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‘Stalin Ate My Homework’ with Alexei Sayle
Wednesday 9th April, 7pm
Read more...

‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise & Rise of Underground Radio’ with Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker
Wednesday 16th April, 7pm
Read more...

BOB CROW MEMORIAL EVENT ‘Plundering London Underground’ with Janine Booth, and Peter Pinkney
Wednesday 23rd April, 7pm
Read more...

Hysteria –a feminist periodical, new issue launch with Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan + more tbc
Saturday 26th April, 6.30pm
Read more...

‘Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War to End Apartheid’ with Alan Wieder
Wednesday 30th April, 7pm
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‘Eco-Anarchism in the 1970s: London’s Street Farm collective’ with Stephen E. Hunt
Wednesday 14th May, 7pm
Read more...

‘Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made’ with Richard Seymour
Wednesday 21st May, 7pm
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PAST EVENTS ARCHIVE

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


 

APRIL 2014

BOOK TALK
‘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.

BOOK TALK
‘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)

BOOK TALK
‘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

BOOK TALK AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF LITTLE REBELS SHORTLIST
'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 www.littlerebelsaward.wordpress.com
http://www.letterboxlibrary.com/

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

 

ARTS FEMS PRESENTS
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.

http://artsfems.wordpress.com/

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. 

http://www.save-children-from-radiation.org

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.


http://theoccupiedtimes.org/

 

FEBRUARY 2014

BOOK LAUNCH

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.

PANEL DISCUSSION
'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.

 

BOOK TALK
‘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


BOOK LAUNCH
‘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.

 

BOOK TALK
‘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.

`

JANUARY 2014

BOOK TALK
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.


BOOK TALK
‘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). 


BOOK TALK
‘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).



BOOK LAUNCH
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.

Contents

 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

DECEMBER 2013


BOOK TALK

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)

ZINE SOCIAL
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 librariesforsociety@gmail.com 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 www.swzinecollective.weebly.com.

BOOK TALK
‘The Revenge of History: The Battle for the 21st Century’
with Seumas Milne

***PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE***

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).

 

NOVEMBER 2013

BOOK TALK
 ‘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.

BOOK TALK
 ‘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.

SLAM POETRY
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.

BOOK LAUNCH

 ‘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).

 

BOOK TALK
 ‘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.

 

OCTOBER 2013

 

GAY WRITERS WORKSHOP AND PARADISE PRESS BOOK LAUNCH:
‘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

BOOK EVENT
 ‘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.

PM PRESS PRESENT A PRE-ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR SPECIAL:
 ‘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: http://anarchistbookfair.org.uk/

 

STIR MAGAZINE LAUNCH
 ‘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: http://stirtoaction.com/pre-order-autumn-issue/

 

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)

SEPTEMBER 2013

BOOK TALK

‘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.

BOOK TALK

‘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.”

BOOK TALK

‘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’.

 

BOOK TALK

‘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.

BOOK TALK

‘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

 

AUGUST 2013

BOOK LAUNCH
 ‘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

BOOK LAUNCH
 ‘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.

 

BOOK TALK

‘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

BOOK TALK
‘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.

BOOK TALK
 ‘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



BOOK TALK

‘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!"


TALK
‘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: http://www.wilpfinternational.org/about-us/history/


BOOK TALK
‘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.


BOOK LAUNCH
‘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


BOOK TALK
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



BOOK TALK

‘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’


TALK/BOOK EVENT
‘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.



TALK
‘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.
www.hannahhull.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2013



BOOK LAUNCH

‘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.

http://paradisepress.org.uk/


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


BOOK EVENT

‘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


BOOK EVENT
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



BOOK LAUNCH
‘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: http://www.leninology.com/2012/07/unhitched-trial-of-christopher-hitchens.html 

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

RRP: TBC

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Verso Books (21 Jan 2012)

ISBN-13: 978-1844679904


BOOK LAUNCH
PM Press present
‘Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism’
with George Caffentizis 
***Cancelled***


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.

