, Wound, was shortlisted by Faber and will be published by Rialto in 2016.


‘Orwell's Politics: A Panel Discussion’ with Richard Blair, Paul Anderson, Richard Lance Keeble and John Newsinger
Thursday 1st December, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The event marks the launch publication of George Orwell Studies, an academic, peer-reviewed journal, co-edited by Keeble and Newsinger and published by Abramis, of Bury St Edmunds.

Discussing Orwells work will be Richard Blair, son of Orwell and Patron of the Orwell Society, Paul Anderson, author of Orwell in Tribune, and John Newsinger, Professor of History at Bath Spa University. It will be chaired by Richard Lance Keeble, Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln and chair of the Orwell Society.

‘Liberty Tales: Stories and Poems inspired by the Magna Carta”
with Cassandra Passarelli, Liam Hogan, Carolyn Eden and Katy Darby
Saturday 3rd December, 5pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are proud to welcome authors Cassandra Passarelli, Liam Hogan, Carolyn Eden and Katy Darby to read a selection of stories and poems inspired by the Magna Carta and to celebrate the publication of Liberty Tales by Arachne Press.

2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and Arachne Press celebrated with an evening of stories, poetry and song on the subject of Liberty. The call out continued until the end of the year, and the collected and eclectic responses have been published in Liberty Tales.

Liberty, personal, and legal, is the starting point of this wide ranging collection of responses to the Magna Carta, some directly relating to specific clauses of the document signed by King John, others more concerned with how we experience and search after freedom in the 21st Century, particularly with the Human Rights Act constantly under scrutiny.

The stories to be read at Housmans consider the freedom to travel and grow, love in captivity, to walk out, and include a small prison drama.

About the Author

Cherry Potts is an author and the director of Arachne Press. Cherry runs workshops for writers and teaches creative writing as a visiting lecturer at City University, London.

*Please not that this event is held downstairs in the Vaults and is non-wheelchair accessible

‘Black Dog Publishing: The Art of Politics’
with Ele Carpenter and Mark Nash
Saturday 10th December, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Black Dog Publishing Limited London specialises in beautifully produced illustrated books that represent a fresh, eclectic take on contemporary culture. This independent publishers take a daring, innovative approach to their titles, producing books that challenge, provoke and entertain.

Housmans will be showcasing two daring, thought provoking publications by independent publisher Black Dog exploring the intersection between art and politics. Curator Ele Carpenter discusses nuclear artistic and cultural production, whilst Mark Nash explores African artists and Soviet communism. 

Carpenter is the editor of The Nuclear Culture Source Book: an excellent resource and introduction to nuclear culture as one of the most prominent themes within contemporary art and society, this book explores the diverse ways in which post-Fukushima society has influenced artistic and cultural production.

Red Africa Affective Communities and the Cold War, edited by Mark Nash, traces the work of African artists and filmmakers who studied in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc under free education schemes originally offered under the Third International. Across a series of essays and artist contributions, Red Africa explores the crosscurrents of international solidarity and friendship.

About the Editors

Ele Carpenter is a curator and writer in politicised art and social networks of making.  Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code. Ele is Associate Curator with Arts Catalyst and Bildmuseet, her current exhibition Perpetual Uncertainty, at Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden, runs until 16 April 2017.

Mark Nash is an independent curator and writer. His formation was in film theory and culture, editing Screen between 1977 and 1981. He has worked with artist Isaac Julien on several projects such as the film Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask and the exhibition Reimaging October at the Calvert 22 Foundation in 2009. He collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on The Short Century exhibition and Documenta XI. Most recently he curated Things Fall Apart at Calvert 22 Foundation.




‘Stolen Children'

with David Wickham
Tuesday 15th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A compelling and wonderfully authentic novel, full of vivid detail and powerful emotion - William Boyd

Terror stalks the streets of Argentina, during the Dirty War. The fascist military Junta brooks no opposition. Death Squads take away anyone who disagrees with the dictatorship. 30,000 people simply disappear.

Like many in the Buenos Aires aristocracy, successful lawyer Guillermo Haynes thinks the Junta is fighting a just war. When he falls in love with Caridad, a young student, who subsequently disappears, Guillermo realises too late just how dirty the conflict has become. But as he replays his failure to do the right thing, Guillermo discovers he has a child, taken from Caridad before she was killed. In a race to find the child, before all the evidence is destroyed, Guillermo faces his own demons, as the true horror and scale of the Junta’s war becomes apparent.

Based on true events which are only now being revealed, Stolen Children is both a terrifying story full of suspense, and an extraordinary tale of pathos and determination. An emotive tribute to those who lost their lives, or their children and grandchildren during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

About the Author

David Wickham has worked all over the world as a writer and television director and producer on news and documentaries, factual entertainment and drama programmes. He has won numerous international awards in London, New York, Banff and Monte Carlo and also earned a Royal Television Society award for his work. He first came across the story of Argentina’s stolen children while working on a documentary about the sinking of the General Belgrano, after the Falklands War. He has since made two documentaries about the children (one for the BBC and one for ITV) and has now turned the story into a novel. David is married and currently lives in south east of England.


‘The Refusal of Work: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work’

with David Frayne
Wednesday 16th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Paid work is absolutely central to the culture and politics of capitalist societies, yet today’s work-centred world is becoming increasingly hostile to the human need for autonomy, spontaneity and community. The grim reality of a society in which some are overworked, whilst others are condemned to intermittent work and unemployment, is progressively more difficult to tolerate.

In this thought-provoking book, David Frayne questions the central place of work in mainstream political visions of the future, laying bare the ways in which economic demands colonise our lives and priorities. Drawing on his original research into the lives of people who are actively resisting nine-to-five employment, Frayne asks what motivates these people to disconnect from work, whether or not their resistance is futile, and whether they might have the capacity to inspire an alternative form of development, based on a reduction and social redistribution of work.

Reviews for

'A well-written romp through theory and critiques of work… Amid the hard-work rhetoric, this book feels liberating and a worthy provocation.'
Financial Times

'Rigorous arguments for the desirability of an end – or a radical reduction – to the amount of work we do, and searching analyses of how this might be achieved.’
LSE Review of Books

'Leads the reader to question if the growing disillusionment with work could blossom into a political alternative and create change on a societal level.’

‘This is the most engaging and comprehensive book I’ve ever read about how work dominates our lives. It is insightful and inspiring and should be read by everyone who goes to work every day, if they can find the time.’ 
Sharon Beder, author of Selling the Work Ethic

‘A humane reassessment of the ethics of work which will appeal to anyone who has wondered whether the job they are fighting so hard to get, or to hold on to, really is worth the struggle.’ 
Ralph Fevre, author of The Demoralization of Western Culture and Trouble at Work

About the Author

David Frayne is a sociology teacher and social researcher, based at Cardiff University. You can follow him @theworkdogma.

‘Writing Police Wrongs’
with Courttia Newland and Tony White
Saturday 26th November, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guest will be throwing their proverbial books at the police with readings of fiction and poetry related to police injustice, followed by conversation.

London authors Tony White and Courttia Newland both burst on to the literary scene in the late 1990s. Since then their paths have crossed occasionally, most recently when they discovered that they had each been writing fiction which addresses—each in their own ways—the controversial issue of deaths in police custody in the UK today.

Courttia Newland will be reading his powerful short story 'Reversible' from the new Sex and Death anthology edited by Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs and published by Faber and Faber.

Tony White will be reading 'The Holborn Cenotaph', a short story which uses the language and performance of contemporary law enforcement and policy to frame a satirical proposition that has been described by one audience member as 'jaw dropping'.

The readings will be followed by discussion. Newland and White are both accomplished readers of their fiction, so come along to Housman's to hear, and to be entertained and provoked—and to chat with—two of the best contemporary novelists around.

Reviews of Courttia Newland
'Courttia Newland published his first novel in 1997, at the age of 23 ... Newland's first novel, The Scholar, was a coming-of-age piece about two cousins growing up on the same estate but choosing very different life paths. The Gospel According to Cane, his seventh book, is a coming-of-middle-age novel, but one seasoned with style and sophistication.' Bernardine Evaristo, the Guardian

'Newland is to be congratulated ... he deserves respect for representing the racist reality many Britons face daily' Big Issue

'Newland's characters take the reader on an emotional roller coaster – one minute you're laughing – next you are in suspense' The Voice

'It could be argued that all tales are, somehow, about sex or death, but in this collection of 20 short stories written by authors around the world, these tantalising themes are thrust into the spotlight ...there's plenty to provoke longer thought — Fin by Lyn Coady and Rerversible by Courttia Newland throw up difficult subjects that it is hard to forget' Herald on Sunday

Reviews of Tony White
'Super dry, dark and funny. Glasnost for UK cops' Tim Etchells

'Rejecting familiar influences of the past 20 years, White joins a handful of contemporary writers who are proving that the novel has never been more alive. He is a serious, engaging voice of the modern city.' Michael Moorcock, the Guardian

'White is our nimblest political novelist ... there is always an engaging lightness of touch, a deft ability to wind out stories that carry a freight-load of edgy material with a beguiling ease.' 3am Magazine

About the Authors
 Courttia Newland is the author of seven works of fiction including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013 and has been optioned by Cowboy Films. He was nominated for the Impac Dublin Literary Award, The Frank O' Conner award, The CWA Dagger in the Library Award, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and The Theatre 503 Award for playwriting as well as numerous others.

His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His story, Reversible, is included in the Faber Anthology Sex and Death. He is associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster and is completing a PhD in creative writing. A latest work, Cosmogramma, a collection of speculative fiction short stories, will be published by Jacaranda in 2017.

Tony White is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Foxy-T (Faber and Faber, 2003). His new novel The Fountain in the Forest will be published by Faber and Faber in 2017. His most recent novel Shackleton's Man Goes South was published by the Science Museum—the first novel the Museum has ever published. Tony is also the author of one non-fiction work Another Fool in the Balkans: In the footsteps of Rebecca West (Cadogan, 2006).

Tony has been writer in residence at the Science Museum, Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and creative entrepreneur in residence in the French Department at King's College London, funded by Creativeworks London. Tony White is chair of the board of directors of London's award-winning community radio station Resonance 104.4fm.

‘Angry White People:
Coming Face-to-Face with the British Far Right’
with Hsiao-Hung Pai
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

There is a new anger brewing in Britain. In the pubs and estates, the cafes and football stadiums, the mood is unsettled. People kick back increasingly against whoever or whatever is presented as the latest scapegoat.

Delving deep into the day-to-day of the most marginalized section of the white working class, Angry White People offers an unparalleled survey of this anxious, uncertain, febrile Britain. From far-right street fighters to UKIP activists, Hsiao-Hung Pai conducts a fantastically daring investigation. Amongst those she follows are Darren, a Lutonian who helped found the English Defence League (EDL) but is now a dedicated anti-racist Labour activist, and Tommy Robinson, infamous founder of the EDL, whom Pai observes changing from a young, foul-mouthed kid to a suited-and-booted Oxford Union guest speaker.

Uncovering disturbing levels of racism in our society which must be confronted, Pai also identifies legitimate concerns arising from exclusion and inequality in a post-industrial economy. Angry White People is the essential account of social discontent in Britain today.


‘Pai should be congratulated for tackling the subject and doing it with courage and passion….[a] timely contribution.’
Times Literary Supplement

'An enlightening, thoughtful and intelligent study in what makes the far right tick.' 
The Independent

'The virtue of Pai’s work is that, because she has many conversations and reproduces them at length, complexity is conveyed.'
Financial Times

'Hsiao-Hung skilfully draws out the sense of abandonment by mainstream politicians.'
New Statesman

'A lucid account of a deluded movement.'
New Internationalist

‘With her calm and unflinching investigative journalism, Hsiao-Hung Pai sheds light on the dynamics of class and racism in Britain today. Essential reading for anybody interested in the contemporary far right, and what feeds it.’ 
Daniel Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right

‘One of Britain’s best investigative journalists, Pai addresses a defining issue of our time: the nature of extremism. The result is one of the finest accounts of the British far Right.’ 
Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror

About the Author

Hsiao-Hung Pai is a writer best known for her books Chinese Whispers: The True Story behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Orwell Prize, and Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants, which won the Bread and Roses Award in 2013. Pai’s third book, Invisible: Britain’s Migrant Sex Workers, was published in 2013. As part of her research for the book, Pai worked undercover as a maid in brothels all over the country. Pai’s first work of fiction, Hidden Army of Labour, was published in the Chinese language in Taiwan and China.

Pai has lived in the UK since 1991. She is a contributor to The Guardian and many UK-Chinese publications.

‘No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance’
with Natasha King
Wednesday 9th November, 7.00pmEntry £3, redeemable against any purchase

From the streets of Calais to the borders of Melilla, Evros and the United States, the slogan 'No borders!' is a thread connecting a multitude of different struggles for the freedom to move and to stay. But what does it mean to make this slogan a reality?

Drawing on the author's extensive research in Greece and Calais, as well as a decade campaigning for migrant rights, Natasha King explores the different forms of activism that have emerged in the struggle against border controls, and the dilemmas these activists face in translating their principles into practice.

Wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, No Borders constitutes vital reading for anyone interested in how we make radical alternatives to the state a genuine possibility for our times, and raises crucial questions on the nature of resistance.

Reviews for

‘An inspiring call to join communities around the world and work for the full realization of human rights.’ 
Chris Crass, author of Towards Collective Liberation

‘The first extended analysis of Europe’s No Borders movement, from an activist with first-hand experience of the struggle for free movement.’ 
Matt Carr, author of Fortress Europe

‘An activists' guide to what it means to refuse borders in practice.’
Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move

‘A timely and powerful read for those who support the politics of freedom of movement.’ 
Kim Rygiel, author of Globalizing Citizenship

‘Thoughtful, provocative and engaged. A must-read for critical scholars and activists alike.’
Vicki Squire, University of Warwick

About the Author

Natasha has been involved in a lot of different expressions of the struggle for the freedom of movement, in the UK, Calais and elsewhere. Natasha would like to call herself an author but isn’t sure if you can do that after finishing your first book. She hopes this will be the first of many. Natasha has a PhD in politics from the University of Nottingham, Centre for Social and Global Justice. She is from the south of England and is based in Nottingham. Right now she is travelling around Europe exploring different kinds of autonomous communities.




‘The Bonnot Gang: The Story of the French Illegalists’ with Richard Parry
Friday 28th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


This is the story of the infamous Bonnot Gang: the most notorious French anarchists ever, and as bank expropriators the inventors of the motorized “getaway.” It is the story of how the anarchist taste for illegality developed into illegalism—the theory that theft is liberating in itself. And how a number of young anarchists met in Paris in the years before the First World War, determined to live their lives to the full, regardless of the consequences.


Paris in 1911 was a city of riots, strikes, and savage repression of the working class. A stronghold of foreign exiles and homegrown revolutionaries, it was also the base of l’anarchie, the outspoken individualist weekly. L’anarchie drew together people for whom crime and revolution went hand in hand. There was Victor Kibalchich (later known as Victor Serge), whose inflammatory articles would put him on trial with the rest.


Then there was the gang itself: Victor’s childhood friend Raymond-La-Science, the tuberculous André Soudy, the serious-minded René Valet, Simentoff the southerner, and lastly the prime motivators of the group—the remorseless Octave Garnier and the experienced Jules Bonnot. Their robberies, daring and violent, would give them a lasting notoriety in France. Their deaths, as spectacular as their lives, would make them a legend among revolutionaries the world over.


Extensively researched and fully illustrated with rare period photos, drawings, and maps, this updated edition is the best account of the Bonnot Gang to appear in any language.


“The first book on the subject in English, and one based on original research in the various libraries and collections in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. . . . Although the book is written as a history, the style is journalistic rather than stuffily academic, and paced so that the narrative gets progressively more exciting. All in all, this is that rare book indeed. It is a good read and action-packed; but also meticulously researched with an impressive attention to detail.”

—New Anarchist Review


“Although Parry does not try to romanticize the protagonists, the conclusion of the book does try to interpret their story as a political event arising out of the class struggle. . . . It will be widely read; it ought to be widely discussed.”

—Nicholas Walter in Freedom


“The book is original, almost naively frank, and instantly likeable. It requires no prior knowledge and although it describes itself as a ‘history,’ it often reads more like a novel. All told this is a great introduction to the subject and well worth the read.”

—Katy Armstrong-Myers in Socialist Lawyer


“Parry neither idealizes nor condemns the Bonnot Gang. Instead, he is trying to situate its activities in an ideological tradition and, at least as importantly, in the unforgiving class contradictions characterizing French society at the time.”

—Ulf Gyllenhak in Dagens Nyheter

About the Author

Richard Parry studied medieval and modern history at University College London and took a masters in European Social History at the London School of Economics. He subsequently became a leading human rights lawyer who specialised in defending protestors. He continues to live and practise criminal defence law in London, his native city.



‘Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressive State’

with Martin Plaut
Wednesday 12th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


The most secretive, repressive state in Africa is haemorrhaging its citizens. In some months as many Eritreans as Syrians arrive on European shores, yet the country is not convulsed by civil war. Young men and women risk all to escape. Many do not survive — their bones littering the Sahara; their bodies floating in the Mediterranean.


Still they flee, to avoid permanent military service and a future without hope. As the United Nations reported: ‘Thousands of conscripts are subjected to forced labour that effectively abuses, exploits and enslaves them for years.’


Eritreans fought for their freedom from Ethiopia for thirty years, only to have their revered leader turn on his own people. Independent since 1993, the country has no constitution and no parliament. No budget has ever been published. Elections have never been held and opponents languish in jail. International organisations find it next to impossible to work in the country.


Nor is it just a domestic issue. By supporting armed insurrection in neighbouring states it has destabilised the Horn of Africa. Eritrea is involved in the Yemeni civil war, while the regime backs rebel movements in Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti.


This book tells the untold story of how this tiny nation became a world pariah.

About the Author

Martin Plaut, the BBC World Service’s former Africa Editor, has published extensively on African affairs. An adviser to the Foreign Office and the US State Department, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.


‘Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain’ with Kate Harrad
Wednesday 19th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is the first of its kind: a book written for and by bisexual people in the UK. This accessible collection of interviews, essays, poems and commentary explores topics such as definitions of bisexuality, intersections of bisexuality with other identities, stereotypes and biphobia, being bisexaul at work, teenage bisexuality and bisexuality through the years, the media’s approach to bisexual celebrities, and fictional bisexual characters.

Filled with raw, honest first-person accounts as well as thoughts from leading bisexual activists in the UK, this is the book you’ll buy for your friend who’s just come out to you as bi-curious, or for your parents who think your bisexuality is weird or a phase, or for yourself, because you know you’re bi but you don’t know where to go or what to do about it.


“There are so few books published where the lives of bisexual people are the starting point. But that’s not the only reason Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is important. It’s an interesting and enjoyable book, featuring contributions from a wide range of people from across the British bi community. Addressing the needs and concerns of bi people, this is a must-read for anyone who is attracted to people of more than one gender, and for those who know and love us.”

—Sue George, author, Women and Bisexuality, blogger, Bisexuality and Beyond

“At last! British bisexuals come out of the closet with Purple Prose – answering pressing questions about identity, activism, prejudice, relationships and much more. With bisexuality becoming ever more visible in mainstream culture, this book is essential reading for bi people and would-be allies, within the LGBT community and beyond. You need a copy in your life.”

—Louise Carolin, Deputy editor, DIVA magazine 

About the Author

Kate Harrad is a published fiction and non-fiction writer. She co-edited The Ladies’ Loos: From Plumbing to Plucking, a Practical Guide for Girls (The Friday Project, 2006), and her novel All Lies and Jest was published by Ghostwoods Books in 2011. She has over a decade of experience working in business editorial/writing positions, and has written for the Guardian, the F-Word and the Huffington Post. She has also been a bi activist for several years, and has co-organized numerous UK bi events.

‘Kaleidoscope’ with Laura Taylor. Supported by Joy France
Saturday 22nd October, 6.30pm

Housmans is delighted to welcome Laura Taylor, who will be performing poetry from her debut collection Kaleidoscope, which deftly champions equality and challenges authority, exposing the hypocrisy, iniquity and 'politricks' of the powers that be. A fiery and astute collection, crafted with passion, tenderness and humour, from one of the UK's most incisive performers.

There will also be some open mic spaces available for members of the audience. If interested, please email Laura for a spot on
Reviews for Laura Taylor

“She takes the intensely personal and makes it universal. She takes the universal and makes it personal. She is riveting, inspiring, dead hard and incredibly soft at the same time. This is one of the best books of poetry I have ever read.” Attila the Stockbroker

“Laura Taylor is a one woman bundle of energy; gritty, mesmerising, a performance that grabs the attention of the audience to deliver a serious message with a typical Northern wit” by Dom Warwick, Rebellion Punk Festival

“Laura Taylor - The third and final scheduled punk poet of the weekend brought all the rage required to rouse the audience out of their 2-day hangovers. Her outlook on life, and in turn, the content of her poetry holds just the right balance of bile, humour, self-awareness, wit, misery and hope to bring together a really enjoyable set that had the audience cheering along her every word. 10/10” by Tim Loud, Strummercamp

Reviews for Joy France

“Witty and wise and with a natural talent for rhythm and rhyme, La France has that ‘je ne sais quoi’” Tony Wash aka Longfella

About the Poets

Laura Taylor has been obsessed with words and language since her early childhood. Laura believes in the power of poetry as a means by which silent voices speak and hidden ears listen. She is a regular performer at festivals, gigs and fundraisers and has been widely published in various anthologies.

Joy France is secondary school teacher from Warrington. Joy always harboured a love of poetry but after a fateful meeting with stand-up poet Louise Fazackerley, who gave her the encouragement she needed, Joy started to write her own poetry.

This is the first in a regular series of poetry and fiction events at Housmans, a series we’re calling Locomotrix – named in honour of the ground-breaking poet Amelia Rosselli.



‘Social-Democracy and Anarchism: In the International Workers' Association, 1864-1877’ with Rene Berthier
Wednesday 7th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome René Berthier to discuss his book, which revisits, in depth, the profound historic split between Anarchist and Marxist Social Democrats which occurred in the First International.

Much of the ongoing IWA were inspired by Bakunin. He argued for the priority of labour solidarity. But it was not an anarchist International that was created in 1872. Anarchism was born some five years later, when Bakunin was dead. Rather, the adoption of anarchism by the remnants of the IWA marked a breach with Bakuninism.

Berthier’s account also shows how the International Workers’ Association (IWA) was formed in 1864 by French and British trade unionists and quickly became a forum for socialist discussion over both strategy and goals; how Marx and Engels used bureaucratic manipulation to secure their control over the body and, in so doing, marginalise themselves so completely they ended up expelling the majority of the organisation; that Bakunin came to play a key role in the IWA because he articulated the majority position, what came to be called  “syndicalist”.

After the Paris Commune (1871), Bakunin characterised Marx's ideas as authoritarian, and argued that if a Marxist party came to power its leaders would end up as bad as the ruling class they had fought against. In 1872, the conflict in the First International climaxed with a final split between the two groups at the Hague Congress. This clash is often cited as the origin of the long-running conflict between anarchists and Marxists.

This split is sometimes called the ‘red and black divide’, red referring to the Marxists and black referring to the anarchists. Otto von Bismarck remarked, upon hearing of the split at the First International, "Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!"


“This is an excellent work, recommended to both anarchist activists and those interested in the rise of modern, revolutionary, anarchism.” – Anarchist Writers

“This book is a credit to its author, who has thoroughly researched the available evidence on this subject.” – Weekly Worker

About the Author

Rene Berthier is an active researcher, writer, and a veteran French anarcho-syndicalist activist.

‘Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People’ with Patrick Ainley
Wednesday 14th September 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome Patrick Ainley, to discuss his latest book published by Policy Press, which shows how for generations we have been told that the way to move up in our society is through education: stay in school, work hard, and you'll go far. But that's no longer true. Today's young people study harder but learn less, ending up over-qualified yet underemployed.

In this book Patrick shows how education in England has been thoroughly compromised by being reoriented away from learning and toward the economy, with devastating results. ‘Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People’ concludes by suggesting how schools, colleges and universities can begin to contribute towards a more meaningful and productive society.


“This book decisively debunks the conventional wisdom of neoliberalism and ‘human capital’ theory and as such is an essential read.” – Morning Star

“Ever thought school was stupid, college a treadmill, and universities neglected your interest? Have you been propelled towards jobs that either didn’t exist or that you wish didn’t?  If you need to know what is really going on in the education and labor markets, I recommend this book.” -- Danny Dorling, University of Oxford

About the Author

Professor of Education at Greenwich University and Visiting Fellow at New College Oxford, Patrick Ainley taught in schools, colleges and universities, writing on youth and education; From School to YTS (1988) and Lost Generation? (2010).



Brexit Boris by Heathcote Williams’

presented by the Public Reading Rooms
Thursday September 15th, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Join us at Housmans for an evening of chat and wine, words and poetry to launch our new book and our new project - Brexit Boris by Heathcote Williams and the Public Reading Rooms. We hope to be joined by Heathcote and a range of luminaries and illuminaries. 

Entry £3 which can be redeemed against Brexit Boris and gets you a free glass of vino. We will be visiting Boris's house in Highbury to drop off a copy of the book beforehand. Feel free to meet up with us there. email us

‘The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness’
with Bruce Nixon

Wednesday 21st September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

We are in the midst of a great revolution. Every century has its revolutions and ours is no exception. It is multi-faceted and interconnected. There is a revolution in science, medicine and technology. The scientific and technological revolution will transform our lives, our work and the world as we know it. Undoubtedly, many of these developments will bring enormous benefits, particularly in the area of human health. However, equally, they could result in the even greater concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few. The danger is we’ll be deluded by techno-fixes.

We are also in the midst of an economic and political revolution. All over the West, Neoliberal economic ideology, austerity, consumerism, free-market capitalism and top down politics are being challenged, especially by younger people. The internet is transforming politics by facilitating dialogue and giving power to people. In the year of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and after an election that gave power to a UK government with only 37% of the votes, there are growing calls for a fair voting system, radical reform of outdated democratic institutions and a different way of doing politics. The story of Syriza in Greece has much in common with Spain's Podemos, Scotland's independence campaign and Jeremy Corbyn’s successful bid to lead and transform the UK Labour party.  These developments, a stagnant economy and mass migration are forcing the EU to rethink itself.

We face the biggest challenges in our history. Science and technology will not help us unless we are determined to act on the urgent need to tackle climate chaos, conserve a living planet, resolve economic inequality and break entrenched power structures. As I write, Cop 21, the 21st annual session of the International Climate Change Conference, is to be held in Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015. Will the necessary action be finally agreed and acted upon in time to prevent catastrophe? Will we learn to live lightly on the planet? Will we learn to collaborate and resolve conflict without war?  Like all species, human beings are evolving. But will we do so in time?

The greatest obstacles, argues Dixon, are the lack of farsighted, courageous leaders who will speak the truth and disempowered citizens who think there is nothing they can do. Hence the subtitle of this book – A Call to Greatness.

This accessible book will help you make sense of the situation. It offers ways forward and practical solutions. It will help you decide how you want to engage with others in creating a better world through a peaceful revolution.  Above all it will give you hope.


“This is an amazing book - not just because it tells us what’s wrong with our society and how to put it right - but because it is full of hope and love for people and our planet.  The world is a better place for The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness and its author Bruce Nixon - the book inspires me to help make the 21st century revolution happen.” - Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

“A fascinating read, a really good contribution to the debate about the future of democracy.” - Katie Ghose, Chief Executive, Electoral Reform Society

“Read this excellent analysis of what's gone wrong, take heart and fight for positive change!” - Yvonne Roberts, Journalist and Fellow of the Young Foundation

About the Author

Bruce Nixon is a veteran change agent, author, writer, speaker and activist. He has published five books and many articles.

‘The Truth About Trident: Disarming The Nuclear Argument’
with Timmon Wallis

Thursday 22nd September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The UK is one of nine states possessing nuclear weapons. Renewal of the Trident programme extends Britain’s commitment to so-called nuclear ‘deterrence’ well into the second half of this century, despite treaty obligations and an ‘unequivocal undertaking’ to disarm. With more than 16,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled worldwide, the risk of one going off by accident or design is increasing every day.

Wallis in ‘The Truth about Trident’ explores the issues Trident presents and raises questions like: what would be the impact of their use? How safe are they in the meantime? Are they really necessary? Can we afford them? Are there better alternatives? This book aims to peel back layers of confusion and deceit to reach the truth about Trident.

With Parliament recently voting to renew Trident nuclear submarine programme, Timmon Wallis discusses what next for nuclear disarmament in the UK?

About the Author

Timmon Milne Wallis
was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved with his family to Cullen on the Moray Firth. He studied politics and international relations at the University of Aberdeen. He then discovered the peace studies course at Bradford University in West Yorkshire and ended up getting a PhD from there.

Tim spent several years living at a peace camp and campaigning against the building of a nuclear cruise missile base at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. He currently works for Quaker Peace & Social Witness, where he is now job-sharing the position of Programme Manager for Peace and Disarmament.

‘Social-Democracy and Anarchism: In the International Workers' Association, 1864-1877’ with Rene Berthier
Wednesday 7th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome René Berthier to discuss his book, which revisits, in depth, the profound historic split between Anarchist and Marxist Social Democrats which occurred in the First International.

Much of the ongoing IWA were inspired by Bakunin. He argued for the priority of labour solidarity. But it was not an anarchist International that was created in 1872. Anarchism was born some five years later, when Bakunin was dead. Rather, the adoption of anarchism by the remnants of the IWA marked a breach with Bakuninism.

Berthier’s account also shows how the International Workers’ Association (IWA) was formed in 1864 by French and British trade unionists and quickly became a forum for socialist discussion over both strategy and goals; how Marx and Engels used bureaucratic manipulation to secure their control over the body and, in so doing, marginalise themselves so completely they ended up expelling the majority of the organisation; that Bakunin came to play a key role in the IWA because he articulated the majority position, what came to be called  “syndicalist”.

After the Paris Commune (1871), Bakunin characterised Marx's ideas as authoritarian, and argued that if a Marxist party came to power its leaders would end up as bad as the ruling class they had fought against. In 1872, the conflict in the First International climaxed with a final split between the two groups at the Hague Congress. This clash is often cited as the origin of the long-running conflict between anarchists and Marxists.

This split is sometimes called the ‘red and black divide’, red referring to the Marxists and black referring to the anarchists. Otto von Bismarck remarked, upon hearing of the split at the First International, "Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!"


“This is an excellent work, recommended to both anarchist activists and those interested in the rise of modern, revolutionary, anarchism.” – Anarchist Writers

“This book is a credit to its author, who has thoroughly researched the available evidence on this subject.” – Weekly Worker

About the Author

Rene Berthier is an active researcher, writer, and a veteran French anarcho-syndicalist activist.

‘Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People’ with Patrick Ainley
Wednesday 14th September 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome Patrick Ainley, to discuss his latest book published by Policy Press, which shows how for generations we have been told that the way to move up in our society is through education: stay in school, work hard, and you'll go far. But that's no longer true. Today's young people study harder but learn less, ending up over-qualified yet underemployed.

In this book Patrick shows how education in England has been thoroughly compromised by being reoriented away from learning and toward the economy, with devastating results. ‘Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People’ concludes by suggesting how schools, colleges and universities can begin to contribute towards a more meaningful and productive society.


“This book decisively debunks the conventional wisdom of neoliberalism and ‘human capital’ theory and as such is an essential read.” – Morning Star

“Ever thought school was stupid, college a treadmill, and universities neglected your interest? Have you been propelled towards jobs that either didn’t exist or that you wish didn’t?  If you need to know what is really going on in the education and labor markets, I recommend this book.” -- Danny Dorling, University of Oxford

About the Author

Professor of Education at Greenwich University and Visiting Fellow at New College Oxford, Patrick Ainley taught in schools, colleges and universities, writing on youth and education; From School to YTS (1988) and Lost Generation? (2010).



Brexit Boris by Heathcote Williams’

presented by the Public Reading Rooms
Thursday September 15th, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Join us at Housmans for an evening of chat and wine, words and poetry to launch our new book and our new project - Brexit Boris by Heathcote Williams and the Public Reading Rooms. We hope to be joined by Heathcote and a range of luminaries and illuminaries. 

Entry £3 which can be redeemed against Brexit Boris and gets you a free glass of vino. We will be visiting Boris's house in Highbury to drop off a copy of the book beforehand. Feel free to meet up with us there. email us

‘The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness’
with Bruce Nixon

Wednesday 21st September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

We are in the midst of a great revolution. Every century has its revolutions and ours is no exception. It is multi-faceted and interconnected. There is a revolution in science, medicine and technology. The scientific and technological revolution will transform our lives, our work and the world as we know it. Undoubtedly, many of these developments will bring enormous benefits, particularly in the area of human health. However, equally, they could result in the even greater concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few. The danger is we’ll be deluded by techno-fixes.

We are also in the midst of an economic and political revolution. All over the West, Neoliberal economic ideology, austerity, consumerism, free-market capitalism and top down politics are being challenged, especially by younger people. The internet is transforming politics by facilitating dialogue and giving power to people. In the year of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and after an election that gave power to a UK government with only 37% of the votes, there are growing calls for a fair voting system, radical reform of outdated democratic institutions and a different way of doing politics. The story of Syriza in Greece has much in common with Spain's Podemos, Scotland's independence campaign and Jeremy Corbyn’s successful bid to lead and transform the UK Labour party.  These developments, a stagnant economy and mass migration are forcing the EU to rethink itself.

We face the biggest challenges in our history. Science and technology will not help us unless we are determined to act on the urgent need to tackle climate chaos, conserve a living planet, resolve economic inequality and break entrenched power structures. As I write, Cop 21, the 21st annual session of the International Climate Change Conference, is to be held in Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015. Will the necessary action be finally agreed and acted upon in time to prevent catastrophe? Will we learn to live lightly on the planet? Will we learn to collaborate and resolve conflict without war?  Like all species, human beings are evolving. But will we do so in time?

The greatest obstacles, argues Dixon, are the lack of farsighted, courageous leaders who will speak the truth and disempowered citizens who think there is nothing they can do. Hence the subtitle of this book – A Call to Greatness.

This accessible book will help you make sense of the situation. It offers ways forward and practical solutions. It will help you decide how you want to engage with others in creating a better world through a peaceful revolution.  Above all it will give you hope.


“This is an amazing book - not just because it tells us what’s wrong with our society and how to put it right - but because it is full of hope and love for people and our planet.  The world is a better place for The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness and its author Bruce Nixon - the book inspires me to help make the 21st century revolution happen.” - Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass

“A fascinating read, a really good contribution to the debate about the future of democracy.” - Katie Ghose, Chief Executive, Electoral Reform Society

“Read this excellent analysis of what's gone wrong, take heart and fight for positive change!” - Yvonne Roberts, Journalist and Fellow of the Young Foundation

About the Author

Bruce Nixon is a veteran change agent, author, writer, speaker and activist. He has published five books and many articles.

‘The Truth About Trident: Disarming The Nuclear Argument’
with Timmon Wallis

Thursday 22nd September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The UK is one of nine states possessing nuclear weapons. Renewal of the Trident programme extends Britain’s commitment to so-called nuclear ‘deterrence’ well into the second half of this century, despite treaty obligations and an ‘unequivocal undertaking’ to disarm. With more than 16,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled worldwide, the risk of one going off by accident or design is increasing every day.

Wallis in ‘The Truth about Trident’ explores the issues Trident presents and raises questions like: what would be the impact of their use? How safe are they in the meantime? Are they really necessary? Can we afford them? Are there better alternatives? This book aims to peel back layers of confusion and deceit to reach the truth about Trident.

With Parliament recently voting to renew Trident nuclear submarine programme, Timmon Wallis discusses what next for nuclear disarmament in the UK?

About the Author

Timmon Milne Wallis
was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved with his family to Cullen on the Moray Firth. He studied politics and international relations at the University of Aberdeen. He then discovered the peace studies course at Bradford University in West Yorkshire and ended up getting a PhD from there.

Tim spent several years living at a peace camp and campaigning against the building of a nuclear cruise missile base at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. He currently works for Quaker Peace & Social Witness, where he is now job-sharing the position of Programme Manager for Peace and Disarmament.




‘An Unreliable Guide to London’ 
with readers Tim Burrows, Juliet Jacques, Stephen
Thompson + editors Gary Budden, Kit Caless
Wednesday 17th August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

An Unreliable Guide to London brings together 23 stories about the lesser known parts of a world renowned city. Stories that stretch the reader's definition of the truth and question reality. Stories of wind nymphs in South Clapham tube station, the horse sized swan at Brentford Ait, sleeping clinics in Islington and celebrations for St Margaret's Day of the Dead.

An Unreliable Guide to London is the perfect summer read for city dwellers up and down the country. With a list of contributors reflecting the multi-layered, complex social structures of the city, it is the guide to London, showing you everything that you never knew existed.

Features stories from M John Harrison, Yvvette Edwards, Chloe Aridjis, Nikesh Shukla, Courttia Newland, Juliet Jaques, Will Wiles, Irenosen Okojie, Paul Ewen, Noo Saro Wiwa, Salena Godden and many more.

‘The City: London and the Global Power of Finance’
with Tony Norfield
Wednesday 3rd August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Join Tony Norfield, former analyst with 20 years experience in City banks and author of The City: London and the Global Power of Finance, at Housmans to discuss the City and the new economic imperialism.

How does the City of London exert such power on the global economy? The City is a key part of the mechanism by which economic power gets transferred to major companies. It handles 41% of all the world’s dealing in foreign exchange and nearly half of all interest rate derivative deals between banks and their clients. But while banks are at the centre of this network, they mainly act as the intermediaries for others. Big corporations are the drivers of these deals. They aim to boost their market power, especially through mergers and takeovers, and are helped by their access to financial markets.

Tony Norfield details, with shocking and insightful research, the role of the US dollar in global trading, the network of British linked tax havens, the flows of finance around the world and the system of power built upon financial securities. Samsung and Apple provide 40% of the world’s smartphones and just five companies produce half the world’s beer. Why do just fifty companies now have control of a large share of world economic production? How have we reached the point where this concentration of financial and economic power has accumulated in these few companies? And what does this say for the prospects of social and political change?

The City explains how this situation came about, examining the history of the world economy from the post-war period to the present day. If you imagine you don’t like “finance” but have no problem with the capitalist market system, think again: it turns out the two cannot be separated.

This event is part of Housman’s ‘London’s Burning’ season.

“How many Marxists are at work in the dealing rooms of the City? Presumably they keep their heads well down. Tony Norfield is—or was—one. Twenty years a trader at the centre of the financial web, he has married the insights into the workings of the system he gained to a thorough Marxist understanding of political economy. The result is this fascinating book.”– Morning Star

“It is not every day you read a book about global finance by a banker who quotes Lenin approvingly on page two. Unlike many of those who produce Marxist critiques of financial capitalism, Norfield writes from a position of experience: he has worked in the belly of the beast, and the book is the better for it...In The City, he has done the research and pulled together the financial statistics that explain how the bloodsucking works.”– Brooke Masters, Financial Times

About the Author

For nearly twenty years, Tony Norfield worked in bank dealing rooms in the City of London. For ten years he was an Executive Director and the Global Head of FX Strategy in a major European bank, travelling to some forty countries on business, negotiating with finance ministries, central banks and major corporations. He was frequently quoted in the Financial TimesWall Street JournalGuardian and Telegraph, and on news services such as Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC. In 2014, he was awarded a PhD in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

JULY 2016

‘Class in 21st Century London’
with Lisa McKenzie and Mike Savage
Wednesday 6th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome Lisa McKenzie and Mike Savage to discuss class structure in London in the 21st century. Lisa is part of the Great British Class Survey Team at the London School of Economics, headed by Professor Mike Savage, which recently published their findings in the book Social Class in the 21st Century (Penguin).

This book presents the ideas and facts behind a new conceptualization of class: a new British class system composed of seven classes that reflect the unequal distribution of three kinds of capital: economic (inequalities in income and wealth); social (the different kinds of people we know) and cultural (the ways in which our leisure and cultural preferences are exclusive).

The book looks beyond labels to explore how and why our society is changing and what this means for the people who find themselves in the margins as well as in the centre. Our guests will be focussing on the ever-increasing contrast between elites and the precariat in the British capital.

This event is part of Housmans London’s Burning season.


“Savage’s commitment to bringing out the nuances of class relationships, and the experiences of individuals in the class structure, makes this book invaluable.” Lynsey Hanley – The Guardian

“What the book highlights clearly is the dominance of London, of London’s universities and Oxbridge, and the growing importance of housing wealth.” Danny Dorling -THES

About the Author

Lisa McKenzie is a sociologist and research fellow with the Great British Class Survey Team at the London School of Economics. The author of Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain, she is also a political and social activist engaged with many local community protests and campaigns.

Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

‘London Rent Strikes: Damnificados'
with JJ Amaworo Wilson and housing activists
Thursday 7th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome JJ Amaworo Wilson, author of Damnificados in conversation with activists from UCL Cut the Rent and Goldsmiths Cut the Rent campaigns for a conversation on housing activism and struggles in London.

Wilson’s novel Damnificados is loosely based on the real-life occupation of a half-completed skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, the Tower of David. In this fictional version, six hundred “damnificados”—vagabonds and misfits—take over an abandoned urban tower and set up a community complete with schools, stores, beauty salons, bakeries, and a rag-tag defensive militia. Their always heroic (and often hilarious) struggle for survival and dignity pits them against corrupt police, the brutal military, and the tyrannical “owners.”

This event is part of Housmans London’s Burning season.