JANUARY 2013



BOOK EVENT
‘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


BOOK EVENT
‘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


POETRY READING/TALK
‘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


DECEMBER 2012



‘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: www.mikemarqusee.com

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 www.classwargames.net


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 info@francisboutle.co.uk, 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  OpenDemocracy.net,  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

NOVEMBER 2012


'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 hannahhull.co.uk



‘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

OCTOBER 2012


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.


http://www.classwargames.net


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.

http://www.classwargames.net


‘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

SEPTEMBER 2012


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.


AUGUST 2012


‘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)
£11.99
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 http://inside-left.blogspot.co.uk/

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 http://inside-left.blogspot.co.uk/


‘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 (www.counterfire.org). 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’
with

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 http://ianbone.wordpress.com/

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 http://bread-and-roses.co.uk



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
kingscross.the-hub.net  
Nearest tube: King's Cross
http://www.ourdemonstration.co.uk/




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. www.bigsmoke.org.uk



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
http://libcom.org/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)
£19.99
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
http://www.stirtoaction.com/
Click here for George's piece in Stir to Action: http://stirtoaction.com/?p=307

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
£12.99
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
http://www.stirtoaction.com/
Click here for Mat's piece in Stir to Action: http://stirtoaction.com/?p=550


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'.

www.matcallahan.com


Book information

‘The Trouble with Music’ by Mat Callahan
450 pages
AK Press (7 Jan 2005)
English
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 http://www.housmans.com/bookclub.

For more information about the book club, please contact nik@housmans.com

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



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'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 .

http://www.bentbarsproject.org/
http://captivegenders.net/

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



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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: http://www.housmans.com/blog/?p=1259




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:
http://metheringhamowlett.wordpress.com

And for more information on Women’s History Month please visit:
http://womenshistorymonth.co.uk/


Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening



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FEBRUARY 2012


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.

http://ashesanddiamonds.com/

http://www.elevatorgallery.co.uk/

http://www.camus-society.com/index.html


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



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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
£6.99

Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Pluto Press (7 Oct 2011)
£12.99



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: fromhastingstokabul.wordpress.com

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

£12.99
ISBN-13: 978-0956247315

Available in-store only, or for mail order please call 020 7837 4473

JANUARY 2012


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 - http://issuu.com/mellv/docs/cbo - 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.

http://platformlondon.org
http://www.artnotoil.org.uk

http://www.liberatetate.org

DECEMBER 2011


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
below.
http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/anarchiststudies/current.html

We also hope to have available the new Colin Ward Reader from AK Press, if it comes back from the printer on time!

NOVEMBER 2011


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.

OCTOBER 2011


‘Counterpower: Making Change Happen’
with Tim Gee

Wednesday 26th October, 7pm


Whenever we called for a protest in Tahrir before, it hadn’t happened because the people didn’t think it would lead to change...When we saw that the Tunisian people could overthrow a dictator, we began to believe that Egyptians could do it too.’ Gigi Ibrahim, student activist

Change can and does happen. Only recently, the world watched as events unfolded in Egypt. But why is it that some campaigns succeed while others fail? Is it luck, or is there a common strategy unifying those that have achieved their aim, and what can we learn from the past?

In his absorbing and persuasive new book, activist Tim Gee seeks to get to the root of how change happens by taking an in-depth look at the strategies and tactics that have contributed to the success (or otherwise) of some of the most prominent movements for change over the last three hundred years.

While on the surface their approaches may appear similar, what emerges is the significance of Counterpower - the power that the ‘have-nots’ can use to resist the power of the ‘haves’ – to their success. Without it, argues Gee, no major campaign has, or can, succeed.

Based on accounts from activists on the ground and using examples from how India won their independence right through to a fascinating account of the Arab Spring of 2011, Gee clearly and comprehensively guides the reader through the different types of Counterpower that can be used – Idea, Economic, and Physical – and demonstrates how and why, by bringing all three effectively into play, change can, and will, happen.


Tim Gee works with campaigning organizations to deliver training sessions for activists. He has a degree in Politics from Edinburgh University where he was also active in the student movement. Tim has contributed to several campaigning guides and manuals and is involved in numerous grassroots campaigns.