“Should be read by every politician and rich bastard and then force-fed to them—literally, page by page.”—Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand

“Two-headed beasts, biblical floods, dragonflies to the rescue—magical realism threads through this authentic and compelling struggle of men and women—the damnificados—to make a home for themselves against all odds. Into this modern, urban, politically familiar landscape of the ‘have-nots’ versus the ‘haves,’ Amaworo Wilson introduces archetypes of hope and redemption that are also deeply familiar—true love, vision quests, the hero’s journey, even the remote possibility of a happy ending. These characters, this place, this dream will stay with you long after you’ve put this book down.”—Sharman Apt Russell, author of Hunger

“Only a rare and special talent can take contemporary realities—sad, joyful, infuriating, inspiring—and spin them into legend. In a narrative rich in danger, adventure, humor, romance, and risk, JJ Amaworo Wilson raises essential questions without succumbing to earnestness or didacticism.”—Diane Lefer, author of Confessions of a Carnivore

About the Participants

JJ Amaworo Wilson is a German-born, British-educated debut novelist. Based in the U.S., he has lived in 9 countries and visited 60. He is a prizewinning author of over 20 books about language and language learning. Damnificados is his first major fiction work. His short fiction has been published by Penguin, Johns Hopkins University Press, and myriad literary magazines in England and the U.S.

UCL Cut the Rent  and Goldsmiths Cut the Rent are campaigns demanding affordable living for university students in London.

‘A People’s History of the Woodcraft Folk’
with Phineas Harper and Annebella Pollen
Tuesday 19th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Phineas Harper and Annebella Pollen discuss the history of the Woodcraft Folk, an egalitarian co-operative children and young people’s movement which originated in a back garden in south London!

The talk will be the launch of Harper's and Pollen's book, "A People's History of Woodcraft Folk", a review of the first nine decades of the co-operative children and young people's movement. Through objects and images, this book explores the history, values and evolution of this unique organisation in a chronological sweep of stories from hand-making tents and rescuing children from advancing Nazi troops, to campaigning against climate change.

This event is part of Housmans’ ‘London’s Burning’ season.


“I think Woodcraft, and its related organisations, does a fantastic job of opening our minds to a better way of running things." -Jeremy Corbyn

About the Participants

Phineas Harper is an architecture critic and designer. He is Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation and former Deputy Editor of the Architectural Review. He has written on design and society for Uncube, ArchDailyThe Architects' JournalMade and others. His first book, the Architecture Sketchbook was published by Laurence King and Magma.

Annebella Pollen is Principal Lecturer in the History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton, UK. Her publications include Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life (IB Tauris) and Dress History: New Directions in Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury).

‘Hackney Propaganda:
Working Class Club Life and Politics in Hackney 1870 – 1900’
with Ken Worpole
Wednesday 20th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Ken Worpole returns to Housmans to discuss the active working class political environment and club life in Hackney from the 1870s to the end of the century.

The years from 1870 to 1900 were growth years for socialist and trade union politics in Britain, following a period of thirty years of relative demoralisation and repression. The men and women of Hackney struggled to build the organisations and traditions for economic and political liberation from which our own local socialist and trade union movement has developed.

First published in 1980, the pamphlet Hackney Propaganda: Working Class Club Life and Politics in Hackney 1870–1900 is afacsimile reprint which tells precisely the story of the vibrant culture of working class club life and politics. The pamphlet provides details of club affiliations, names and addresses, lecture lists, poetry readings, outings, brass bands, bunfights and demonstrations, which made the borough ‘the most heretical…in the metropolis’.

By Barry Burke & Ken Worpole. £5

This event is part of Housmans’ ‘London's Burning’ season.


“For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.”- The Independent

About the Author

Ken Worpole is the author of many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. His principal interests concern the planning and design of new landscapes and public institutions, whether parks, playgrounds, libraries, townscape or urban green networks.

Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University, and has served on the UK government’s Urban Green Spaces Task Force, on the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as an adviser to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.


JUNE 2016

‘Refugees on Lesbos: one volunteer's story"
with Bev Jackson
Wednesday 15th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Activist Bev Jackson will be at Housmans to present her book A Month with Starfish, which recounts her experiences volunteering in with the Starfish Foundation, a group that helps refugees arriving from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. A Month with Starfish is a largely light hearted account of Bev’s trip to a kaleidoscopic world that provided her with a crash course in human possibilities and her own limitations.

“…a wonderful book. I read it in one go and was profoundly moved and educated too. It is a fresh, honest and compassionate insight into the life of a Lesvos volunteer” – Esther Freud

About the Author

Bev Jackson was a founding member of the UK Gay Liberation Front. She then moved to Amsterdam, where she raised two daughters, worked as a teacher and translator and now lives with her wife and two dogs.

‘Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics’
with Richard Seymour  

Saturday 18th June, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes back writer and broadcaster Richard Seymour who will be presenting his new book Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (Verso).

With a landslide in the first round, Jeremy Corbyn, an unassuming antiwar socialist, crushed the opposition, dealing a huge blow to the Blairite opposition. For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda—and for the first time in Labour’s history, it defines the leadership.

This book tells the story of how Corbyn’s rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and a deep crisis in British democracy. It surveys the makeshift coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, and students who rallied to Corbyn.

It shows how a novel social media campaign turned the media’s “Project Fear” on its head, making a virtue of every accusation thrown at him. And finally it asks, with all the artillery that is still ranged against Corbyn, and given the crisis-ridden Labour Party that he has inherited, what it would mean for him to succeed.


“Long after the Labour left was thought to be dead, Jeremy Corbyn's emergence has inspired millions. There is no one better positioned than Richard Seymour to take a look at his emergence and whether Corbyn can actually turn Labour into a force for radical change.”– Bhaskar Sunkara

“Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style. Everything he writes is worth reading.”- Gary Younge

“One of our most astute political analysts turns his attention to Corbyn, and the result is predictably essential: not just to make sense of how we got to this unlikely situation, but for his thoughts on what the left might do next” -China Miéville

“Seymour is an essential voice on the left, and this book is a necessary intervention, explaining this daunting political moment and bringing the focus back to strategy. Not so much a call to arms as a call to brains.” - Laurie Penny

About the Author

Richard Seymour is a writer, broadcaster and socialist, currently based in London. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the London Review of Book,Jacobin and many other publications.

‘Cut Out: Living without Welfare’ and ‘Island Story’
with Jeremy Seabrook and J.D. Taylor
Wednesday 22nd June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are proud to welcome Jeremy Seabrook and J.D. Taylor for a discussion on politics and life in Britain and the impact of austerity.

Britain’s welfare state, one of the greatest achievements of our post-war reconstruction, was regarded as the cornerstone of modern society. Today, that cornerstone is wilfully being dismantled by a succession of governments, with horrifying consequences. The establishment paints pictures of so-called ‘benefit scroungers’; the disabled, the sickly and the old.

In Cut Out: Living Without Welfare (Left Book Blub/Pluto Press), Jeremy Seabrook speaks to people whose support from the state – for whatever reason – is now being withdrawn, rendering their lives unsustainable. In turns disturbing, eye-opening, and ultimately humanistic, these accounts reveal the reality behind the headlines, and the true nature of British politics today.

J.D. Taylor, on the other hand, cycled all round Britain, interviewing and staying with strangers from all walks of life. Without a map and travelling with the most basic of gear, the journey revels in serendipity and schadenfreude.

Taylor’s book, Island Story (Repeater), weaves histories, experiences and ideas to tell another kind of story: one of rebellion and retail parks, migration and inertia, pessimism and disappearing ways of life, and a fiery, unrealised desire for collective belonging and power.

Reviews for Island Story

“In the spirit of Cobbett this is a beautifully written account of a journey around contemporary Britain which is both political and poetic - a rare combination.” -Anna Minton, author of Ground Control 

“If you want to know what Starkey, Fox, Bryson and Paxman miss, because they travel different roads, this book is for you.” - Danny Dorling

Review for Jeremy Seabrook

“For half a century, in one delicately textured study after another, Seabrook has established himself as perhaps Britain’s finest anatomist of class, deindustrialisation, migration and the spiritual consequences of neoliberalism.” - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian
About the Authors

Jeremy Seabrook is a journalist and writer who has written for the New StatesmanGuardianTime, and Independent. He writes plays for stage and TV and is the author of many books, including Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain and The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh.

J.D. Taylor is a researcher and charity worker from South London.


‘Looking for Trouble’
by Roque Dalton, and presented by John Green and Michal Boncza
Saturday 25th June, 4pm
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults
*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.

Housmans is proud to welcome John Green and Michal Boncza, editors and translators of Looking for Trouble, a collection of poetry by the cult Latin American poet Roque Dalton.

An extraordinary poet of rebellion and humour, fierce militancy and painful tenderness, his work is still read alongside other guerrilla poets like Otto René Castillo, Javier Heraud, Ernesto Cardenal and Daisy Zamora.

Although his poetry has been widely published in Cuba, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia and the US, Looking for Trouble is the first time his work has been published in the UK.

About the Poet

Roque Dalton (1935–1975) is one of the best-known and best-loved poets of twentieth-century Latin America. A founder-member of the Committed Generation of Poets and a member of the Salvadorean Communist Party, Dalton was imprisoned in 1959 and sentenced to death for organising students and peasants against the local landowners. On the day of his execution his life was saved when the military dictatorship was overthrown in a coup. Dalton escaped death a second time in 1965 when the prison was hit by an earthquake.

He spent several years in exile in Mexico, Cuba and Czechoslovakia, publishing poetry, essays, fiction and biography and winning the 1969 Casa de las Américas poetry prize. In 1975 Dalton returned to El Salvador and joined the underground Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (the Revolutionary Army of the People). Accused by the ERP of being a CIA spy, Dalton was murdered four days before his fortieth birthday.

About the Translators and Editors

John Green was a documentary film maker for twenty years, covering social and political issues throughout the world for GDR television. His books include Engels: A Revolutionary Life, Ken Sprague: People’s Artist, Red Reporter and (with Bruni de la Motte) Stasi Hell or Workers’ Paradise: Socialism in the German Democratic Republic. Many of his translations included in His Hands Were Gentle: Selected Lyrics of Victor Jara (also published by Smokestack).

Michal Boncza was born in the UK, spent his childhood in Argentina and his youth in Poland where he studied architecture. He is a journalist, graphic designer and translator, specialising in translations from the Spanish. He currently works at the Morning Star newspaper. Together they edited and translated The Arrival of the Orchestra by the Venezuelan poet Gustavo Pereira (also published by Smokestack).

This event is part of a new series of fiction and poetry readings at Housmans called SATURDAYS IN THE VAULTS.

‘That Precious Strand of Jewishness that Challenges Authority’ with Leon Rosselson:

Wednesday 1st June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Housmans are proud to welcome singer-songwriter and children’s author Leon Rosselson who will be reading from his pamphlet That Precious Strand of Jewishness that Challenges Authority.

This essay was originally presented as the 2015 annual Yerushah Lecture in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge. The lecture was established with a benefaction from the Righteous Persons Foundation, created by Steven Spielberg from the proceeds of his 1993 film Schindler’s List.  ‘Yerushah’ is the Hebrew word for ‘heritage’.

The Yerushah Lecture is devoted to Jewish heritage in all its aspects, with an emphasis on the transmission of Jewish identity and values across the generations. Rosselson will incorporate songs into his reading at Housmans, questioning what it means to be Jewish.

Rosselson says "For my parents and grandparents, Jewish identity, in religion, culture and language, was a given. Not so for me. I'm not religious, not a Zionist, so in what consists my Jewishness? Is a love of chopped liver and a belief that chicken soup cures all ills enough? And does it matter? This is the story of my search for answers. It is an argument with myself, with song lyrics to embellish the argument." 

Leon will also reflect on the recent rows over perceived anti-ametisim in the Labour Party.

About the Author

Leon Rosselon is an acclaimed singer and songwriter with more than 50 years of performing under his belt and the author of 17 children's books.



Ciaran Walsh performs ‘Red Dagger’
Saturday 4th June, 4pm
Free Entry, downstairs in the Vaults

*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.


Housmans are proud to welcome storyteller and radical historian Ciaran Walsh who will be performing the poem The Red Dagger by and on behalf of the English poet and dramatist Heathcote Williams. The Red Dagger tells the story of the City of London’s symbolic coat of arms, an image of the blood red soaked dagger that killed Wat Tyler. Walter "Wat" Tyler was a leader of the 1381 Peasants' Revolt. The dagger survives and is on display at Fishmongers’ Hall.  The piece is a blistering attack on the establishment, with utmost relevance to the continued scandals going on today in the City of London.

Walsh’s is a rip-roaring rendition in a ranting style - not for the faint-hearted!

This event is part of a new series of fiction and poetry readings at Housmans called SATURDAYS IN THE VAULTS.

‘Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence’ with Thandisizwe Chimurenga

Housmans are delighted to welcome feminist activist and journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga to discuss the case of Trayvon Martin and how his death is just one of many examples of violence against people of colour in the US.

Chimurenga is a contributor to a new CounterPunch Books anthology, Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence, examining American brutality against people of colour through the lens of the 2012 shooting of the unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who was ultimately acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

The book explores why Trayvon’s name and George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict symbolized all the grieving, the injustice, the profiling and free passes based on white privilege and police power: the long list of Trayvons known and unknown. The editors therefore titled this book Killing Trayvons because although Martin's profiling and death received extraordinary attention, they were crushingly ordinary, not only for black and brown youth in the suburbs and city streets of America but in the browner nations of the world, where the US, its clients and proxies stand their ground, claim self-defence, take preventive or pre-emptive action -- the verbal sleights-of-hand are many -- to deadly effect.

With contributions from Robin D.G. Kelley, Rita Dove, Cornel West and Amy Goodman, Alexander Cockburn, Etan Thomas, Tara Skurtu, bell hooks and Quassan Castro, June Jordan, Jesse Jackson, Tim Wise, Patricia Williams, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Vijay Prashad, Jesmyn Ward, Jordan Flaherty, Killing Trayvons is an essential addition to the literature on race, violence and resistance.   


“The essays form a searing indictment of a status quo that has accepted brutalization of communities of color and the premature termination of black lives since the era of widespread lynchings […] Killing Trayvons is packed with useful perspectives and powerful writing. It should be widely read for use in struggles for justice in the U.S.’ -Ben Terrall, journalist The Berkeley Daily Planet

About the Author

Thandisizwe Chimurenga is an award-winning, freelance journalist based in Los Angeles.  She came to journalism through activism, understanding how powerful media can be for destroying or building grassroots, revolutionary change. She has been a writer and creator or co-creator of media (newspapers, Cable TV, radio) for over 20 years and her community activism has ranged from electoral organizing; anti-police terror work; freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of war; to organizing against violence against women.

MAY 2016



‘Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania’

with Shannon Woodcock

Tuesday 24th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Dr Woodcock will discuss ethnic and racial persecution within the uniquely isolated and oppressive Albanian Communist state between 1944 and 1991.

Life is War is a collection of oral histories that guides readers through the decades (1944-1992) in which everything was controlled by the Communist Party; what work one could do, what food was available, and even who one could marry.

The reader accompanies Shannon, the author and historian, through intimate interviews with six Albanian men and women. We hear how everyday people survived shocking living conditions, political persecution and oppression dependent on ethnicity, political status, gender and sexuality.

This is a thorough and vivid history of lived communism in Albania, charting political and ideological shifts through the experiences of those who survived. Life is War stands as remarkable and profound testimony to the resilience of humanity in the face of unrelenting political terror.

An accurate and precise historical work, engagingly rendered from life narratives, it plunges the reader into the difficult emotional truths that are at the core of remembering Albania’s communist past.

Life is War is a valuable contribution to studies of everyday life under Communism and dictatorship. Eloquently written and expertly researched, it will appeal to readers interested in life histories, war, Communism, European history and trauma studies.

About the author

Dr Shannon Woodcock  is a genocide scholar who has held the Pearl Resnick Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and published widely in the field of the Holocaust of Romani people in Romania. She is currently a research associate in the Faculty of Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, where her current project examines colonial genocide in Australia.

‘How to dismantle the NHS in 10 easy steps’

with Dr Youssef El-Gingihy

Wednesday 25th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Tower Hamlets GP Youssef El-Gingihy  discusses the NHS and explains how it has been gradually been converted into a market-based healthcare system over the past 30 years.

The NHS is the closest thing we have to a collective heart, so naturally when we hear of it being ‘privatised’ and ‘dismantled’ this evokes a negative response. It instinctively makes sense - we have a Tory government after all and they seem to quite like privatising stuff.

However, it’s a bit confusing because we still appear to get free healthcare at the point of service. Who cares if it’s being taken over by ‘health trusts’? You can still get your hip replaced or a cancer removed … What’s all the fuss about?

Youssef El-Gingihy’s accessible short book shows us why this attack on our most cherished public service is so important - a process that has been underway since the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher. Youssef provides a wealth of quite incredible information in 71 pages, so if you ever find yourself faced with a Tory offensive, you will be ready for the fight.

And it’s not just a Tory problem; El Gingihy shows that every government over the past thirty years has contributed to the demise of the pride of the UK. And here’s how they are doing it.

El-Gingihy then sets out a number of ways in which we can fight back, and if you aren’t willing to take to the streets after reading this, then you must be part of the ruling class. With TTIP potentially on the horizon (giving companies the ability to sue governments if their decisions affect their profits), the fight only becomes more difficult as every day passes.

However, with Jeremy Hunt’s recent attack on Junior Doctors, it is becoming ever more clear to the general public that with the Tories left in charge of the NHS (or any other public service for that matter), it will become more and more of a ludicrous business opportunity for their mates, and less of a public service. Although, recent history tells us that the right of the Labour Party is complicit in all this.

Nye Bevan, the creator of the service once said, ‘The NHS will exist as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.’ El-Gingihy’s book provides us with plenty of ammunition for that fight.

About the author

Dr Youssef El-Gingihy is a general practioner at Bromley by Bow Health Centre, east London. He is author of How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps, published by Zero books.


‘Breathe: Stories from Cuba’

with Leila Segal
Saturday 28th May, 4pm
Free Entry
*Please note this event is being held downstairs in our Vaults, and is only accessible via a staircase.

Housmans are proud to welcome Leila Segal to present her short story collection, Breathe (Flipped Eye Publishing). A beautifully observed collection of short stories, Breathe takes the reader beyond the artificial glamour of guidebook Cuba to paint a real and uncompromising portrait of modern-­day Cuba. With sparse and revealing prose, Breathe portrays a series of encounters between Cubans and tourists, deftly exposing cross-­cultural tensions and inequalities. Written from the perspective of an outsider, Breathe is remarkable for its insight into everyday life in Cuba, and draws on the time Leila spent living in a rural community in the West of the island. Leila will read extracts from the stories, and talk about life in Cuba, taking questions afterwards from the audience.

“A collection of nine luminous tales ... Segal shows us Cuba at street level. Although Segal is interested in politics, she always shows us the realpolitik of intimate human relationships, too ... rich and evocative.' LA Jewish Journal

“These are stories of encounters, chance meetings and epiphanies in streets that are at once exotic and familiar … shining a spotlight on our perceptions as non-Cubans of the so-called exotic other.” Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3

“Each story is like a tiny painting, giving a glimpse into the often hidden and misunderstood lives led by the Cubans.” Random Things Through My Letterbox

“[Segal] expresses the complex and conflicting emotions which bind together and splinter apart foreigners and Cubans ... [she] writes about Cuba with a unique style and voice.” Brixton Bugle

Breathe encapsulates the dynamics of some of my own experiences of living in Cuba and in frequent interaction with foreigners. [Segal’s] poetic writing eloquently portrays – and stripped of stereotypes – the complexities of the curiosity, power struggles, fears, presumptions, eroticism and cultural clash inherent in such interactions.” Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas, multi-award-winning Cuban guitarist

“A look at Cuba through foreign eyes. Relying more on subtleties than on drama, [Segal] portrays the tensions and struggles, but also the joy and warmth, that fill Cubans' lives.” Aida Bahr, author of Ofelias, and winner of Cuba's Premio de la Critica Literaria

About the Author 

Leila Segal was born in London, of Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian descent. She trained as a barrister before working in journalism for several years. In 2000 Leila visited Cuba; as soon as she arrived she knew that she wanted to stay. She lived first in Havana, then in the rural far West with her partner and his family. Breathe is her debut collection, for which she received funding from the Arts Council England.

Leila founded and directs Voice of Freedom, an organisation that works with trafficked women. Voice of Freedom enables women who have escaped their captors, and sometimes given evidence against them, to use text and photography to talk about their lives. She reads her work regularly in London:

This event is part of a new series of fiction and poetry readings at Housmans called SATURDAYS IN THE VAULTS.



‘George Orwell Now!’
presented by the Orwell Society and Richard Blair (Orwell’s son)

Wednesday 18th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


George Orwell remains an iconic figure today - even though he died in 1950. His dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four depicts a Big Brother society in which the state intrudes into the most intimate details of people's lives - and, not surprisingly, it became a constant reference point after Edward Snowden's revelations.

The word ‘Orwellian’ is constantly in the media - used either as a pejorative adjective to evoke totalitarian terror or as a complimentary adjective to mean ‘displaying outspoken intellectual honesty’. Interest in Orwell's life and writings - globally - continues unabated. Beginning with a Preface by Richard Blair, Orwell's son, George Orwell Now! brings together thirteen chapters by leading international scholars in four thematic sections:

About the speakers

Richard Blair is a patron of the Orwell Society and Eric Arthur Blair’s son. Eric Arthur Blair is the real name of the writer George Orwell.

The Orwell Society is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of the life and work of George Orwell, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. This is the pre-eminent society devoted to Orwell. 



‘Lean Out’
with Dawn Foster

Wednesday 11th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Social affairs journalist Dawn Foster's new book Lean Out is a mere 81 pages long, but it packs a powerful punch. Inspired by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg's likeable bestseller Lean In, it's much more than just a riposte to the popular business manifesto for women. Fascinating, thought-provoking and at times outrage-inducing, Lean Out elucidates the many ways in which women are being subjugated by corporations and the government, and encourages us to take direct action to address these inequalities.

Sheryl Sandberg’s business advice book, Lean In, was heralded as a defining moment in attitudes to women in business. But for all its commercial success, it proposed a model of feminism that was individualistic and unthreatening to capital.

In her powerful debut work Lean Out, acclaimed journalist Dawn Foster unpicks how the purportedly feminist message of Sandberg’s book neatly exempts patriarchy, capitalism and business from any responsibility for changing the position of women in contemporary culture. It looks at the rise of a corporate ‘1% feminism’, and at how feminism has been defanged and depoliticised at a time when women have borne the brunt of the financial crash and the gap between rich and poor is widening faster than ever.Surveying business, media, culture and politics, Foster asks whether this ‘trickledown’ feminism offers any material gain for women collectively, or acts as mere window-dressing PR for the corporations who caused the financial crash. She concludes that ‘leaning out’ of the corporate model is a more effective way of securing change than leaning in.

About the Author

Dawn Foster is a writer on politics, social affairs and economics for The Guardian, London Review of Books, Independent and Times Literary Supplement, and is a regular political commentator for Sky News, Channel 4 News, and BBC Newsnight. She won the IBP Young Journalist of the Year award in 2014, and currently lives in London.


‘Place is the Passion:

Reframing the Israel/Palestine Conflict’
with Bill Williamson

Saturday 14th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Bill Williamson argues that Israel relies for its survival on its lucrative arms trade and American military support. Meanwhile, the Palestinians suffer poverty and destitution as an occupied nation. Indeed, without vast international financial support the Palestinians would face starvation.Any solution is impossible while Israel pursues an aggressive program of settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing.

The author draws extensively on Jewish sources to prove Israel is on the wrong track. He looks beyond the moribund two state solution, which he likens to Apartheid, to show there is a better future achievable for both peoples: one that is secular, democratic, bi-national, culturally vibrant and economically successful.

About the Author 

Dr Williamson is Emeritus Professor of Continuing Education, Durham University, involved in his university’s Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. A fact finding study to Israel/Palestine in 2013 led to him writing this book.


‘Fat Activism: a radical social movement’
with Charlotte Cooper
Wednesday 4th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Charlotte Cooper lifts the lid on a previously unexplored social movement.

Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement is a rare insider’s view of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms.
The book is the result of Charlotte's community-based doctoral research and is part of a new wave of accessible, accountable and rigorous work emerging through Research Justice and the Para-Academy.

In her expansive grassroots study she:

About the Author

Dr Charlotte Cooper is a London-based psychotherapist, researcher and cultural worker. She is an outspoken advocate for gay rights and fat acceptance. Cooper is both an academic and mainstream author. She has written many articles on fat acceptance and gay rights issues for websites, magazines and newspapers, including Diva, the U.K.'s leading lesbian magazine and UK national newspaper The Guardian.

She is a prolific author of zines and performs in the queercore band 'Homosexual Death Drive' in 2014 she became a dancer with Project O's SWAGGA. She blogs at

For more information visit:

APRIL 2016


‘Stealing the Future’

with Max Hertzberg
Tuesday 19th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

With Housmans recent expansion into our Vaults, we have greatly expanded our political fiction stock, and will be adding more fiction talks to our events programme in the near future. With that in mind we are delighted to welcome Marx Hertzberg to discuss his proto-utopian spy thriller, which uses fiction to look at the challenges of transforming society into a system based on mutual-aid and grassroots democracy.

Stealing the Future is the first in the East Berlin Trilogy of crime and spy novels set in a counterfactual GDR – an East Germany that still exists, an East Germany that didn’t collapse in the revolution of 1989, but introduced radical political and economic changes to stay independent.

Stealing the Future is about a “realistic utopia” – it seeks to describe that phase of hard work, hope and (seemingly?) insurmountable challenges. It’s a thought experiment: how could the East Germany of 1989 go from Communist dictatorship to something much more equitable, much fairer and more just than we even dare dream is possible?

Gritty and realistic but hopeful, Stealing the Future gives the traditional crime and spy thriller a revolutionary twist.

About the East Berlin Series

Most utopian novels are set in a new environment: perhaps a new planet, an ‘uninhabited’ or isolated island, or some future or parallel place. But the East Berlin Series charts the progress of a society like ours to one with more utopian properties; it maps the changes, the successes and failures of a society navigating by the light of utopian ideals.

About the Author

Max Hertzberg, onetime Stasi files researcher and more recently a social change trainer and facilitator.

Stealing the Future is his debut novel, having previously co-written and edited A Consensus Handbook and How to Set Up a Workers’ Co-operative.

Between research trips to Berlin and Eastern Europe, Max is working on the next book in the East Berlin trilogy (working title: Thoughts are Free, due out in Autumn 2016). He’s not quite managing to find enough time to scrape a living by doing translations, editing and proofreading.

‘Inglorious: conflict in the Uplands’

with Mark Avery
Wednesday 20th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Driven grouse shooting, where flocks of Red Grouse are chased by lines of beaters so that they fly over lines of 'guns that shoot the fast-flying birds, is a peculiarly British fieldsport. It is also peculiarly British in that it is deeply rooted in the British class system. This multi-million pound business dominates the hills of the north of England the Pennines, the North Yorkshire Moors, the Cheviots and throughout Scotland. Grouse shooting is big business. VERY big business And backed by powerful, wealthy lobbying groups, its tendrils run throughout British society. 

Inglorious makes the case for banning driven grouse shooting. The facts and arguments are presented fairly but the author, Mark Avery, states from the start why he has, after many years of soul-searching, come down in favour of an outright ban. There is too much illegal killing of wildlife, such as Buzzards, Golden Eagles, and, most egregiously of all, Hen Harriers; and, as a land use, it wrecks the ecology of the hills. However, grouse shooting is economically important, and it is a great British tradition. All of these, and other points of view, are given fair and detailed treatment and analysis and the author talks to a range of people on different sides of the debate.

The book also sets out Avery's campaign with Chris Packham to gain support for the proposal to ban grouse shooting, culminating in 'Hen Harrier Day', timed to coincide with the 'Glorious' 12th.

Ever-controversial, Mark Avery is guaranteed to stir up a debate about fieldsports, the countryside and big business in a book that all British conservationists will want to read.


“Pacy and passionate, this is nature writing that insists you sit up and take note.” –Stephanie Cross, The Lady

“This is a book you must read whether or not you support such shooting.” -Highland News Group

“A powerful indictment of the grouse-shooting industry and its illegal shooting and propaganda war against the hen harrier.” –Stephen Moss, The Guardian

“Mr Avery writes with a light touch and endearing self-depreciation. He’s passionate (obsessed?) about the hen harrier.” –Country Life

“No other book this year put the cat amongst the pigeons (or rather, the game birds) like Avery's impassioned investigation into driven grouse shooting and its impact on moorland ecology.” –The Times

About the Author

Mark Avery is a scientist by training and a naturalist by inclination, who writes about and comments on environmental issues. Mark worked for the RSPB for 25 years before standing down in April 2011; he was the RSPB's Conservation Director for nearly 13 years. Mark lives in rural Northamptonshire. 

‘Royal Babylon : The Case Against the Monarchy’
with Heathcote Williams, Janine Booth and a representative of the Republic campaign
Thursday 21st April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans commiserates another royal anniversary with Heathcote Williams reading from his long-form prose-poem ‘Royal Babylon’.


Royal Babylon lays out in verse what Williams calls 'the criminal record of the British Monarchy.' It is a short but powerful book, detailing the ways in which the Queen and her family have made headlines over the years by activities and connections which, time and again, have shown poor judgment, demeaning behaviour, or a lack of compassion.

From animal killing to sexual scandal, profligacy to remoteness from her subjects, the accusations pile up in a 500-verse tirade which has all Williams' hallmarks of passion, satire and irony.


For a longer review please visit:

‘Having read ‘Royal Babylon’, a phenomenal piece of writing by Heathcote Williams, on the website of the International Times, I am reminded that we have every reason to loathe the monarchy and yet have become inured to its existence.’ –  Jeremy Hardy

About the Author

Heathcote Williams is an English poet, actor and dramatist. He has written a number of book-length polemical poems including Autogeddon, Falling for a Dolphin and Whale Nation, which in 1988 became, according to Philip Hoare "the most powerful argument for the newly instigated worldwide ban on whaling."

 Williams invented his idiosyncratic 'documentary/investigative poetry' style which he continues to put to good purpose bringing a diverse range of environmental and political matters to public attention. In June 2015, he published a book-length investigative poem about the 'Muslim Gandhi', Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 'Badshah Khan'. 

‘The Rent Trap: How we fell into it and how we get out of it’

with Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker
Wednesday 13th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Deregulation, revenge evictions, corruption, and day-to-day instability: these are realities becoming ever more familiar for those of us who rent our homes or apartments. At the same time, house prices are skyrocketing and the promise of homeownership is now an impossible dream for many. This is the rent-trap, an inescapable consequence of market-induced inequality.
Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker offer the first in-depth case study of the private rental sector in the United Kingdom, exploring the rent-trap injustices in a first-world economy and exposing the powers that conspire to oppose regulation. A quarter of British MPs are landlords; rent strike is almost impossible; and sudden evictions are growing.

Nevertheless, drawing on inspiration from movements in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and elsewhere, The Rent Trap shows how people are starting to fight back against the financial burdens, health risks, and vicious behavior of landlords, working to create a world of fairer, safer housing for all—lessons that extend well beyond the borders of the UK.

This book is published by Pluto Press in partnership with the recently reborn Left Book Club.

About the Authors

Samir Jeraj is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Guardian, New Statesman and the New Internationalist.  

Rosie Walker is a social policy researcher and journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Independent, Third Sector and Inside Housing.

‘Who's Afraid of the Easter Rising? 1916-2016’

with James Heartfield
Wednesday 6th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

One hundred years ago, Easter 1916, Irish revolutionaries rose against the British Empire proclaiming a Republic from the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin. The men and women of the Easter Rising were defeated by the overwhelming force of the British Army, in five days of intense fighting. Their leaders were executed.

But the Easter Rising lit a fire that ended with the whole country turning against Westminster’s rule, and founding a nation.

But today, the heirs to the Irish state are embarrassed about 1916. They are ashamed that their state owes its origins to a revolution. Along with academics and other commentators in the press and on television they dismiss the Rising as the work of violent fanatics, and the defeat of constitutional politics.

Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising? explains why today’s Dublin elite are recoiling from the origins of their state in a popular struggle.

Where the critics paint the Rising as an armed conspiracy, we explain that it was in fact a revolt against war; not a militaristic upsurge, but the first challenge to the awful slaughter of the First World War.

The Statesmen of Europe sacrificed millions upon the altar of war. Their recruiting sergeants in Ireland, Edward Carson and John Redmond sent 200,000 Irishmen into the slaughter and nearly 50,000 were killed.

The Easter Rising drew a halt to British recruitment, and the blow to the Empire was the first crack in a growing revolt against the war, followed by the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the German revolution the following year – which ended the conflict.

The Easter Rising was an inspiration to those who were challenging the Empires of Europe, from India to Vietnam, from New Zealand to Moscow; it was an inspiration to British activists like John Maclean and Sylvia Pankhurst; and it was an inspiration to the Irish men and women who rose up against British rule to free their nation.

About the Author

James Heartfield has worked as a journalist, for a television company, as a lecturer and editor. He wrote The 'Death of the Subject' Explained (2006) and The Aborigines' Protection Society (2011).


MARCH 2016

‘Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship’

with Anjan Sundaram
Wednesday 23rd March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Award-winning journalist Anjan Sundaram presents a powerful account of the recent tragic history of Rwanda,  and the continuing battle for free speech.

Hearing a blast, journalist Anjan Sundaram headed uphill towards the sound. Grenade explosions are not entirely unusual in the city of Kigali; dissidents throw them in public areas to try and destabilise the government and, since moving to Rwanda, he had observed an increasing number of them. 

What was unusual about this one, however, was that when Sundaram arrived, it was as though nothing had happened. Traffic circulated as normal, there was no debris on the streets and the policeman on duty denied any event whatsoever. This was evidence of a clean-up, a cloaking of the discontent in Rwanda and a desire to silence the media in a country most of whose citizens were without internet. This was the first of many ominous events.

Bad News is the extraordinary account of the battle for free speech in modern-day Rwanda. Following not only those journalists who stayed, despite fearing torture or even death from a ruthless government, but also those reporting from exile, it is the story of papers being shut down, of lies told to please foreign delegates, of the unshakeable loyalty that can be bred by terror, of history being retold, of constant surveillance, of corrupted elections and of great courage.

It tells the true narrative of Rwandan society today and, in the face of powerful forces, of the fight to make explosions heard.  

EVERY VOICE - All World History, All Year Round

This talk is being hosted by Every Voice, who alongside Islington Council have launched the All World History, All Year Round initiative, which aims to promote a more inclusive and diverse history narrative within schools and the local community, moving away from the traditional Black History Month celebrations of previous years.


“Few people have suffered the hideous fate of Rwandans in the modern era. It is shocking, painful beyond words, to see the darkness settling again in a dystopia that is crushing free expression and individual lives. This searing, evocative account provides insights about the human condition that reach far beyond the tragic story of Rwanda.” – Noam Chomsky 

“Anjan Sundaram is a keen observer and a fine writer. In Bad News, he has rendered a chilling chronicle of the creeping totalitarianism taking hold in Rwanda that is as disturbing as it is unforgettable” – Jon Lee Anderson

“Required reading … A superb exposé of a dictatorship as he observes how the tentacles of totalitarianism squeeze the life from a society. Bad News is an important book that should shatter any lingering faith people might hold in Kagame's hideous regime … This is a desolate work, taut prose describing the stifling atmosphere of a nation trapped in fear.” –The Guardian

“Powerful and shocking.” –The Sunday Times

About the Author

Anjam Sundaram is an award-winning journalist who has reported from Africa for the New York Times and theAssociated Press. His writing on various countries in the continent has also appeared in Granta, the Observer, Foreign Policy, Politico, Fortune and the Washington Post. He graduated from Yale and received a Reuters journalism award in 2006 for his reporting on Pygmy tribes in Congo's rain forest. His first book, Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo, was published to great critical acclaim in 2014. In 2015 he won a Frontline Club Award for print journalism for his piece, 'A Place on Earth: Scenes from a War'.

‘East London Suffragettes: beyond the right to vote’

with Sarah Jackson

Thursday 24th March, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In 1914, the East London Federation of Suffragettes, led by Sylvia Pankhurst, split from the WSPU. Sylvia's mother and sister, Emmeline and Christabel, had encouraged her to give up her work with the poor women of East London – but Sylvia refused.

Besides campaigning for women to have an equal right to vote from their headquarters in Bow, the ELFS worked on a range of equality issues which mattered to local women: they built a toy factory, providing work and a living wage for local women; they opened a subsidized canteen where women and children could get cheap, nutritious food; and they launched a nursery school, a crèche, and a mother-and-baby clinic.

The work of the Federation (and 'our Sylvia', as she was fondly known by locals) deserves to be remembered; Jackson and Taylor’s book is filled with astonishing first-hand accounts, aims to bring this amazing story to life as its centenary approaches.


“Voices from History is a thoroughly enjoyable read about a fascinating period of radicalism in the history of the East End of London.”-Turbulent London

About the Authors

Sarah Jackson is the author of Voices From History: East London Suffragettes with historian and original salvager of the ELFS, Rosemary Taylor. Sarah organised the East London Suffragette Festival in 2014 and co-founded the East End Women's Museum in 2015.


‘Remembering Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’
with Mike Jackson
Wednesday 9th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Mike Jackson will be talking about his work with Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, the film Pride, and how the campaign’s activities continue to have an effect today.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was an alliance of lesbians and gay men who formed in support of the striking British miners during the year-long UK miners strike of 1984–1985. By the end of the strike, there were eleven groups throughout the UK, and the London group alone raised £11,000 to support the strike. The alliances which the campaign forged between the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and British labour groups proved to be an important turning point in the progression of LGBT issues in the United Kingdom.

Mike Jackson, secretary of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners' Group, will also be discussing the film Pride which depicts the origin and development of the LGSM campaign and its unlikely alliance with Onllwyn, a small mining village in Wales.

About the speaker

Mike Jackson is secretary of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners' Group.

‘The Upside-Down Bible:

What Jesus really said about Money, Sex and Violence’

with Symon Hill
Tuesday 15th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The book explores the teachings of Jesus in short chapters that can be used for personal reading or group study. It is “upside-down” because each chapter begins by drawing on the insights of non-Christian readers who are new to the text in question. It also seeks to challenge interpretations that have grown out of Christianity’s links with wealth and power. Instead, it  emphasises that Jesus spoke with people about their everyday lives.


“Symon Hill has listened carefully to a wide variety of people, many encountering the parables for the first time, to refresh and restore our idea of what it means to be human. He uses some knowledge from well-chosen experts, but draws us easily into the text in a playful and engaging way. The Upside-Down Bible is a book of questions as much as answers, where stories we thought we knew sparkle with fresh possibilities. It invites us to dive into Jesus’ teaching from many different angles, and reflect. There’s something valuable here for everyone, whether complete first-timer or seasoned preacher.” -Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham

“By turns provocative, passionate and kind, Symon Hill’s new work is that rare thing: A book that dares to take Jesus’ teaching ministry seriously. It dares to invite the reader to think for herself and be prepared to have her assumptions about Jesus, money, sex and violence turned upside-down. A must-read for anyone brave enough to explore Christianity’s radical roots.”-Rachel Mann, Poet-in-Residence and Minor Canon of Manchester Cathedral

“Symon turns traditional church interpretations of Jesus’s teachings on their head; offering a radical reinterpretation that connects Christ’s message to daily life, personal relationships and political struggles today.”-Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

About the Author

Symon Hill is an author and tutor, who writes and teaches about current affairs, religion, ethics, sexuality, peace and activism. He is a tutor for the Workers’ Educational Association, an associate of the Ekklesia thinktank and a member of the steering committee of the Campaign Against Arms Trade. He is also an activist, a socialist, a Christian and a pacifist.

‘The Gender Police: A Diary’

with Ros Ball and James Miller

Thursday 17th March, 7pm

 Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

When Ros Ball and James Millar’s son was born in 2010 they instantly felt people treated him differently to his big sister. Inspired by the 1980's best-selling diary There's a Good Girl and driven by 21st century technology, they started to tweet about the differences they experienced. What began as an attempt to retain their sanity in a gender obsessed world became a life changing experiment about gender identity. 

In this collection of their online writing they’ve brought together thoughts on how society, family and even themselves, are part of the ‘gender police’ that limit kids’ lives, along with ideas for how we can all work to break these stereotypes together. 

About the Authors

Ros Ballis a broadcast journalist who can be seen on Daily Politics, the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament. She began her career in  publishing before moving into television comedy, followed by political journalism at the BBC.  

James Millaris the lobby correspondent for the Scottish newspaper the Sunday Post. James can be seen reviewing the papers on the BBC News Channel or providing comment on Scottish political stories on radio and television. James presents a weekly podcast on politics with a Scottish angle.

 ‘Being Red: a Politics for the Future’
with Ken Livingstone
Tuesday 1st March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

How should the left govern? In Being Red, Ken Livingstone provides a definitive account of both his years at the head of the Greater London Council and his two terms as London Mayor, offering a clear-sighted study of the democratic left’s possibilities and limitations, including reflections on the current state of the Labour Party and a look into its future.

At a time when many are now looking to revive Labour’s progressive potential, Livingstone has form. His account takes us from the self-proclaimed ‘radical socialism’ of the GLC, to his controversial independent candidacy that saw him branded as ‘dangerous’ and ‘antibusiness’ by the Blairites, to the political battles against privatisation and pollution that characterised his time as Mayor. At each point, he suggests possible lessons for those who would seek to follow, or improve, on his achievements today.

This book is published by Pluto Press in partnership with the recently reborn Left Book Club

About the Author

Ken Livingstone is an English politician who has twice held the leading political role in London regional government. He served as the Leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1981 until the Council was abolished in 1986, and then as the first elected Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008. He also served as the MP for Brent East from 1987 to 2001. His autobiography, You Can’t Say That, was published by Faber & Faber in 2011.

‘Fossil Capital:

The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming’

with Andreas Malm and Mika Minio-Paluello

Thursday 3rd March, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are proud to welcome Andreas Malm in conversation with Mika Minio-Paluello. In this masterful new history, Andreas Malm claims it all began in Britain with the rise of steam power. But why did manufacturers turn from traditional sources of power, notably water mills, to an engine fired by coal? Contrary to established views, steam offered neither cheaper nor more abundant energy—but rather superior control of subordinate labour.

Animated by fossil fuels, capital could concentrate production at the most profitable sites and during the most convenient hours, as it continues to do today. Sweeping from nineteenth-century Manchester to the emissions explosion in China, from the original triumph of coal to the stalled shift to renewables, this study hones in on the burning heart of capital and demonstrates, in unprecedented depth, that turning down the heat will mean a radical overthrow of the current economic order.


“Malm forcefully unmasks the assumption that economic growth has inevitably brought us to the brink of a hothouse Earth. Rather, as he shows in a subtle and surprising reinterpretation of the Industrial Revolution, it has been the logic of capital (especially the need to valorize immense sunk investments in fossil fuels), not technology or even industrialism per se, that has driven global warming.”– Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and Ecology of Fear

Fossil Capital is a theoretical masterpiece and a political-economic-ecological manifesto. It looks unblinkingly at the catastrophe that could await human society if we fail to act on the words System Change or Climate Change. It is a book that I will return to again and again—and take notes.” – John Bellamy Foster, University of Oregon, author of Marx’s Ecology

“The definitive deep history on how our economic system created the climate crisis. Superb, essential reading from one of the most original thinkers on the subject.”–Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

About the Author

Andreas Malm teaches human ecology at Lund University, Sweden. His work has appeared in journals such as Environmental HistoryHistorical MaterialismAntipode and Organization & Environment. He is the author, with Shora Esmailian, of Iran on the Brink: Rising Workers and Threats of War, and of half a dozen books in Swedish on political economy, the Middle East and climate change.

Mika Minio-Paluello is a member of London-based arts, human rights and environmental justice organisation Platform, and author of Oil Road (Verso, 2013)



with Elizabeth J. Lister
with Elsa Wallace
Thursday 25th February, 7.00pm

Free entry

Paradise Press, one of the largest and longest-running gay publishers, presents an evening of author readings. Two new titles will be launched Consequences, the fifth and last story in Elizabeth J Lister's series of lesbian romances: and Kissyface, by Elsa Wallace, a collection of stories, many set in Africa. The evening will also include readings of poems and short fiction by other authors from Paradise Press.

Paradise Press is the imprint of the Gay Authors’ Workshop, set up in 1999 to get work published in the face of indifference by mainstream publishers to lesbian and gay writing.



‘The Hammer Blow – how 10 women disarmed a warplane’
with Andrea Needham
Wednesday 10th February, 7.00pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are very proud to welcome Andrea Needham, who alongside Jo Blackman and Lotta Kronlid, broke into a British Aerospace factory in Lancashire on the 29 January 1996 and used household hammers to disarm a Hawk warplane bound for Indonesia.

They were arrested, charged with £2.4m of criminal damage, and sent to prison to await trial. A week later, Angie Zelter joined them, accused of conspiracy. After six months in prison, all four were acquitted by a Liverpool jury in a court case that effectively put Britain’s arms trade on trial.

The disarmament could not have happened without the support of the other six members of the Seeds of Hope Ploughshares group – Lyn Bliss, Clare Fearnley, Emily Johns, Jen Parker, Ricarda Steinbrecher and Rowan Tilly – who were absolutely integral to the whole action from the very start.

Andrea Needham’s new book, ‘The Hammer Blow – how 10 women disarmed a warplane’, will be published by Housmans’ sister-publication Peace News on the 29th January, the 20th anniversary of the action.

‘The Influencing Machine’

with Mike Jay
Tuesday 16th Febuary, 7.00pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Confined in Bedlam in 1797 as an incurable lunatic, James Tilly Matthews’ case is one of the most bizarre in the annals of psychiatry. He was the first person to insist that his mind was being controlled by a machine: the Air Loom, a terrifying secret weapon whose mesmeric rays and mysterious gases were brainwashing politicians and plunging Europe into revolution, terror and war.

But Matthews’ case was even stranger than his doctors realised: many of the incredible conspiracies in which he claimed to be involved were entirely real. Caught up in high-level diplomatic intrigues in the chaos of the French revolution, he found himself betrayed by both sides, and in possession of a secret that no-one would believe…

‘One of the greatest books you’ve never read’ .. William Gibson

‘Beautifully written, with all the drama, the rich characterization, the subtlety, of a fine novel.’
from the foreword by Oliver Sacks

with Saul Newman
Wednesday 17th February, 7.00pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

What shape can radical politics take today in a time abandoned by the great revolutionary projects of the past? In light of recent uprisings around the world against the neoliberal capitalist order, Saul Newman argues that anarchism - or as he calls it postanarchism - forms our contemporary political horizon.

In this book, Newman develops an original political theory of postanarchism; a form of anti-authoritarian politics which starts, rather than finishes, with anarchy. He does this by asking four central questions: who are we as subjects; how do we resist; what is our relationship to violence; and, why do we obey?

By drawing on a range of heterodox thinkers including La Boétie, Sorel, Benjamin, Stirner and Foucault, the author not only investigates the current conditions for radical political thought and action, but proposes a new form of politics based on what he calls ontological anarchy and the desire for autonomous life.

Rather than seeking revolutionary emancipation or political hegemony, we should affirm instead the non-existence of power and the ever-present possibilities of freedom.

As the tectonic plates of our time are shifting, revealing the nihilism and emptiness of our political and economic order, postanarchism’s disdain for power in all its forms offers us genuine emancipatory potential.


Anarchist Federation present: ‘Revolutionary Women’ with Nick Heath

Wednesday 3rd February, 7pm
Nick Heath uncovers the stories of revolutionary women, who not only fought, but in many cases spearheaded revolutionary situations, and who have passed without mention in the history books. 



‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’

with Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain
Wednesday 13th January, 7pm
The authors of Blacklisted, one of the most important books of 2015, discuss the illegal strategies of construction companies to keep union activists away from their places of work, with tragic consequences for families and communities.

‘A Very British Coup’ with Chris Mullin
Tuesday 19th January, 7pm
Chris Mullin discusses his classic novel, ‘A Very British Coup’, which describes how the British establishment fights against the successful election of a left wing Labour prime minister. The book has received new interest in light of the election of Jeremy Corbyn.

‘Radiant Illusion?: Middle-class recruits to Communism in Britain in the 1930s’ with Nicholas Deakin and Kevin Morgan

Wednesday 20th January, 7pm
Authors Nicholas Deakin and Kevin Morgan present their book Radiant Illusion? which re-examines and re-evaluates the trend of young middle-class people joining the British Communist Party (CPGB) in the 1930s. 

‘Ranting Rhyming Revolting’

with Janine Booth

Saturday 23rd January, 6.30pm
Marxist motormouth, Janine Booth, is at Housmans to launch Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting, the hard hitting follow up to her successful 2015 poetry collection Mostly Hating Tories.

‘Corbyn’s Campaign: Making Labour Awesome Again’

with Tom Unterrainer
Saturday 30th January, 6.30pm
Corbyn’s Campaign tells the story of Jeremy’s victory and articulates the opportunities for a renewal of socialism in Britain. The talk will be an opportunity to draw lessons on what made the campaign so effective, and consider what the chances are to replicate the success at the general election level.



Radical Feminism: Feminist Activism in Movement'

with Finn Mackay
Wednesday 16th December, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Feminist activism is enjoying a global resurgence. A new wave of feminists is taking to the streets in protest against rape, abuse, prostitution and inequality, and asserting a powerful new vision for women's liberation. The future of feminism has become a global march for justice and action demanding an end to male violence against women.

Finn Mackay advances a radical and pioneering feminist manifesto for today's audience that exposes the real reasons why women are still oppressed and what feminist activism must do to counter it.

Through a vibrant and original account of the global Reclaim the Night March and drawing on interviews with activists from across the generations, this book
confronts the controversial issues facing men, women and feminism in contemporary society to shatter the illusion that equality has been reached.

Translating classic texts and charting the changes and challenges of the feminist movement from the 1970s onwards, Mackay argues that feminist activism continues to be urgent and relevant today.

About the Authorof Contents

Finn Mackay founded the London Feminist Network and revived the London Reclaim the Night in 2004, which sparked a national resurgence of this protest. She has been involved in feminist activism for 20 years and in 2006 was nominated by The Guardian as one of the UK's "World Changing Women". After a career in policy work on domestic violence prevention, she is now Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of England, UK.


‘Bare Reality: 100 Women, Their Breasts, Their Stories’
with Laura Dodsworth
Friday 11th December, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Laura Dodsworth discusses her photobook, ‘Bare Reality’, which shares 100 unretouched, anonymous pictures of real women's breasts and demonstrates how differently we think about our bodies.

“Compelling words, compelling pictures, compelling women... the ordinary beauty of life.” --Susie Orbach, Psychoanalyst, writer, author of Fat is a Feminist Issue

“‘Bare Reality’ is a beautiful, important and tender project. I love how you learn each woman's story through her breasts her development, her response to the culture around her, illness, her sexuality, her children. I feel warm and full of tenderness for myself as a woman, and for the female experience. It's going to be a very special book.” --Lucy-Anne Holmes writer and founder of the No More Page 3 campaign

“Breast Cancer UK is delighted to support Bare Reality's Kickstarter campaign. This touching, inspirational book cuts through the sexual objectification of breasts and encapsulates how unique, yet similar, we all are. Each story provides a beautifully tender insight into the diversity of our emotions about our breasts throughout life's stages and experiences.

We hope this work will become a powerful force for social change by encouraging more women to speak freely about their breasts and inspiring them to find out more about breast cancer and the wide range of risk factors associated with the disease.

We gratefully accept the author's kind offer of a donation from the sale of each book, which will help us to continue our work to prevent breast cancer before it starts by reducing our routine exposure to the harmful chemicals in our every day products, food and environment.” --Breast Cancer UK

About the Author

Laura Dodsworth's Kickstarter campaign to finance Bare Reality achieved its funding target within one day and the video accompanying the project was viewed 1.5 million times. The project attracted worldwide media coverage, including The Guardian and Huffington Post. Laura is an award-winning photographer.


'Render the Chartists Defenceless' with Les James

Wednesday 2nd December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Newport publishers Three Impostors announce the release of a new book revealing an explosive new twist in the story of the Newport Risingwhich was the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in Great Britain when, on the 4th November 1839, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000Chartist sympathisers, led by John Frost, marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire.

Newport–born Hollywood actor Michael Sheen introduces the book, in which historian Les James describes the previously untold story of the voyage of Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones to Van Diemen’s Land in 1840, to start their sentence of transportation for life for treason.

Lulled at first by the kindness of those in authority on board the convict ship Mandarin, the prisoners gradually became aware of the web of intrigue and surveillance around them, and suspicious of the possibility of government spies watching their every move. Were these suspicions correct?

Les James is a former Museum Education Officer for Gwent, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport, with a long-standing research interest in south Wales Chartism. 

Three Impostors is a small publisher established in Newport in 2012 with the aim of producing high quality, scholarly versions of rare and out-of-print books, along with other related new writing. Their first book was a commemorative edition of 'Far Off Things' by Arthur Machen, published in 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his death.

‘Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg’
with Kate Evans
Tuesday 1st December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A giant of the political left, Rosa Luxemburg is one of the foremost minds in the canon of revolutionary socialist thought. To Marx’s biographer Franz Mehring, no one came as close to the towering intellect of Marx himself.

But she was much more than just a thinker. She made herself heard in a world inimical to the voices of strong-willed women. She overcame physical infirmity and the prejudice she faced as a Jew to become an active revolutionary whose philosophy enriched every corner of an incredibly productive and creative life – her many friendships, her sexual intimacies, and her love of science, nature and art.

Always opposed to the First World War, when others on the German left were swept up on a tide of nationalism, she was imprisoned and murdered in 1919 fighting for a revolution she knew to be doomed.

Red Rosa gives Luxemburg her due as a radical and human being. In this beautifully drawn work of graphic biography, writer and artist Kate Evans has opened up her subject’s intellectual world to a new audience, grounding Luxemburg’s ideas in the realities of an inspirational and deeply affecting life.

Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781784780999




Songs From Below

Friday 6th November, 7pm
Tickets £7 from link below

An intimate night with some of the very best radical artists around.Unplugged music at Housmans from Nia, Pat Dam Smyth, Potent Whisper. There are only 40 tickets available so you'll need to book at  


Young Welsh artist Nia is a blues singer. She has a voice that could cut through solid steel, and leave the metal scars lace lined. A fierce, politically charged lyricist channeling Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. Really starting to find her identity as a songwriter with her new material, the only broken heart she sings of these days is society’s. A hip hop soul in a blues body, she wields that resonator guitar like an axe against the world around her. A brave, gutsy young artist already raising herself above her contemporaries because of her remarkable voice – both physically and lyrically. 

facebook, soundcloud, website


Pat is a writer of class, honesty and gravitas with hints of everything good from Beck to Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen and the emotional depth of ‘Queen of Denmark’-era John Grant.  raw, gutsy, honest and to the point. His live shows pack a huge emotional punch. BIG SOUND. “The Great Divide conquers beautifully” – The Independent
“He has returned to create something beautiful…” The Daily Mirror
“The Great Divide is amazing. It’s musical storytelling at its finest…” BBC
“A rare kind of truthful songwriting” The Irish Times
Soundcloud, Facebook, website

 From the street to the stage, from the studio to the news room, Rapper and Activist Potent Whisper is reputed for using rhyme to create discussion on, and artistic response to, the most pressing social and political issues of our time. A graduate of The BRIT School, Potent Whisper is known most recently for founding the multi-arts anti-gentrification campaign ‘Our Brixton’ and for his anti-Trident work with the CND. All of Potent Whisper’s work can be found and downloaded for free at website, facebook, soundcloud, twitter


Veterans for Peace Remembrance Day Event

Monday 2nd November, 7pm
Free Entry but donations to Veterans for Peace will be appreciated

Veterans For Peace UK is a voluntary ex-services organisation of men and women who have served in every war that Britain has fought since WW2.

Their work focusses on:

* Educating young people of the true nature of military service and war.

* Resisting war and militarism through non-violent action.

* Standing in solidarity with people resisting militarism and war.

VFP UK hope to convince people that war is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century. 

In the run up to Remembrance Sunday, VFP UK invite you to an evening of anti-war performance, discussion and music.




‘Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work’ with Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams

Wednesday 28th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Despite the profound crisis of capitalism and the mass mobilizations of people around the world in response, there has been no successful contestation of neoliberalism’s hegemony. Inventing the Future is a major new manifesto that argues for a novel set of alternatives for the future—alternatives which seek to rekindle a popular modernity.

Against the confused understanding of the high-tech and neoliberal world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, the authors envisage a post-capitalist economy is capable of advancing living standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies which free us from biological and environmental constraints.


“Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams' project dares to propose a different way of thinking and acting. Given the fizzling of the Occupy moment, a radical rethinking of the anarchic approach is badly needed but just not happening. This book could do a lot of work in getting that rethink going.”

– Doug Henwood, author of Wall Street

“The Left has lost its grip on the future. In retreat from technological modernity, too many leftists have fled to the local, the organic and the spontaneous. Inventing the Future shows why these strategies are misguided, and offers a vision of how left-wing politics can be rebuilt for the 21st century.”

– Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism: Is there no Alternative?

An evening with Nawal El Saadawi

Tuesday 27th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist, Nawal El Saadawi, to discuss her novels, three new editions of which have just been published by Zed Books.

Nawal was born in 1931, in a small village outside Cairo. She is the author of over 50 novels and short stories. As well as being a world renowned novelist she is a trained psychiatrist and outspoken advocate for feminism, socialism and anti-imperialism.

Zed Books have republished the following three titles, copies of which will be available on the night:

Woman at Point Zero

'All the men I did get to know filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face.'

So begins Firdaus's remarkable story of rebellion against a society founded on lies, hypocrisy, brutality and oppression. Born to a peasant family in the Egyptian countryside, Firdaus struggles through childhood, seeking compassion and knowledge in a world which gives her little of either.

As she grows up and escapes the fetters of her childhood, each new relationship teaches her a bitter but liberating truth - that the only free people are those who want nothing, fear nothing and hope for nothing.

This classic novel has been an inspiration to countless people across the world. Saadawi's searing indictment of society's brutal treatment of women continues to resonate today.

The Hidden Face of Eve

This powerful account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago.

Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering.

She goes on to explore the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human faith.

The Hidden Face of Eve remains a classic of modern Arab writing.

God Dies by the Nile

God Dies by the Nile is Nawal El Saadawi's classic attempt to square religion with a society in which women are respected as equals. Set in Kafr El Teen - a beautiful, sleepy village on the banks of the Nile - it follows Zakeya, an ordinary villager, as she awakens to and struggles against the injustice and oppression around her.


Pre-Feminsim in London Conference Special:

Women's Liberation Through Film with Jennifer Lee
Wednesday 21st October, 7pm

Free Entry

An informal meeting and discussion of women in filmmaking with Jennifer Lee, the creator of the FEMINIST: STORIES FROM WOMEN’S LIBERATION film, which won "Best of the Fest" for documentary at the Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival. It is a film exploring the significance of the second wave of the women’s liberation movement on our lives. Jennifer's portfolio includes directing and producing many films, feminist and mainstream, over the course of her career. 

Please do join us for a discussion of feminism, filmmaking and discussion women in the creative industries more broadly. If you'd like more details about Jennifer and her film, please go to her website:

Jennifer is also speaking about women's history and screening her film at the Feminist Library, the British Library and the Feminism in London conference this month!


‘Injustice: Why social inequality still persists’
with Danny Dorling

Thursday 22nd October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In the five years since the first edition of ‘Injustice’ there have been devastating increases in poverty, hunger and destitution in the UK. Globally, the richest 1% have never held a greater share of world wealth, while the share of most of the other 99% has fallen in the last five years, with more and more people in debt, especially the young. Economic inequalities will persist and continue to grow for as long as we tolerate the injustices which underpin them.

This fully rewritten and updated edition revisits Dorling’s claim that Beveridge’s five social evils are being replaced by five new tenets of injustice: elitism is efficient; exclusion is necessary; prejudice is natural; greed is good and despair is inevitable.

By showing these beliefs are unfounded, Dorling offers hope of a more equal society. We are living in the most remarkable and dangerous times. With every year that passes it is more evident that Injustice is essential reading for anyone concerned with social justice and wants to do something about it.


"Superb and invaluable ammunition in the fight against inequality and injustice"

Owen Jones, author and Guardian columnist

"Rich insights into how prejudice, presumption and a paucity of regard for our fellow human beings reinforces poverty as well as privilege."

David Cay Johnston, journalist and author, Pulitzer Prize winner

"A rallying point for a different vision of society, one in which elitism is replaced by equality, exclusion and prejudice by acceptance, greed by selflessness, and despair by confidence. It is only in such an environment that individual fulfilment, regardless of position in the social order, and so desperately craved but so rarely realised in capitalist society, is available to all. What, then, are we waiting for?"

The Oxford Left Review

"Think twice before reading this book – you may well become an activist against social injustice, inequality and the exploitation of labour. Danny Dorling gives us words that are weapons."

Ken Loach, director

Paperback, 484 pages, 216 x 138 mm

Other formats available

ISBN 9781447320753


Pre-Anarchist Bookfair Special:

Datacide present

‘Soundsytem Culture and Resistance’

with Stewart Home and Christoph Fringeli
Friday 23rd October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Datacide, the magazine of Noise & Politics, launch a new anthology and discuss the relationship between soundsytem culture and resistance.




‘Industrial Workers of the World:  the union for all workers’

with Dave Pike
Wednesday 30th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a trade union with a rich history and somewhat unique approach to worker solidarity, in that its mission has been to create One Big Union that all workers can join. Today it is not unusual for IWW members to be member of their own trade-specific union as well as the IWW.

Although the IWW’s heyday was in the 1910s and 20s, the union continues to do important and effective work today, winning some notable victories for workers in the UK in recent years.

The National Secretary of the IWW, Dave Pike, introduces the fighting union, what it stands for and how it is winning victories for the working class - like higher wages for cleaners, permanency for temps and safety at work for fast food workers.

The IWW organise so that workers can win for themselves and are not reliant on union full-timers or politicians to fight for them. Come along to this event and find out a little about the IWWs history, what the union is doing in Europe and around the world, and how you can get involved.


‘The Last Drop: The Politics of Water’
with Mike Gonzalez
Thursday 24th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Launching his latest book Mike Gonzalez reports on the intensifying struggles between the public and multinational companies over this most basic and essential of human resources.

Indispensable for human existence yet increasingly owned and controlled by private capital; the last decade has witnessed an intensifying battle for water. The exploding profits of the multinational companies which dominate the water industry are testimony to how high the stakes are - by 2012 it had become a worth a trillion dollars.  

The Last Drop traces a path through the complex arguments that surround the question of water, setting out to make the technical and scientific arguments more accessible and the political questions more urgent.

Against the market fundamentalists, Mike Gonzalez and Marianella Yanes argue that it is both possible and necessary that considerations of equity and social justice prevail in the debates around water. They call for our water supply to be saved from subordination to the whims of the multinationals and placed under direct democratic public control. This book will be a vital resource for water activists and a wake-up call to everyone who takes for granted what comes out of their kitchen tap.

About The Authors

Mike Gonzalez is Emeritus Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is the co-editor of Arms and the People (Pluto, 2012) and author of Hugo Chavez: Socialist for the Twenty-first Century (Pluto, 2014)

Marianella Yanes is a Venezuelan journalist and writer for television and film. Until January 2009 she worked for the Venezuelan State Oil Corporation (PDVSA) as a journalist and documentary maker.


‘Popular Protest in Palestine:

The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance’
with Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby
Thursday 17th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Popular Protest in Palestine provides an overview and analysis of the role and significance of unarmed civil (popular) resistance in the Palestinian national movement. The main focus is on the contemporary popular resistance movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), but it is prefaced by a historical review of the thread of unarmed civil resistance that has run throughout the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

It informs a contemporary readership about this under-emphasised dimension of the Palestinian struggle, arguing that at the present juncture the popular resistance movement, especially in the West Bank, is the most significant form of struggle against the ongoing occupation.

Popular Protest in Palestine also addresses the international dimensions of the Palestinian struggle, focusing in particular on the BDS campaign, the role of international solidarity activists in the OPT and beyond, and the changing forms of engagement developed by international agencies seeking to work on the roots of the conflict whilst fulfilling their humanitarian aid mandates.

“With Israeli occupation forces and the U.S.-led “peace process” limiting both military and diplomatic options for achieving their freedom, Palestinians and their supporters are utilizing the power of popular unarmed resistance in their struggle for a viable independent state. Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby have written the most significant and comprehensive study of this important but under-appreciated part of the Palestinian resistance.”

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies, University of San Francisco

 “A sensitive, thoughtful study, based on personal conversations meticulously documented and analysed by two people committed to nonviolent change and confronted by the heartbreaking realities of the continued oppression of Palestinians. This book reveals the courage of their popular resistance - and of the solidarity of Jewish Israeli activists - and suggests that it is international solidarity that could at last tip the balance.”

(Diana Francis, former President of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and Chair of the Committee for Conflict Transformation Support)

About The Authors

Marwan Darweish is Principal Lecturer in Peace Studies at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. He has extensive experience in conflict transformation and peacebuilding across the Middle East region and internationally. He co-edited Peacebuilding and Reconciliation: Contemporary themes and challenges (Pluto 2012).

Andrew Rigby is Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Coventry University where he was the founding director of the Centre for Peace & Reconciliation Studies. He is the author of 14 books covering various aspects of nonviolent theory and practice, uncluding Justice and Reconciliation: After the Violence (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001).




‘Changing London:  A Rough Guide for the Next London Mayor’
with David Robinson
Wednesday 5th August, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

Changing London have been exploring the progressive potential of the post of mayor, and crowd sourcing practical ideas that could transform the capital for the better, offering up a view of how the city might look if we reclaimed it and fashioned it based on our needs and wants.


Changing London have been exploring the progressive potential of the post of mayor, and crowd sourcing practical ideas that could transform the capital for the better, offering up a view of how the city might look if we reclaimed it and fashioned it based on our needs and wants.


‘Changing London:  A Rough Guide for the Next London Mayor’ is a rough guide for the next mayor, capturing the radical but practical ideas of the people of London with a pioneering and collaborative approach to ​​politics.

Via a small website the authors asked Londoners for ideas using the formal powers of the mayoralty and also the “super powers” – the voice, the visibility and the unique capacity to convene. This book brings together hundreds of suggestions, plus experiences learnt from cities around the world, under five big visions for London.

What would the city look like if we determined to make it the best place on earth to raise a child? Or if it was a friendly city, where neighbourhoods thrived and everybody mattered? How could we build a fair city where lavish wealth is as unwelcome as abject poverty and both have been abolished? Or maybe  a healthy city, that did no harm and tackled sickness at source? And, to lead it all, how should we revitalise and retool a sham democracy which saw only 38% vote in the last mayoral election?

Ideas range from play streets to plotting sheds, London Sundays to a Have-a-Go Festival, a permanent Fair Pay Commission, a Children’s Trust Fund and a cultural guarantee for every child, citizens budgets, a Mayor's Share in the biggest businesses and the April Vote – an annual London referendum.

These and hundreds more are not a manifesto for the next mayor but a rough guide – a glimpse of how our city could look if we dared to gaze beyond the cautious consensus that has infected Westminster debate, and if we reclaimed the city as a place we share and build together. 

This is the book the voters wrote. It is vital reading for those who would be Mayor and those who will decide.   

About the authors

David Robinson is a community worker and a father of three. He has lived in east London all his life and been involved in social change in lots of different ways but mostly worked for Community Links , a charity he set up many years ago. David also co founded Shift, and the Children's Discovery Centre.

Will Horwitz has lived in east London for seven years. He has worked as a researcher and campaigner for charities including Oxfam and Community Links, and in 2015 went back to university to study political economy. He can occasionally be found on twitter @willhorwitz


If you love London as your city and your home, please do read this excellent book… Is the political class ready for this kind of radical democratic politics? It doesn’t matter. Don’t wait for permission or nothing will change.— From the foreword by Jon Cruddas

I greatly applaud Changing London’s efforts to widen interest in the mayoralty and the role of the mayor. I particularly like the suggestions to engage local communities and people in discussions about the mayor, as City Hall can sometimes appear remote from ordinary Londoners. — Christian Wolmar


JULY 2015

‘London Overground:
  A Day's Walk Around the Ginger Line’
with Iain Sinclair

Wednesday 29th July, 7pm
RSVP Essential – please email


Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

Iain Sinclair discusses his latest book, a tour of London’s Overground network, and the gentrification and social change it has brought. Please email to reserve a seat.

Echoing his journey in London Orbital over a decade ago, Iain Sinclair narrates his second circular walk around the capital. Shortly after rush-hour and accompanied by a rambling companion, Sinclair begins walking along London's Overground network, or, 'Ginger Line'.

With characteristic playfulness, detours into folk history, withering assessments of the political classes and a joyful allegiance to the ordinary and odd, Sinclair guides us on a tour of London's newest transport network - and shows the shifting, changing city from new and surprising angles.

About the author

Iain Sinclair's books include London Orbital, Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, Downriver (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award) Ghost Milk and American Smoke. He lives in Hackney, East London.


‘Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London’
with Matthew Beaumont

Wednesday 1st July, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

Matthew Beaumont discusses his fascinating literary portrait of the writers who explored the city at night, and the people they met.

“Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night,” wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. Before the age of electricity, the nighttime city was a very different place to the one we know today – home to the lost, the vagrant and the noctambulant. Matthew Beaumont recounts an alternative history of London by focusing on those of its denizens who surface on the streets when the sun’s down. If nightwalking is a matter of “going astray” in the streets of the metropolis after dark, then nightwalkers represent some of the most suggestive and revealing guides to the neglected and forgotten aspects of the city.

In this brilliant work of literary investigation, Beaumont shines a light on the shadowy perambulations of poets, novelists and thinkers: Chaucer and Shakespeare; William Blake and his ecstatic peregrinations and the feverish ramblings of opium addict Thomas De Quincey; and, among the lamp-lit literary throng, the supreme nightwalker Charles Dickens. We discover how the nocturnal city has inspired some and served as a balm or narcotic to others. In each case, the city is revealed as a place divided between work and pleasure, the affluent and the indigent, where the entitled and the desperate jostle in the streets.

With a foreword and afterword by Will Self, Nightwalking is a captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night and the people they meet.

About the author

Matthew Beaumont is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at University College London. He is the author of Utopia Ltd: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870 - 1900, and the coauthor, with Terry Eagleton, of The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue. He has also edited Restless Cities. He lives and walks in London.


“One of the most brilliant of the younger generation of English critics.”

– Terry Eagleton

“Nothing less than a grand unifying theory of the counter-enlightenment.”

– Will Self

“Part literary criticism, part social history, part polemic, this is a haunting addition to the canon of psychogeography.”

– Financial Times

“He releases an ancient, urban miasma that rises from the page, untroubled by electric illumination, allowing us to inhale what Shakespeare's contemporary Thomas Dekker called "that thick tobacco-breath which the rheumaticke night throws abroad"”

– Independent

“An important and lively book”

– Times Higher Education

“A historical guide to the capital, Beaumont details everything including the 'villainous' common nightwalkers and prostitutes of the middle ages and Charles Dickens’s time as an insomniac.”

– Dazed & Confused

‘Asylum and Exile: The Hidden Voices of London’ with Bidisha

Wednesday 8th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

Asylum and Exile is the result of several months of personal outreach to refugees and asylum seekers that goes behind the headlines to reveal the humanity, tragedy, and bravery of the individuals who have left everything behind to seek sanctuary from violence in the UK.

Bidisha offers moving stories of refugees who have fled war, violent persecution, or civil unrest in countries as diverse as Cameroon, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Malawi, Burundi, the Congo, and Sierra Leone. Some of the individuals have been in the UK for a few months, others for more than a decade.

Bidisha chronicles their experiences, revealing that though many used to be mathematicians, composers, criminologists, accountants, and teachers, in England, without money and papers authorizing them to work, they must work illegally as cleaners, factory workers, dishwashers, health care assistants, and at other unstable, unseen, underpaid, and grueling jobs. Their London life is one of trying to survive on five pounds a day, of interminable bus journeys across the capital, appointments with legal aid workers, and reliance on near-strangers to get a foothold with little or no support. Despite this, as Bidisha shows, their unerring humor, vivacity, talent, and will to survive is a testament to the blazing resilience of the human spirit.

Bidisha is an author, broadcaster, outreach worker, and international human rights journalist. She is the author of two novels, the travelogue Venetian Masters, and the internationally acclaimed Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path through Palestine, also published by Seagull Books.

‘Rebel Footprints:
A Guide to Uncovering London's Radical History’
with David Rosenberg

Wednesday 15th July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

The radical response to conservative heritage tours and banal day-tripper guides, Rebel Footprints (Verso, 2015) brings to life the history of social movements in the capital. Transporting readers from well-known landmarks to history-making hidden corners, David Rosenberg tells the story of protest and struggle in London from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

From the suffragettes to the socialists, from the Chartists to the trade unionists, the book invites us to step into the footprints of a diverse cast of dedicated fighters for social justice. Individual chapters highlight particular struggles and their participants, from famous faces to lesser-known luminaries.

Rosenberg sets London’s radical campaigners against the backdrop of the city’s multi-faceted development. Self-directed walks pair with narratives that seamlessly blend history, politics and geography. Specially commissioned maps and illustrations immerse the reader in the story of the city.

Whether visiting it for the first time, or born and raised in it, Rosenberg invites you to see London as you never have before: the nation’s capital as its radical centre.

About the author

David Rosenberg is an educator, writer and tour guide, and author of Battle for the East End (2011). Since 2008, he has led tours of key sites in London’s social and political history, especially in London’s East End, and he teaches at City Lit and the Bishopsgate Institute. He is a founder member of History from Below, an international network of activists, artists, archivists and political archaeologists. David owes his geographical knowledge of London to three years work as a van driver in the early 1980s delivering books to radical and community bookshops.


'You haven't walked the streets of London unless you've understood the secret history of revolt, rebellion and poverty hidden all around you in its bricks and alleyways. Rosenberg takes you there as no other writer has done.' (Paul Mason)

'Informative and well-judged...There is so much that is inspirational in this book.' (Nicholas Lezard, the Guardian)

'An engaging account... [A] book of detail and passion.' (Danny Dorling, Times Higher Education)

'By offering us a guide to our radical past, Rosenberg reminds us of the strong tradition of dissent that has shaped our history and made us who we are.' (Billy Bragg)

'This brilliant book brings London’s long tradition of radicalism and rebellion to life. Using walks to show how dissent led to democracy, it is a fitting testimonial to the collective struggles of Londoners of every colour and creed. I for one will be dusting down my walking shoes and taking to the streets to find out more.' (Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC)

'David has brought the streets and buildings of London alive to the real history of the city and the struggles of ordinary people. Anyone reading this will walk the streets of our city with a different view of the world, and what people can do when they act together.' (Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament for Islington North)

Remembering Laurence Housman:

150th Anniversary Memorial Lecture
with Jill Liddington and Elizabeth Oakley

Wednesday 22nd July, 7pm
Free entry

This event is part of the London’s Burning Season at Housmans.

Born a century and a half ago in 1865, Laurence Housman was a highly talented artist and critic, playwright, novelist, pacifist, social activist, public speaker and broadcaster who is consequently almost impossible to categorise. A visionary and idealist who also had the common touch, he was a gifted communicator who cared deeply about the society he lived in. In 1945 he was one of a group of pacifists who opened Housmans Bookshop, named in his honour by the Peace Pledge Union.

Laurence Housman was also one of the instigators behind the Votes for Women campaign. A star speaker, he criss-crossed the country

to address suffrage meetings. His wonderful design work included the monumental 'From Prison to Citizenship' Suffragette banner.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Laurence Housman’s birth, we will be joined by Jill Liddington and Elizabeth Oakley for a night of discussion and drinks to celebrate his legacy.

Jill Liddington is author of Vanishing for the Vote: suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census (MUP, 2014): her talk will concentrate on the important role he playes in the Suffragette's campaign.

Elizabeth Oakely, author of Inseperable Siblings: A Portrait of Clemence & Laurence Housman, will be speaking about Laurence Housman’s wider writings and numberous other acitivities.

About the authors

Jill Liddington is a writer and historian. Her latest book, Vanishing for the Vote, was published by Manchester University Press in April 2014.

Elizabeth Oakley is the author of Inseperable Siblings: A Portrait of Clemence & Laurence Housman, the first published study of the pair.


JUNE 2015


‘Considering Gramsci’
with Andrew Pearmain and Derek Boothman
Friday 19th June, 7pm

As an extenstion of the Gramsci Conference taking place at Kings College on 18th/19th June, we welcome Andrew Pearmain to discuss his latest book ‘Gramsci in Love’ (Top Hat Books, 2015) and Derek Boothman, editor and translator of ‘A Great and Terrible World: The Pre-Prison Letters (1908-1926) of Antonio Gramsci’ (Lawrence & Wishart, 2014)

‘Gramsci in Love’ is a fictional account of the love life of the famous Italian communist leader Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), focusing on his curious relationships with the three Schucht sisters, Evgenia, Tatiana and his wife Julia. It is set against the background of the Soviet Revolution and the Fascist takeover in Italy.

‘A Great and Terrible World: The Pre-Prison Letters (1908-1926) of Antonio Gramsci’ compiles letters by Antonio Gramsci which vividly evoke the ‘great and terrible world’ in which he lived, a description he used a number of times in his correspondences. The letters show Gramsci beginning to form the theoretical concepts that come to fuller fruition in the Prison Notebooks, but they also give an essential and rounded picture of Gramsci’s development, politically, intellectually and emotionally – the latter especially through letters to his family and wife.

‘This collection of Gramsci's early correspondence provides new insight into his life and work. Through these letters, we follow the development of Gramsci's own thought and his involvement with the international communist movement. This book will prove an indispensable resource, not only to Gramsci scholars, but to anyone interested in the history of the left more widely.’ Mark Fisher


‘Getting By: Estates, class and culture in austerity Britain’
with Lisa Mckenzie
Wednesday 17th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Fresh from her standing as candidate for Class War in the general election Lisa Mckenzie joins us to discuss her book which looks at the positive aspects of estate life, despite the many hardships.

While the 1% rule, poor neighbourhoods have become the subject of public concern and media scorn, blamed for society's ills. This unique book redresses the balance. Lisa Mckenzie lived on the St Ann ’s estate in Nottingham for more than 20 years. Her ‘insider’ status enables us to hear the stories of its residents, often wary of outsiders. St Ann's has been stigmatised as a place where gangs, guns, drugs, single mothers and those unwilling or unable to make something of their lives reside. Yet in this same community we find strong, resourceful, ambitious people who are 'getting by', often with humour and despite facing brutal austerity.

About the author

Lisa Mckenzie is a research fellow in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, working on issues of social inequality and class stratification through ethnographic research. Lisa brings an unusual and innovative approach to research by means of her extensive experience of bringing the academic world and local community together.



 ‘The Racket:  A rogue reporter vs the masters of the universe’

with Matt Kennard

Wednesday 3rd June, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Matt Kennard gives a no holds barred political tour through the power elites’ secret corruption, tyranny, destitution, robbery, mass murder and censorship.

While working at the Financial Times, investigative journalist Matt Kennard uncovered a scam - a deception and rip-off of immense proportions.

From slanging matches with Henry Kissinger to afternoon coffees with the man who captured Che Guevara, Kennard’s unbridled access over four years to the crème de la crème of the global elite left him with only one conclusion. The world as we know it is run by a squad of cigar-smoking men with big guns, big cash and a reach much too close to home.

But, through encounters with high-profile opponents of the racket, Kennard shows that human decency remains. Now it’s time for the world’s citizens to also uncover the racket.


'Matt Kennard threw away a cushy career with an establishment newspaper just to let you in on a secret: you don't get the story, you get the cover-up. From Honduras to Haiti to Washington to London, Kennard lets us in on the details of buried truth.'
Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

'In this important book, Kennard explores the direct impacts of militarized, globalized American capitalism on some of the most battered parts of our world. With devastating precision and a formidable sense of urgency, he reports on corporate shock doctors in Haiti, imperialist drug warriors in Honduras, pillaging coal and mining giants in southern Africa and Appalachia -- and so much more. Most importantly, he never loses sight of the growing numbers of resistors holding on to their creativity and self-determination in the face of these forces.'
Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

'A brilliant atlas of what Kennard calls 'heavy history' - the hurricane-like path of global destruction wrought by neoliberalism and wars against the poor.'
Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and In Praise of Barbarians: Essays against Empire

'Matt Kennard's perceptive direct reporting and analysis of policy aim to expose 'the racket' that dominates much of global society and to 'blow their cover'. His in-depth studies, ranging from Haiti to Palestine to Bolivia to Honduras to the destitute in New York City and far more, bring home in vivid and illuminating detail the reality of life and struggles of much of the world's population, their defeats and victories, their suffering and vitality and hope.'
Noam Chomsky, author of Hegemony or Survival and Failed States

'Matt Kennard's The Racket is a powerful tool for self-education: it offers essential information about the insatiable and sordid nature of global, elitist, exploitive, profit-blinded governments and institutions that have, together, perfected the task of making billions of people miserable, poor and fatally unhappy. It also offers testimony from activists and artists who are not giving in, giving up, or lying down.'
Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple

‘Here We Stand : Women Changing the World’
with Helena Earnshaw, Angharad Penrhyn Jones,

Shauneen Lambe and Helen Steel
Wednesday 10th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guests present this unique anthology about contemporary women campaigners and how they were changed by the process of changing the world. The book has just won the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2015.

‘Here We Stand : Women Changing the World’ (Honno Press, 2014) is a fascinating and unique anthology about contemporary women campaigners and how they were changed by the process of changing the world.

Through a series of interviews and articles, 17 key British women campaigners talk intimately about the difficult and exhilarating nature of their work.

These women are dreaming of a better world. But they are not just dreamers. They have organised, marched on the streets, joined protest camps, opened refuges, logged from war zones, and smashed up military equipment. They have gone undercover, lived in trees, stormed Parliament, and taken on the world's largest corporations. They have been sacked, attacked, psychologically abused, jailed, shot at, sued, deceived by police spies, and even disowned by their families. But still they keep dreaming; still they march on. And they are changing history.

To discuss the collection we welcome the books editors, Helena Earnshaw and Angharad Penrhyn Jones, alongside contributor and campaigner Helen Steel.

About the speakers

Angharad Penrhyn Jones is a campaigner, writer, and BAFTA-award-winning filmmaker.

Helena Earnshaw was an editor at, wrote for Big Issue Cymru and was involved in McSpotlight and other campaigns.

Shauneen Lambe is founder and co-director of Just For Kids Law. In 2010, Shauneen was chosen as a World Economic Forum 'Young Global Leader', and in June 2011 was made a Shackleton Fellow. In 2013 she was shortlisted for Liberty's Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award.

Helen Steel was one of the ‘McLibel Two’, who took on the might of McDonalds in what became the longest-running legal case in English history, and for the most part won. She is also involved in the campaign group Police Spies Out of Lives.

‘A Diet of Austerity: Class, Food and Climate Change’
with Elaine Graham-Leigh
Saturday 13th June, 6.30pm

Free entry

Received wisdom is increasingly that we all have to eat less to save the planet, but received wisdom is wrong. ‘A Diet of Austerity’ (Zero Books, 2015) argues that, just as the poor are blamed for the economic crisis, Malthusian conceptions about food and ecology are being used to hold the working class responsible for climate change and global hunger. Challenging existing dogmas about overconsumption and personal responsibility, it shows that what we need to stop climate change is system change.

"Elaine has a produced a must-read book for all of us concerned with combating climate change. We can't diet our way to a better world but we can and must change the system to sustain the future. This book is well written, fascinating, controversial and essential." Derek Wall, Former Green Party of England and Wales Principal Speaker and author of The Rise of the Green Left

Elaine Graham-Leigh is a member of Counterfire and a former member of the steering committee of the Campaign against Climate Change. She has been speaking on climate change for more than a decade, at events ranging from small public meetings to national demonstrations. She has written widely on this and other political issues, particularly for, and has articles republished by New Internationalist and in the Handbook of the Climate Movement.


MAY 2015



 ‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten assacre’ with Lara Pawson, John Game, Joana Ramiro, and Gika Tetembwa
Wednesday 27th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our panel discuss Angola’s intra-left massacre of 27 May 1977, and its continuing political repercussions, a subject explored expertly in Pawson’s highly celebrated recent book.