Book information

‘Counterpower: Making Change Happen’ by Tim Gee

Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: NEW INTERNATIONALIST (20 Oct 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-1780260327

Click here to buy



Pre-Anarchist Bookfair Special:
‘Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs’ with D.D. Johnston

Friday 21st October, 7pm


On the eve of the Anarchist Bookfair (www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk) Housmans will be joined by D.D. Johnston to discuss his debut anarchist novel ‘Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs’ published by AK Press. Set in the heady days of the early antiglobalization movement, and centered around a group of friends working at ‘Benny Burgers’ who find themselves thrust into the midst of a conflict with the bosses and the cops, Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs is the modern working-class novel. Johnston will also widen the discussion out to anarchist fiction as a genre.

Book information
‘Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs’ by D.D. Johnston

ISBN:     9781849350617

Publisher:          AK Press

Release Date:   2011-06-12
RRP: £8.99
Paperback: 176 pages

Click here to buy



Cable Street Then and Now’
with David Rosenberg and Roger Mills

Wednesday 5th October, 7pm

David Rosenberg (Jewish Socialist Group) author of ‘Battle For The East End’ and Roger Mills (Cable Street Group) author of ‘Everything Happens in Cable Street’ discuss their new books, just published by Five Leaves Publications, in the context of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.

The Battle of Cable Street was a landmark event in British anti-facist struggles, when an estimated 300,000 demonstrators, including many Jewish, socialist, anarchist, Irish and communist groups, built roadblocks in an attempt to prevent a march by the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley, through London's East End. Ignoring the strong likelihood of violence, the government refused to ban the march and a large escort of police was provided in an attempt to prevent anti-fascist protestors disrupting the march. Despite the actions of the police and the government the anti-fascist's motto of "They Shall Not Pass" won the day.



‘Freedom Press Night’
with Donald Rooum and Freedom editors

Saturday 1st October,  6.00pm

Freedom Press is an anarchist publishing house and bookshop based in East London’s Whitechapel. Founded in 1886 by a group of friends, including Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin, it is the largest anarchist publishing house in the nation and the oldest of its kind in the English speaking world.

Part of Freedom Press’s activities include the publishing of the anarchist newspaper Freedom. Freedom is changing from a weekly to a monthly format, and editors of the paper will be introducing the new format, and discussing the change and its implications.

They will be joined by veteran cartoonist Donald Rooum, who will be launching his latest anthology of the long-running Wildcat cartoons. His work has appeared in the likes of The Daily Mirror, Private Eye and The Spectator, as well as a regular strip in Peace News and Freedom. Donald will no doubt be telling a few stories about his many years as a political cartoonist.

Book information
‘Wildcat Keeps Going’ by Donald Rooum
Paperback: 48 pages

Publisher: Freedom Press (30 Sep 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-1904491149

SEPTEMBER 2011


Serpent’s Tail presents:
‘Thirty Years on from the Brixton Uprising’
with Alex Wheatle
Wednesday 14th September, 7pm

In April 1981, Brixton erupted in violence following a confrontation between local police forces and a group of local youths. Race tensions, high unemployment, and police brutality were afterwards cited as causes of the uprising, which left approximately 279 police and 45 rioters injured while a further 82 rioters were arrested. Among them was Alex Wheatle, later author of numerous books based on his experiences in Brixton, and his time in the care of social services.

Often described as one of the UK’s most exciting writers, Wheatle will discuss his personal experiences of the Brixton uprising, his most recent published work (The Dirty South, and Brenton Brown), as well as contemplating how life has changed in London over the course of the last thirty years - all considered in the light of the most recent UK-wide riots of the summer of 2011.

Book information
‘The Dirty South’
By Alex Wheatle
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail (3 April 2008)
Language English
ISBN-10: 9781852429850
ISBN-13: 978-1852429850
RRP:      £9.99

CLICK HERE TO BUY



‘The Life of Paul Robeson’
with Tayo Aluko

Wednesday 7th September, 7pm

Playwright and songwriter Tayo Aluko will discuss the life of 20th Century African-American activist Paul Robeson, playing songs of protest from his oeuvre.