Chair, Joana Ramiro: Morning Star reporter, who – as a Portuguese citizen with an Angolan father – has travelled widely in Angola.

John Game: a Socialist and independent scholar interested in class and identity in the global south with particular reference to western India. He is hoping to submit his thesis soon.

Gika Tetembwa: a global politics student at Birkbeck College and activist, who was born in, and grew up in Angola.

Lara Pawson: author of ‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’

‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ tells a fascinating story about one of the most important political moments in Angola’s contemporary history, the 27 May 1977. For some, that was the day the ruling MPLA party turned on dissidents and launched a drawn-out massacre, with the help of the Cuban army, that would claim thousands of lives; for others, it was the day a band of far left, anti-mestiço and anti-white racists violently tried to conduct a coup against Agostinho Neto’s government. Lara Pawson lived and worked in Angola as the BBC correspondent from 1998-2000, when she learned about the uprising and its consequences.

This book follows her investigation to dig up the truth of what really happened on the 27 May, to try to understand why certain British Marxists helped cover up the killings, and how the events of 1977 continue to influence politics in Angola to this day.

‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ has been shortlisted for the Political Book Awards Debut Political Book of the Year 2015, was runner-up in the Royal Africa Society book of the year 2014, was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2015.

‘With unflagging intelligence, fearlessness, and compassion, Pawson unfolds the human and political dimensions of this forgotten atrocity. She has done Angola a great service in writing this book, and all of us, Angolan or otherwise, do ourselves a great service in reading it.’ Teju Cole, author of Open City

‘Pawson brings her sources to life like a novelist; her meetings are vivid and convincing. A simple, direct clarity of vision is brought to bear, and the reader begins to make some sense of the conspiracies and sub-conspiracies that led to the vinte-sete. By the end, Angola – along with some of its layered political complexity – is raw, vital, brutal and alive in front of us.’ M. John Harrison, author of Climbers

Housmans will have copies of the book available at a specially discounted price of £15 (usual price £20).


 ‘Liberty's Fire - bringing history alive for the next generation’
with Catherine Johnson and Lydia Syson
Wednesday 20th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

We are delighted to welcome authors Catherine Johnson and Lydia Syson to discuss writing progressive historical fiction for young adults. Lydia will be launch her latest book ‘Liberty's Fire’, which is set at the time of the Paris Commune, and Catherine Johnson has just finished writing a book set during the French Revolution which will be published later in the year.



  ‘Why We Deserve Better Politics’ with Zoe Williams
Tuesday 5th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Ahead of the general election the Guardian’s Zoe Williams discusses the failure of modern British politics and what it would take to move the broken system forward.

The five wealthiest people in Britain earn more than the poorest 20%. Young and low-paid workers are being progressively forced out of London. The education system is increasingly divided.

We welcome celebrated Guardian columnist Zoe to Housmans  to introduce her latest book, ‘Get It Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics’. Collating the disparate arguments that occupy our contemporary political landscape, Williams puts forth this spirited call-to-arms of a book as she considers the legacy our way of life is in danger of leaving. Asking key questions of the state of the NHS, labour markets, housing and immigration, Williams' witty and conversational manifesto seeks to play a key role in the build-up to this year's general election.

‘Get It Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics’ by Zoe Williams
Hardcover: 368 pages

Hutchinson (2 April 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0091959012

RRP: £14.99



Journal of Aesthetics & Protest issue launch:
‘Tectonic Disobedience’
Wednesday 6th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes guests from the US-based journal to launch their latest issue, which considers the intersections of art and radical politics.

“Issue #9: Tectonic Disobedience is the fallout of several lives and rocks and the effort to weave a line of being and resistance over the longue durée (over and through time).

This event might include a slide show or a clock that does not move, and also several readers TBA - content of the reading to include a propositional cartography of radical practices (between state policies and intentional cultures) and a volley of books.

Though described as a "weirdo think tank" the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest has also described itself as a place at the intersection of anti-authoritarian activism, fine art and media theory. Now its just a radioactive rock sitting in space, which despite the gamma rays, it also provides fertile soil for carrots.”


 ‘UJAMAA – the hidden story of

Tanzania’s socialist villages’ with Selma James
Wednesday 13th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Selma James draws contemporary lessons from Tanzania’s self-governing villages created in the 1960s, where men, women and children collectively worked the land, organised production, distribution, housing, education, childcare, healthcare, determined to overcome poverty and women’s subordination.

Selma James speaking on ‘UJAMAA – the hidden story of Tanzania’s socialist villages’ by Ralph Ibbott, with an introduction by Selma James.

In ‘UJAMAA’ Ralph Ibbott tells the story of Tanzania’s Ruvuma Development Association (RDA) – 17 self-governing villages created in the 1960s following President Nyerere’s strategy of African socialism. Men, women and children collectively worked the land, organised production, distribution, housing, education, childcare, healthcare, determined to overcome poverty and women’s subordination.

People came from far to see this developing caring society that bypassed capitalism. But politicians, threatened by the autonomy and success of villagers, banned the RDA.

Ralph and Noreen Ibbott and their four young children lived in Litowa, RDA’s lead village, from 1963 to its destruction in 1969. They worked with the villagers but took no part in formal decision making. This is the account of the RDA’s rise and fall as they lived it.

Selma James is joint co-ordinator of the Global Women’s Strike based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town. She is the author of Sex, Race and Class – the Perspective of Winning, A Selection of Writings 1952-2011.


APRIL 2015

‘The Tolerance Trap –
How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality?’
with Suzanna Danuta Walters

Thursday 30th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcome Suzanna Danuta Walters on a rare visit from the USA to discuss her latest book ‘The Tolerance Trap’, a call to arms for the gay rights movement not to settle for complacency, and regain its radical agenda.

From Glee to gay marriage, from lesbian senators to out gay Marines, we have undoubtedly experienced a seismic shift in attitudes about gays in American politics and culture. Our reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But dig a bit deeper, and this seemingly brave new gay world is disappointing. For all of the undeniable changes, the plea for tolerance has sabotaged the full integration of gays into American life. Same-sex marriage is unrecognized and unpopular in the vast majority of states, hate crimes proliferate, and even in the much vaunted ‘gay friendly’ world of Hollywood and celebrity culture, precious few stars are openly gay.


In ‘The Tolerance Trap’, Suzanna Walters takes on received wisdom about gay identities and gay rights, arguing that we are not ‘almost there’, but on the contrary have settled for a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a robust claim to full civil rights. After all, we tolerate unpleasant realities: medicine with strong side effects, a long commute, an annoying relative. Drawing on a vast array of sources and sharing her own personal journey, Walters shows how the low bar of tolerance demeans rather than ennobles both gays and straights alike. Her fascinating examination covers the gains in political inclusion and the persistence of anti-gay laws, the easy-out sexual freedom of queer youth and the suicides and murders of those in decidedly intolerant environments.

She challenges both ‘born that way’ storylines that root civil rights in biology, and ‘god made me that way’ arguments that similarly situate sexuality as innate and impervious to decisions we make to shape it. A sharp and provocative cultural critique, this book deftly argues that a too-soon declaration of victory short-circuits full equality and deprives us all of the transformative possibilities of full integration. Tolerance is not the end goal, but a dead end. In ‘The Tolerance Trap’, Walters presents a complicated snapshot of a world-shifting moment in American history—one that is both a wake-up call and a call to arms for anyone seeking true equality.

About the author

Suzanna Danuta Walters has written and lectured extensively on sexuality, popular culture, and feminism and is currently the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University.

She is the author of several books, including ‘All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America’ and ‘Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory’.

‘Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism’ with Brian Morris

Wednesday 15th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Celebrating the publication of ‘Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism: A Brian Morris Reader’ (PM Press, 2014) Housmans are delighted to welcome Brian Morris to discuss some of the key themes of his work.

Over the course of a long career, Brian Morris has created an impressive body of engaging and insightful writings—from social anthropology and ethnography to politics, history, and philosophy—that have made these subjects accessible to the layperson without sacrificing analytical rigor. But until now, the essays collected here, originally published in obscure journals and political magazines, have been largely unavailable to the broad readership to which they are so naturally suited.

The opposite of arcane, specialized writing, Morris’s work takes an interdisciplinary approach that moves seamlessly among topics, offering up coherent and practical connections between his various scholarly interests and his deeply held commitment to anarchist politics and thought.

Approached in this way, anthropology and ecology are largely untapped veins whose relevance for anarchism and other traditions of social thought have only recently begun to be explored and debated. But there is a long history of anarchist writers drawing upon works in those related fields.

Morris’s essays both explore past connections and suggest ways that broad currents of anarchist thought will have new and ever-emerging relevance for anthropology and many other ways of understanding social relationships. His writings avoid the constraints of dogma and reach across an impressive array of topics to give readers a lucid orientation within these traditions and point to new ways to confront common challenges.

“Brian Morris blazed a lot of trails. He is a scholar of genuine daring and great humanity, and his work deserves to be read and debated for a very long time to come.“

—David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

“Before there was ’anarchist anthropology,’ there was Brian Morris. This collection introduces the work of an intrepid pioneer, taking anarchist perspectives to where you would least expect them.“

—Gabriel Kuhn, editor and translator of All Power to the Councils! A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, Liberating Society from the State and Other Writings by Erich Mühsam, and Revolution and Other Writings by Gustav Landauer

“Morris’s acerbic analysis of established literature is matched by nuanced ethnographic analysis. . . . He writes accessibly about complicated matters.“

—Allen F. Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles

About the author

Brian Morris is professor emeritus of anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London. He received a doctorate in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, having done his PhD fieldwork among hunter-gatherers in Southern India. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a tea planter in Malawi where he has done extensive fieldwork.

He has written books and articles on topics including ecology, botany, philosophy, history, religion, anthropology, ethnobiology, and social anarchism. After discovering anarchist thought in the mid-1960s, he remained active in various protests and political movements.

His previous political books include The Anarchist Geographer: An Introduction to the Life of Peter Kropotkin; Kropotkin: The Politics of Community; Ecology and Anarchism: Essays and Reviews on Contemporary Thought; and Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom.

‘The Vegan Book of Permaculture’ with Graham Burnett
Wednesday 22nd April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In time for spring, Graham introduces his new book and will leading a discussion around the connections between veganism and permaculture, and the positive contributions these can make to an abundant and regenerative future.

How we eat is such a fundamental part of what we are; yet in our present time-poor culture of pre-packed fast foods, food can become an expensive symptom of alienation and disempowerment. It doesn’t have to be this way!

The Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.

In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for ‘Animals, People and Environment’ of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reafforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

About The Author

Graham Burnett has been a vegan since 1984 and has been active in the permaculture movement since 1995. He is the author of Permaculture: A Beginner’s Guide and The Vegan Book of Permaculture. He teaches runs permaculture and is the founder of Spiralseed , an ethical organisation based around the three principles of permaculture, Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fair Shares. They offer courses, workshops and publications.

Graham has worked with other projects and organisations including Comic Relief, Capital Growth, Bioregional, OrganicLea, Birmingham Decoy, Trust Links, Green Adventure, the Vegan Organic Network, Thrive, Ars Terra (Los Angeles), Ekosense Eco Village (Croatia) as well as a number of Transition Town initiatives.

As well as cultivating his own garden and allotments, Graham contributes to publications as diverse as Positive News, The Sunday Times, Permaculture Magazine, Permaculture Activist, New Leaves, The Raven, Growing Green, Funky Raw, The Vegan and The Idler.

‘Cameron's Coup: How the Tories took Britain to the Brink’
with Polly Toynbee and David Walker

Wednesday 8th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Toynbee and Walker introduce their new book, an incisive and damning journey across the country to see first-hand the effects of the coalition on Britain, and ask are these changes irrevocable?

The NHS devastated without so much as a by-your-leave; Gen Y hung out to dry; legal aid cut for the vulnerable; social housing on the brink of collapse...Cameron has been busy. Margaret Thatcher sold off the nationalised industries, her political heirs are intent on leaving an even more radical legacy - selling off the state itself.

Written with their trademark precision and passion, Toynbee and Walker reveal how in four short years a party that failed to win a Commons majority has been devastatingly effective. Blending polls and statistics with moving human stories from Taunton to Teesside, Sydenham to Sheffield, Cameron's Coup shows the alarming reversal in decades of social progress.

As Toynbee and Walker argue, it has been nothing short of a revolution. And they ask the pressing question: are these changes irrevocable?

About the Authors

Polly Toynbee and David Walker have co-authored Dogma and Disarray: Cameron at Half-Time, Unjust Rewards: Exposing Greed and Inequality in Britain Today, The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? and Better or Worse: Did Labour Deliver? Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian. David Walker is a contributing editor to the Guardian Public and former director of public reporting at the Audit Commission.

MARCH 2015

‘How Corrupt is Britain?’ with David Whyte and Rob Evans
Wednesday 25th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

David Whyte introduces a new collection of essays published by Pluto Press exploring the range and depth of corruption amongst the British establishment.

Banks accused of rate-fixing. Members of parliament cooking the books. Major defense contractors investigated over suspect arms deals. Police accused of being paid off by tabloids. The headlines are unrelenting these days. Perhaps it’s high time we ask: Just exactly how corrupt is Britain?

‘How Corrupt is Britain?’ published by Pluto Press (2015) and edited by David Whyte brings together a wide range of leading commentators and campaigners, offering a series of troubling answers. Unflinchingly facing the corruption in British public life, they show that it is no longer tenable to assume that corruption is something that happens elsewhere; corrupt practices are revealed across a wide range of venerated institutions, from local government to big business.

These powerful, punchy essays aim to shine a light on the corruption fundamentally embedded in UK politics, police, and finance.

About The Author

David Whyte is Reader in Sociology at the University of Liverpool. He is an internationally established author on the subjects of state power and corporate power, having written Crimes of the Powerful: A Reader (Open University Press, 2009) and having co-authored three further books and co-edited four collections on this subject.

David is joined by Rob Evans, reporter for the Guardian newspaper who has won awards for his work both on corruption scandals and for promoting freedom of information. He is co-author of Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police and author of
Gassed: British chemical warfare experiments on humans at Porton Down.

‘Ain't I A Woman Collective Launch’

with Asabi Hawah, Belinda Zhawi, Annie Rockson,
Ayshamar Atkins and Siana Bangura

Friday 20th March, 7pm
Free Entry

The Ain't I A Woman Collective is a black feminist community, which aims to centre the voices of women with African ancestry in Europe and beyond. We believe that there is a need for more creative spaces for black women’s voices, writing and well-being, and work to constantly work to carve out such space.

 Joins us at our launch for a night of spoken word and music as we welcome performances by - our host Asabi Hawah - Belinda Zhawi - Annie Rockson - Ayshamar Atkins - Siana Bangura - There will also be a raffle and drinks reception. "

  Find us on social media: 
Twitter: @AIAWC

Instagram: Ain't I  A Woman Collective


‘NHS FOR SALE: Myths ,Lies and Deception’

with Dr Jacky Davis, Dr John Lister and Dr David Wrigley

Wednesday 18th March, 7pm

Free entry

In 2010 David Cameron's coalition government discarded pre-election promises about the NHS. Instead they imposed savage spending cuts and pushed through 'reforms' which put at risk the health and lives of all of us. As a result the NHS is now in crisis.

NHS for Sale challenges their myths and lies, arguing that:

* The NHS is efficient and affordable and didn't need radical reform.

* The private sector is not cheaper or more efficient than the public sector.

* The government is privatising the NHS.

* The NHS market is wasting billions of pounds while harming the service.

* The coalition's Health and Social Care Act:

Has not put GPs in the driving seat.

Has reduced patient choice.

Has reduced community control over healthcare priorities.

Has increased bureacracy and waste.

This book sets out what needs to be done to protect the NHS against corporate greed, and enable future governments to meet the challenge of delivering high quality and affordable health care for all.

'Essential reading in the battle to save the NHS before private companies bleed it dry.' Ken Loach

'This is the most important recent book about the future of the NHS. It examines the havoc created by Andrew Lansley's costly and damaging "reforms" and George Osborne's spending cuts. It's a must read.' Owen Jones

'... a brilliant account of the shocking story of the Health and Social Care Act: how its true purpose was concealed from the electorate (with the assistance of the media asleep on the job), how it was sold to Parliament, and its appalling consequences.' Raymond Tallis, The Lancet

About the authors

Dr Jacky Davis is a consultant radiologist in north London, co-chair of the NHS Consultants' Association, a member of the BMA UK Council and is a founder member of Keep our NHS Public.

Dr John Lister is the Information Director with London Health Emergency, a founder member of Keep Our NHS Public, a public speaker, journalist, and the author of books on the NHS;

Dr David Wrigley is a GP in Carnforth, Lancashire. He speaks for Keep Our NHS Public and is a member of the BMA UK Council and BMA General Practitioners' Committee.


[Again] Introductions presents:


with Prof. Stella Sandford
Wednesday 4th March 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The third and final talk in the [Again] Introductions series at Housmans is on the subject of feminism, and will provide an insight into the movement’s latest debates and challenges, from the perspective of the feminist tradition in philosophy and theory.

Stella Sandford is Professor of Modern European Philosophy at the CRMEP, Kingston University and has published and taught widely on the intersection of philosophy, feminist theory and politics.


About the Series

[Again] is a London-based organisation aimed at the amplification of an intellectual culture concerned with concepts and problems. We believe that it is possible to propagate such a situation beyond the capacities of the university institution, through the creation and maintenance of an active, independent community. Set up in 2014, Again has hosted numerous talks and reading groups, organized a conference (concerning the philosophy of Georges Bataille), an art exhibition and has much more planned.

The ‘Introductions’ series of talks is aimed at tackling contemporary political issues in an accessible manner. Each 45 minute talk will be given by an expert in the particular field, ensuring an informed, precise summary of the problems and issues raised therein. A hand-out will be provided with a short book list identifying the key texts in that domain should you wish to read further into the subject. For this series, we’ve picked three exciting topics fundamental to the understanding of politics today.

‘Playing the Whore:  The Work of Sex Work’
with Melissa Gira Grant



‘Copy Readers Union’ with Vit Hopley and friends

Friday 6th March, 7pm
Free entry

The first of a semi-regular series of public interactions between authors and readers from Copy Press, who publish innovative writing that brings together strands of fiction, philosophy and politics. Vit will introduce her book Wednesday Afternoon.

COPY PRESS is an independent publishing company based in London, dedicated to extending ideas of writing, pictures and readability. Currently publishing 100-page paperbacks under the series name Common Intellectual, each title provides a proposition for living, thinking and enjoyment.

The idea of the common intellectual expresses not only a relation between writer and reader but also an inclusivity that cherishes the common. It is here that ethos of Copy Press, named as the READER’S UNION, constitutes itself and finds momentum: not only do readers become irreducible to market forces but also there comes a pressing need for the development of a space where writers and readers can come in contact with each other and further thought and enjoyment.

DEVELOPING AND CONTACT — a series of events in which a Copy Press author invites three people to do a short 8-10min response/reading of their title from a perspective of what can be developed in relation to their particular concerns, interests or passions.

‘… the truly philosophical element in every work, be it called literature, science or art (or whatever) is its capacity to be developed. This capacity in a work arises when a reader steps in and, as it were, picks something up to take it further.’



‘Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion’

with Tansy E. Hoskins
Wednesday 18th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Few of us know the exact details of where our clothes come from. In ‘Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion’, Tansy E. Hoskins poses questions that we as consumers rarely pause to ask: how were our garments made, who manufactured them, and which corporation owners profited from them?

From high fashion designers to high street brands, Hoskins rigorously analyses the mechanics that sustain the fashion industry. By using fashion as ‘a lens to look at capitalism through’, Hoskins unravels the supply chain from start to finish, investigating the roles of factory workers, designers, models, advertisers and consumers along the way.

Weaving together Karl Lagerfield with Karl Marx, Hoskins' eye-opening critique exposes the misogyny, animal cruelty, racism and classism inherent to the fashion industry and its ‘size zero’ culture. Even ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ clothing lines, Hoskins reveals, are rarely as socially responsible as their advertisers make them out to be.

The first book to examine fashion through an anti-capitalist lens, Hoskins' study of the social and environmental repercussions of the global fashion industry is compelling and timely.

‘Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion’ by Tansy E. Hoskins
Pluto Press (2014)

ISBN: 9780745334561


[Again] Introductions presents:

‘Biopolitics’ with Nikolas Rose
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The second [Again] Introductions talk is on the subject of biopolitics, which tried to understand the way that modern power takes the very lives of individuals as its object. Phenomena such as disease scares, obesity epidemics and definitions of mental illness exemplify a political emphasis on the biological bodies of individuals. At an international level, this can lead to a move away from democracy and towards security measures justified in the name of protection and ‘increased threat’.

While Aristotle defined the human as a ‘political animal’, our situation is one where our lives are managed; they are ’political’ in uncomfortable ways. Prof. Rose has been working in this fascinating field of research for decades, and is perfectly placed to introduce the key concepts involved.

Nikolas Rose is a prominent British sociologist and social theorist. He is currently the Head of Department of the newly launched Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine at King's College London. He was the James Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, director and founder of LSE's BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society from 2002 to 2011. 

About the Series 

[Again] is a London-based organisation aimed at the amplification of an intellectual culture concerned with concepts and problems. We believe that it is possible to propagate such a situation beyond the capacities of the university institution, through the creation and maintenance of an active, independent community. Set up in 2014, Again has hosted numerous talks and reading groups, organized a conference (concerning the philosophy of Georges Bataille), an art exhibition and has much more planned. 

The ‘Introductions’ series of talks is aimed at tackling contemporary political issues in an accessible manner. Each 45 minute talk will be given by an expert in the particular field, ensuring an informed, precise summary of the problems and issues raised therein. A hand-out will be provided with a short book list identifying the key texts in that domain should you wish to read further into the subject. For this series, we’ve picked three exciting topics fundamental to the understanding of politics today.

‘Stopping the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’

with Linda Kaucher
Wednesday 11th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Linda Kaucher explores the numerous threats contained in the US/EU ‘free trade’ TTIP deal, and presents the campaign to stop its implementation.

Despite the attempt to keep secret the implications of a US/EU supposed ‘free trade’ agreement called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), public awareness of the deal and how it will take us towards a corporate-run world is growing.

In addition to the usual corporate-friendly provision in ‘trade’ deals when services are ‘liberalised’, TTIP goes much further.  Regulatory harmonisation (also called co-operation or coherence) between the world’s two biggest economies, the US and the EU, is in fact a deregulation mechanism – a way for transnational corporations to get rid of laws that limit their profit-making.

The threat to current regulations on food safety, involving eg US-style chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef, have attracted so much public disgust the EU Trade Commission has been forced to pledge to maintain EU standards on these. However it is the hidden provision for the future that is the bigger threat. - to regulations and to democracy.

A Regulatory Co-operation Council, with big business at the table from earliest consideration of new regulations, will threaten both sound public interest regulating and democracy.

And planned investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) will allow corporations to sue governments for any introduced regulation that doesn’t suit corporate profit-making.

Linda Kaucher is a long-term researcher on the EU’s international ‘trade’ deals, and will launch the latest StopTTIP booklet on this and other corporate-benefit ‘trade’ deals.


'South Sudan: A Slow Liberation' with Edward Thomas, Thomas Mawan Muortat and Liz Hodgkin
Wednesday 14th January, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

South Sudan: A Slow Liberation tries to explain how South Sudan's first years as an independent country have been marred by violence. Often that violence is explained as 'tribal' or 'ethnic' conflict - an explanation which simplifies and conceals the rapid economic and social changes that have been brought about by war. The book tries to fit South Sudan's story into a much bigger story of violence, racism and economic changes in Africa and across the world over the past two centuries.

But it's written from a very local perspective - it's based on several hundred interviews carried out in Jonglei state, one of the remotest and most mutinous peripheries of South Sudan. It explains the big story of violence and economics through local stories: of cattle-keepers trying to navigate a new economy where food is not just grown or raised by households, but is bought, looted, or allocated by humanitarian agencies; of town people trying to get an education, and to persuade the government - the biggest employer - to give them a job. It explains too how ethnicity gets caught up with local struggles for survival and advancement. Accessibly written, it provides a revealing and multi-layered introduction to what's happening in South Sudan today.

The most lucid, insightful account of South Sudan’s predicament in print – Alex de Waal, World Peace Foundation, Tufts University

Succinctly examines the challenges facing South Sudanese struggling for freedom – Peter Adwok Nyaba, former South Sudan minister of higher education

A must-read … Edward Thomas’s book expertly documents the lessons from history for South Sudan’s future – Alex Vines, head of Chatham House’s Africa Programme

Come along for a panel discussion led by three of South Sudan’s most thoughtful analysts. Thomas Mawan Muortat is from Rumbek, a town at the heart of South Sudan. He studied there and in Sudan, Egypt and the UK and works as an analyst of South Sudan for broadcast media and leading London think tanks. Liz Hodgkin taught history at the University of Khartoum from 1968 to 1973, and was one of the founders of the newsletter Sudan Update in the 1980s. She worked from 2002 to 2009 as the Sudan researcher for Amnesty International. For the past two years, she has been teaching in the history department of Isoke School in the tall green mountains of Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan. Mawan and Liz will be joined by the author, Eddie Thomas, who has worked in Sudan and South Sudan for ten years, as a teacher, human rights worker and researcher.


'Capitalism is Bad for Your Mental Health' with Robert Dellar, Alistair Kemp, and the Association of Musical Marxists
Wednesday 21st January, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Robert Dellar's Splitting in Two: Mad Pride and Punk Rock Oblivion, a book of memories and fantasy by one of the founders of Mad Pride has opened the door on a new kind of politics. Being published by Unkant, publishing wing of the Association of Musical Marxists - a group set up by rebel SWP members - is a sign of the left's regroupment, since Mad Pride was heavily associated with Hackney anarchism.

 The AMM persuaded Dellar to read Psycho-Politics by Peter Sedgwick, doyen of the early, libertarian SWP, and this meeting will allow Dellar to talk about what he found. We have invited Alastair Kemp, editor of TheNewhaven Journeyman ("where music, politics and madness meet") to speak as well. There will also be musical interludes by the AMM All Stars. This will be an unusual night of genuinely unpredictable conversation and laughs. 

You can find background reading here ( as well as stuff on Rob's Unkant book ...

Veterans for Peace present:

Songs and Stories from the Global Uprisings
with Ryan Harvey, Raast and Shireen

Sunday 25th January, 6pm
Free entry / donations welcome

American folk singer Ryan Harvey will be performing with RAAST and Shireen at at this event organised by Veterans For Peace UK.

VFP UK update to be given and merchandise for sale.

RYAN HARVEY – “Songs from the Global Uprisings,” U.S.www.ryanharveymusic.comBlending song and story, Ryan Harvey has been performing in social justice activist circles for nearly ten years, sharing the stage with many underground and mainstream performers. In the last few years he has performed in 21 countries, from Ireland to Egypt, Poland to Portugal. A member of the Riot-Folk Collective, Ryan uses his songs and energy to support various grassroots efforts for radical social change. 

RAAST – English/Arabic Protest Dabke-Folk Fusion, are a multi cultural music collective based in London performing songs of love and resisitance, blending different sounds of the world using their unique combination of traditional and contemporary instrumentation. Raast collaborate with artists from all over the world and perform songs in Arabic, English, Spanish and Portuguese. 

SHIREEN – Crisis Folk, Netherlands

“I made up the name ‘Crisis Folk’ to give a name to the type of songs that I like to sing. Many crises manifest themselves in the traditional folk-songs that I like to borrow, like excessive drinking, poverty and violence. Alongside these songs, I sing about other, more contemporary crises. About Europe becoming more and more like a fortress with the ever increasing border controls and violent repression of the ‘sans-papiers’ and ‘no border’ activists. Or the damage that is done to ecosystems in search of profit. Of course these are love songs too. As you cannot fight without loving.”

Facebook Event Page


'My People Are Rising'
Sukant Chandon in conversation with Black Panther, Aaron Dixon

Tuesday 27th January, 7pm

Suggested donation £3

Veteran Black Panther Aaron Dixon will be presenting his life work and his book which recounts forming the Seattle branch of the Black Panthers, their struggles against police brutality, organising free breakfast programs and developing global solidarity.

Organised by the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform

[Again] Indroductions presents:
'Contemporary Journalism' with Nick Davies

Wednesday 28th January, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The first talk in the [Again] series concerns contemporary journalism and the means by which we, as political subjects, find out about the current affairs and the goings on of society and the world. We are joined by award-winning journalist Nick Davies, who will talk about the shocking hacking scandal and its various effects and implications. Journalism is one of the key ways in which truth is spoken to power, and Nick's most recent book Hack Attack, revolves precisely around that democratic principle. In a similar vein, Nick's first book, Flat Earth News, exposed much of the corroption taking place in journlaism today. For more information on his work, visit

[Again] is a London-based organisation aimed at the amplification of an intellectual culture concerned with concepts and problems. We believe that it is possible to propagate such a situation beyond the capacities of the university institution, through the creation and maintenance of an active, independent community. Set up in 2014, Again has hosted numerous talks and reading groups, organized a conference (concerning the philosophy of Georges Bataille), an art exhibition and has much more planned.

The ‘Introductions’ series of talks is aimed at tackling contemporary political issues in an accessible manner. Each half hour talk will be given by an expert in the particular field, ensuring an informed, precise summary of the problems and issues raised therein. A hand-out will be provided with a short book list identifying the key texts in that domain should you wish to read further into the subject. For this series, we’ve picked three exciting topics fundamental to the understanding of politics today. We hope to see you there!

Facebook event:


'Class Wargames Book Talk and Collective Playing of Brian Mayer’s Freedom: the underground railroad' with Richard Barbrook
Monday 22th December, 7pm

Free Entry

Class Wargames Celebrates the Solstice! The Emancipation Trail is Opened!

“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” – Frederick Douglass

Richard Barbrook will be talking about his new book 'Class Wargames: ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism' - the ideal Xmas present for the radicals in your life! This presentation will be followed by a participatory performance of 'Freedom' – a cooperative board game where the players are Abolitionists aiding people escaping from the slave labour camps of early-19th America.

For more info Class Wargames please visit:

'The Democratic Surround
: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties'
with Fred Turner and Richard Barbrook

Friday 19th December, 7pm
Free Entry

Housmans are delighted to welcome Fred Turner, associate professor of communication at Stanford University, to discuss his latest book, 'The Democratic Surround'. The event will be chaired by Richard Barbrook of Cybersalon and politics lecturer at University of Westminster.

"This is the true story of how a small group of artists and anthropologists set out to create an alternative to fascism during World War II – and ended up setting the stage for the consumer-driven, media-saturated world we inhabit today. A gripping, well-balanced, and surprising history.” Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

We commonly think of the psychedelic ’60s as an explosion of creative energy and freedom that arose in direct revolt against the social restraint and authoritarian hierarchy of the early Cold War years. Yet, as Fred Turner reveals in The Democratic Surround, the decades that brought us the Korean War and communist witch hunts also witnessed an extraordinary turn toward explicitly democratic, open, and inclusive ideas of communication and with them new, flexible models of social order. Surprisingly, he shows that it was this turn that brought us the revolutionary multimedia and the wild-eyed individualism of the 1960s counterculture.

In this prequel to his celebrated book From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Turner rewrites the history of postwar America, showing how in the 1940s and ’50s American liberalism offered a far more radical social vision than we now remember. Turner tracks the influential mid-century entwining of Bauhaus aesthetics with American social science and psychology. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the New Bauhaus in Chicago and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Turner shows how some of the most well-known artists and intellectuals of the forties developed new models of media, new theories of interpersonal and international collaboration, and new visions of an open, tolerant, and democratic self in direct contrast to the repression and conformity associated with the fascist and communist movements.

He then shows how their work shaped some of the most significant media events of the Cold War, including Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition, the multimedia performances of John Cage, and, ultimately, the psychedelic Be-Ins of the sixties. Turner demonstrates that by the end of the 1950s this vision of the democratic self and the media built to promote it would actually become part of the mainstream, even shaping American propaganda efforts in Europe.


‘Afghanistan: Mission Accomplished? The legacy of 14 years of war’
with Maya Evans
Wednesday 10th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

After 14 years British forces have officially concluded their war in Afghanistan, but what is the legacy of the conflict?


Maya Evans has now visited Afghanistan three times over the last three years during which she lived and work with a non-violent Afghan youth group who campaign for peace and grassroots change. During her trips Maya visited refugee camps, health facilities, NGOs, journalists and moreover ordinary Afghans, giving her political analysis a grassroots perspective.

Her previous campaigning against the Afghan war has included a High Court enquiry into the British treatment of Afghan detainees, as well as a prison sentence for protests relating to a NATO bombing of an Afghan wedding party.

Maya is the Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK

with Deborah Withers, Alex Wardrop, and Charlotte Cooper
Saturday 6th December, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

'Academia is dying, and in the process compulsively crushes the desires for learning, creating, teaching, cooperating it claimed to foster', Isabelle Stengers writes as endorsement for The Para-Academic Handbook: A Toolkit for making-learning-creating-acting, a unique collection exploring the margins of contemporary academia.

The book collects global perspectives of people who feel connected, in different ways, to the practice of para-academia. Those people who work alongside, beside, next to, and rub up against the proper location of the Academy, making the work of higher education a little more irregular and perverse.

This event will discuss the perils, possibilities and necessities of para-academic practice. It will explore how alternatives to the marketised university can not only be sustained, but also flourish. Speakers include editors of the collection Deborah Withers and Alex Wardrop, and contributor Charlotte Cooper.

Published by Hammer On Press



'Did You Ever Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows?' with former Weatherman Jeff Laster

Wednesday 12th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was an American radical left organisation founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Originally called Weatherman, the group became known colloquially as the Weathermen.

Weatherman organized in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

With revolutionary positions characterised by black power and opposition to the Vietnam War, the group conducted a campaign of bombings through the mid-1970s and took part in actions such as the jailbreak of Dr.Timothy Leary. The "Days of Rage", their first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot in Chicago timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970, the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government.

To mark the Weatherman's 45th anniversary former Weatherman Jeff Laster will discuss whether Weatherman (and other violent protest groups such as Red Army/Red Brigades/Angry Brigade/Class War) were ever truly relevant to radical political change or, as Jeff puts it, “were they just a bunch of Che Guevera wannabee kids”?

Various books on Weatherman/Weather Underground will be on sale.


Brick Lane Debates present 'Capitalism 101'

Thursday 13 th November, 7pm
Free Entry

The first in what may become a regular series of introductory workshops...

'Bhopal: Facing 30' with Francesca Moore and Colin Toogood

Wednesday 19th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

‘Bhopal: Facing 30’ is the culmination of a photographic project that portrays the site of the 1984 Bhopal disaster and the people that continued to be affected, with the book being produced to commemorate the 30th anniversary.

On the night of the 2nd December 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate. None of the six safety systems designed to contain such a leak were operational, allowing the gas to spread throughout the city of Bhopal. Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 25,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant site.

The first part of the project depicts the entire boundary wall of Union Carbide, the disaster site. Supposedly creating a barrier between what is safe, and what is not, the images expose the level of the walls degradation, which allows easy access to toxins harmful to human health and the environment. There are cavernous holes in the wall at ground level, steps and ledges that lead up and over the wall, security gates left open, parts where the wall is only knee high. The perimeter wall has rows and rows of residents’ houses backing on to it. Children clamber over the wall or pass through the holes – getting to what appears an appealing grassy spot for a game of cricket. Photographed from a child’s height, who cannot see the dangers of the abandoned factory within, each image of the wall joins the next, forming a continuum when presented.

Whilst the wall represents 30 years of pain and suffering, the residents surrounding the contaminated site appeared to be resilient and optimistic. To reflect this perception, the wall is presented with a series of formal family portraits of the people who live in the slums that surround the disaster site. The portraits reference the traditional Indian studio portraits usually acquired by wealthy higher castes, and given the opportunity, the people of Bhopal could register their own dignity, values and resilience through the medium of the family portrait.

The people of Bhopal are not victims as a result of their own actions, or simply through poverty; they were subject to a system that facilitated the economic growth of a multinational company, at the expense of life and the environment – as if less important or disposable. For this reason I photographed the families with the belief that they are as good as anyone else – as good as anyone who works for Union Carbide for example, or Dow Chemical, who now own the Union Carbide plant, but refuse responsibility for its liabilities, or the Indian Government; or you or me. Bhopal: Facing 30 represents those people affected, and that continue to be affected to this day 30 years on, not as victims, but as equal humans.  

Francesca is a freelance photographer whose personal work stems from interests in people and the environment. With an MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging, Francesca draws on her scientific background to portray humanitarian, social and environmental issues.  

Joined by Colin Toogood, campaigns manager for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, Francesca will discuss her work in the context of the on-going saga for justice and environmental remediation 30 years after the worlds’ worst industrial disaster.

'Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self' with Kajsa Ekis Ekman

Thursday 20th November, 7pm


Join us for this rare opportunity to hear Swedish feminist Ekman discuss her polemic on the psychology of sex work, in which she also criticizes the booming surrogacy industry.


In her book ‘Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self’ (Spinifex Press, 2014) Kajsa Ekis Ekman draws on Marxist and feminist analyses to argue that “the Self must be split from the body to make it possible to sell your body without selling yourself. The body becomes sex. Sex becomes a service. The story of the sex worker says: the Split Self is not only possible, it is the ideal”.

Turning to the practice of surrogate motherhood, Kajsa Ekis Ekman identifies the same components: that the woman is neither connected to her own body nor to the child she grows in her body and gives birth to. Surrogacy becomes an extended form of prostitution. In this capitalist creation story, the parent is the one who pays. The product sold is not sex but a baby.

Please join us for a chance to discuss the issues with Kajsa Ekis Ekman. Kasja is a Swedish journalist, writer and activist. She is the author of several works about the financial crisis, women's rights and Marxism. She writes for the major Swedish daily Dagnes Nyheter and is an op-ed columnist at the leftwing daily ETC.


Forces Watch and Veterans for Peace present:
‘Confronting a Culture of Militarism’

with Steve Pratt, David Gee, Jim Radford and Walter Heaton

Monday 3rd November, 7pm
Free Entry but donations to Forces Watch and Veterans for Peace will be appreciated.


In the run up to Remembrance Sunday, Forces Watch and VFP UK invite you to an evening of performance, discussion and music.

Steve Pratt is an artist and former SAS soldier. ‘About the Making of a Dangerous Individual’ is a powerful spoken word performance based on Steve’s childhood, service in the army and afterwards. The performance is backed by an atmospheric solo guitar.

In his new book, ‘Spectacle, Reality, Resistance: Confronting a culture of militarism’, published by ForcesWatch, David Gee takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, exploring these dynamics – distance, romance, control – in three essays, accompanied by three shorter pieces about the cultural treatment of war and resistance to the government’s increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war. David Gee will be joined by Ben Griffin of Veterans For Peace to explore what the public act of remembrance has become and how we can challenge the militarism it represents. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Jim Radford is the youngest surviving veteran of D-Day and has been active in the peace movement for over 50 years. Jim will tell stories and sing songs inspired by his experience in the Royal Navy and the peace movement. Jim is a member of Veterans For Peace.

Walter Heaton served with the British Army in Malaya and was active in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. Walter will tell stories and sing a few songs inspired by his experiences.

'Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West

with Agata Pyzik

Wednesday 26th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Agata will be speaking about the continued cultural divide that separates East and West Europe.

The passengers of the low-budget airlines go East for stag parties, and they go West for work; but the East stays East, and West stays West. Caricatures abound - the Polish plumber in the tabloids, the New Cold War in the broadsheets and the endless search for 'the new Berlin' for hipsters.

Against the stereotypes, Agata Pyzik peers behind the curtain to take a look at the secret histories of Eastern Europe and its tortured relations with the West. Neoliberalism and mass migration, post-punk and the Bowiephile obsession with the Eastern Bloc, Orientalism and 'self-colonisation', the emancipatory potentials of Socialist Realism, the possibility of a non-Western idea of modernity and futurism, and the place of Eastern Europe in any current revival of 'the idea of communism' – all are much more complex and surprising than they appear.

Agata’s book ‘Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West’ (2014, Zero Books) refuses both a dewy-eyed Nostalgia for the 'good old days' and the equally desperate desire to become a 'normal part of Europe', reclaiming instead the idea of an Other Europe.



‘Who was Henry Muoria?’ with Peter Muoria
Wednesday 29th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

discussion of the life of Henry Muoria, Kenyan political thinker, writer, and activist, who published pamphlets and newspapers that were highly influential in the anti-colonial struggle of Kenya in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and whose radicalism stood in contrast to the relative conservatism of Jomo Kenyatta, who became Kenya's first President.

Henry Muoria spent much of his later life living in Islington, as his life became increasingly under threat in the ferment of the oppressive regime at home. Henry’s son, Peter Muoria, co-author of book ‘Writing for Kenya: the Life and Works of Henry Muoria’, will share his insights into the family and political life and legacy of his courageous father.  

‘The New Radicals:
the struggle against apartheid in 1970s South Africa’

with Glenn Moss

Monday 27th October, 7pm
Free Entry
Glenn Moss recounts how a new wave of radical ideas helped fuel the anti-apartheid struggle through the hard times of the 1970s.

By the end of the 1960s opposition to apartheid was in disarray. Yet in the space of a few short years, major and radical challenges developed that would set South Africa on a new path.  This lively and original book tells the story of a generation of activists who embraced new forms of opposition politics that would have profound consequences. In the process it rescues the early 1970s from previous neglect and shows just how crucial these years were in the struggle to transform society. It explores the influence of Black Consciousness, the new trade unionism, radicalisation of students on both black and white campuses, the Durban strikes, and Soweto 1976, and concludes that these developments were largely the result of home-grown initiatives, with little influence exercised by the banned and exiled movements for national liberation. 

 “Fascinating and important insight into the emergence of a brave young radicalism of the early 1970s embracing white campuses, black consciousness and trade unionism, which raised questions and challenges not only for the apartheid-capitalist nexus but also for the mainstream liberation movement.  Looking back, there is much need for honest reflection and the author does us a service with his well-worked research and writing. It leaves one with tantalising thoughts as to whether the incipient democratic left challenges from civil society and trade union circles in South Africa today might fundamentally change our political landscape.” - Ronnie Kasrils, chief of intelligence for Umkhonto we Sizwe and government minister from 1994 to 2008 

Glenn Moss was a student leader at Wits University in the 1970s. Detained and charged under security legislation in the mid-1970s, he was acquitted after a year-long trial. He went on to edit Work In Progress and the South African Review, head Ravan Press, and then work as a consultant to South Africa’s first post-apartheid government.

‘The New Radicals: A Generational Memoir of the 1970s’ by Glenn Moss

Jacana Media (2014)
296 pages


Defend the Right to Protest present
‘The Killing of Blair Peach, Anti-Racist Protest and Police Brutality’
with David Renton and Tony Warner
Wednesday 15th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Blair Peach was a 33 year old teacher killed on a demonstration on 23 April 1979 at Southall against the National Front. He is one of just three protesters to have been killed by the police in Britain since 1945. He died from a single blow to his head by a police officer, as Peach was retreating from a protest which had finished.

In 2010, following Ian Tomlinson’s death, the government published the Cass report into Peach’s killing. Cass identified the six police officers who were present when the fatal blow was struck, and recommended that three of them should be prosecuted for obstructing his enquiry. The Cass report was never disclosed to the Inquest into Peach’s death, and its central reports were kept hidden for 30 years from the jury, from the press, and from Blair Peach’s family.

David Renton will be discussing his new pamphlet ‘Who Killed Blair Peach’ (published by Defend the Right to Protest, 2014) which sets out why exactly Cass reached his conclusions, how his reasoning casts a light on the identity of Peach’s killer, and calls for a fresh inquest into Blair Peach’s killing.

David will be joined by founder of ‘Black History Walks’ Tony Warner who will consider contemporary cases of police racism and brutality. Using archive footage, newspaper reports and personal testimony Tony will cover cases of black deaths in custody from 1960s to the present day, with relation to geography, community resistance, international history and white media representation of the 'black body'.

About the speakers
David Renton a barrister and a member of the committees of Defend the Right to Protest and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.
Tony Warner is a historian and founder of ‘Black History Walks’.

PM Press present:
‘Working Class Culture’
with John Barker, Robb Johnson and Leon Rosselson
Friday 17th October, 7pm
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED!! If you haven't received a confirmation email you won't be able to get in.

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Political singer-songwriters Robb Johnson and Leon Rosselson are joined by author and activist John Barker to perform their work, and discuss the politics of working class culture.

John Barker is perhaps best known for being one of four Angry Brigade members sentenced to 10 years in prison for a series of insurrectionary bombings in 1972. He worked as a dustman and welder before being implicated in a conspiracy to import cannabis in 1986. In 1990 he was finally arrested and served a five-year sentence.

John has gone on to write ‘Bending the Bars: Prison Stories of an Angry Brigade Member’ (ChristieBooks, 2007) and this year PM Press have published ‘Futures’, from which John will be  reading on the night. Originally  written more than 20 years ago it tells the story of Carol, a young single mother and drug dealer, Gordon, a "tasty", self-regarding old-school London gangster, and two coke-snorting financial analysts, Phil and Jack, who entertain a fantasy of a cocaine futures market. Their internal lives are described in a richly original, cliche-free style and the book is remarkably prescient.

Robb Johnson is a musician and songwriter, who has been called "one of the last genuinely political songwriters", and is known for his mix of political satire and wit.

Johnson began his musical career playing in folk clubs in the 1970s and ran a folk club at the University of Sussex, before forming a band called Grubstreet, which split up in 1983. Two years later he made his first solo album - In Amongst the Rain - setting up his own label on which to release it, before forming an agitprop group, The Ministry of Humour, with Mark Shilcock and Graham Barnes. After the break-up of this act and a failed attempt at forming a new electric band, he returned to performing solo and also formed a duo with female singer Pip Collings.

In 1997 he composed the song cycle Gentle Men, based on the experiences of his grandfathers in the First World War. The song cycle was recorded by Johnson in collaboration with Roy Bailey, and performed at the commemorative Passchendaele Peace Concert. In 2006 he was a special guest at the BBC's "Folk Britannia" concert at the Barbican Centre, ending the night with a rendition of World War I song "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire". He remains active and has released at least one album annually for over 20 years, as well as playing regular gigs, including benefits and political events.

"There is no songwriter to compare with Robb Johnson operating in the UK" – Radio 2

Leon Rosselson: After his early involvement in the folk music revival in Britain, he came to prominence, singing his own satirical songs, in the BBC's topical TV programme of the early 1960s, That Was The Week That Was. He toured Britain and abroad, singing mainly his own songs and accompanying himself with acoustic guitar.

In later years, he has published 17 children's books, the first of which, Rosa's Singing Grandfather, was shortlisted in 1991 for the Carnegie Medal.

His song The World Turned Upside Down has been recorded and popularised by, amongst others, Dick Gaughan and Billy Bragg (who took it into the pop charts in 1985) and has been sung on numerous demonstrations in Britain and the USA.

His Ballad of a Spycatcher, ridiculing the ban on Peter Wright's book, went into the Indie Singles charts in 1987 in a version backed by Billy Bragg and the Oyster Band.

‘Mulk Raj Anand’s Across the Black Waters : remembering Indian soldiers in WW1’ with Alistair Niven
Wednesday 22nd October, 7pm

Free Entry

“This re-publication of Mulk Raj Anand’s 'Across the Black Waters' brings back into focus a writer of astonishing range and profound humanity. No other Indian writer in the 1930s thought to memorialise the contribution of Indian soldiers to the First World War, which had ended only twenty years before.

Anand wrote the book partly as a warning against another war. He was living in England at the time, where he could see close up how Europe was drifting back to the hostilities which only exhaustion, and political transformations in so many of the warring countries, had terminated in 1918. Anand had also recently witnessed the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Another world war would be the same, only writ much larger.” Alistair Niven

Please join Man Booker Prize judge Alistair Niven for an evening to discuss the politics of Indian soldiers involvement in the First World War, as explored in Mulk Raj Anand’s recently republished classic book on the subject, ‘Across the Black Waters’.

Mulk Raj Anandand the World Peace Movement

Mulk Raj Anand has been connected with the World Peace Movement since its beginnings in 1948 at a meeting of world intellectuals. He has often expressed the belief that he would be very much less a writer if he didn’t devote himself almost 90% to the quest for Peace.

In collaboration with other Indian Writers he helped organise the first All India Progressive Writers Conference in Lucknow in 1936. The essence of their manifesto was the inclusion of social and political cause in the inspiration behind their fictions and facts.

By the end of the mid thirties his feelings, combined with the struggle against British Imperialism with which he was already involved, led him to join the fight against fascism. In London in 1936 he was on the platform of the Anti Fascist Writers Conference, alongside such writers as Malraux.

His wish to support the Spanish liberal cause sent him to Spain in 1937 for another conference with Stephen Spender, Pablo Neruda, Ernest Hemingway and others. He returned to India in 1945 and worked with Nehru in The Indian Freedom Movement. About that time he explains:

“To me the idea of political freedom in India was always only a stepping stone towards that larger freedom of the whole world. As Gandhi used to say, “Let all the winds of the world blow in; let us open our doors and windows and only see that we are not swept off our feet by these winds.” There is so much knowledgeIcoming from all parts of the world that so much more interchange, a new consciousness, must take placeIthis means that prejudices against other ways of thought must stop. My idea of co-existence is co-discovery.”

He returned to England in 1948 where he received the invitation to attend that first conference of intellectuals in Warsaw, out of which was born the World Peace MovementIfor which he was Nehru’s representative. In 1952 he received the International Peace Award and became for a time the head of the cultural division of the World Peace Council.

'From Socialist Korea to Ferguson:

connecting Asian and Black radical legacies and solidarity'
Marcel Cartier in conversation with Sukant Chandan

Thursday 23rd October, 7pm

Free entry

"The people of Ferguson have herocially stood up in the face of brutal repression, resisting the police in the streets in the aftermath of yet another young black man having been gunned down by law enforcement. Amongst many other Global South governments, North Korea took a definite stand with the protesters, comdemning the human rights situation of the U.S. and the racism of its system.

The ties between North Korea and the black power movement in the U.S. are nothing new, and go back to a powerful relationship that was built with the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. Join us to explore the internationalist ties between North Korea and the black liberation movement, with speakers from the Ferguson struggle as well as eye witness accounts from Korea." Sukant Chandan


Marcel Cartier is a formerly New York-based anti-imperialist socialist activist and radical Rapper, now London-based working with the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform as well as involved in media activism


‘Nonviolent Campaigning’ with Jungmin Choi, Andrew Dey, Cattis Laska, Hulya Ucpinar, Christine Schweitzer
Saturday 25th October, 6.30pm
Free Entry

Launch of second edition of WRI's 'Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns' (WRI, 2014, £7)

War Resisters' International launches the second edition of its Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns. The handbook is a selection of methods, tools, and experiences of using nonviolence to create tangible, long-lasting change in situations of violence and oppression. While our movements are diverse, we all share the common goal of challenging violence and oppression in our communities.

Campaigners against extractive industries in South America, community nonviolence trainers in Kenya, and activists blocking nuclear convoy routes in Germany all share as a common theme: they struggle against a form of violence, and to do this they build their movement's power and enter into nonviolent conflict.

Hosted by WRI, the evening will share stories of contributors to the handbook from Turkey, South Korea, Sweden, Germany and the UK

Speakers include:

- Jungmin Choi of World Against War in South Korea, involved in the movement against the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island

- Hulya Ucpinar of the Nonviolence Research Center in Turkey

- Cattis Laska of Ofog a Swedish antimilitarist network in Sweden involved in queer and antimilitarist actions

- Christine Schweitzer: Chair of WRI

- Andrew Dey: Handbook editing coordinator involved in Action AWE, campaign against the renewal of Trident.


‘Music & Politics’ with John Hutnyk, John Pandit from Asian Dub Foundation and Aki Nawaz from Fun-Da-Mental
Wednesday 8th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

John Hutnyk will be discussing his most recent book, ‘Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics’ (Zero Books 2014), which explores the music of artists who have confronted the status-quo in a post 9/11 world, and the demonization such artists have had to contend with as a result.

Hutnyk considers the likes of Fun-da-Mental's Aki Nawaz, portrayed as a 'suicide rapper', Asian Dub Foundation striking poses from the street in support of youth in Paris and Algiers, and M.I.A., outspoken defender of the Tamil struggle, as well as  reflecting on bus bombs, comedy circuits, critical theory, Arabian Nights, Bradley Wiggins, Dinarzade, Karl Marx, Paris boulevards, Molotov, Mao, the Eiffel Tower, reserve armies, lists, Richard Wagner, Samina Malik, Slavoj Žižek, Freudian slips, red-heads, and Guantanamo.

John will be joined by John Pandit from Asian Dub Foundation and Aki Nawaz from Fun-Da-Mental.

"If you’re of the opinion that music and politics should generally keep the fuck out of each other’s way, then Pantomime Terror will be a tough sell. But author John Hutnyk’s polemic is rational, convincing and supported by relentless, tirelessly researched cross-referencing, so consider us sold." ~ Record Collector UK

"This book starts with the countless provocations that surround us in the ambient war on terror. However, rather than retreating into either loathsome self-pity or indignant self-righteousness, Hutnyk responds with the thumping provocation to think and get real!" ~ Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne


‘The Establishment and how they get away with it’
with Owen Jones
Thursday 25th September, 7pm

RSVP ESSENTIAL: Please email to book your place


Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Owen Jones will be discussing his new book ‘The Establishment’ (Allen Lane, 2014), which examines the unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City.

Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today - and it is time they were challenged.

Owen Jones is a columnist for the Guardian and author of the international bestseller ‘Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class’, which was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of The New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he received the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award.


‘The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes’
with Patrick Keiller
Wednesday 17th September, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In his films, Patrick Keiller retraces the hidden story of the places where we live, the cities and landscapes of our everyday lives. Now, in the essay collection ‘The View from the Train’ (Verso, 2013), he offers a new perspective on how Britain works and sees itself.

In the book Keiller discusses the background to his work and its development - from surrealism to post-2008 economic catastrophe - and expands on what the films reveal. Referencing writers including Benjamin and Lefebvre, the essays follow his career since the late 1970s, exploring themes including the surrealist perception of the city; the relationship of architecture and film; how cities change over time, and how films represent this; as well as accounts of cross-country journeys involving historical figures, unexpected ideas and an urgent portrait of post-crash Britain.

Patrick Keiller is a film-maker whose works include ‘London’ (1994), ‘Robinson in Space’ (1997), and most recently ‘Robinson in Ruin’ (2010). He was a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art, London (2002–11), and has taught in schools of art and architecture since 1974.


‘Spark in the Dark’
with John Constable
Wednesday 20th August,7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome Londonphile John Constable,  to read from his first collection of poetry. Best known for his 'Southwark Mysteries', his style has been described in 'Time Out' as 'like Shakespeare on acid'. The poems in this book encompass political satires and magical realist lyrics. In the line of Blake, they reveal the eternal, spiritual forms of our transitory, material world, celebrating the dynamic interplay of Contraries to challenge rigid belief-systems.

This transforming vision in action, as exemplified in ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and in the later ‘Cross Bones’ poems, illuminates Constable's work as the urban shaman John Crow. In ‘Winchester Cathedral: Time Out Of Mind’, different ages, perspectives and literary styles collide to evoke a complex, and deeply conflicted, sense of place.

The other prose poem, ‘Wennefer’, is an hallucinatory, visceral, cautionary tale, retelling the Isis and Osiris myth in contemporary south London club culture.

'Past and present, sacred and profane jostle and collide in a glorious tumult... couched in verse that is muscular, ribald, and often dazzlingly rich...' The Times

'Blakean verse that resonates with modern life...' Freedom

'Like Shakespeare on acid...' Time Out

About the author

John Constable is a poet, playwright, performer and purveyor of unusual walks. ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, his cycle of poems and contemporary Mystery Plays, was performed in Shakespeare's Globe and Southwark Cathedral.

His stage adaptation of ‘Gormenghast’, his ‘Sha-Manic Plays’, ‘The Southwark Mysteries’ and ‘Secret Bankside –Walks In The Outlaw Borough’ are all published by Oberon Books.  His Radio 4 dramatisations of ‘The Kraken Wakes’ and ‘Chocky’ were released as BBC Audiobooks. His solo work includes ‘I Was An Alien Sex God’ and ‘SPARE’.

In his John Crow persona, he has conducted ritual dramas and vigils at Cross Bones cemetery in Southwark, where he has established a shrine and a garden of remembrance to 'honour the outcast'. 

‘Resisting the First World War in Camden and Islington’
with Ben Copsey

Wednesday 13th August, 7pm

In the year of the centenary commemorations surrounding the start of the First World War, Peace Pledge Union has undertaken a project called ‘Objecting to War’, which explores and documents the stories of those who refused to fight, so they are remembered and their reasons understood.

Over 16,000 men registered as conscientious objectors after the introduction of conscription in 1916. Many were imprisoned for their beliefs, subject to threats of execution and to torture. Over 100 would die as a result of their objection. After the war they were often shunned and their experiences untold, but their contribution to the causes of human rights and prison reform as well as their tireless campaign for peaceful solutions to world problems ensures they are an important part of 20th century history.

‘Objecting to War’ focuses on unearthing the lives and stories of these conscientious objectors in the Greater London area. Each individual had their own reasons and motivations for refusing conscription and the Peace Pledge Union wants to discover what those were. Was it for religious reasons? Was it for political beliefs? What happened to them, during and after the war? Why were they so dedicated to their refusal to kill?

Project Officer of ‘Objecting to War’ Ben Copsey, will be presenting some of the many stories he has uncovered, as relating to boroughs local to Housmans Bookshop, Islington and Camden

Ben comments “‘Objecting to War’ will help volunteer researchers to uncover the relevance of these forgotten stories to the world today through our focus on the narrative of the life of a CO during the First World War, from surveillance, harassment and unfair trial, to imprisonment, torture and – in some cases – death. We will focus on the stories of these brave men and women who stood up to be counted as against militarism, conscription and the atrocities of war.”


JULY 2014

‘London Irish Fictions’
with John Healy and Tony Murray

Wednesday 30th July, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Tony Murray’s ‘London Irish Fictions’ is the first book about the literature of the Irish in London. By examining over 30 novels, short stories and autobiographies set in London since the Second World War, Murray investigates the complex psychological landscapes of belonging and cultural allegiance found in these unique and intensely personal perspectives on the Irish experience of migration. As well as bringing new research to bear on the work of established Irish writers, this study reveals a fascinating and hitherto unexplored literature, diverse in form and content.

Among the works studied in Murray’s book is John Healy’s unflinchingly honest autobiography ‘The Grass Arena’, in which he describes his experiences of addiction, his escape through learning to play chess in prison, and his ongoing search for peace of mind. It won the 1989 J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography and is now published as a Penguin Classic.

Healy recounts his fifteen years living rough in London without state aid, when begging carried an automatic three-year prison sentence and vagrant alcoholics prowled the parks and streets in search of drink or prey. When not united in their common aim of acquiring alcohol, winos sometimes murdered one another over prostitutes or a bottle, or the begging of money. Few modern writers have managed to match Healy's power to refine from the brutal destructive condition of the chronic alcoholic a story so compelling it is beyond comparison.

John Healy is also the author of ‘Streets Above Us’ and ‘Coffeehouse Chess Tactics’. A documentary about Healy's life and work, ‘Barbaric Genius’, premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival in 2011.

Tony Murray is Director of the Irish Studies Centre at London Metropolitan University.

Praise for ‘The Grass Arena’:

‘Terrific’ - Harold Pinter
‘A masterpiece’ - Irvine Welsh

 ‘Beside it, a book like Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London seems like a rather inaccurate tourist guide' – Professor Colin McCabe


‘Machen’s London Adventure’
with Robert Kingham

Wednesday 23rd July, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Three Impostors press ( unveil their new edition of Arthur Machen’s ‘The London Adventure’, a classic of psychogeographical writing in the form of an unorthodox memoir of the time Machen spent as a reporter for the Evening News in the early part of the 20th century, wandering the hidden byways and forgotten corners of the capital. The book has been out of print for many years and is very difficult to find.

The new edition is a hardback limited to 250 copies, with photographs and endnotes, and a foreword by Merlin Coverley, author of ‘Psychogeography’ (2006) and ‘The Art of Wandering’ (2012). At the launch there will be a presentation by writer and tour guide Robert Kingham, who will talk about Machen’s London, and his idea that the apparent reality of the city streets around us is actually a ‘thin veil’ of illusion, which can sometimes lift to reveal another world.

Complimentary wine and soft drinks will be provided.

On Saturday 26th July as a follow up to the book launch, Rob will be leading his ‘Grey Soul of London’ walk in search of history and beer through the worn and hollowed streets of Finsbury, a ‘devious and obscure’ district that inspired a rich seam of wonder and awe in Machen’s writing. Booking details will be available at Housmans on July 23rd, or at


'Straight Expectations: What Does It Mean To Be Gay Today?'

with Julie Bindel
Saturday 5th July, 6.30pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

More than four decades after the start of the gay liberation movement, lesbians and gay men can legally marry, adopt children, and enjoy the same rights and respect as heterosexuals ... or can they? In Straight Expectations (Guardian Books 2014), Julie Bindel, an out lesbian since 1977, tracks the changes in the gay community in the last forty years and asks whether fighting for the right to marry has achieved genuine progress, or whether the new legal rights have neutered a once-radical social movement.

Drawing on extensive original research into changing attitudes towards sexuality, as well as interviews with scientists examining the 'gay gene', gay liberation pioneers, religious figures and key players of all political persuasions, Straight Expectations asks:

- Is sexual orientation learned or latent?

- Do lesbians and gay men have anything in common?

- Have we now reached a stage where the 'only gay in the village' mentality no longer has any place in society?

In this stimulating, thought-provoking book, Julie Bindel gets to the heart of the values, politics, hopes and dreams of a minority group that still inspires fear, loathing and fascination for many.

Julie Bindel is an English writer, feminist and co-founder of the group Justice for Women, which opposes violence against women from a feminist viewpoint.


‘The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer’
with Mike Marqusee

Wednesday 2nd July, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Writer and activist Mike Marqusee will be discussing his new book ‘The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer’ (OR Books, 2014), which explores the personal, social and political dimensions of an illness that will affect one in three people in the course of their lives.

Marqusee was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in the summer of 2007. At first, disinclined to share his misery with others, he was reluctant to write about his illness. But he then came to realize that doing so provided a precious continuity with his life as a writer before contracting the disease, and a way of reaching out to a wider world that the illness made physically less accessible. Writing allowed him to address what he saw as a variety of insidious platitudes that surround cancer, often connected to the individualistic idea that the sufferer must be brave in battling the disease, with the inevitable corollary that those who succumb have, in some measure, brought it on themselves.

And so he began to write about his illness. Not just his own symptoms and feelings, but the responses of friends to the news that he is ill and the way these reflect broader social attitudes towards the sick. He describes the political struggles occurring in St Bartholomew’s, the London hospital that cares for him, and the crisis in Britain’s National Health Service more generally, at a time of harrowing cutbacks. Big Pharma, whose drugs keep Marqusee alive but are sold to the NHS at prices reflecting the power and greed of a ruthless extortionist, is the subject for particularly astringent scrutiny.

Mike Marqusee is an American-born writer, journalist and political activist who has lived in Britain since 1971. He is the author of numerous books including If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the Sixties, Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties, Anyone but England: An Outsider Looks at English Cricket, a novel, Slow Turn, and a collection of poetry, Street Music. He is a regular correspondent for a range of publications including The Guardian, Red Pepper and The Hindu.




JUNE 2014

‘Call for a Scottish Constitution’
with Angus Reid and Mary Davis

Thursday 26th June, 7pm
Free entry

Angus Reid and Mary Davis will discuss their new book, ‘A Modest Proposal: Call for a Constitution’ (Luath Press, 2014), which argues for the creation of a peoples’ constitution in Scotland, coinciding with the Scottish Independence Referendum. The book lays out terms for the agreement of the people, by which governments can be bound to act ethically and equitably in the interest of those they represent.

 As part of Reid and Davis’ campaign, a poem containing the five central principles of a proposed constitution has been displayed in public places across Scotland, including the Scottish parliament, the TUC headquarters in Glasgow and on a barn next to the 8th tee of Donald Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire. 

Angus Reid is an independent artist, film-maker and poet living and working in Edinburgh. Mary Davis is Professor of Labour History formerly at London Metropolitan University and now a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London.


‘Anarchists in the Boardroom’ with Liam Barrington-Bush
Wednesday 25th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

To celebrate their latest issue, STIR invite contributor Liam Barrington-Bush to discuss how organisations are horizontalising their practices, open-sourcing their operations, and inviting the public to participate in previously hierarchical decision making processes – issues covered in Liam’sbook ‘Anarchists in the Boardroom’.

The Spring Issue of STIR includes articles such as:

  • Liam Barrington-Bush’s The Open Office looks at how organisations are open sourcing their operations and inviting the public in to participate
  • In an interview with Earth Lawyer Polly Higgins we talk about her work to have ecocide – the mass destruction of an ecosystem – recognised as an international crime
  • Justseeds Artists’ Co-op explain their co-operative model for making and selling politically meaningful and effective art for social movements
  • Shareable writer Beth Buczynski looks around the thousands of self-organised events taking place during this year’s Sharing Spring
  • Is Sharing an Economy? Adam Parsons from Sharing the World’s Resources analyses recent criticisms of the sharing movement as venture capital begins to take an interest
  • Jack Paris’ Barxa tells the tragic story of the death of the Spanish countryside and the possibility for a rural renaissance
  • Jacob Stringer’s Lessons from Spain: The People vs The Banks reports on the success of Spain’s anti-eviction movement, Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca

‘Writings against the First World War’

with Bruce Kent and A.W. Zurbrugg
Wednesday 18th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guests present the works of those who opposed the First World War and who wrote and published in order to convince others of its horrors, with particular reference to newly published books ‘Not Our War: Writings against the First World War’ and Ernst Friedrich’s shocking photobook ‘War against War!'.

Bruce Kent will introduce Ernst Friedrich’s photobook ‘War against War!’ (Spokesman, 2014), which conveys the brutality and human cost of WWI through a series of graphic images. Originally published in 1924, Friedrich’s work begins with an impassioned plea, addressed ‘To Human Beings in all lands’, to understand the causes of war and to take steps to prevent it.

The photos that follow are accompanied by annotations, sometimes understated, sometimes bitterly ironic, and contrast nationalist propaganda with the appalling reality of the conflict. Friedrich’s work is a condemnation of war which remains shocking and relevant to this day.

Anthony Zurbrugg, editor of ‘Not Our War: Writings against the First World War’ (Merlin Press, 2014), will introduce his new book. This anthology presents the diverse voices of men and women who questioned and opposed the war: liberals, radicals and pacifists, anarchists and socialists, soldiers and non-combatants.

They asked critical questions: Was this a war for civilization? What were the forces behind the war? How might it have been prevented? The work features the writings of James Connolly, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Keir Hardie, Jean Jaurès, Louis Lecoin, V I Lenin, John Maclean, Errico Malatesta, Sylvia Pankhurst, Siegfried Sassoon and many others.

‘Sylvia Pankhurst, Suffrage, and the Battle for the Census’
with Jill Liddington and Katherine Connelly
Wednesday 11th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A joint book event for two titles considering two aspects of Suffragette history: Connelly’s books looks in detail at the life of Sylvia Pankhurst, whilst Liddington’s book tells the story of the Suffragette’s controversial campaign to boycott the census.

Jill Liddington’s ‘Vanishing for the Vote: Suffrage, Citizenship and the Battle for the Census’ (Manchester University Press, 2014) recounts what happened on one night, Sunday 2 April, 1911, when the Liberal government demanded every household comply with its census requirements. Suffragette organisations urged women, all still voteless, to boycott this census. Many did, such as Emily Wilding Davison who famously hid in a cupboard within the Houses of Parliament. Yet many did not.

Liddington explores the 'battle for the census' arguments that raged across Edwardian England in spring 1911. Based on a wealth of brand-new documentary evidence, her book investigates why some committed campaigners decided against civil disobedience tactics, instead opting to provide the government with accurate data for its health and welfare reforms.

Katherine Connelly’s biography ‘Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire’ (Pluto Press, 2013) examines Pankhurst’s role at the forefront of significant developments in the history of radical politics. She guides us through Pankhurst's construction of a suffragette militancy which put working-class women at the heart of the struggle, her championing of the Bolshevik Revolution and her clandestine attempts to sabotage the actions of the British state, as well as her early identification of the dangers of Fascism.

The book explores the dilemmas, debates and often painful personal consequences faced by Pankhurst which were played out in her art, writings and activism. Connelly argues that far from being an advocate of disparate causes, Pankhurst’s campaigns were united by an essential continuity which hold vital lessons for achieving social change.

MAY 2014


The Football Crónicas’

with Clara Becker, Jethro Soutar & Tim Girven

Saturday May 31st, 6.30pm

Free entry

A prison team in Argentina, a transvestite team in Colombia, a kidnapped team in Bolivia, Quechua women playing in bowler hats in the Andes, a Latino immigrant league in New York, World Cup discontent in Brazil. Eleven pieces of creative non-fiction and three short stories take football as their starting point, on a journey to the heart of Latin American society.

With the World Cup on the horizon, Housmans hosts the official launch of The Football Crónicas, a not-for-profit collection of translated short-form writing from Latin America. Co-editors Jethro Soutar and Tim Girven will present the book alongside Brazilian writer Clara Becker, who will read from her contribution to the collection.

Proceeds from the book will be donated to The Bottletop Foundation, a UK-based charity that works to empower young people in Brazil.

‘Settling Scores: the Media, the Police & the Miners’ Strike’
with Nick Jones and Tony Harcup

Wednesday 28th May, 7pm

Our guests will be talking about their contributions to ‘Settling Scores’, a specially commissioned collection of essays timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike. Published by the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), the collection draws on recently released material to shed new light on the roles played by the media, the police and politicians in undermining the plight of the miners.

Nick Jones, a former BBC correspondent who reported on the strike, has sifted through Cabinet papers from that time, only just opened to public gaze in January 2014. He reveals what he found, and also identifies the files that the government still doesn’t want us to know about.

Media campaigner and journalist Tony Harcup analyses the controversy surrounding the BBC television coverage of Orgreave on 18th June 1984 using new documents obtained under Freedom of Information from the BBC.

‘Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made’
with Richard Seymour

Wednesday 21st May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Richard Seymour will talk about his new book ‘Against Austerity’ (Pluto Press, 2014), which addresses a puzzling aspect of our current situation, after five years of capitalist crisis, cuts and economic pain across the world: why are the rich still getting away with it? Why is protest so ephemeral? Why does the left appear to be marginal to political life?

In an analysis which challenges our understanding of capitalism, class and ideology, Richard Seymour shows how ‘austerity’ is just one part of a wider elite plan to radically re-engineer society and everyday life in the interests of profit, consumerism and speculative finance.

However, Seymour argues that once we turn to face the headwinds of this new reality, dispensing with reassuring dogmas, we can forge new collective resistance and alternatives to the current system. Following Brecht, ‘Against Austerity’ argues that the good old things are over, it's time to confront the bad new ones.

Richard Seymour is the author of ‘Unhitched: the Trial of Christopher Hitchens’ (2012), ‘American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism’ (2012), ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’ (2010) and ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ (2008). He writes regularly for the Guardian and runs the popular blog Lenin’s Tomb.



‘Objection Overruled’ and ‘Comrades in Conscience’
with David Boulton and Cyril Pearce
Thursday 15th May,
wine reception 6.30pm, talks from 7pm, free entry

In the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, Housmans will be marking International Conscientious Objectors’ Day with a special event to remember the actions of those who opposed the ‘Great’ War. Our guests will discuss their historical studies of the COs’ campaign.

 David Boulton’s ‘Objection Overruled’, first published in 1967, is still regarded as the classic account of the campaign during the First World War to establish the rights of conscientious objection to military service. It focuses on the work of the No-Conscription Fellowship, Quaker peace groups and the resistance of individual objectors. Bertrand Russell and Fenner Brockway - both leaders of the COs’ campaign - joined David Boulton in appealing for the letters, diaries and personal recollections on which this now much sought-after book is based, revealing the heroic origins of the modern peace movement. 

Cyril Pearce’s ‘Comrades in Conscience’ is a groundbreaking study of opposition to the Great War in one locality – Huddersfield – where a unique consensus of Nonconformist Liberals and a vigorous labour and socialist movement earned it the reputation as 'a hotbed of pacifism'. Using local sources, including the weekly socialist newspaper ‘The Worker’, the records of anti-conscription organisations, as well as the testimonies of conscientious objectors themselves, Cyril Pearce portrays a community largely unenthusiastic about the war and tolerant of those who resisted it, and goes on to question widely-held assumptions about the war's popularity. First published in 2001, ‘Comrades in Conscience’ is being reprinted with significant revisions, new illustrations and new work based on the intervening years’ research.

‘Eco-Anarchism in the 1970s: London’s Street Farm collective’
with Stephen E. Hunt

Wednesday 14th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Stephen E. Hunt will discuss his new book ‘The Revolutionary Urbanism of Street Farm’ (Tangent, 2014) which examines the innovative ecological work of Street Farm, a collective of anarchist architects who brought urban farming to 1970s London.

Three friends, Peter Crump, Bruce Haggart and Graham Caine put together Street Farmer, an underground paper that, alongside mutating tower blocks, cosmic tractors and sprouting one-way signs, propagated ideas for the radical transformation of urban living, which they called ‘revolutionary urbanism’.

Taking inspiration from Situationism and social ecology, Street Farm offered a powerful vision of green cities in the control of ordinary people. As well as being exponents of autonomous housing and radical technology, they became ‘rock ’n’ roll architects’, going on the road across Europe to promote their ideas with multimedia slideshow presentations to a recorded soundtrack of music by the likes of John Lennon, Jefferson Airplane and Hawkwind.

In 1972 Caine designed and built ‘Street Farmhouse’ with his friends at Eltham. It hit national and international headlines as the first structure intentionally constructed as an ecological house, appearing on an early BBC documentary introduced by a youthful Melvin Bragg. While their fame was brief, their ongoing influence on green and community architecture has been more enduring and remains an inspiration for all those who want to turn the dream of a greener city into a reality.

APRIL 2014

‘Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War to End Apartheid’ with Alan Wieder
Wednesday 30th April, 7pm

Hysteria –a feminist periodical, new issue launch with Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan + more tbc
Saturday 26th April, 6.30pm

BOB CROW MEMORIAL EVENT ‘Plundering London Underground’ with Janine Booth, and Peter Pinkney
Wednesday 23rd April, 7pm

‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise & Rise of Underground Radio’
with Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker

Wednesday 16th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker, two of Kiss FM’s founding members, will be at Housmans to discuss their book ‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise and Rise of Underground Radio’, which explores the stories of those pioneers who helped bring urban music to a wide audience, first via pirate radio and then on the legal airwaves, and transformed British culture in the process.

This beautifully produced book contains first hand accounts from the black radio pioneers of the 80s and 90s, such as Trevor Nelson, Norman Jay and Jazzie B, to name but a few.

"It’s important to let people know that, because of what we did - in our naive way - years ago, they now have radio that plays (love it or hate it) the black music of today on a legal station...As time went on, lots of my DJ friends changed jobs, got married, left the country, passed away and so on. Lindsay and myself have been friends and music anoraks together for years so, when I decided I wanted to be the person to tell this story, I knew he was the only person who could help me make it come alive." Dave VJ

Please join on us for what is sure to be a fascinating evening.

‘Stalin Ate My Homework’
with Alexei Sayle

Wednesday 9th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome comedian and author Alexei Sayle to present the autobiography of his childhood, ‘Stalin Ate My Homework’, which recounts his experience of growing up within a Jewish atheist communist family in Liverpool. There will be time for questions and for signing copies.

“It's not like other comedians' memoirs. It's funny.” (Guardian)

“Sayle's book has charm and substance, both as memoir and history.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“This touching, elegantly written memoir stands out... He looks back on his unconventional youth with comic bewilderment” (Independent on Sunday)

‘Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis’
with Dan Glazebrook

Saturday 5th April, 6.30pm

Free entry

Dan Glazebrook will discuss his book ‘Divide and Ruin: The West's Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis’ (Liberation Media, 2013). This collection of articles, originally published in The Guardian, Morning Star, Counterpunch, Z Magazine and Asia Times, serves to illustrate a new strategy employed by U.S., British and other imperialist powers: the use of proxy military forces to achieve regime change in any country that resists imperialism.

Glazebrook shows the brutality of the West's racist and exploitative foreign policy against the global South, citing examples from Libya, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He explores in detail the role of AFRICOM as an imperialist force operating on that continent. Economic and social issues in Britain also come under scrutiny, plus the role of the media and social movements there.

‘Divide and Ruin: The West's Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis’ argues for new counterweights to the Empire's plunder in an appeal to reason and humanity.

March 2014

'Are the Kids All Right? Representations of LGBTQ Characters in Children's and YA Literature'
with B.J. Epstein, Mark Jennett and Letterbox Library

Saturday 29th March, 6.30pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Guests from Alliance of Radical Booksellers member Letterbox Library will be introducing B.J.Epstein's latest book which offers the first ever overview of English language children's literature starring LGBTQ characters. The panel will consider:

*whether LGBTQ children's books are inevitably marketed and shelved as 'issues' book;

*what sort of LGBTQ representations have existed in children's literature to date (gay penguins, anyone?);

*how LGBTQ children's books might be used in schools;

*how do we want to change the landscape of LGBTQ images in children's books?;

*where should we all- publishers/authors, booksellers- be going from here?

Joining B.J. in the discussion will be Mark Jennett, a consultant and trainer specialising in diversity, who has worked with both the NUT and on the No Outsiders Project on addressing gender stereotypes and advancing sexuality equality in schools.

This talk will be followed by the announcement of the shortlist for the ARB's Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction; for further info. go to

Title information

‘Are the Kids All Right?: Representations of LGBTQ Characters in Children's and Young Adult Literature’ by B.J. Epstein
Paperback: 316 pages
Hammeron Press; 1st edition (31 Oct 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0956450739


Women Behind Art’
with Rachael House, Rosa Bennathan, Carol Swords
and Rosalind Davis
Wednesday 19th March, 7pm
Free entry

‘Women Behind Art’ is a panel discussion hosted by ArtsFems, the Feminist Society at University of the Arts London. The aim of the discussion will be to address questions of women’s representation and experiences in the art world. Three women speakers who work within the creative industries as creative project leaders, curators or journalists will discuss and compare the challenges they face, and the joys they receive from working within the art world as a woman.

ArtsFems were inspired to develop this event in response to East London Fawcett’s recent Art Audit, which brought to light the poor underrepresentation of women artists in galleries. ArtsFems wanted to look behind the art and develop a discourse about the future of women’s work in this area.

Speaking are Rachael House, co-curator and director of Space Station Sixty-Five in Peckham; Rosa Bennathan, co-editor of Bad Housekeeping, a feminist online magazine; Carol Swords, curator at the Pitzhanger Gallery and House, and Rosalind Davis, curator and co-founder of Zeitgeist Arts Projects, designed to support ambitious artists.

The discussion will be opened up to the floor to enable you to ask questions to the panel and voice your own opinions.


London Region CND Council meeting

+ Fallout of Fukushima talk

Wednesday 5th March

Council meeting 7 - 8pm

Talk 8 - 9pm

Free Entry

Between 7-8pm, London Region CND will be holding their bi-monthly council meeting at Housmans. Although this meeting will be focussed on local group matters, all are welcome to attend.

Then from 8pm a guest speaker from the World Network for Saving Children from Radiation, will be examining the social, health and political effects of the 2011 Fukushima Disaster. Although the incident has almost disappeared from international media coverage, the fallout from it continues to have a profound impact on many lives. With new nuclear power stations being planned for the UK, this is an issue that continues to have grave implications closer to home.

You are welcome to come along just for the guest speaker if you wish, and there will be a five minute break between the two halves of the meetings.

Occupied Times #24 launch:
‘ Mental Health, Madness, Mental Suffering'
with contributors from the issue
alongside Mark Fisher and Joanna Moncrieff

Saturday 1st March, 6.30pm
Free Entry

The OT will be launching their 24th Issue, which has a particular focus on the politics of mental health and contemporary themes surrounding the ideas and lived experiences of madness: its intersection with gender and race struggles, the relationship of the state and capitalism, the role of drugs and psychiatry, and the possibilities for resistance and transformation in the midst of undoubted suffering.

There will be a facilitated discussion following brief talks from some of the contributors to this issue including Mark Fisher and Joanna Moncrieff.

There will be plenty of copies available for people to take with them for themselves and their communities.




LGBT History Month/Paradise Press book launch
'The Bexhill Missile Crisis' + 'Twenty-Two Eighty-Four'
with Christopher Preston and David Gee

Wednesday 26th February, 7pm
Free Entry

Paradise Press launch two new titles by gay authors, as part of LGBT History Month celebrations.

The Bexhill Missile Crisis

October 1962. The Russians and Americans face off in the Caribbean while a gay espionage trial creates moral outage in Britain. On the South coast four middle-class friends are spending the week in a clifftop house, where a marauding motorbiker called 'Pilgrim' takes them to a personal brink as Kennedy and Krushchev nudge the world to the nuclear precipice.

David Gee was originally earmarked for the Methodist Mission Field.  He discovered that ‘the missionary position’ didn’t suit him. He has worked in telecommunications and journalism in London and the Persian Gulf. He lives on the South Downs outside Brighton. The Bexhill Missile Crisis is his third novel. His previous books are Shaikh-Down and The Dropout

Twenty-Two Eighty-Four

In 2284 AD; utopia or dystopia? That depends on your gender and sexuality.  Climate change and a fertility virus have transformed the world and women are now in charge. Pitto Kucera, the only son of a wealthy and powerful family of women, turns nineteen and begins to challenge his role in society.

Christopher Preston was born in New Zealand, where he read Biology and Ecology at University.  He came to London in the late '70s to study drama and stayed. He has worked as an actor, director, dramaturg and playwright, specialising in new work.  His first play The Davids was produced in 1999 by the London New Play Festival. Twenty-Two Eighty-Four is his first novel and he is currently working on Gay Dads due for publication in 2015.

'The Arab Spring and its Consequences on the Global South'
with Dr Abdal Aziz (Aljud Charity),
George Shire (Zimbabwean liberation veteran, scholar and political activist),
Ammar Waqqaf (Syrian Social Club)
Dan Glazebrook (author of 'Divide and Ruin, The West's Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis)
chaired by Sukant Chandan (Sons of Malcolm)

Sunday 16th February, 6.00pm
Free entry

On the third anniversary of the pro-Nato uprising in Libya, the Libyan Aljud Charity and Sons of Malcolm present an important conversation exploring the consequences of the 'Arab Spring' on the Middle East and North Africa, and more widely what effects has resulted for the vast majority of humanity in the Global South.

This event brings together speakers and attendees who are critical and radical voices, loyal to the independence and Black and Brown liberation struggles of the Global South against white supremacy and imperialism.

Coming to this event means you are giving permission to be filmed.


‘Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing’

with Lynne Segal

Thursday 6th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In Out of Time, leading thinker Lynne Segal examines her life and surveys the work and lives of other writers and artists to explore the pleasures and perils of growing old. Following in the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir—who in her mid-fifties mourned 'never again!' and yet was energetically writing in her sixties and seventies—Segal mixes memoir, literature and polemic to examine the inevitable consequences of staying alive.

Who is that stranger who stares back from the mirror? What happens to ambition and sexuality? As millions of baby boomers approach their sixth or seventh decade, these questions are becoming increasingly urgent. Must the old always be in conflict with the young? How can we deal with the inevitability of loss and find victory in survival?

Brilliant, moving and challenging, Out of Time is an urgent and necessary corrective to the assumptions and taboos that constrain the lives of the aged.

“One of the most capacious readers of feminism and sexuality studies I have ever encountered.” – Judith Butler

‘People Power and Nonviolent Action: Launch of New Guide’

with April Carter and Michael Randle

Saturday 8th February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Launch of ‘A Guide to Civil Resistance’ (Green Print, 2013) with discussion of the vital influence and importance of nonviolent techniques in civil movements across the globe.

ontributing editors April Carter and Michael Randle launch ‘A Guide to Civil Resistance: A Bibliography of People Power and Nonviolent Protest Vol.1’ (£10, Green Print, 2013). Our guests will be discussing the vital influence and importance of nonviolent techniques in civil movements across the globe, and introducing the book.

From the foreword by Paul Rogers:

“If we talk about 'people power' or 'nonviolent action', most people will immediately think of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, a few will recall the end of the Marcos regime in the Philippines in the mid-1980s, and some others will remember or have heard of the Prague Spring nearly two decades earlier. Moreover, for most activists and others involved in peace action and movements for social change, there will be little knowledge of the theories of nonviolent action and still less of the huge number of actions taken in so many countries and in such different circumstances across the world. Even recent events across the Middle East are rarely put in a broader historical context. The book is subtitled A Bibliography of People Power and Nonviolent Protest, but it is much more than this. Although the focus is on post-1945 movements, the opening section provides a wide-ranging introduction to the history and theoretical bases of nonviolent action, as well as reflecting the most recent contributions to the literature and citing key reference works and internet sites. All the main sources have accounts of their content and relevance, frequently managing to get to the core of the books or articles in just a couple of sentences.

What really comes across is the sheer range of examples contained within this bibliography. It is extraordinarily impressive, taking us through the campaigns in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the earlier actions in late colonial Africa, campaigns of nonviolent resistance in Latin America and the Middle East and the growing number of 'electoral revolutions' since 2000, especially in post Soviet states and Africa, and the burgeoning resistance to repression in various forms.”

About the editors

April Carter: Involved in the peace and nonviolent movement since the late 1950s, former Secretary of the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, 1958-61, Assistant Editor of Peace News, 1961-62, member of the Alternative Defence Commission, 1980-1988. Has lectured in politics at the universities of Lancaster, Oxford, and Queensland. Currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University. Publications include: The Political Theory of Anarchism, Harper & Row, 1971; Peace Movements, Longmans, 1992; Direct Action and Democracy Today, Polity Press 2005; People Power and Political Change, Routledge 2012.

Michael Randle: also involved in peace and anti-nuclear war campaigning since the 1950s. Chair of the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, 1958-61, Secretary of the Committee of 100, 1960-61, Secretary of the Alternative Defence Commission, 1980-88, Research Fellow at the Department of Peace Studies, 1991-2008. Publications include People Power: the Building of a New European Home, Hawthorn Press, 1991; Civil Resistance, Fontana, 1994; Challenge to Nonviolence (editor), Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 2002.


‘The Conundrum of Russian Capitalism’
with Ruslan Dzarasov, Tony Wood and Gonzalo Pozo-Martin

Monday 3rd February, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Our guests explore the notion that Russia's new capitalism is not a break with the country's Stalinist past, but in fact the continuation of that tradition.

‘The Conundrum of Russian Capitalism’ (Pluto Press, 2013) looks at the nature of Russian capitalism following the fall of the Soviet Union, showing how the system originated in the degenerated Soviet bureaucracy and the pressures of global capital. Ruslan Dzarasov provides a detailed analysis of Russian corporate governance, labour practices and investment strategies. 

By comparing the practices of Russian companies to the typical models of corporate governance and investment behaviour of big firms in the West, Dzarasov sheds light on the relationship between the core and periphery of the capitalist world-system. This groundbreaking study shows that Russia's new capitalism is not a break with the country's Stalinist past, but in fact the continuation of that tradition.

Ruslan Dzarasov will be joined by Assistant Editor at New Left Review, Tony Wood, and Gonzalo Pozo-Martin, lecturer in International Political Economy at King’s College.

About the author

Ruslan Dzarasov is a senior research fellow at the Central Institute of Economics and Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has written for the academic journals Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe and the Cambridge Journal of Economics.



Mutual Aid: an introduction and evaluation’
with Iain McKay

Wednesday 29th January, 7.00pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Iain McKay evaluates Kropotkin’s classic text Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, and considers it in relation to the findings of contemporary thinkers such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Matt Ridley.

Although Kropotkin’s classic text Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, is part of the anarchist cannon, it is not a book about anarchism, but rather a text that uses biological, anthropological and sociological data to consider the potential of human co-operation as an evolutionary factor.

After examining the evidence of cooperation in nonhuman animals, in pre-feudal societies and medieval cities, and in modern times, Kropotkin concludes that cooperation and mutual aid are the most important factors in the evolution of species, and the ability to survive.

Based on research done for his introduction to the new Freedom Press edition of Kropotkin's Mutual Aid, Iain McKay has recently published a booklet entitled Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation (AK Press, second edition 2013), which
expounds not only on Kropotkin's work but on science writing in general, encompassing Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Matt Ridley among many others.

Iain McKay is the main creator of the two volume set Anarchist FAQ and has also edited Property is Theft, a definitive collection of the writing of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, both published by AK Press.

‘Pan-Africanism and Communism’
with Dr Hakim Adi

Friday 31st January, 7pm
Free Entry

Dr Hakim Adi examines the role of the Comintern in liberation struggles in Africa during the inter-war period, as explored in his recent book Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939 (Africa World Press, 2013).

Dr Hakim Adi will be talking about his new book Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939 (Africa World Press, 2013). His work makes use of newly-available sources from the Comintern Archives in Moscow to shed light on the interaction between the Communist International, the global struggle for the liberation of Africa and the African Diaspora during the inter-war period.

In particular, it focuses on the history of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers, established by the Red International of Labour Unions (Profintern) in 1928 and its activities in Africa, the United States, the Caribbean and Europe.

Dr Hakim Adi is Reader in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester and a founder member of the Black and Asian Studies Association. He has appeared in several television documentaries and has written widely on the history of the African diaspora and Africans in Britain, including West Africans in Britain, 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (Lawrence & Wishart, 1998). 

‘Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain’
with Jeremy Seabrook

Wednesday 22nd January, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Jeremy Seabrook discusses the history of poverty in Britain, and explores how the poor repeatedly come to be used as a scapegoat for society’s ills.

Jeremy Seabrook will discuss his new book Pauperland: Poverty and the Poor in Britain (Hurst, 2013), in which he examines the mutations of poverty over time, historical attitudes to the poor, and the lives of the impoverished themselves, from early Poor Laws till today.

He explains how in the medieval world, wealth was regarded as the greatest moral danger to society, yet by the industrial era, poverty was the most significant threat to social order. How did this change come about, and how did the poor, rather than the rich, find themselves blamed for much of what is wrong with Britain, including such familiar - and ancient - scourges as crime, family breakdown and addictions? How did it become the fate of the poor to be condemned to perpetual punishment and public opprobrium, the useful scapegoat of politicians and the media?

Pauperland charts how such attitudes were shaped by ill-conceived and ill-executed private and state intervention, and how these are likely to frame ongoing discussions of and responses to poverty in Britain.


Jeremy Seabrook is the author of more than forty books on subjects as diverse as transnational prostitution, child labour, social class, ageing, unemployment and poverty. His most recent include People Without History (Pluto Press, 2011) and The Refuge and the Fortress: Britain and the Persecuted, 1933-2013 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Colin Ward: Life, Times and Thought’
with Ruth Kinna, Carl Levy, Pietro Di Paola, Stuart White

Saturday 25th January, 6.30pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Contributors to a new collection analysing the thought of Ward, discuss his work across a variety of fields, including his journalism, thoughts on Italian anarchism, and anarchism’s relation to the non-anarchist left.

Colin Ward was one of the most significant thinkers and activists of the British anarchist movement in the twentieth century. He was a prolific journalist and had a historic and ongoing influence on political thought, most notably through his works on urban life, housing, squatters, children and criminology.

Bringing together a range of historians, anthropologists and political theorists, ‘Colin Ward: Life, Times and Thought’ (Lawrence & Wishart, 2013) celebrates and analyses the influence of this uniquely approachable and creative form of anarchism.

Contributors in the volume focus on Ward’s life and works, including analyses of: his contribution to the resurgence of anarchist journalism through War Commentary and Freedom; his impact on other activists; the relationship between his form of anarchism and the evolving New Left; how Ward’s ‘practical anarchism’ was influenced by the works of Peter Kropotkin; Ward’s Englishness; the contributions he made to British social policy in the post-war period; and his endorsement of the seemingly incompatible movements of social anarchism and lifestyle anarchism.

Contributors to the volume include David Goodway, Robert Graham, Carissa Honeywell, Carl Levy (ed), Peter Marshall, Brian Morris, Pietro Di Paola, Stuart White.


 1. Carl Levy                 Introduction: Colin Ward (1924-2010)

 2. Peter Marshall        Colin Ward: Sower of anarchist ideas

 3. Pietro Di Paola       ‘The man who knows his village’: Colin Ward and Freedom Press

 4. David Goodway      Colin Ward and the New Left

 5. Brian Morris           Colin Ward and Kropotkin’s legacy

 6. Carissa Honeywell  Colin Ward: Anarchism and social policy

 7. Robert Graham      Colin Ward: Anarchy and organisation

 8. Stuart White           Social anarchism, lifestyle anarchism, & the anarchism of Colin Ward



Five Leaves presents:
 ‘Liberation in the 1960s?’
with Phil Cohen

Wednesday 4th December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Phil Cohen, author of ‘Reading Room Only: Memoir of a Radical Bibliophile’ (Five Leaves 2013) will talk about his involvement with various movements of the 1960s, including the mass squat of the Queen Mother's house at 144 Piccadilly with the London Street Commune, taking LSD with RD Laing, the early days of the Situationists, setting up Street Aid... and assorted run-ins with the police and gangsters.

In his memoir ‘Reading Room Only: Memoir of a Radical Bibliophile’, Phil Cohen, alias Dr John of the London Street Commune, and erstwhile Professor of Cultural Studies  at the University of East London, re-traces his chequered career from blitz kid  to public school dropout, from hippy squatter to cultural theorist, and from urban ethnographer to poet, through his obsession with books.

The first part of the memoir provides a vivid account of wt it was like to grow up in Bloomsbury in the late 1940s and ’50s and how its famous squares, buildings  and local characters  influenced  his imaginative life.  He describes  how he created  an alternative identity centred on his own  personal ‘reading room’ in counterpoint to the official  success story he was supposed to be,  as he rebels against the  ethos  of his  public school, with  its traditional emphasis on Classics and negotiates the  fraught identity politics of being a Jewish  ‘mitschling’.

The memoir goes on to detail the author’s  adventures as he goes up to Cambridge  to read History, runs away to sea  and then  becomes involved in the ‘underground’ counter culture  emerging in the London during the so called ‘swinging sixties’. Books were  at the forefront of his activities, whether ‘liberating’ them from bookshops, gluing them together in a situationist provocation against bourgeois culture,  or setting fire to them in an ‘event structure’  by artist John Latham.

The author relates how the British Museum Reading Room provided a much needed port in the political storm stirred up by his activities as a leader of the ‘hippy squatters’ at 144 Piccadilly in 1969,  helping him resume his  studies whilst continuing to  engage in radical  community politics over  the next decade.  Part One concludes with some observations about the culture of the reading room itself, discusses   ten books that shook the author’ world and  the impact of  new technologies of research linked to  the opening of the British Library at St Pancras.

The second half of the memoir  explores the  author’s life long love affair with books, and situates this consuming passion  in  relation to the issues   raised by  Walter Benjamin in his famous essay ‘On Unpacking a library’.  The author considers what books might have to say about how  they are  treated if they were allowed a voice; he goes on to  discuss  the place of collecting in a ‘throwaway society’ and  details   the strategies, both rational and irrational, that informed his  project of building a personal library. A concluding section  celebrates the pleasures of browsing, and  speculates about   what keeps bibliophiles acquiring books right up to the end.

Phil Cohen is also author of ‘On the Wrong Side of the Track? East London and the Post Olympics’ (Lawrence and Wishart, 2013)

SW Zines presents:

A Christmas Zine Social

Saturday 7th December, 7 – 9pm

Free entry, bring a bottle

Housmans Bookshop and SW Zines are seeing out the year with a mini zine-fair/Christmas party. Come along for a festive get-together with the Housmans crew and discover an extensive range of thirty-odd independently published zines. Everybody is welcome, from dedicated zine writers and readers, to those curious to learn more, and we are especially keen to encourage first time zine-makers to bring their work.  

If you would like to get your zine seen at the event, please email to book selling space.  

The event is free and, in the DIY spirit, you are invited to bring a bottle.


SW Zines Collective is a group of writers and readers from South of the river dedicated to preserving and celebrating ‘zines and DIY culture. More information about them and their events can be found at

‘The Revenge of History: The Battle for the 21st Century’
with Seumas Milne


Thursday 12th December, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Seumas Milne discusses the seismic political shifts of the 21st century and how they have shaken the foundations of US hegemony to create a new configuration of international power relations.

Seumas Milne, one of Britain’s foremost political writers, will be talking about his book ‘The Revenge of History’ (Verso, 2012), a collection of articles which give a panoramic account of the first decade of the twenty-first century, from 9/11 to the Arab Spring and beyond, and turn the orthodoxies of the past generation on their head. In the book, Milne presents a powerful indictment of the United States, a global and corporate empire in decline. He also examines the causes of the credit crisis and the Great Recession, reveals the policy of humanitarian military intervention to be a failed land grab, explains the dynamo behind the roaring Chinese economy and discovers new models of society flourishing in Latin America. The work offers a compelling perspective on the convulsions that have brought us to today's crisis and the shape of the emerging politics of the future.

Seumas Milne is a columnist and Associate Editor on the Guardian and the paper’s former Comment Editor. He was previously the Guardian’s Labour Editor and staff journalist on the Economist. He is also the author of ‘The Enemy Within’ (Verso, 2004).



 ‘Winstanley: Warts and All’
with Kevin Brownlow

Wednesday 20th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome celebrated director and film historian Kevin Brownlow, who will be recounting his experience of co-directing the classic British film ‘Winstanley’ (1976).

The film tells the story of Gerrard Winstanley, who advocated a form of Christian Communism during the social ferment following the English Civil War. In 1652 Winstanley published a pamphlet called ‘The Law of Freedom in a Platform’, in which he argued that the Christian basis for society is one where property and wages are abolished.

Winstanley was one of the founders of the Real Levellers, more commonly know as the Diggers, who sought to reform the existing social order with a communal agrarian lifestyle based on their ideas for the creation of small egalitarian rural communities.

Made over a period of some seven years, on a tiny budget, and with many non-professional actors, the films production is a great story in itself. Kevin wrote down his experience of the shoot immediately in the aftermath of the films completion, but this account was only published in 2009 as the book ‘Winstanley: Warts and All’ (UKA Press, 2009).

As well as recalling the experience of producing the film, Kevin will discuss his inspirations, and will be illustrating his talk with short extracts from the film. The talk will be followed by a chance for questions and a book signing.

 ‘Black Star: Britain’s Asian Youth Movement’
with Anandi Ramamurthy
Saturday 23rd November, 6.30pm

Free Entry

Ramamurthy will discuss the prejudice and political struggles which Asian youth movements have encountered in Britain.

‘Black Star: Britain’s Asian Youth Movement’ (Pluto Press, 2013) documents the vibrant Asian youth movements in 1970s and 80s Britain who struggled against the racism of the street and the state. Anandi Ramamurthy shows how they drew inspiration from Black Power movements, as well as anti-imperialist and workers' struggles across the globe. 

Drawing on her intimate knowledge and extensive research, Ramamurthy shows how the struggle to make Britain 'home' led to a broad-based identity where 'black' was a political colour inspiring unity amongst all those struggling against racism.

Ramamurthy documents how by the late 1980s this broad based black identity disintegrated as Islamophobia became a new form of racism. In the process the legacy of the Asian Youth Movements has been largely hidden. ‘Black Star’ retrieves this history and demonstrates its importance for political struggles today.

Def Jam Poet
Mike Gonzales
Monday 4th November, 6.45pm
Tickets £10

Housmans are delighted to welcome Mexican/American poet Mark Gonzales, who has performed in over 15 countries and is dedicated to championing human rights and social justice. He has also spoken at the United Nations and featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

Please note that although entry to the reading is £10, this will not go to Housmans, but to help the promoter to cover the costs of bringing Mark to the UK.


 ‘The Last Night: Anti-work, Atheism,  Adventure’
with Federico Campagna

Wednesday 6th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Campagna launches his new book which seeks once and for all to break the relationship between religious sentiments and the work ethic.

Our secular society seems to have finally found its new God: Work. As technological progress makes human labour superfluous, and over-production destroys both the economy and the planet, Work remains stronger than ever as a mantra of universal submission. This book develops a fully-fledged theory of radical atheism, advocating a disrespectful, opportunist squandering of obedience. By replacing hope and faith with adventure, The Last Night of our lives might finally become the first morning of an autonomous future.

Federico Campagna spent over twenty years in Milan, where he worked as a political and literary activist, co-founding the street-poetry collective Eveline. In 2009 he started a long-term collaboration with the Italian Autonomia philosopher Franco Berardi 'Bifo', whose reader he is currently editing for the Italian publisher Il Saggiatore. In 2012 he co-edited the volume ‘What We Are Fighting For’ (Pluto Press).


 ‘Clandestino: In Search of Manu Chao’
with Peter Culshaw
Wednesday 13th November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Culshaw recounts his travels with Manu Chao and discusses the struggles the musical activist has faced during his career.

Manu Chao once toured Colombia by train with a circus troupe, negotiating with government troops, rebels and narcotraficantes, an episode described at the time as ‘less rock’n’roll tour – more Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow’. That’s how Manu operates – a musician who’s been called the natural heir to Joe Strummer and Bob Marley, he does everything differently. He’s a multi-million selling artist who prefers sleeping on friends’ floors to five-star hotels, an anti-globalisation activist who hangs out with prostitute-activists in Madrid and Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos in Chiapas, a recluse who is at home performing in stadiums in front of 100,000 people in Latin America.

His first solo album, Clandestino is still one of the best-selling French albums ever and his last studio album La Radiolina topped the charts in seventeen countries. These days, though, he is just as likely to release albums for free on the net such as the one he recorded with the inmates of a mental asylum in Argentina. He’s also produced classic albums such as Dimanche à Bamako, with the Malian couple Amadou and Mariam.

‘Clandestino: In Search of Manu Chao’ has been five years in the writing, as Peter Culshaw followed Manu around the world, drinking in bars in Barcelona and New York, invited at a moment’s notice to head to a benefit gig at a refugee camp in the Sahara, to Mexico, where gigs were cancelled due to drug gang outrages, or to Buenos Aires to join Manu making his record with La Colifata (‘The Crazy Ones’). This is the unforgettable story of one of the world’s most elusive and reluctant stars.




‘Queer Haunts’ edited by G. Abel-Watters and

‘The Carrier Bag’ by John Dixon

Friday 25th October, 7pm  - Free Entry

Housmans welcomes back guests from the writing co-op, Gay Authors' Workshop, and its allied publisher, Paradise Press, who will be providing an introduction to the project, followed by author readings from two new titles adding to the impressive list of over thirty titles, novels, short stories, memoirs and poetry.

The two books being launched are:

Queer Haunts’ edited by G. Abel-Watters

This anthology of queer ghost stories is being re-published in a new and expanded second edition complete with five new stories.

Scary, friendly, vengeful, sexy - many types of ghosts appear in this diverse volume of stories. There is a spirit far from home and one who doesn't want to leave home; there are ghosts who do favours or expect favours from humans, ghosts who tell their own story, and a spirit who wears a green lace negligėe.

In Queer Haunts you will find something for every mood: from chilling to charming, moving to amusing. Some of these tales link back to ancient legends and times gone by; others are firmly in the modern world where ghosts can jet in and carry a mobile phone.

The stories in this collection have all been written by gay and lesbian authors, and all speak in some way of gay experience. Queer Haunts reflects their diversity in its diverse collection, and the diversity of the readers to whom it will appeal - in fact, everyone who loves a good story or a good ghost. So wedge those rattling windows and creaking doors, curl up by the fire and enjoy!

ISBN: 978 1 904585 58 9
198 pages; £7.99

‘The Carrier Bag’ by John Dixon

This is a collection of short stories by John Dixon. The title story, 'The Carrier Bag' WON a Bridport short story competition. Margaret Drabble said: 'A tale for our time, which satirically contrasts a wine bar squash playing set with a representative member of the underclass. A fine use of dialogue here, from a writer who has been around.' It and eight other short stories are published in this collection.

ISBN: 978 1 904585 40 4
200 pages paperback; £6.99

 ‘The Coup against Salvador Allende, 11 September 1973’
with Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

Saturday 12th October, 6.30pm
Free entry

Using new evidence Oscar Guardiola-Rivera recounts the overthrow and murder of Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president by Chilean and US forces.

On 11 September 1973, President Salvador Allende of Chile, Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president, was deposed in a violent coup d’état. Early that morning the phone lines to Allende’s office were cut, army officers loyal to the republic were arrested and shortly afterwards bombs from four British-made Hawker Hunter jets began slamming into the presidential palace. Allende refused to leave his post, making broadcasts to encourage the Chilean people until the last pro-government radio station was silenced. Later that morning he was found dead, with an AK-47 that had been a gift from Fidel Castro by his side.

The coup had been planned for months, even years before it actually happened. In fact, from the moment Allende’s electoral victory in 1970 became a possibility, business leaders in Chile, extreme right-wing groups, high-ranking officers in the Chilean military and the US administration and the CIA worked together to secure a prompt and dramatic end to his progressive social programme.

Why Allende seemed such a threat in the political and economic context of the time and how the coup was engineered is the story Oscar Guardiola-Rivera tells, drawing on a wide range of sources, including phone transcripts and documents released as recently as 2008. It is a radical retelling of a moment in history that even at the height of Cold War paranoia – a time when Henry Kissinger described Chile as ‘a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica’ –shocked the world and which continues to resonate today. As the uprisings of the Arab Spring and the global protests at austerity measures introduced since the crash of 2008 show, the world is struggling to deal with the economic and political dilemmas Allende faced at the time.

Housmans are delighted to welcome Oscar Guardiola-Rivera to discuss his new book ‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup against Salvador Allende, 11 September 1973’, on this, the 40th anniversary of the coup.

 ‘Global Revolts and Uprisings’

with George Katsiaficas and Geronimo

Friday 18th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Guest authors from the US discuss the Asian Wave from 1986-1992 which overthrew 8 dictatorships in 6 years, the 1980's German autonomous scene, and consider what links can be made to current uprisings, rebellions and revolutions. 

To celebrate the recent release of Asia's Unknown Uprisings Volume 2 (PM Press) George Katsiaficas and Geronimo will be at Housmans discussing the Asian Wave from 1986-1992 which overthrew 8 dictatorships in 6 years, the 1980's German autonomous scene and discuss what links can be made to current uprisings, rebellions and revolutions. 

About Asia's Unknown Uprising - Vol 2

Ten years in the making, this magisterial work provides a unique perspective on uprisings in nine Asian nations in the past five decades. While the 2011 Arab Spring is well known, the wave of uprisings that swept Asia in the 1980s remain hardly visible. Through a critique of Samuel Huntington’s notion of a “Third Wave” of democratization, the author relates Asian uprisings to predecessors in 1968 and shows their subsequent influence on uprisings in Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s. 

“This book about people's power movements in Asia over the last sixty years makes the case, convincingly, that they should be seen as part of the worldwide new left. Reading it will broaden the perspective of activists and analysts in North America and Europe, a very important task.”

--Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

George Katsiaficas is author or editor of eleven books, including ones on the global uprising of 1968 and European and Asian social movements. A Fulbright Fellow and student of Herbert Marcuse, he is the author of The Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968. His book, The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life, was co-winner of the APSA's 1998 Michael Harrington book award.

Among his edited volumes are Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party (with Kathleen Cleaver) and Vietnam Documents: American and Vietnamese Views of the War. A longtime activist for peace and justice, he is International Coordinator of the May 18 Institute at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea, and teaches at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

Geronimo is the author of Fire and Flames, the first comprehensive study of the German autonomous movement ever published. The author, writing under a pseudonym, has been an autonomous activist since the movement burst onto the scene in 1980-81. Tactics of the ‘Autonome’ were militant, including the construction of barricades or throwing everything at the police. Because of their outfit (heavy black clothing, ski masks, helmets), the Autonome were dubbed the ‘Black Bloc’ by the German media, and their tactics have been successfully adopted and employed at anti-capitalist protests worldwide. 

This event is being held on the eve of the London Anarchist Bookfair, the UK’s biggest anarchist gathering, featuring a whole host of speakers, authors, acticvists, publishers and booksellers. For more information please visit:


 ‘The Future of Money’
with David Boyle and Brett Scott

Wednesday 9th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

To launch the new issue of STIR our guests will discuss the alternatives and possible innovations to our financial system.

STIR's 3rd issue ‘The Future of Money’ looks at the alternatives and possible innovations to our financial system.

In the issue philosopher activist Nina Power gives an account of money, campaigner Fran Boait describes Positive Money's campaign to stop debt-led money creation, anthropologist Marianne Maeckelbergh looks at the influence of money on the Occupy movement, and Edd Baldry gives an illustrated how-to on creating your community currency. LETS founder Michael Linton and Les Moore introduce their new Open Money mobile currency, the New Economic Foundation's David Boyle looks at the perils of Bitcoin, and we did a Q&A with author of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance.

Joining us at Housmans for the launch will be David Boyle of the New Economics Foundation, and author of ‘Broke: Who Killed the Middle Classes?’ (Fourth Estate, 2013) alongside Brett Scott, a financial activist and author of ‘The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money’ (Pluto Press, 2013)

You can pre-order a copy of the new issue of STIR now with a 25% discount here:


Ryan Harvey and Veterans For Peace
'Songs of Resistance &
First Hand Accounts of The War on Terror'
Monday 7th October, 7pm
Free entry

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan come along for an evening of Riot Folk and personal recollections of “The War on Terror” at Housmans Bookshop. Ryan Harvey, folk singer and activist will share his songs of resistance. Ryan has taken his powerful, insightful, and humorous songs and stories of activism, social movements, and political analysis around the world for the last ten years.

He has performed in 19 countries, visiting some of the most infamous epicenters of recent uprisings including New York, Cairo, Athens, Madrid, and Lisbon. Ryan is a long term supporter of Iraq Veterans Against The War.

Veterans For Peace UK, will tell short personal stories about their own experience of ”The War on Terror”. John Boulton ((Afghanistan) Daniel Taylor (Iraq) Mike Lyons (Afghanistan War Resister) Ben Griffin (Afghanistan, Iraq)



‘The Dublin Lock-out Centenary: Remembering Class Struggle in Ireland’ with Daniel Finn and Donnacha DeLong

Wednesday 25th September ,7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Remembering the 1913 Dublin lock-out, the single greatest confrontation between the forces of labour and capital in Irish history.

‘In Dublin City in 1913

The boss was rich and the poor were slaves

The women working and the children hungry

Then on came Larkin like a mighty wave’

The Ballad Of James Larkin, by Donagh MacDonagh

Daniel Finn, Assistant Editor at New Left Review will be discussing the Dublin Lock-out of 1913, and examining broader issues about class struggles during the Irish revolutionary period. Events of the Irish revolution are often viewed through a nationalist prism, but during this period significant class struggles took place, of which the Lock-out is the most remembered.

The Dublin lock-out was the single greatest confrontation between the forces of labour and capital in Irish history, with 300 employers pitted against approximately 20,000 workers and their 80,000 dependants. It lasted from August 1913 to January 1914.

The workers in the dispute were led by the charismatic James Larkin, who sought to mobilise the city’s poverty-stricken unskilled labour force in order to bring about improved pay and conditions. A consortium of Dublin businessmen forced all remaining employees to sign a pledge never to join or support a trade union. All employees who refused to sign were sacked or locked out, with strike-breakers brought in by employers where possible.

It was a dispute during which international solidarity and the tactic of the sympathetic strikes were central to the workers. Larkin succeeded in bringing socialist politics to a very significant percentage of the Dublin working class. The lock-out marked a watershed moment in Irish labour culture by firmly asserting worker solidarity.

Joining Danny will be Donnacha Delong who will discuss ‘Misfit: A Revolutionary Life’  the autobiography of Irish revolutionary Captain Jack White, which has recently been republished.

Jack White was one of the founders of the Irish Citizens Army, a small group of trained trade union volunteers established in Dublin for the defence of worker’s demonstrations from the police. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O'Casey, Constance Markievicz, and Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1916, it took part in the Easter Rising – an armed insurrection aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

White later went to Spain with the International Brigade and became an anarchist, working with the CNT and Emma Goldman.

Copies of ‘Misfit: A Revolutionary Life’ and other related books will be available on the evening.


‘Whiteness Made Simple: Stepping into the Grey Zone’

with Lez Henry

Saturday 14th September, 6.30pm
Free Entry

Lez Henry discusses the intricate and sometimes obscure ways that whiteness functions as part of racist discourse in British society.

Housmans welcome Lez Henry to discuss his book ‘Whiteness Made Simple: Stepping into the Grey Zone’, in which he examines the concept of ‘whiteness’, and attempts to demystify its historical role and influence on human relationships in the world today. He will consider the privilege of being racially classified as white and explain it from a black perspective, suggesting “whiteness is the ever-present non-presence that moulds and shapes reality.”


‘Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police’
with Rob Evans

Wednesday 18th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Rob Evans, the Guardian journalist who exposed the extent of police undercover operations, presents his evidence and discusses the implications as told in his new book.

‘Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police’ tells the gripping stories of a group of police spies and the uncovering of forty years of state espionage. It is written by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, the award-winning investigative journalists who exposed the Mark Kennedy scandal.

This was an undercover operation so secret that some of our most senior police officers had no idea it existed. The job of the clandestine unit was to monitor British 'subversives' - environmental activists, anti-racist groups, and animal rights campaigners.

Police stole the identities of dead people to create fake passports, driving licences and bank accounts. They then went deep undercover for years, inventing whole new lives so that they could live incognito among the people they were spying on.

They used sex, intimate relationships and drugs to build their credibility. They betrayed friends, deceived lovers, even fathered children. And their operations continue today.

Undercover reveals the truth about secret police operations - the emotional turmoil, the psychological challenges and the human cost of a lifetime of deception - and asks whether such tactics can ever be justified.

Rob Evans is a reporter for the Guardian newspaper and has won awards for his work both on corruption scandals and for promoting freedom of information. He is also the author of ‘Gassed: British chemical warfare experiments on humans at Porton Down’.



‘This Other London:  Adventures in the Overlooked City’
with John Rogers

Saturday 21st September, 7pm

Free Entry

John Rogers recounts his explorations of London’s remote and forgotten reaches.

Join John Rogers as he ventures out into an uncharted London like a redbrick Indiana Jones in search of the lost meaning of our metropolitan existence. Nursing two reluctant knees and a can of Stella, he perambulates through the seasons seeking adventure in our city’s remote and forgotten reaches.

When John Rogers packed away his rucksack to start a family in London he didn’t stop travelling. But instead of canoeing up the Rejang River to find retired headhunters in Sarawak, he caught the ferry to Woolwich in search of the edge of the city at Crayford Marshes.

‘This Other London’ recounts that journey and many others – all on foot and epic in their own cartilage-crunching way. Clutching a samosa and a handful of out-of-date A-Zs, he heads out into the wilderness of isolated luxury apartment blocks in Brentford, the ruins of Lesnes Abbey near Thamesmead, and the ancient Lammas Lands in Leyton.

Denounced by his young sons as a ‘hippy wizard’, Rogers delves into some of the overlooked stories rumbling beneath the tarmac of the city suburbs. Holy wells in Lewisham; wassailing in Clapton; a heretical fresco in West Ham. He encounters the Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath, Viet Cong vets still fighting Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket in Beckton, Dutch sailors marooned at Erith pier; and cyclists – without Bradley Wiggins’ sideburns – at Herne Hill Velodrome. He heads out to Uxendon Hill to witness the end of the world, Horsenden Hill to learn its legend, and Tulse Hill to the observatory of the Victorian Brian Cox.


‘Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era’
with J.D. Taylor and Mark Fisher

Wednesday 11th September, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

J.D. Taylor and Mark Fisher will argue that capitalism’s dominance cultivates a debilitating cynicism, and will consider positive strategies to enable a new optimism.

J.D. Taylor’s ‘Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era’ offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the current economic crisis. It argues that cynicism has become culturally embedded in the UK and US as an effect of a broad disempowerment fostered by neoliberal capitalism.

Despite the deprivation and collapse of key social infrastructure such as representative democracy, welfare, workers' rights and equal access to resources, there has so far been no collective, effective and sustained overthrow of capitalism. Why is this? The book's central call is for new strategies that unravel this narcissistic cynicism, embracing social democracy, constitutional rights, mass bankruptcies and animate sabotage.

Kafka, Foucault, Ballard and de Sade are clashed with the X-Factor, ruinporn, London, and the artwork of Laura Oldfield Ford. Negative Capitalism's polemic is written to incite responses against the cynical malaise of the neoliberal era.

J.D. Taylor is a writer and community worker from south London. His experiences come from three years' frontline working in various charities and community support services, as well as a Cultural Studies MA from Goldsmiths. Working under various pseudonyms as an active participant in the contemporary anti-cuts movement, he was also taught by Mark Fisher in the FE college which provides much of the empirical basis of his 'Capitalist Realism'.

Negative Capitalism represents a new generation of critique by what I've termed graduates without a future. Taylor brings together incisive and provocative analysis alongside personal experience to explore how debt, cynicism, smartphones, psychopharmacology, underemployment and neoliberalism all represent a new era of negation. In a time of economic meltdown and mass struggle, this book offers one way out of the current crisis.” --Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight Economics Editor and author of Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere, and Meltdown



 ‘Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital’

With Lloyd Bradley

Wednesday 21st August, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Lloyd Bradley charts a century of black music in London, and explores the social impact of successive waves of musical innovation.


On the eve of Notting Hill Carnival Housmans are delighted to welcome Lloyd Bradley to discuss his latest book ‘Sounds Like London: A Century of Black Music in the Capital’.

Black music has been part of London’s landscape since the First World War, when the Southern Syncopated Orchestra brought jazz to the capital. Following the wave of Commonwealth immigration, its sounds and styles became the foundation of the city’s youth culture.

‘Sounds Like London’ tells the story of the music and the people making it, journeying from Soho jazz clubs and Brixton blues parties to King’s Cross warehouse raves and the streets of Notting Hill – and on to sound systems everywhere.

About the author

Lloyd Bradley is one of the UK’s leading black music experts. He has written for Mojo, Q, NME, Blues & Soul, the Observer and Independent. He is the author of Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King, and was associate producer of the BBC 2 series Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music

 ‘Revolution and Alienation in Victorian London’

with Clive Bloom

Wednesday 28th August, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Clive Bloom returns to Housmans to present his latest book which spotlights some of the  neglected figures of the Victorian age – the assassins, anarchists, terrorists and revolutionaries.

Clive Bloom’s latest book ‘Victoria's Madmen’ tells the stories of a host of figures who came to exemplify a contradictory history of the Victorian Age: not one of Dickensian London and smoking factories, but one of little known revolutionaries and radicals.

The book mixes extraordinary marginal voices with famous - and infamous - figures, from messiahs like Richard Brothers and Octavia 'Daughter of God'; writers such as Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton; revolutionaries and radicals like Karl Marx, Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and Oswald Mosley; madmen like Richard Dadd and Jack the Ripper; orientalists and guerrilla fighters such as T. E. Lawrence; worshippers of Pan such as Arthur Machen, Kenneth Graham and J.M. Barrie, as well as the Latvian anarchists who killed three policemen in the East End of London.

This is the story of those who were outcasts by temperament and choice; the non-conformists of Victorian London.

About the author

Clive Bloom is a respected broadcaster and Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies at Middlesex University, UK. Widely published, he is the author of ‘Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts’, ‘Riot City: Protest and Rebellion in the Capital’, and many other titles.



‘The ANC's London Recruits: The Secret War Against Apartheid’
with recruits Ken Keable, Bob Newland and Tom Bell

Wednesday 7th August, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

An evening recounting the incredible tales of the London Recruits, who carried out covert operations on behalf of the ANC in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.

By 1966 the Apartheid regime in South Africa had all but annihilated the African National Congress (ANC), imprisoning its leaders or driving them into exile. To help keep their message of struggle alive and maintain a strategy of resistance from within, young men and women in London smuggled ANC literature into South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. Sworn to secrecy, their work remained silent for forty years but the Recruits have now shared their stories in a new oral-history collection ‘London Recruits: The Secret War Against Apartheid’.

Speakers at the event will include Ken Keable, himself a Recruit as well as editor of the book, alongside fellow recruits Bob Newland, who has recently been promoting and discussing the book in South Africa, and Tom Bell, who will bring the false-bottomed suitcase that he used to smuggle stuff into Cape Town in 1970.

JULY 2013

‘London’s Industrial Heritage’ 
with Geoff Marshall

Wednesday 17th July, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Historian Geoff Marshall discusses London’s often overlook industrial heritage and its implications on workers and the fabric of the city, as told in his new book.

Apart from Lancashire, the greatest concentration of Boulton & Watt steam engines was in London, demonstrating the enormous and often overlooked significance of London as an industrial centre. London once had scores of breweries; the world’s first plastic material was synthesised in the East End; there was even a gasworks opposite the Palace of Westminster. Clerkenwell was a centre for watch and clock makers; the River Thames used to be full of colliers bringing coal from Newcastle; Joseph Bramah invented his water closet and hydraulic pump here, and Henry Maudslay made machines to make machines.

The story behind the many industries found in the capital is described in Geoff Marshall’s unique book. Geoff will be discussing his research and exploring some of the related social and political implications arising from this period of heavy industry.

 ‘The History of Working Men’s Clubs: London and Beyond’     
with Ruth Cherrington

Wednesday 10th July, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Ruth Cherrington discusses her book which tells a history of the important role Working Men’s Clubs played in working class communities in London and beyond.

When the term ‘working men’s club’ is mentioned, many people think of smoky northern cities, men with flat caps coming out of shipyards or coal mines going to such places to drink copious amounts of beer and, perhaps, where their wives might be allowed to play bingo. Such stereotypes still persist even today.

In her book 'Not Just Beer and Bingo! The Social History of Working Men’s Clubs’, Dr. Ruth Cherrington seeks to go beyond these, offering instead the first, comprehensive account of clubs from their mid-19th century origins to their current state of decline.  In this talk, she will provide a brief introduction to her book, outlining the main historical trends across 150 years of club life. The sweep of her work goes across right across the country but there will be focus on London clubs, which played a huge part in the club movement. Many early clubs were set up in London and the Home Counties, and some of them remain open to this day- such as Walthamstow WMC (established 1860) and the Mildmay Radical which dates back to the 1880s.  

She will outline the key areas of club life, which go beyond the beer and bingo of popular imagination. The early establishment of Club and Institute convalescent homes, for example, will be mentioned alongside the importance of charitable work that clubs have always been involved in.  The links to the rise of the entertainment industry and the continued importance of clubs as a training ground for talent will also feature. So many of our most popular entertainers began their careers in clubs- from Dame Vera Lynn, to Tom Jones and many more contemporary performers.  Women were excluded from some clubs it is true – but not from all and Ruth will outline how women found a place for pleasure within the traditional patriarchal arrangements of clubs.

This will include aspects of women as members as well as entertainers.  Children and older people were also traditionally catered for and activities for them will be briefly outlined such as the Christmas parties and trips to the seaside.  And what of education and politics which were central in many early clubs? Their importance will be outlined but also how these did diminish.  Finally, the decline of clubs will be outlined with the main reasons for this cited along with their prospects for the future. 

A central theme running through the talk will be how clubs were a key part not only of working class leisure time but also of working class communities. Yet their contributions have barely been acknowledged by those outside the club movement.


‘The Two Marys: A Conversation Piece’     
with Sasha Hails as Mary Wollstonecraft, Victoria Ross as Mary Shelley, and music devised and performed by David Chernaik

Wednesday 3rd July, 7pm

Starting Housmans annual ‘London’s Burning Season’ we are proud to present this unique theatrical presentation with cello accompaniment, remembering the lives of two of King’s Cross’s most celebrated daughters, Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley.

his piece was first performed at the National Portrait Gallery, 14 September 1997.

The setting: September 1822, Genoa

Two months after Shelley’s death, Mary Shelley fights off her anguish for the sake of her remaining child. She clings to her books: Shelley’s poems; the works of her father, the philosopher William Godwin; the feminist writings of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who died shortly after giving birth to her.

In her despair, the young Mary pours her heart out in a letter to an English friend who was her mother’s first pupil. If only she could conjure up her mother from the past, if only she could speak to her for an hour...

JUNE 2013

‘Poor Man's Heaven: the Land of Cokaygne
and other utopian visions’
with Omasius Gorgut

Wednesday 19th June, 7pm


“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees
that grow by a lake full of beer…
The landlord well take and tie to a stake
and we won’t have to work like a slave...

In the face of a life defined by exploitation and suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty and the rich were barred.

In a popular song, The Land of Cokaygne, rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses were made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to eat.

From 14th-century Europe to 20th-century USA, this dream emerges in songs, poems, folk tales. But it wasn’t just a popular fantasy – the dream was linked to the culture and tensions of the times, and time and again rebels and heretics tried to turn dream into reality…

War Resisters’ International present

'Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth
and How to Counter It'

with David Gee, Ozgur Heval Cinar and Maayan Niezna
Thursday 13th June, 7pm


Join WRI for the launch of 'Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation Of Youth And How To Counter It' at Housmans Bookshop. Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, this book explores the ways in which young people around the world encounter the military and military values - and are encouraged to embrace them uncritically - and how this can be challenged.

The event will include speakers from the UK, Turkey and Israel, who will tell us how the military and military values infiltrate young peoples' lives in those countries, followed by a period of discussion and debate.

Refreshments provided.

Speakers include:

‘Remembering Clara Zetkin’

with guests from the Socialist History Society
Wednesday 12th June, 7pm

Launch event for a new SHS publication to mark the 80th anniversary of the death of Clara Zetkin, a leading figure in the German Social Democratic Party, the Spartacist League and the German Communist Party. She was the founder of the Socialist Women's International, but also a fierce critic of what she saw as the shortcomings of bourgeois feminism. Our guests discuss her legacy and its relevance.

‘Black Star, Crescent Moon’
with Sohail Daulatzai in conversation with Sukant Chandan

Saturday 8th June, 6.30pm

A discussion of US academic Daulatzai’s new book ‘Black Star, Crescent Moon’, which considers the role of Islam in traditions of resistance to, and liberation from, Western imperialism. Areas covered in the book include the impact of the Nation of Islam on Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, to cultural manifestations in hip-hop and cinema.


MAY 2013


‘Introducing Slavoj Žižek’
with Christopher Kul-Want

Wednesday 29th May, 7pm

An introduction to the thinking of the political philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Zizek.

Slavoj Žižek’s frequent newspaper op-eds, and popular academic books have gained him a wide following and international influence. Foreign Policy listed him on its 2012 list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, calling him "a celebrity philosopher."

He has written widely on political theory, film theory, and theoretical psychoanalysis, and went on to achieve international recognition as a social theorist after the 1989 publication of his first book in English, ‘The Sublime Object of Ideology’, which disputed a Marxist interpretation of ideology as false consciousness and argued for ideology as an unconscious fantasy that structures reality.

His later writing tends to concentrate on political theory, with a string of books covering a wide range of topics. The scope of his output can make his overall thinking hard to pin down, and so it is with great pleasure that we welcome the Central St Martins lecturer Christopher Kul-Want to discuss his book ‘Introducing Slavoj Žižek’. Christopher will be giving an overview of Žižek’s life and writing, and pulling together the threads that run throughout the long body of his work.

Title Information

‘Introducing Slavoj Zizek: A Graphic Guide’ Christopher Kul-Want (Author), Piero (Illustrator)
Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (1 Sep 2011)

Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1848312937
RRP £6.99

Click here to buy

‘Frack Off London’
Saturday 25th May, 6.30pm


Come join Frack Off London for a film evening to learn more about fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction coming to the UK. Many of the companies bringing these destructive processes are based right here in London. Together we can stop fracking and other forms of extreme energy coming to the UK and tell these companies to "Frack Off!"

‘Leila Berg (1917-2012): writer, rebel, radical educator’
with Lynn Brady, Emily Charkin, Michael Fielding and Wendy Jones

Wednesday 22nd May, 7pm


Leila Berg was a passionate advocate for the empowerment of children, particularly through literature. In 1967 she wrote "The child from the bookless home comes stone cold to reading; and what do we give him in the classroom? We give him readers where father mows the lawn (what lawn is part of his life, for heaven's sake?) … where the whole family sits down to have breakfast at a snowy damask-clothed table, all properly dressed and calm, and full of polite, grammatically correct, griefless, angerless, joyless, lifeless conversation."

In 1968 Leila devised and launched the Nippers series of early readers books published by Macmillan, many of which she wrote herself. The series was born of her indignation at the exclusion of working-class and ethnic minority lives from children's books.

Michael Fielding (professor at the Institute of Education, London) will chair a panel of speakers to introduce Berg's contribution to radical education and the lives of children: Emily Charkin (historian at the Institute of Education, London) on Berg's position within the radical education tradition of the 1960s and 70s, Wendy Jones (writer and friend of Berg) on Berg's writing for and with children and Lynn Brady (one of the founder members of the Risinghill Research group) on Berg's account of the radical school, Risinghill. There will then be time for questions and discussion about Berg's significance for contemporary debates.

APRIL 2013

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
98th Birthday Party

Saturday 27th April, 7pm

All feminists are welcome to join WILPF celebrate their 98th birthday here at Housmans. It will be a chance to have a slice of cake and raise a glass to all the great work WILPF have done over the years, and to find out more about the organisation. For a history of WILPF please visit:

‘Arthur Machen and the Art of Wandering’
with Merlin Coverley

Wednesday 24th April, 7pm


Continuing our celebration of writer and mystic Arthur Machen’s 150th birthday Housmans are delighted to welcome back Merlin Coverley, author of ‘Psychogeography’ and the recently published ‘The Art of Wandering’.

Merlin will be considering Machen's unique contribution to the literary history of walking, with a particular focus on those years he spent exploring London's outer limits, a period he describes in his final volume of autobiography, 'The London Adventure: or, The Art of Wandering' (1924). Merlin will be demonstrating Machen's position within a broader tradition of London Visionaries, a role he shares with, amongst others, Blake, De Quincey and Dickens.

‘London Fictions’
with Andrew Whitehead, Sarah Wise and Jon Day

Wednesday 17th April, 7pm


An event to celebrate the publication of ‘London Fictions’ from Five Leaves Publishing. ‘London Fictions’ is a new collection of essays about the representation of London in fiction, with each contributor concentrating on a particular work.

‘London Fictions’ joint editor Andrew Whitehead will talk about the origins of the book, and also about Gissing's ‘The Nether World’, contributor Sarah Wise will talk about Morrison's ‘Child of the Jago’ and Jon Day will talk about John Lanchester's ‘Capital’, followed by a general discussion about London Literature.

Title information

Paperback: 280 pages

Publisher: Five Leaves Publications; First edition (1 April 2013)
Andrew Whitehead (Author, Editor), Jerry White (Editor), Bogdan Frymorgen (Illustrator)

ISBN-13: 978-1907869662
RRP £14.99

Iain Sinclair on Arthur Machen

Wednesday 10th April, 7pm

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the writer and mystic Arthur Machen Housmans are proud to welcome the Iain Sinclair to discuss this enigmatic figure.

Iain will be considering Machen in the context of London, Poe's stalking of the ‘Man in the Crowd’, the Northwest Passage, De Quincey and the Labyrinth.

MARCH 2013


‘The Revolution of Everyday Life’ with Donald Nicholson Smith
Friday 29th March, 7pm

A late addition to our events program, Housmans are very happy to announce that this Friday 29th March, Donald Nicholson Smith will be discussing his revised translation of Raoul Vaneigem's classic text ‘The Revolution of Everyday Life’. Donald joined the English section of the Situationist International in 1965 and was expelled in December 1967!

Please note Housmans will be closed on Friday 29th March, but will open from 6pm onwards in preperation for this event.

‘Is green growth possible and do we really need it?’
a debate with Pete Dickenson and Derek Wall

Wednesday 27th March, 7pm

A debate as to whether an eco-socialist program would have to curtail growth or could it provide an environmental sustainable version of growth?

Our guest are agreed that capitalism is a root problem of a range of environmental problems the world is facing, but can a socialist alternative resolve these issues? Crucially, would an eco-socialist alternative have to curtail growth or could it administer an environmentally sustainable version of growth?

Marx considered that plenty was a necessary condition for the coming of a fully developed socialist society. Whilst many argue that removing want will require growth, most Greens argue that any growth is unsustainable.

Pete Dickenson’s 'Planning for Planet' puts the argument round the other way, that it is impossible to tackle environmental problems without effective international planning, a prerequisite for which is eliminating the conflicts that result from scarcity. His  book contends that the growth needed to remove scarcity can be green, but only if organised in the context of a democratically planned socialist economy.

Arguing against this position will be Derek Wall, who has most recently authored ‘The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement’.

We hope you will be able to join our two guest to add your voice to the discussion.

About the authors

Pete Dickenson is author of ‘Planning for the Planet: How Socialism Could Save the Environment’ and a member of the Socialist Party.

Derek Wall is the Green Party International Co-ordinator and has written books including  ‘The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement’, ‘Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements’ and ‘Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement: Radical Environmentalism and Comparative Social Movements’

‘Everything you ever wanted to know about Anarchism,
but were afraid to ask’
with Iain McKay

Wednesday 20th March, 7pm

Iain McKay is the author of the encyclopaedic two-volume set ‘ An Anarchist FAQ’ which sets out to cover all aspects of the Anarchist tradition, in terms of theory, history and practice. He has also written an extensive introduction to the 2011 AK Press published ‘Property Is Theft!: A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Reader’, and is currently completing work on a new translation of the writings of Bakunin.

Housmans are very happy to welcome Iain, who will be starting off the evening by flying through a brief history of Anarchism and highlighting the major traditions within it, before opening it up to the floor for questions and discussion. Whatever your current understanding  of Anarchism, this is a chance to ask questions, share knowledge, and raise your and others awareness in a friendly setting.

‘Walking and Art’ with Hannah Hull

Wednesday 13th March, 7pm

From the radical politics of the Situationists to the organic poetry of Land Art, Hannah Hull presents historical and contemporary examples of art walks and artists walking; as an act of subversion, play, protest, or contemplation.

Hannah Hull is a site-specific artist, creating temporary public artworks and social interventions. Her practice invites the disclosure of new sites, histories and languages through the displacement of familiar rituals and motifs. Her research practice explores social change through relationships between art and people.



‘From Gay Authors' Workshop to Paradise Press’

Wednesday 27th February, 7pm


As part of LGBT History Month Housmans welcome guests from the writing co-op, Gay Authors' Workshop, and its allied publisher, Paradise Press, who will be providing an introduction to the project, followed by author readings from two new titles adding to the impressive list of over thirty titles, novels, short stories, memoirs and poetry.

The launch titles are A Life's Tales, a memoir by Joe Hucknall, and Eros at Large, short stories.

Title information
Title:               Eros at Large

Editor :            Michael Harth

Our Price:         £8.99

Format:            Paperback

Size:                272 pages

ISBN:               9781904585466

Publisher:          Paradise Press

Published:         February 2013

Title information
Title:               A Life's Tale

Editor :            Joseph Hucknall

Our Price:         £7.99

Format:            Paperback

Size:                2225 pages

ISBN:               9781904585497          

Publisher:          Paradise Press

Published:         February 2013


‘African Struggles Today’ with Peter Dwyer and Leo Zeilig

Wednesday 13th February, 7pm

Leading scholars in the field, Peter Dwyer and Leo Zeilig investigate the social forces driving the democratic transformation of post-colonial states across Southern Africa. Extensive research and interviews with civil society organizers in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland inform this analysis of the challenges faced by non-governmental organizations in relating both to the attendant inequality of globalization and to grassroots struggles for social justice.

Peter Dwyer is a tutor in economics at Ruskin College in Oxford and Senior Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg. He is an active trade union member and has been involved as a researcher and campaigner in a variety of social movement campaigns in both the UK and South Africa.

Leo Zeilig is a lecturer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, Senior Visiting Fellow, South African Research Chair in Social Change, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, and editor of ‘Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa’.

Title information
Title:             African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence

Author:         Peter Dwyer and Leo Zeilig.

Our Price       £12.99

Format:         Paperback

Size:             260 pages (199mm x 132mm)

ISBN:            9781608461202

Publisher:      Haymarket Books

Published:      26 July 2012

Colin Ward’s ‘Talking Green’ &

The Cover Designs of Anarchy 1961-1970
with Ken Worpole, Daniel Poyner and Richard Hollis

Saturday 9th February, 6.30pm

An evening presenting two new books with a shared connection to the anarchist newspaper Anarchy: Colin Ward’s ‘Talking Green’, and Daniel Poyner’s ‘Autonomy: the cover designs of Anarchy 1961-1970’.

Writer, editor and activist Colin Ward was the historian of unofficial uses of the landscape. The ten essays in ‘Talking Green’ cover environmental pollution, urban life, allotments, the uses of nature, land settlement, regionalism, squatting, smallholding, the green personality and the shires of Southern England. Together they provide discussion points for anyone interested in taking green politics further than climate change and recycling (important as these are). Colin Ward connects green politics and lifestyle to everyday living and working, always providing positive proposals for future living.

The writer and environmentalist Ken Worpole will be introducing this important collection of Ward’s writing. Joining him will be Daniel Poyner, editor of ‘Autonomy: the cover designs of Anarchy 1961-1970’, a beautiful collection of the cover art and typography of the anarchist newspaper ‘Anarchy’, designed mostly by Rufus Segar. Providing further contributions and insights will be the influential graphic designer Richard Hollis.

The collection reproduces all of the covers in a sequence that suggests, incidentally, something of the history of graphic design in Britain in those years. And it goes beyond the images, with an array of supporting texts that give a full picture of ‘Anarchy’ and its context.

“Colin Ward was one the greatest anarchist thinkers of the past half century and a pioneering social historian.” - Roman Krznaric

Title information

Title:               Talking Green

Author:            Colin Ward

Our Price:         £7.99

Format:            Paperback

Size:                 160 pages (194mm x 128mm)

ISBN:               9781907869518

Publisher:          Five Leaves Publications

Published:         1 Aug 2012

Title:                Autonomy: The cover designs of Anarchy 1961-1970

Author:             Daniel Poyner

Our Price:         £25

Format:            Paperback

Size:                 336 pages (240mm x 170mm)

ISBN:                9780907259466

Publisher:          Hyphen Press

Published:          1 Nov 2012

‘Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens’

with Richard Seymour
Wednesday 6th February, 7pm

Housmans welcomes respected author Richard Seymour to present his study of the thinking of Christopher Hitchens.

Irascible and forthright, Christopher Hitchens stood out as a man determined to do just that. In his younger years, a career-minded socialist, he emerged from the smoke of 9/11 a neoconservative ‘Marxist’, an advocate of America’s invasion of Iraq filled with passionate intensity. Throughout his life, he played the role of universal gadfly, whose commitment to the truth transcended the party line as well as received wisdom.

But how much of this was imposture? In this highly critical study, Richard Seymour casts a cold eye over the career of the ‘Hitch’ to uncover an intellectual trajectory determined by expediency and a fetish for power. 

As an orator and writer, Hitchens offered something unique and highly marketable. But for all his professed individualism, he remains a recognizable historical type – the apostate leftist. ‘Unhitched’ presents a rewarding and entertaining case study, one that is also a cautionary tale for our times.

Get a taste of Richard Seymour’s take on Hitchens here: 

About the author

Richard Seymour is a political commentator and author, perhaps best know for his Lenin’s Tomb blog, regularly listed as one of the most influential political blogs in the UK. His previous writing credits include ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ (Verso, 2008), ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’ (Zero Books 2010), and ‘American Insurgents’ (Haymarket, 2012)

Title information


Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Verso Books (21 Jan 2012)

ISBN-13: 978-1844679904

PM Press present
‘Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism’
with George Caffentizis 

Unfortunately due to problems with the printing of George's new book this event has had to be indefinitely postponed. Our apologies for any inconvenience.



‘Sex, Race and Class’
with Selma James

Wednesday, 30th January, 7pm

Selma James discusses her life’s work critiquing the fraught relationship between gender, race and class. Her latest book 'Sex, Race and Class: The Perspective of Winning' is a collection of her writings from 1952 to 2011.

Selma James is a women's rights and antiracist campaigner and author.  From 1958 to 1962, she worked with C.L.R. James in the movement for Caribbean federation and independence.  In 1972, she founded the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and in 2000 she helped launch the Global Women's Strike whose strategy for change is Invest in Caring not Killing.  She coined the word "unwaged" to describe the caring work women do, and it has since entered the English language to describe all who work without wages on the land, in the home, and in the community. 

She has addressed the power relations within the working class movement, and how to organize across sectors despite divisions of sex, race, and class, South and North.

"It's time to acknowledge James’s path-breaking analysis: from 1972 she re-interpreted the capitalist economy to show that it rests on the usually invisible unwaged caring work of women." - Dr. Peggy Antrobus, feminist, author of The Global Women’s Movement: Origins, Issues and Strategies

‘Womens Writing & Muslim Societies’
with Sharif Gemi

Saturday, 26th January, 6.30pm

Sharif Gemi explores the complex politics of women writing in, and about, Muslim societies. 

This book looks at the rise of Muslim writing by both western and Muslim women, from pioneering female travellers like Freya Stark and Edith Wharton in the early twentieth century, whose accounts were usually playful and humorous, to the present day and such works as Azar Nafisi’s ‘Reading Lolita’ in Tehran and Betty Mahmoody’s ‘Not Without My Daughter’, which present a radically different view of Muslim societies, marked by fear, hostility and even disgust. ‘Women’s Writing and Muslim Societies’ examines these various journeys across cultural, political and religious borders.

Sharif Gemie is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Glamorgan, Wales. His other works include ‘French Muslims: New Voices in Contemporary France’. He also edited ‘Anarchism and feminism: a historical survey’ and was former editor of the interdisciplinary journal ‘Anarchist Studies’.

Title information
Title:               Womens Writing & Muslim Societies

Author:            Sharif Gemie

Our Price:         £24.99

Format:            Paperback

Size:                224 pages (216mm x 140mm)

ISBN:               9780708325407

Publisher:         University of Wales Press

Published:         30 December 2012

‘Unholyland’ with Aidan Andrew Dun

Wednesday 23rd January, 7pm

Aidan Dun introduces his ground-breaking and insightful new long poem, in which an Israeli DJ meets and falls in love with a Palestinian rapper. The event will also consider the latest poltical developments in the area, and also the role music is playing in the unfolding political situation.

‘Unholyland’ is a love story in 216 sonnets. Against the background of daily events in Israel and the West Bank, an Israeli DJ meets and falls in love with a Palestinian rapper. In form, Dun’s verses are a mixture of classical structures and free-ranging rap. They are earthy and immediate, and as well as appealing to regular poetry readers, ‘Unholyland’ will attract a wider range of people who will be drawn along by the rapidly developing story.

Aidan Andrew Dun grew up in the West Indies and knew his calling for poetry from an early age. His poems have been published in various publications and his poetry books include ‘Vale Royal’, ‘The Uninhabitable City’ and ‘Salvia Divinorum’. He lives in North London.

“I was deeply moved by Unholyland - it has extraordinary energy, wit, knowledge, and beautifully marries the vernacular with rhyme. It reads beautifully and is like nothing else I've read. I look forward to more long poems by yourself.” - Tom Paulin

“Aidan Andrew Dun is a poet who places himself in the tradition of William Blake, and “has a vision of the world” which draws strength and fire from that association. He is simultaneously a one-off and in excellent company”- Andrew Motion

Title information

Title:               Unholyland

Author:            Aidan Andrew Dun

Our Price:         £10.99

Format:            Paperback

Size:                120 pages (196mm x 125mm)

ISBN:               9781843913733

Publisher:          Hesperus Press

Published:          1st January 2013


‘Street Music: Poems’ with Mike Marqusee
Wednesday 12th December, 7pm

One of Britain’s best-regarded social observers will be reading a selection from his recent collection of poetry.

This deeply personal collection of poems from one of Britain's most highly regarded left-wing writers and social observers represents the author's first foray into verse and a landmark in his writing career.

Mike Marqusee was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City and emigrated to Britain in 1971, aged 18. Since the late 70s he has lived in and around North London and has been active in a variety of political and social causes and campaigns at local, national and international level.

As a member of the Labour Party for nearly twenty years, including a long stint as editor of the left-wing Labour Briefing, he was closely in the struggle against the takeover of the Party by the forces of 'New Labour'. He finally resigned in 2000. Since then, he has taken part in anti-war, pro-Palestinian and anti-cuts campaigns as well as continuing his long-standing engagement with south Asian politics and culture.

His writing has covered a wide range of topics from cricket and music to the politics of identity and mass resistance. For an archive of his work:

Title information

Title:                Street Music
Author:             Mike Marqusee
Our Price:          £8.99
Format:             Paperback
Size:                 96 pages (238mm x 163mm)
ISBN:                9780957208803
Publisher:          Clissold Books
Published:          20 April 2012

Click here to buy


Class Wargames: The Rematch
Wednesday 12th December, 7pm

Class Wargames will be hosting the playing of Guy Debord's ‘The Game of War’ and Jim Dunnigan’s ‘Chicago! Chicago!’ which replays the 1968 Chicago protests against the Democratic Party convention:
Board Game Geek Chicago-Chicago!
More info at

Poetry readings by French/Occitan poet Aurélia Lassaque, with Amy Key, SJ Fowler, Jessica Pujol and Nia Davies

Thursday 13th December, 7pm

Aurélia Lassaque is a poet in French and Occitan. She is interested in the relationship between poetry and the visual arts and has worked with a number of artists (Julie Baugnet, USA, Robert Lobet, France, Adriana Civitarese, Italy, etc).

In 2010 she was artistic director of the Festival of European and Mediterranean Minority Literatures (held in Italy). Her poems have been translated into English, Italian, Austrian, Basque, Brazilian, Catalan, Spanish and Finnish for numerous journals and anthologies.

Aurelia will be joined for guest readings from Amy Key, SJ Fowler, Jessica Pujol and Nia Davies.

The event is hosted by Francis Boutle, specialists in poetry from endangered language. Entry is free but please email the publisher at, so they have an idea of numbers.

‘Public Service on the Brink’
with Mark Serwotka, David Wiggins and Jo Edwards

Wednesday, 5th December, 7pm

PCS union leader Mark Serwotka, Oxford Philosopher David Wiggins and Prof Jo Edwards (UCL) will be discussing the crisis facing the public sector.

Following the relentless reorganisations and privatisations of previous decades, no area of the public sector will be unaffected by the current onslaught of cuts. This wide-ranging collection of essays from academia, public services, journalism and trade unions examine the financial and free market ideologies which claim to make public sector more efficient but are in practice undermining the services on which we all rely.

"It's the mark of a civilised society to support people when they are in need, whether they are ill, disabled or unemployed. While this ought to be obvious, the reality in the UK today is that those who are entitled to welfare are increasingly being demonised and targeted for cuts.”

– Mark Serwotka, Public Service on the Brink.

“What the collection goes some way to show is that public service is in the grasp of an unrelenting and unproven ideology that is stripping it bare of its essential values.”

–  Stuart Weir,  founder of Democratic Audit at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex.

Title information

Title:               Public Service on the Brink

Author:            Edited by Jenny Manson

Our Price:         £17.95

Format:            Paperback

Size:                 250 pages (234mm x 156mm)

ISBN:                9781845403065

Publisher:          Imprint Academic

Published:         18 Jan 2012

Click here to buy

‘Savage Messiah’ with Laura Oldfield Ford

Saturday 1st December, 6.30pm

Artist and writer Laura Oldfield Ford introduces her psychogeographic take on London.

Savage Messiah is an unflinching and compassionate examination of London urban landscapes within the confrontational cultural politics of the 1990’s. Originally published as a series of zines it quickly developed cult status and has recently been brought into book form by Verso. Laura will be discussing her work and the politics that permeate it. Drawing from a diverse range of fields including critical theory, illustration and an updated Punk-collage aesthetic, it considers the plight of people in areas of London facing intense structural change from the unrelenting gentrification unleashed by both Thatcherism and New Labour.

“One of the most striking fanzines of recent years is Laura Oldfield Ford’s Savage Messiah, focussing on the politics, psychology and pop- cultural past of a different London postcode. Ford’s prose is scabrous and melancholic, incorporating theoretical shards from Guy Debord and Marc Augé, and mapping the transformations to the capital that the property boom and neoliberalist economics have wrought.

Each zine is a drift, a wander through landscape that echoes certain strands of contemporary psychogeography. Ford—or a version of her, at least—is an occasional character, offering up narcotic memories of a forgotten metropolis.

The images, hand-drawn, photographed and messily laid out, suggest both outtakes from a Sophie Calle project and the dust jacket of an early 1980s anarcho-punk compilation record: that is, both poetry and protest.”—
Sukhdev Sandhu, New Statesman

Title information

Title:           Savage Messiah

Author:       Laura Oldfield Ford   

Our Price:    £19.99

Format:       Paperback

Size:           448 pages (211mm x 138mm x 31mm)

ISBN:          9781844677474

Publisher:     Verso Books

Published:    29 September 2011

Click here to buy


'Play as Protest in Modern Art' with Hannah Hull

Wednesday 28th November, 7pm

A whistle-stop introductory tour through the radical play tactics of three key modern art movements.

Dada used word play, games, masks and buffoonery to destroy the logic and reason that had led society into World War 1. They used mockery and laughter to disrupt power, and poked fun at their audiences in order to expose the public's imaginative limitations.

The Situationists used play to subvert the everyday, destroy 'the society of the spectacle', and fight social alienation caused by consumerism and the media. They believed that the political had become lost in the repetitive actions of daily life, and that creating room for play could stimulate a revolution.

Fluxus used children's games and toys, vaudeville humour and playful instructions to empower the viewer and the artist, bridging the gap between art and life. Experiential and lo-fi artworks defied the art market and encouraged a DIY approach to art: “Anything can be art and anyone can do it” [Flux Manifesto] 

For more information on Hannah, please visit

‘1839: The Chartist Insurrection’ with David Black and Chris Ford

Saturday 24th November, 6.30pm

Chris Ford considers lessons from The Chartist Insurrection of 1839, in particular examining the nitty-gritty political organising that was needed to run such a forceful national campaign

The upheavals following the coronation of Queen Victoria started by Parliament’s rejection of the first petition for Universal Suffrage saw Britain come closer to revolution than at any time since the English Civil War.

Using material from participants including journalists, politicians, agitators and informants Chris Ford’s book illustrates the battle of ideas between the Government and Chartists in an age where only several thousand of the population were permitted to vote.

“This book assists us greatly in understanding the potential for future challenges to the system” -- John McDonnell MP

“In retrieving the suppressed history of the Chartist Insurrection, David Black and Chris Ford have produced a revolutionary handbook” -- Ben Watson

Title information

Title:                 1839: The Chartist Insurrection

Author:              Foreward John McDonnell. Authors David Black & Chris Ford

Our Price:           £10.99

Format:              Paperback

Size:                  268 pages (202mm x 126mm)

ISBN:                 9780956817679

Publisher:           Unkant Publishing

Published:          31 Mar 2012

‘The Legacy of Allen Ginsberg’

with Steve Finbow

Saturday 17th November, 6.30pm

Steve Finbow gives an authoritative account of the life and influence of the seminal US poet Allen Ginsberg.

Ginsberg’s former editor and researcher, Steve Finbow re-examines the life of one the defining individuals of the Beat Generation. In this new biography, Finbow considers the poetry and politics of the poet and activist, and discusses his position in American letters and culture.

Finbow charts Ginsberg’s travels through Mexico and India, and back to America, where he played a significant role in the counterculture movement of the 1960s and the 1970s New York punk scene.

Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem ‘Howl’, written in 1955, is one of the defining works of the Beat Generation.

Title information

Title:                 Alan Ginsberg (part of the Critical Lives book series)

Author:             Steve Finbow

Our Price:          £10.95

Format:             Paperback

Size:                 224 pages (198mm x 130mm)

ISBN:               9781780230177

Publisher:          Reaktion Books

Published:         1 August 2012

Click here to buy

‘Freedom Through Football:
The Story of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls’

with Will Simpson

Wednesday 14th November, 7pm

The story of Bristol's legendary anarchist football club now celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.

The Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls formed as Bristol's anarchist football club who amongst many of their prolific activities organised the Alternative World Cup.

Will Simpson and Malcolm McMahon have researched the first 20 years of the history of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls. Simpson and McMahon are long-standing members of what is rightly known as 'Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club'.

The anarchist football team emerged from a collection of punks and kids in St Pauls, and in 2012 celebrated its 20th year. During that time they have played football against the Zapatista Freedom Fighters in Mexico, sent a cricket team to Compton in Los Angeles, played football in Palestine and much more. A younger Banksy joined them to play against the Zapatista movement. Their book tells the story of the club.

Title information

Title:                ‘Freedom Through Football’

Author:             Will Simpson

Our Price:          £9.99

Format:             Paperback

Size:                 264 pages (208mm x 138mm)

ISBN:                9781906477745

Publisher:          Tangent Books

Published:          28 September 2012


‘Fortress Europe’
with Matt Carr and Liz Fekete

Wednesday 7th November, 7pm

A discussion of the politics and consequences of Europe’s heavily militarised ‘hard’ borders.

In the last two decades, European governments have enacted the most sustained and far-reaching border enforcement program in history, in an attempt to prevent migrants seeking work or asylum from crossing their borders. 

Detention and deportation, physical and bureaucratic barriers, naval patrols on the high seas, satellite technologies, punitive ‘post-entry’ asylum policies and ‘off-shore’ immigration controls: all these measures and procedures have formed part of the militarised response to immigration adopted by European governments and the EU.

Matt Carr will be discussing these ‘hard borders’  and his book Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent.  Author, journalist and blogger, his books include: Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain ( Hurst & Co 2010) and The Infernal Machine: An Alternative History of Terrorism (Hurst & Co 2011).

Liz Fekete is executive director of the Institute of Race Relations.  She is also the author of A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe (Pluto Press, 2009).   She will be talking about grassroots initiatives and challenges to Europe’s system of repression and exclusion.

'With a relentless blade, Matthew Carr's Fortress Europe exposes layer after layer of the dark side of the new Europe: the proliferation of militarised borders, brutal camps for immigrants and asylum seekers, and a burgeoning racism and xenophobia. This is a crucial book for anyone seeking to understand how dreams of unfettered personal freedom and mobility for all transformed into a Europe dominated by ranks of gates, cordons, biometrics and camps.' Professor Stephen Graham, Newcastle University

Title information

Title:                Fortress Europe

Author:            Matthew Carr  

Our Price:         £20.00

Format:            Hardback

Size:                256 pages

ISBN:               9781849042536

Publisher:          C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd

Published:         30 August 2012
Click here to buy

Title:                Suitable Enemy

Author:             Liz Fekete        

Our Price:          £17.99

Size:                 272 pages

ISBN:                9780745327921

Publisher:          Pluto Press

Published:         01 March 2009
Click here to buy


Class Wargames Presents Guy Debord's The Game of War’

with Richard Barbrook and Fabian Tompsett
Wednesday 31st October, 7pm

Launch of a booklet considering Debord’s ‘Game of War’, an insurrectionary manual for those struggling to build a truly human civilisation.

"I'm not a philosopher, I'm a strategist." - Guy Debord

"We realised that what was crucial about our approach was that as we were writing this script, we were repeatedly playing the game." - Fabian Tompsett

Unpopular Books is publishing the extended version of Richard Barbrook and Fabian Tompsett's script for Ilze Black's film - Class Wargames Presents Guy Debord's The Game of War - along with the group's communiqués and a specially written preface by Fabian Tompsett.

Released in 2009, Class Wargames’ film is a 21st century treatise on revolutionary strategy in the cybernetic age. Inspired by Alice Becker-Ho and Guy Debord’s The Game of War, this movie analyses the modern conditions of neo-liberal capitalism and the methods required to transcend it.

Utilising both classical military theory and the political insights of Situationism, Class Wargames' film provides an insurrectionary manual for those struggling to build a truly human civilisation.

Before the main event all are welcome to join Richard Barbrook and Fabian Tompsett in the Housmans basement for a demonstration of the playing of 1791 Haitian Revolution version of Richard
Borg's Command & Colors Napoleonics. From 5pm-7pm. Free entry.

Play session of Guy Debord’s ‘Game of War’

Sunday 28th October, 2pm

Join Class Wargames for an informal chance to learn about and play Guy Debord’s political board game ‘Game of War’. A short film about the game will also be played.

The ‘Game of War’ is a Napoleonic-era military strategy game where armies must maintain their communications structure to survive - and where victory is achieved by smashing your opponent's supply network rather than by taking their pieces. It was devised by the Marxist theorist Guy Debord and his partner, the poet and novelist Alice Becker-Ho, in 1987, as a guide to how people should live their lives in a consumer capitalist society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against their oppressors.

Class War Games say:

‘In our film of Debord's game, we have divided these teachings from the battlefield into five sections: terrain, combat, cavalry, arsenals and lines of communication. Analyse their insights with great care, fellow workers. As the crisis of neo-liberalism intensifies, you will need this military knowledge to thwart the wicked schemes of bankers and bureaucrats. Remember well the lessons of socialist history: clever tactics and smart strategy are our most powerful weapons…’

Join Richard Barbrook and Fabian Tompsett for an introduction to the ‘Game of

War’, film-screening and game-playing session.

Look out for Class Wargames return to Housmans later in the month to launch their new pamphlet on the game and its implications.

‘The Rise of Britain's Far Right’

with Daniel Trilling

Friday 26th October, 7pm

Trilling discusses how the far right entered Britain’s mainstream through the front door.

The past decade in the UK saw the rise of the British National Party, the country’s most successful ever far-right political movement, and the emergence of the anti-Islamic English Defence League. Taking aim at asylum seekers, Muslims, ‘enforced multiculturalism’ and benefit ‘scroungers’, these groups have been working overtime to shift the blame for the nation’s ills onto the shoulders of the vulnerable. What does this extremist resurgence say about the state of modern Britain?

Drawing on archival research and extensive interviews with key figures, such as BNP leader Nick Griffin, Daniel Trilling shows how previously marginal characters from a tiny neo-Nazi subculture successfully exploited tensions exacerbated by the fear of immigration, the War on Terror and steepening economic inequality.

Mainstream politicians have consistently underestimated the far right in Britain while pursuing policies that give it the space to grow. Bloody Nasty People calls time on this complacency in an account that provides us with fresh insights into the dynamics of political extremism.

“Daniel Trilling is a serious reporter who is not afraid to get close to a difficult subject and ask awkward questions. The result is journalism of the best kind – it is vivid and readable, and it also makes you think.” – Brian Cathcart, author of The Case of Stephen Lawrence

“Racism and the rise of the far-right in Britain are often discussed but rarely understood. Daniel Trilling is an exception, writing about these controversial issues authoritatively and eloquently. With the threat posed by prejudice and bigotry ever greater at a time of economic crisis, Trilling’s voice must be heard.” – Owen Jones, author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

Title information

Title:                Bloody Nasty People

Author:            Dan Trilling      

Our Price:         £14.99

Format:            Hardback

Size:                224 pages (140mm x 210mm)

ISBN:               9781844679591

Publisher:          Verso Books

Published:         10 September 2012

Click here to buy

What We Are Fighting For:  A Radical Collective Manifesto’
with Federico Campagna, Emanuele Campiglio and Mark Fisher

Wednesday 24th October, 7pm

Mark Fisher joins the editors of this important new manifesto which features contributions from David Graeber, John Holloway, Nina Power, Franco Beradi, Marina Sitrin and Owen Jones

The age of austerity has brought a new generation of protesters on to the streets across the world. As the economic crisis meets the environmental crisis, millions fear what the future will bring but also dare to dream of a different society. ‘What We Are Fighting For’ tries to answer the question that the mainstream media loves to ask the protesters. The first radical, collective manifesto of the new decade, it brings together some of the key theorists and activists from the new networked and creative social movements. Contributors include Owen Jones, David Graeber, John Holloway, Nina Power, Mark Fisher, Franco Berardi Bifo and Marina Sitrin.

Chapters outline the alternative vision that animates the new global movement – from 'new economics' and 'new governance' to ‘new public’ and 'new social imagination'. The book concludes by exploring 'new tactics of struggle’.

Title Information

Title: What We Are Fighting For
Editors: Federico Campagna, Emanuele Campiglio
Our Price: £14.99
Availability: Dispatched day before release
Format: Paperback
Size: 224 pages (198mm x 129mm)
ISBN: 9780745332857
Publisher: Pluto Press
Published: 15 September 2012

Click here to buy

‘Guide to Global Surveillance’
with Robin Tudge

Friday 19th October, 7pm

Robin Tudge gives an overview of the ever-increasing surveillance of our lives by the state.
Spying, once the province of the KGB, CIA and MI5, has become part of everyday life. Governments routinely trawl our emails, CCTV cameras follow us on every street, while state databases of our DNA become larger all the time.  Tudge’s book ‘The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Surveillance’ provides a well-researched look into the history of surveillance and how the process is carried out today with the aid of technology and often, lack of express consent.

About the Author

Robin Tudge is a freelance journalist and author who has lived and worked in Chicago, Pyongyang, Moscow, Hanoi and Beijing. Robin Tudge is the author of The Bradt Guide to North Korea and the award-winning ‘Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories’.

Title information

Title: The No-Nonsense Guide To Surveillance
Author: Robin Tudge  
Our Price: £7.99
Format: Paperback  
Size: 144 pages (180mm x 111mm x 13mm)
ISBN:  9781906523848

Publisher: New Internationalist Publications Ltd

Published: 04 January 2011
Click here to buy


Five Leaves Publications presents:
‘Baron’s Court, all change’
with Stewart Home

7pm, Wednesday 26th September

Join author Stewart Home for a discussion of Terry Taylor’s 1961 novel, ‘Baron’s Court, all change’ - a lost London classic exploring drug and youth culture in London from the period.

After attracting a lot of attention upon publication in 1961, ‘Baron’s Court, all change’ more or less disappeared from circulation. In recent years, however, the boundary-breaking novel has been rescued from the edge of oblivion. Described as the Holy Grail of Beatnik novels, Terry Taylor’s only published book documents one summer in the life of the unnamed sixteen year-old narrator.

Leaving his home and job he dabbles with spiritualism, is seduced by an older woman and moves into dealing dope. His London is sharp suits, jazz, drugs, nightclubs, and sex.
  Stewart Home has written the introduction for a new edition and will discuss his relationship to this classic lost London text.   This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About the Author

Stewart Home was born in south London in 1962. When he was sixteen he held down a factory job for a few months, an experience that led him to vow he'd never work again. After dabbling in rock journalism and music, in the early eighties he switched his attention to the art world. Now Home writes novels as well as cultural commentary, and he continues to make films and exhibitions.

Book Information

Title: Baron's Court, All Change
Author: Terry Taylor

Our Price: £9.99
Format: Paperback
240 pages
ISBN: 9781907869273
Publisher: Five Leaves Publications
Published: 11 November 2011
Click here to buy

‘The Art of Wandering’
with Merlin Coverley

6.30pm, Saturday 15th September

Merlin Coverley will discuss the relationship between writing and walking, as explored in his latest book on the subject.

Merlin Coverley’s new book ‘The Art of Wandering’ is a history of that curious hybrid, the writer as walker. From the peripatetic philosophers of Ancient Greece to the streets of twenty-first century London, Paris and New York, this figure has evolved through the centuries, the philosopher and the Romantic giving way to the experimentalist and radical. From pilgrim to pedestrian, flâneur to stalker, the names may change but the activity of walking remains constant, creating a literary tradition encompassing philosophy and poetry, the novel and the manifesto; a tradition which this book explores in detail.

Today, as the figure of the wanderer returns to the forefront of the public imagination, writers and walkers from around the world are re-engaging with the ideas which animated earlier generations. For the walker is once again on the march, mapping new territory and recording new visions of the landscape.

Merlin Coverley’s books include:
‘The Art of Wandering’ (Pocket Essentials) £12.99
‘Psychogeography’ (Pocket Essentials) £7.99
‘Utopia’(Pocket Essentials) £7.99
‘Occult London’ (Pocket Essentials) £9.99
‘London Writing’ (Pocket Essentials) £4.99
Click here to buy any of the above from Housmans.


‘King’s Cross: a sense of place’
with Angela Inglis and local campaigners

6:30pm, Saturday 8th September

Join Angela Inglis alongside a host of local campaigners for a discussion of the struggles over regeneration, as told in her new book
‘King’s Cross: a sense of place’.

'King’s Cross: A Sense of Place' celebrates the survival and rebirth of a small corner of historic London, thanks to the vision and tireless campaigning of people who have lived, worked and believed in the area. The book is a collaborative history told through narrative and photographs, with contributions from many of the key campaigners.

In the first part of the book, three fiercely fought campaigns are told by some of the people who led them. The largest, in the 1980s and 90s, tells how a neighbourhood was threatened with demolition by a plan to site an international railway terminal at Kings Cross Station, and how a local campaign helped to defeat that proposal, resulting in the international terminal now at St Pancras. Campaigners also fought for the survival of Balfe Street in the 1970s and 80s, and more recently for what is now the Regent Quarter, to the east of York Way.

Without their efforts, the character of these areas would have been destroyed, along with many of the buildings.

In Part Two, Malcolm Tucker, engineering historian and industrial archaeologist, looks at the sites of past industry in what was once called Battle Bridge; he also presents the story of Battlebridge Basin on the Regent’s Canal. The book concludes with a description of Kings Place just to the north of the Regent Quarter. Completed in October 2008 it has established itself as a thriving centre for music, the arts and business.

Angela Inglis is a photographer and writer who has lived near King’s Cross for many years. Her first book, Railway Lands, is a photographic record of the changing landscape around St Pancras before and during the building of the international station there.

She is indebted to Nigel Buckner for his design expertise, and to all who have contributed stories, photographs, maps and drawings to this book.

Angela will be joined by local campaigners and King’s Cross residents:
Norma Steel
Randle Keynes
Alec Forshaw
Jeannie Burnett
Bob Stuckey
Nigel Buckner
and historian Malcolm Tucker

…who will be discussing local campaigns such as the Battle for Balfe Street, the redevelopment of the Railway Lands, and the struggle over the Regent Quarter which sit directly behind Housmans – a campaign Housmans itself was strongly involved in.

This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About The Author

Photographer Angela Inglis has been documenting the industrial architecture of King's Cross and St Pancras for more than 25 years. Her first book, ‘Railway Lands’, published in 2007, is a photographic record of the changing landscape around St Pancras Station before and during the building of the international station.

‘Riot City: Protest and Rebellion in the Capital’
with Clive Bloom

7pm, Wednesday 5th September

Clive Bloom discusses the past, present, and future of unrest and rebellion in London, as explored in his latest book.

Since 2000, London has seen unprecedented levels of unrest. Its streets have become the battleground for a host of new demands and new ideological standpoints; its occupants, protesters and authority alike have had to invent new tactics to cope with the pressure of street politics and advances in social media.

‘Riot City’ deals in detail with the story behind the capital's unrest from the perspective of protesters, police and government. Using a range of sources, from security briefings to reportage, Clive Bloom provides an analysis of the modern protest movement, placing it in the context of a long history of rebellion. From the student protests to the August riots, Bloom deftly draws parallels between London's shocking events and reveals, more disturbingly, how many lessons can still be learned from our riotous past.
  This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About the Author

Clive Bloom is Emeritus Professor of English and American studies at Middlesex University. A respected broadcaster, he is also the author of Violent London: 2000 years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts (Palgrave Macmillan,2003; 2010), Literature Politics and Intellectual Crisis in Britain Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), Cult Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan 1996) and many other titles.


‘Young Atheist's Handbook: Lessons for living a good life without God’
with Alom Shaha

6.30 pm,  Saturday 18th August

Shaha discusses his journey from orthodox religion to a compassionate, fulfilling, and meaningful life without God.

Growing up in a strict Muslim community in south-east London, Alom Shaha learnt that religion was not to be questioned. Reciting the Qur’an without understanding what it meant was simply a part of life; so, too, was obeying the imam and enduring beatings when he failed to attend the local mosque. Shaha was more drawn to science and its power to illuminate.

As a teen, he lived between two worlds: the home controlled by his authoritarian father, and a school alive with books and ideas. In a charming blend of memoir, philosophy, and science, Shaha explores the questions about faith and the afterlife that we all ponder.

Through a series of loose lessons , he tells his own compelling story, drawing on the theories of some of history’s greatest thinkers and interrogating the fallacies that have impeded humanity for centuries. Shaha recounts how his education and formative experiences led him to question how to live without being tied to what his parents, priests, or teachers told him to believe, and offers insights so that others may do the same.

This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It’s for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Shaha shows that it is possible to live a compassionate, fulfilling, and meaningful life without God.

About the author

Alom Shaha was born in Bangladesh but grew up in London. A teacher, science writer, and filmmaker, he has spent most of his professional life trying to share his passion for science and education with the public. He teaches at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications, including the Guardian.

Title information
Title:     Young Atheist's Handbook

Author: Alom Shaha    

Our Price: £14.99

Availability:       Ordered on demand, usually delivered within 28 days.

Format:             Hardback

ISBN:     9781849543118

Publisher:          Biteback

Published:          19 July 2012
Click here to buy

Influx Press presents:
‘Acquired for Development by: A Hackney Anthology'
with Gary Budden, Kit Caless, Sam Berkson, Tim Burrows, Ashlee Christoffersen, and Garreth Rees

7pm, Wednesday 15th August

Join the editors and contributors to the anthology, ‘Acquired for Development By… A Hackney Anthology’ for readings from the book and a discussion on the art of documenting urban life.

In this collection of short fiction, journalism, poetry and illustrations, twenty-five authors who live in and write about Hackney offer twenty-five differing perspectives on the rapidly changing London borough.   From gentrification to supermarket sandwiches, Turkish Alevism to inner-city river living, middle-class civil war to pylon romance, ‘Acquired for Development by…’ captures an alternative, insightful and sometimes bizarre take on modern London life.   This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About the Panel
*Gary Budden and Kit Caless co-founded Influx Press and co-edited ‘Acquired for Development By…’
*Sam Berkson is a performance poet and organiser of Hammer and Tongue Hackney

*Tim Burrows is a journalist for New Statesman, Dazed and Confused, The Guardian and more
* Ashlee Christoffersen is the author of '2061' and an  LGBT worker at Kairos
  Gareth Rees is the author of The Marshman Chronicles website

Book Information
Acquired for Development by...: A Hackney Anthology
Gary Budden (Editor), Kit Caless (Editor)
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Influx Press (26 April 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0957169302
Available in-store only

‘The London Olympics: challenging the neo-liberal games’
with David Renton
and Gareth Edwards

7pm, Wednesday 8th August

Join writer, historian, and activist David Renton and left-wing blogger Gareth Edwards to discuss the politics behind the Olympic games.

According to David Renton the Olympics are a windfall for the privileged: construction companies (who have been bloated by building contracts worth £12 billion), the organisers (16 of whom are on salaries of over £150,000 per year) and East End landlords, who have used the Games to evict thousands of tenants. Providing security for the event has resulted in an unprecedented militarisation of London. But has it always been like this?

David Renton, the author of ‘Lives; Running’ (Zero Books, summer 2012), reaches into the history of the Games to tell an alternative story of protest and hope. David is joined by Gareth Edwards, who gives a socialist view of sports, politics and money on his blog at

This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About The Author

David Renton is a barrister at Garden Court chambers in London and appears regularly for claimants at Employment Tribunals. Before being called to the Bar, Renton was a lecturer, senior researcher, and visiting professor in the UK and South Africa. He writes on employment law for the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.

Gareth Edwards gives a socialist view of sports, politics and money on his blog at

‘Peace Trails Through London’
with Valerie Flessati and Bruce Kent

7pm,  Wednesday 1st August

Campaigners Valerie Flessati and Bruce Kent explore peace landmarks in London, as mapped in their new booklet.

The London Peace Trail booklet offers a guided tour of London’s various monuments to peace. The tour features statues of famous peace activists like Gandhi, and memorials to unknown conscientious objectors, medieval heroes like the Burghers of Calais, and more recent ones like Edith Cavell, inventors, journalists, nurses, politicians, admirals, campaigners for women’s rights and against slavery.  Peacemaking is everybody’s history.

The trail is for individuals, families, schools, groups of visitors, students, tourists and Londoners who want to see the sights but also get an original perspective on some hidden histories of London.

The booklet is currently available at Housmans, at a cost of £2.

This event is part of the ‘London’s Burning’ series at Housmans.

About The Speakers

Valerie Flessati and Bruce Kent are lifelong peace activists. Bruce is the former general secretary and chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as well as a former Roman Catholic priest.

JULY 2012

The History Press presents:
‘Dynamite, Treason & Plot: Terrorism in Victorian
& Edwardian London’ with Simon Webb

7pm, Wednesday 18th July

Join Simon Webb for a discussion of the history of terrorism in London, and the opportunist response from successive governments.

Terrorism has been a regular feature of life in Britain for at least a hundred and fifty years. The most deadly bombing in London before the 7/7 attacks of 2005 took place in Clerkenwell in 1867, when twelve people were killed. The first tube bombings were in the 1880s.

Successive governments in this country have used the threat of terrorism as an excuse to erode civil liberties. After the Clerkenwell bombing mentioned above, Disraeli claimed that tackling terrorism would require the suspension of Habeus Corpus and more recently we have seen attempts to introduce identity cards, detention without trial, eavesdropping on an industrial scale and secret trials; all in the name of fighting terrorism.

Simon Webb, the author of 'Dynamite, Treason and Plot; Terrorism in Victorian and Edwardian London', traces the history of terrorism in this country from Victoria’s reign and shows how governments seize eagerly upon the threat of terrorism in order to bring in illiberal and repressive laws.

This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About The Author

Simon Webb specialises in true crime and London. He is the author of the book ‘Unearthing London,’ also published by The History Press, and a contributor to True Detective magazine, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, and the Evening Standard. He lives in London.

Book Information
Title: Dynamite, Treason & Plot
Author: Simon Webb

Our Price: £14.99

ISBN: 9780752463780
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Published: 01 April 2012

Click here to buy

Verso Books presents:
‘A People’s History of London’
with Lindsey German and John Rees

7pm, Wednesday 11th July

Authors Lindsey German and John Rees discuss London’s forgotten history as a world capital of revolution.

In the eyes of Britain’s heritage industry, London is the traditional home of empire, monarchy and power, an urban wonderland for the privileged, where the vast majority of Londoners feature only to applaud in the background.

Yet, for nearly 2000 years, the city has been a breeding ground for radical ideas, home to thinkers, heretics and rebels from John Wycliffe to Karl Marx. It has been the site of sometimes violent clashes that changed the course of history: the Levellers’ doomed struggle for liberty in the aftermath of the Civil War; the silk weavers, match girls and dockers who crusaded for workers’ rights; and the Battle of Cable Street, where East Enders took on Oswald Mosley’s Black Shirts.

‘A People’s History of London’ journeys to a city of pamphleteers, agitators, exiles and revolutionaries, where millions of people have struggled in obscurity to secure a better future.

This event is part of the London’s Burning series at Housmans.

About The Authors

Lindsey German is the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition and a former member of the central committee of the Socialist Workers Party. She was editor of Socialist Review for twenty years until 2004. She has twice stood as a left wing candidate for Mayor of London, coming fifth in 2004 and most recently standing as the Left List mayoral candidate in the May 2008 elections. In February 2010, following "increasing disenchantment" with the leadership, she resigned from the SWP, after 37 years membership. She has written several books, including two on women's rights.

John Rees is a broadcaster and writer who is a national officer of the Stop the War Coalition and a member of the editorial board of Counterfire ( He is the writer and presenter of the political history series Timeline. In 2011 he participated in the Egyptian Revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and his book on the Arab Revolutions, 'The People Demand, a short history of the Arab Revolutions’ was co-written with Joseph Daher.

Book Information
Title: People's History Of London
Author: Lindsey German

Our Price: £12.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781844678556
Publisher: Verso Books
Published: 31 May 2012

Click here to buy

JUNE 2012

‘Vultures' Picnic: A tale of Oil, High Finance,
and Investigative Reporting’
with Greg Palast

Saturday 30th June, 6.30pm

In his latest book the renowned US investigative journalist Greg Palast blows the lid off the oil industry, the banking industry, and the governmental agencies that aren't regulating either. This is the story of the corporate vultures that feed on the weak and ruin our planet in the process - a story that spans the globe and decades.

For ‘Vultures' Picnic’, investigative journalist Greg Palast has spent his career uncovering the connection between the world of energy (read: oil) and finance. He's built a team that reads like a casting call for a Hollywood thriller - a Swiss multilingual investigator, a punk journalist, and a gonzo cameraman - to reveal how environmental disasters like the Gulf oil spill, the Exxon Valdez, and lesser-known tragedies such as Tatitlek and Torrey Canyon, are caused by corporate corruption, failed legislation, and, most interestingly, veiled connections between the financial industry and energy titans.

Palast shows how the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and Central Banks act as puppets for Big Oil. With Palast at the centre of an investigation that takes us from the Arctic to Africa to the Amazon, ‘Vultures' Picnic’ shows how the big powers in the money and oil game slip the bonds of regulation over and over again, and simply destroy the rules that they themselves can't write-and take advantage of nations and everyday people in the process.

Greg will be discussing his book, answering questions and signing copies.

Book information

‘Vulture’s Picnic: a tale of oil, high finance, and investigative reporting’
by Greg Palast
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Constable (19 April 2012)
ISBN: 978-1780336510
Click here to buy

War Resisters’ International presents:
‘Resisting Militarism - Resisting Militarised Masculinities’
with Daniel Conway, Cynthia Cockburn, Andreas Speck

Wednesday 27th June, 7pm

Feminist Cynthia Enloe wrote back in 1988: "To omit gender from any explanation how militarization occurs, is not only to risk a flawed political analysis; it is to risk, too, a perpetually unsuccessful campaign to roll back that militarization".

But how, then, are militarisation and gender linked? What does this mean for resisting militarisation and transforming gender relations? We want to explore these and other questions in a discussion with:

- Daniel Conway, author of "Masculinities, Militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa'"
- Cynthia Cockburn, feminist anti-war activist and author of several books on gender and militarism. Her latest book is "Antimilitarism: Political and Gender Dynamics of Peace Movements"
- Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International Right to Refuse to Kill programme worker

Book information

‘Masculinities, Militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign: War Resistance in Apartheid South Africa’ by Daniel Conway

The Socialist History Society presents:
‘After the Party: Reflections on life since the CPGB’

Kate Hudson (General Secretary of CND)

Lorna Reith (deputy leader of Haringey Council)

Stuart Hill (Labour councillor in North Tyneside)

Dave Cope (Left on the Shelf)

Andy Croft (writer-in-residence at HMP Moorland)
Wednesday 6th June, 7pm

‘After the Party’ features the reflections of eight former members of the Communist Party of Great Britain on some of the personal, political and cultural changes that have marked the 20 years since the party’s dissolution. The paths of Dave Cope, Andy Croft, Alistair Findlay, Stuart Hill, Kate Hudson, Andy Pearmain, Mark Perryman and Lorna Reith have followed very different political trajectories since 1991 – taking them into the Green Party, the Labour Party, the CPB, SLP, Respect and no party at all. But most have remained politically active.

Combining personal and political history, analysis and autobiography, anecdote and argument, the contributors consider the consequences of the CP’s dissolution for British political and intellectual life.

Book information
‘After the Party: Reflections on Life Since the CPGB’ edited by Andy Croft
Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd (20 April 2012)

ISBN-13: 978-1907103476

Click here to buy

Pluto Press presents:
‘Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation’
with Sarah Irving

Saturday 2nd June, 6.30pm

Dubbed 'the poster girl of Palestinian militancy', Leila Khaled's image flashed across the world after she hijacked a passenger jet in 1969. The picture of a young, determined looking woman with a checkered scarf, clutching an AK-47, was as era-defining as that of Che Guevara.

Sarah Irving's new book offers an intimate profile, based on interviews with Khaled and those who know her, allowing us to learn the life-story behind the image. Key moments of Khaled's turbulent life are explored, including the dramatic events of the hijackings, her involvement in the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a radical element within the PLO), her opposition to the Oslo peace process, and her activism today.

Leila Khaled's example gives unique insights into the Palestinian struggle through one remarkable life – from the tension between armed and political struggle, to the decline of the secular left and the rise of Hamas, and the role of women in a largely male movement.
“Sarah Irving provides a fine portrayal of a compelling and mysterious figure from a tumultuous period in Palestinian history, mixing biography and historical critique to deliver a valuable insight into Leila Khaled's character as well as her extraordinary appeal as a revolutionary icon.” Nicholas Blincoe, co-editor of Peace Under Fire: Israel/Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement

About the author

Sarah Irving is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Electronic Intifada, Guardian Online and New Internationalist. She has held editorial roles at Red Pepper, Peace News and Ethical Consumer magazine. She is author of the ‘Bradt Guide to Palestine’ (2011) and co-author (with Sharyn Lock) of ‘Gaza: Beneath the Bombs’ (Pluto, 2010).

Book information

‘Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation’
with Sarah Irving
RRP £12.99
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Pluto Press (20 May 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0745329512

Click here to pre-order/buy

MAY 2012

‘What makes good radical writing?’
with Anne Beech, Ian Bone, and Suzanne Moore

Wednesday 9th May, 7pm

On Tuesday 1st May the first recipient of the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing shall be announced. The process of creating a radical book prize has brought up interesting questions as to how to evaluate radical writing. Is the primary goal to effectively communicate ideas? And if so, how do we measure its effectiveness? How do we measure it’s radicalism? Must it be accessible to all readers, or is there a place for pedantic or even obscure writing?

On his influential blog, ‘Anarchist in the UK’, Ian Bone posed a fundamental, and as-yet-unresolved, question about radical writing: is it a matter of “writing about what you want people to know, or what they want to know?”

Based on their experiences within the radical wing of contemporary journalism and book publishing, our speakers will navigate the tensions between vanguardism and populism that have guided radical writing and actions for the last century, and reflect on how these tensions are manifested today.

Please join us as we tackle these questions in what will be an illuminating discussion on the forms and contents of radical communication.

About the participants

Anne Beech is the Commissioning Editor and Managing Director of Pluto Press.

Ian Bone is founder of the anarchist paper Class War, author of the books ‘Decade of Disorder’, ‘Anarchist’, and ‘Bash the Rich,’ and a long-time political agitator. He blogs at

Suzanne Moore is an award-winning columnist for the Guardian. She also writes for the Mail on Sunday.

The session will be chaired by Tess Carota.

More information about the Bread and Roses award for radical publishing can be found at

Central St Martins and Housmans Bookshop presents
‘Discussing the creative resistance:
How is art used effectively in protest?’
with Noel Douglas, Leah Borromeo,
The Vacuum Cleaner, and Dean Kenning
Thursday 3rd May, 6.30pm
at The Hub, 34B York Way, London, N1 9AB

‘Our Demonstration’ is an exhibition occupying the Guardian’s News and Media Gallery from 12th April to the 1st May 2012.  Using the Guardian’s photo archive as a starting point, the exhibition will show selected photographs from the history of protest, alongside work from both established and emerging artists, addressing the role of art as an agent of social change.
To compliment the 'Our Demonstration' exhibition, Housmans has teamed up with the Central Saint Martins organisers to host a discussion with a panel of artists, activists and theorists, as to how art can most effectively play a role in political movements. The focus will be on recent anti-capitalism, anti-war and climate change demonstrations, put into historical context with examples from the 1960s.

The panel includes artist and activist Noel Douglas, journalist and film-maker Leah Borromeo, artist and activist The Vacuum Cleaner, and artist and writer Dean Kenning. This event will be taking place at The Hub in King’s Cross – all welcome.

The Hub
34B York Way
London N1 9AB  
Nearest tube: King's Cross

Merlin Press presents:
‘May ’68 and the Rise of Anti-Racism in France’
with Daniel A. Gordon

Wednesday 2nd May, 7pm

Daniel A Gordon’s new book ‘Immigrants and Intellectuals: May ’68 and the Rise of Anti-racism in France’ tells for the first time the full story of the rise and fall of a cycle of protest movements for the rights of migrant workers from 1961 to 1983.

Based on more than a decade of research in France, including special access to normally closed police archives, it reveals an encounter between two worlds, the immigrant and the intellectual.

Highlighting links to international struggles from Portugal to Senegal, this book considers reactions to the massacre of Algerians in Paris in 1961; uncovers the hidden history of migrant worker participation in the general strike of 1968; shows how activists built crèches for immigrants' children and asks: how did immigrants view the New Left militants who sought to politicize them?

It recounts how a hunger strike by a Tunisian activist leader in 1972 sparked a movement which mobilized some of France's best-known thinkers from Sartre to Foucault, and brought this civil rights campaign into mainstream politics.

After showing how the dreams of '68 were buried and recycled, Gordon concludes with the legacy of this story for the politics of migration and the politics of protest today in France and beyond.

About the author

Daniel A. Gordon was awarded the Alistair Fellowship at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, to write this book. He is Senior Lecturer in European History at Edge Hill University and a former Entente Cordiale Scholar.

Book information

‘Immigrants and Intellectuals: May ’68 and the Rise of Anti-racism in France’
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: The Merlin Press Ltd (27 Feb 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0850366648
Click here to buy

APRIL 2012

Big Smoke Presents:
‘Elections 2012: Can there be a London Spring?’
with Natalie Bennett (Green), Alex Gordon (TUSC),
John McDonnell MP (Labour)

Friday 27th April, 7pm

With George Galloway's surprise victory in Bradford is there a new space opening up for the Left? Can other Left candidates copy Respect's ‘Bradford Spring’ here in London?

To discuss the possibilities we have Alex Gordon who is president of RMT, and standing as the lead list candidate in the London Assembly elections for the TUSC, who will be joined but Natalie Bennett of the Green Party, and on behalf of Labour John McDonnell MP.

The event is hosted by Big Smoke, an online magazine for London, covering environmental issues and community news, with a strong focus on London’s political landscape.

Aufheben presents:
‘The August Riots: realities and representations’
with guests from Bristol Radical History Group
Wednesday 25th April, 7pm

The August 'riots' were portrayed by the media and politicians as the actions of 'greedy feral youth' within a 'criminal underclass'. Most of these politically loaded explanations were presented before what had happened was even known.

Using hard research and the voices of participants, this event will provide an analysis of the 'riots' of August, considering what actually happened, who was involved, and how they did it. It will also critique the representation of the events in the media and mainstream politics, and consider the differences and similarities of the reactions by the state and capital, compared to the 1980s.  

Hosted by Aufheben

War Resisters’ International presents:
‘Antimilitarism: Political and Gender Dynamics of Peace Movements’
with Cynthia Cockburn

Saturday 21st April, 6.30pm

People come together in movements to end war from many political traditions. They are socialists, communists, and anarchists, people of a variety of faiths, secularists, pacifists and feminists. They share a belief that peace is possible, but have divergent views on the causes of militarism and strategies to end it.

Cynthia Cockburn’s new book ‘Antimilitarism: Political and Gender Dynamics of Peace Movements’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) presents original case studies of anti-war, anti-militarist and peace movements in Japan, South Korea, Spain, Uganda and the UK, of international networks against military conscription and the proliferation of guns, and of singular campaigns addressing aggression against Palestinians.

Scanning the political spectrum, but always with a gender lens, the author carefully uncovers the movements' many tensions and antagonisms, looking for the source of alliance that may make of these and a multitude of other groups, organizations and networks worldwide an unstoppable movement for change.

About the Author

Cynthia Cockburn Visiting Professor, Department of Sociology, City University London, and Honorary Professor at the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick, UK. She is a feminist researcher and writer. She lives in London, where she is active in Women in Black against War and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Book information

‘Antimilitarism: Political and Gender Dynamics of Peace Movements’
By Cynthia Cockburn
320 pages
Palgrave Macmillan (30 Mar 2012)
ISBN: 978-0230359758

Stir to Action presents:
‘Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden’
with George McKay
Wednesday 18th April, 7pm

In the common public perception, contemporary gardening is understood as suburban, as leisure activity, as television makeover opportunity. Its origins are seen as religious or spiritual (Garden of Eden), military (the clipped lawn, the ha-ha and defensive ditches), aristocratic or monarchical (the stately home, the Royal Horticultural Society).

Radical Gardening travels an alternative route, through history and across landscape, linking propagation with propaganda. For everyday garden life is not only patio, barbecue, white picket fence, topiary, herbaceous border.… From window box to veggie box, from political plot to flower power, George McKay's book uncovers and celebrates moments, movements, and gestures, of a people's approach to gardens and gardening. It weaves together garden history with the counterculture, stories of individual plants with discussion of government policy, the social history of campaign groups with the pleasure and dirt of hands in the earth, as well as original interviews alongside media, pop and art references, to offer an informing and inspiring new take on an old subject.

Hosted by Stir to Action
Click here for George's piece in Stir to Action:

About the author

George McKay is a leading British author on aspects of alternative culture through music, protest, lifestyle. He is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford. His books include Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance since the Sixties, DiY Culture: Party & Protest in Nineties Britain and Glastonbury: A Very English Fair.

He is co-editor of the academic journal Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest (Routledge), as well as a fairly frequent contributor to BBC radio. He has appeared on numerous television programmes, and written for publications such as the Guardian, Independent, and New Statesman. He lives in Lancaster.

Book information

‘Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden’ by George McKay
224 pages
Frances Lincoln; paperback original edition (5 May 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-0711230309

Click here to buy

‘Whose Music? Community vs. Copyright’
with Mat Callahan
Wednesday 11th April, 7pm

Music is a collective activity which activates collectivities. The sounds produced are only one result, the others being the communities formed to make and enjoy music and the skills acquired in the process. Sharing is necessary to all three. Owning music is impossible. Yet owning music is the legal basis for the criminalization of file sharing.

Musician and author Mat Callahan is calling for the abolition of copyright. Callahan will discuss its replacement by new means designed to unite music makers and music lovers in a common struggle against the music industry in particular, and intellectual property regimes in general.

"Yes—let's break the grip of Stars and Hits. Music could change the world. Read this book." —Pete Seeger

"Making music is a process as old as the human species, which means that if the music's in trouble because humanity as a whole is in trouble. The Trouble with Music speaks to those troubles and it maps a way out. It's invaluable." —Dave Marsh, Rock and Rap Confidential

Hosted by Stir to Action
Click here for Mat's piece in Stir to Action:

About the author

Mat Callahan is a musician and author from San Francisco, now residing in Bern, Switzerland.  He composed and performed music with seminal world-beat band, The Looters, whose success led to the founding of the artists' collective Komotion International. For eleven years Komotion was a center of radical art making and revolutionary politics in San Francisco.

Callahan continues to compose and perform today, including a recently completed tour of Swiss Prisons and the revival of James Connolly's ‘Songs of Freedom’. He is the author of three books, 'Sex, Death and the Angry Young Man', 'Testimony', and 'The Trouble With Music'.

Book information

‘The Trouble with Music’ by Mat Callahan
450 pages
AK Press (7 Jan 2005)
ISBN-13: 978-1904859147

MARCH 2012

Zero Books presents:
‘Capitalist realism: is there no alternative?’
with Mark Fisher
Wednesday 28th March, 7pm

In his provocative book, ‘Capitalist Realism: is there no alternative?’, Mark Fisher examines how capitalism since 1989 has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system – a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, has compounded.

Using examples from politics, film, fiction, work and education, he traces the development and principle features of ‘capitalist realism’ as a lived, ideological framework, which has become embedded in all areas of contemporary experience. But because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program, he also shows how capitalism is in fact anything but realistic.  In this talk, Mark will discuss his analysis of late capitalism and reflect on capitalist realism in the three years since he wrote his book.

 “Let’s not beat around the bush: Fisher’s compulsively readable book is simply the best diagnosis of our predicament that we have! Through examples from daily life and popular culture, but without sacrificing theoretical stringency, he provides a ruthless portrait of our ideological misery. … Capitalist Realism is a sobering call for a patient theoretical and political work.” – Slavoj Žižek

‘Capitalist Realism’ to be featured in Housmans virtual book club
Housmans has just set up a virtual book club, giving people a chance to discuss selected books online, and put questions to the author. ‘Capitalist Realism: is there no alternative?’ will be the inaugural book for Housmans virtual book club, aka 'Housmans’ Reading Rooms', which can be found at

For more information about the book club, please contact

About the Author

Mark Fisher is a writer, theorist and teacher. His writing regularly appears in frieze, New Statesman, The Wire, and Sight & Sound. He was a founding member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit. He is now a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Tutor in Philosophy at the City Literary Institute, London.

Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening


'What is the #Occupy movement?'
A series of roundtable discussions hosted by The Platypus Affiliated Society
1st London roundtable discussion

Friday 16th March, 7pm

The recent #Occupy protests are driven by discontent with the present state of affairs: glaring economic inequality, dead-end electoral politics, and, for some, the suspicion that capitalism could never produce an equitable society. These concerns are coupled with aspirations for social transformation at an international level in the #Occupy movement.

Although participants at #Occupy sites managed to organize resources for their own daily needs, legal services, health services, sleeping arrangements, food supplies, defense against police brutality, and a consistent media presence, these pragmatic concerns have taken precedent over long-term goals of the movement. Where can participants of this protest engage in formulating, debating, and questioning the ends of this movement? How can it affect the greater society beyond the occupied spaces?

We in the Platypus Affiliated Society ask participants and interested observers of the #Occupy movement to consider the possibility that political disagreement could lead to clarification, further development and direction. Only when we are able create an active culture of thinking and debating on the Left without it proving prematurely divisive can we begin to imagine a Leftist politics adequate to the historical possibilities of our moment. We may not know what these possibilities for transformation are. This is why we think it is imperative to create avenues of engagement that will support these efforts.

Towards this goal, Platypus will be hosting a series of roundtable discussions with organizers and participants of the #Occupy movement. These have started at campuses in New York (video p.1 and p.2), Halifax and Chicago but will be moving to other North American cities, and beyond London, to Germany, and Greece in the months to come. We welcome any and all who would like to be a part of this project of self-education and potential rebuilding of the Left to join us in advancing this critical moment.

The Platypus Affiliated Society

Bent Bars presents:
‘Gender and the prison industrial complex’
with S. Lamble
Wednesday 14th March, 7pm

Pathologised, terrorised and confined, trans/gender, non-conforming, and queer folks have always struggled against the enormity of the prison industrial complex. ‘Captive genders: trans embodiment in the prison industrial complex’ (AK Press, 2011) is the first collection of its kind; Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith bring together current and former prisoners, activists, and academics to offer new ways of understanding how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived in captivity.

Shared by the diverse assemblage of writings is a conviction that trans/queer liberation and prison abolition must be grown together. From riots against police violence, and critiques of hate crimes legislation, to prisoners demands for access to HIV medications, and far beyond, ‘Captive Genders’ is a challenge for us all to join the struggle.

The discussion will be led by S. Lamble, contributor to the book, and member of Bent Bars Collective, an LGBTQ prison letter writing project .

Book information

‘Captive genders: trans embodiment in the prison industrial complex’
Edited by Nat Smith and Eric A. Stanley
Paperback: 300 pagesPublisher: AK Press (October 18, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1849350709

Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening


Coalition of Resistance presents:

‘Eurozone in crisis: what is to be done?’

Sunday 11th March, 3pm

Join Coalition of Resistance for the launch of the pamphlet, ‘Eurozone in crisis: what is to be done?’ and to send off their delegation of trade unionists, politicians, and campaigners to Greece. Responding to crises currently facing countries across Europe, the pamphlet includes analyses and proposals for action bound by the common goal of combating austerity measures and reducing the privatisation of everyday life.

The event accompanies a Greek solidarity campaign organised by the Coalition of Resistance and the People’s Charter. Please consider getting involved - more info here:

Women’s History Month presents:
‘Women’s History: half the future, half the past’
with Jessica Metheringham-Owlett
Wednesday 7th March, 7pm

Launching the annual Women’s History Month celebrations, Jessica Metheringham-Owlett will be at Housmans to give a broad perspective on issues surrounding women's history.

Why is the history of the UK, Europe and the world overwhelmingly male-dominated? What are women missing and why does it matter? How should we go about changing this - through politics, through education, or as individuals? As well as looking at the famous and remembered, Jessica will draw on the stories of those neglected by history.

For more information on our guest speaker please visit:

And for more information on Women’s History Month please visit:

Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening



Ashes and Diamonds theatre company and
The Albert Camus society UK presents:
‘Albert Camus: existentialism and the absurd’
with Simon Lea

Wednesday 22nd February, 7pm

"We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible"

The evening introduces the troubling philosophical question which form the centre of Camus' work: in a world where everything is permitted, can anything be denied? In what appears to be a meaningless universe can we find an authentic ethic (and should we bother trying)? This is a terribly uncomfortable and unsettling notion for the majority of people, so very strong is our desire for meaning that we dismiss the idea that there is no meaning to be found. The struggle to find meaning where none exists is what Camus calls ‘the absurd’.

This talk introduces the philosophical work of Albert Camus, looking at the ethics of the protagonist Meursault, in Camus’ novel ‘The Stranger’, his essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, and his most famous play ‘Caligula’.

The event proceeds two forthcoming productions of Caligula. The first is a new production by the Ashes and Diamonds theatre company, running from the 22nd March to the 21st April at The Elevator Gallery in Hackney Wick; the second is a touring opera set in a football stadium at the ENO in May.

The speaker is Simon Lea of The Albert Camus society U.K. Simon is one of Europe's experts on Albert Camus and his work.

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend."

Ashes and Diamonds Theatre company perform plays, classic and modern, in their own style. Their last production was their own adaptation of Dostoyevsy's ‘Crime and Punishment’, performed in a 10million pound squat in Mayfair belonging to The Sultan of Bruni which was "liberated" by the Oubliette Arthouse, and proud to achieve sell out shows. ‘Caligula’ is their third production, which is their first commissioned translation from the original French text. Ashes and Diamonds have also written an original play ‘The Underground’, based on the Warsaw uprising of 1945, and are seeking funding with ambitions to tour France, Germany and Poland.

The Albert Camus Society UK, founded on January 1st 2005, exists to promote the work of Albert Camus. The aim of the Camus Society is to increase awareness of Albert Camus as a relevant voice in contemporary philosophy.

Elevator Gallery occupies the attic of a former Victorian chocolate factory in London’s East End, next to the River Lea. The gallery is committed to exhibiting artists at all stages of their career. The curators are especially interested in transgressive and thought provoking work. Besides regular exhibitions of international contemporary art, the gallery has a regular programme of live art, cinema and musical events.

Website links.

Housmans has a variety of Camus titles available to buy online: please click here to browse our stock.

Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening


Pluto Press presents:
‘Journalism, radicalism and feminism’
with Laurie Penny

7pm, Wednesday 8th February

In the space of a year, Laurie Penny has become one of the most prominent voices of the new left. In 2011 she published two books, ‘Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism’ (Zero Books) and ‘Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent’ (Pluto Press), which collects Penny's writings on youth politics, resistance, feminism and culture.

Her journalism is a unique blend of persuasive analysis, captivating interviews and first-hand accounts of political direct action. She was involved in all the key protests of 2010/2011, including the anti-fees demos in 2010 and the anti-cuts protests of spring 2011, often tweeting live from the scene of kettles and baton charges. Her blog, 'Penny Red', was shortlisted for the Orwell prize in 2010.

In this talk Laurie will be considering a range of issues raised in her two recent books, focussing particularly on the points where journalism, radicalism and feminism meet.

“Penny is re-inventing the language of dissent, delivering verbal taser-barbs to the left and right, and causing apoplexy among the old men in cardigans who run the British blogosphere.” – Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC’s Newsnight

About The Author

Laurie Penny is a journalist, feminist, and political activist from London. She is a regular writer for the New Statesman’ and The Guardian, and has also contributed to the Independent, Red Pepper and the Evening Standard.

She is the author of ‘Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism’ (Zero Books, 2011) and ‘Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent’ (Pluto Press, 2011). She has presented Channel 4's Dispatches and been on the panel of the BBC's Any Questions. Her blog, 'Penny Red', was shortlisted for the Orwell prize in 2010.

Book information

Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism

Paperback: 79 pages
Publisher: Zero Books

Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pluto Press (7 Oct 2011)

Peace News present:
‘From Hastings To Kabul – A voyage of peace and nonviolence’
with Maya Evans

7pm, Saturday 4th February

Maya Evans is a peace activist who writes a regular column in Housmans’ sister newspaper Peace News. She became the first person in the UK to be convicted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 for taking part in an unauthorised demonstration within 1 km of Parliament Square, at which she read aloud the names of British soldiers who had been killed in Iraq following the 2003 Iraq war.

Maya has spent the winter visiting the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, where she met with Afghans committed to nonviolence, and ending the conflict in Afghanistan. She was blogging as throughout the trip (internet access permitting) here:

In June 2010 Maya won “a partial victory” in the High Court, when it ruled that Afghans detained by British forces could no longer be transferred to a detention centre in Kabul run by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency (NDS), because of the risk of torture. Since then, the UN has found compelling evidence of systematic torture in five facilities run by the NDS – including at least one facility deemed safe for detainee transfers by the High Court.

Maya says: “Last year, as a result of a legal challenge brought by British activists, the High Court ruled that it was unlawful for Britain to transfer Afghan detainees to the secret police in Kabul, because of the high risk that they might be tortured. However, this ruling provides no protection for the thousands of Afghans who are being detained by Afghan forces – despite the fact that these forces are trained, funded and equipped by the US and Britain. The British Government remains complicit in torture in Afghanistan, and so long as this is the case I intend to continue challenging it.”

We hope you can come along to here Maya discussing her recent trip and her thoughts on the continuing conflict across Afghanistan, and the efforts to bring peace and much needed aid to the region.

‘A Wave of Dreams’
with Alex Walker (spoken word)
, Tymon Dogg (multi-instrumentalist), Alex Thomas (electronics, violin)
7pm, Wednesday 1st February

In this performance of Louis Aragon's 1924 surrealist classic 'A Wave of Dreams', actor Alex Walker presents eight spoken word extracts, set in evocative musical soundscapes by composer/performers Tymon Dogg and Alex Thomas. 

Aragon's prose-poem describes the early surrealists' obsession with narcotics, alcohol and sleeplessness as they pushed themselves to the edges of insanity, undertaking  incredible interior voyages in search of what they called 'The Marvellous'.  This performance celebrates, and brings to you, 'The Marvellous'.

"The new book from Thin Man Press - also brought to intriguing sonic life on an accompanying CD - righteously celebrates Louis Aragon, Dadaist, gay rights activist, anti-totalitarian communist and French Resistance fighter. Susan de Muth’s translation of his bizarre 1924 surrealist odyssey ‘A Wave Of Dreams’ is a leftfield treat, redolent of William Burroughs but more mysteriously opaque and strangely lovely. Thomas H. Green of the Daily Telegraph

Book information

‘A Wave of Dreams’ by Louis Aragon
Paperback: 64 pages plus Audio CDPublisher: Thin Man Press; First edition (2010)

Language English

ISBN-13: 978-0956247315

Available in-store only, or for mail order please call 020 7837 4473


Art Not Oil, Liberate Tate, Platform present:

'Not if, but when - Culture Beyond Oil'
7pm, Wednesday 25th January

Campaign groups ‘Platform’, ‘Art Not Oil’ and ‘Liberate Tate’ have recently released a hundred-page arts publication exploring the murky relationship between big oil and big art. For more than 20 years, BP has been sponsoring Tate galleries, and every major cultural institution in London has recently taken money from Shell or BP.

In the meantime, art-interventionists Liberate Tate have been grabbing headlines and thrusting the issue of oil-sponsorship into the headline through a series of unsolicited, oil-based performances in gallery spaces. This presentation and discussion will explore whether BP needs Tate more than Tate needs BP, and how performativity in protest can be a powerful tool in cultural communications.

You can browse ‘Culture Beyond Oil’ online here - - as well as purchase it from Housmans.
Each of the limited edition print run comes with an inset page with original art using Deepwater Horizon oil from German Artist Ruppe Koselleck, as part of his Takeover BP project.


Anarchist Studies present:
‘Remembering Colin Ward’
with Carl Levy
and Ruth Kinna
Wednesday 7th December, 7pm

The latest issue of Anarchist Studies (Anarchist Studies, Vol,19, No 2, 2011) is being launched on 7th December 2011 at Housmans, to celebrate the life and work of Colin Ward. Ward was one of the best known anarchist writers of his generation  and his work on children and play, urban architecture and plotlands, squatting and criminology, water resources  and public transportation - to name a few pursuits - broadened his appeal to a wide range of architects, historians social scientists and activists – as well as anarchists. Ward was the editor of ‘Anarchy’ (1961-1970), perhaps the best English language anarchist revue.

Come along to the launch to celebrate Ward’s achievements. Carl Levy and Ruth Kinna will discuss Ward's legacy in our era, when anarchist modes of organisation and themes are growing in popularity.

Contributors to the issue:

Edited and introduction by Carl Levy
> Pietro Di Paola

> David Goodway

> Robert Graham

> Carissa Honeywell

> Peter Marshall

> Brian Morris

> Stuart White

For access to the table contents and some sample chapters, please click

We also hope to have available the new Colin Ward Reader from AK Press, if it comes back from the printer on time!


Zed Books present:
‘The true origins of the financial crisis
and the future of the world economy’
with Yanis Varoufakis

Wednesday 30th November, 7pm

In his remarkable and provocative book, Yanis Varoufakis explodes the myth that financialisation, ineffectual regulation of banks, greed and globalisation were the root causes of the global economic crisis. Rather, they are symptoms of a much deeper malaise which can be traced all the way back to the Great Crash of 1929, then on through to the 1970s: the time when a 'Global Minotaur' was born.

The picture that emerges through the work is of a global 'system' which is now as unsustainable as it is imbalanced. ‘The Global Minotaur’ is an essential account of the socio-economic events and hidden histories that have shaped the world as we now know it.

Yanis Varoufakis will be discussing his book, and no doubt giving us his take on the latest developments in the Eurozone.

About the author

Yanis Varoufakis is Professor of Economic Theory and Director of the Department of Political Economy in the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Athens.

Book information
‘The Global Minotaur: America, the true origins of the financial crisis and the future of the world economy’

by Yanis Varoufakis
Paperback: 264 pages

Publisher: Zed books (18th August 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-1780320144

Click here to buy

‘Savage Messiah Launch Party’
Saturday 26th November, 7pm

Laura Oldfield Ford has been producing her inimitable Savage Messiah zine since 2005, and Housmans have supported her work all the way, as she has us, so we’re delighted to host a party to celebrate the launch of the Verso-published collection of her zines to date. Laura has been all over London this month giving talks about the issues of gentrification and social exclusion raised in her work, but this event will be a party, with records playing, drinks flowing, and maybe the odd performance. I’m sure Laura will be signing copies of her book too. Feel free to bring a bottle.
Click here to buy a copy of the book

Pluto Press present:
‘The Assault on Universities’

with Michael Bailey and Des Freedman
Wednesday 23rd November, 7pm

With funding cuts well under way and the majority of universities  promising to charge the maximum £9,000 yearly tuition fee, university education for the majority is under threat. ‘The Assault on Universities’, a new book from Pluto Press, explores the motives behind the government's programme and provides the analytical tools to fight it.

Widespread student protests and occupations, often supported by staff, unions and society at large, show the public's opposition to funding cuts and fee increases. The contributors to this sharp, well-written collection, many of whom are active participants in the anti-cuts movement, outline what's at stake and why it matters.

Released at the beginning of the new academic year, this book is at the heart of debates around the future of higher education in the UK and beyond, inspiring both new and seasoned activists in the fight for the soul of our universities.

Michael Bailey is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex. He is the author or editor of The Uses of Richard Hoggart (2011), Mediating Faiths (2011) and Narrating Media History (2008). He has held visiting fellowships at Goldsmiths, the LSE and the University of Cambridge.

Des Freedman is Reader in Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and an editor of the journal Global Media and Communication. He is the author or editor of The Politics of Media Policy (2008), Television Policies of the Labour Party (2003) and War and the Media (2003). He is secretary of the Goldsmiths branch of the University and College Union.

Book information
The Assault on Universities
Edited by Michael Bailey and Des Freedman
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Pluto Press (04 August 2011)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0745331912
ISBN-13: 9780745331911
RRP:      £12.99

Click here to buy

‘The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited’
with Stephen Armstrong

Wednesday 9th November, 7pm


In his new book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited’ Stephen Armstrong  follows the path taken by George Orwell 75 years ago in his seminal work. Armstrong contrasts today’s working conditions with those encountered by Orwell.

Armstrong comments, “Many parts of Orwell’s book could be reproduced word for word describing Britain today – a terrifying idea in a modern first world social democracy. In my book I discover shocking poverty, missing community and a forgotten generation. But also acts of heroism, imagination, and optimism.”

Stephen Armstrong is the author of War plc (Faber, 2009), The Super-Rich Shall Inherit The Earth (Constable, 2010) and The White Island (Black Swan, 2005). He also writes for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Elle, Esquire and other publications.

Book information
Due to Beautiful Books going into administration this book is not currently available, but will hopefully be published with a different publisher in 2012.