Throughout the mid-20th century, lawyer, actor, and singer Paul Robeson was active in promoting radicalism and political rights in America, as well as internationally. While Robeson was initially celebrated for his moving portrayal of Othello and his unparalleled bass-baritone singing range, showcased most famously in his definitive version of the song “Ol’ Man River,” by the mid-1940s Robeson moved away from acting in favour of a career in activism.

Travelling widely in support of civil rights and Communism throughout the 1940s and ’50s, Robeson was tracked by the CIA and MI5 and blacklisted from performing in any medium. Undeterred, Robeson continued his fight for political rights until he suffered a mental breakdown while visiting the Soviet Union in 1961. Forced into retirement due to his unstable health, Robeson eventually went on to become universally recognized for his remarkable efforts in promoting equality and political freedom.

Picking up the story of this oft-neglected historical figure, playwright and songwriter Tayo Aluko wrote, produced, and starred in “Call Mr. Robeson,” a one-man show celebrating the life and struggles of Paul Robeson. Aluko additionally performs his own music as part of the theatre troop “Tayo Aluko and Friends.”

Join Aluko as he explores the remarkable life and troubled times of Paul Robeson.

AUGUST 2011


Verso presents:
‘The Glorious Times of the Situationist International’
with McKenzie Wark

Wednesday 24 August, 7pm


Starting up in the post-war Paris, and finding notoriety during the uprising of May 1968, the Situationists argued against mass media and advocated living life in opposition to advanced capitalism. They derived their name from the idea of purposefully constructing ‘situations’, or moments of life, that force individuals to view their everyday lives critically before transforming these moments into the pursuit of true desires. After the movement attained a heyday during the riots of 1968, the Situationists’ membership dwindled and they eventually disbanded in 1972.

McKensie Wark’s new book on the subject The Beach Beneath the Street: The Glorious Times of the Situationist International, explores anew the history of the movement and connects the Situationist’s work to new practices in communication, built form, and everyday life. Illuminating for both those already fascinated by the Situationists and those discovering the movement for the first time, The Beach Beneath the Street provides valuable insights into the Situationists. McKenzie will be available for discussion and book-signing and will take questions after his talk.

Although Paris is the spiritual home of the Situationist International, through a kindred sense of purpose we felt that this event would be a fitting part of Housmans’ annual ‘London’s Burning’ season. See www.housmans.com/events.php for more info.

Book information
‘The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International’
By McKenzie Wark
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Verso (2011)
Language English
ISBN-13: 978 1 84467 720 7
RRP:      £14.99



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Verso presents:
‘Chavs: the Demonization of the Working Class’
with Owen Jones

Wednesday 10th August, 7pm

Over the past few decades, the modern working class in Britain has been caricatured, mocked, and eventually demonised by everyone from the press to comedians to politicians. In his rigorous expose on budding class hatred in Britain, journalist Owen Jones digs deep to find out more about why the British working class went, in the words Michael Collins, ‘from the salt of the earth to the scum of the earth.’ Moving through Westminster and working-class communities, Jones uncovers layers of prejudice and the disturbing abandonment by the Government of the vast, underprivileged part of society now known by one hate-filled word: chavs.

Join author Owen Jones as he explores the connections between the demonization of the working classes, the media, and the political establishment. Owen will take questions and lead discussion after his talk.

"A trenchant exposure of our new class-hatred and what lies behind it.” John Carey, author of The Intellectuals and the Masses

Book information
‘Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class’
By Owen Jones
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Verso (2011)
Language English
ISBN-13: 978-1-84467-696-5
RRP:      £14.99
CLICK HERE TO BUY


Serpent’s Tail presents:
‘2-Tone London’

with Pauline Black

Wednesday 3rd August, 7pm


Launching her autobiography, Pauline Black, lead singer of The Selector, shares her recollections of the 2-Tone music scene, as well as her personal experiences of growing up in multi-racial London.

As one of just a handful of women in a movement dominated by men, Pauline Black has plenty to share about the 2-Tone music scene of. As lead singer of The Selector Pauline was very much the Queen of British Ska.

But even as she found success in through music, Black struggled with her ethnic and cultural identity. Born to Anglo-Jewish/Nigerian parents, she was later adopted by a white working-class family in Romford. In her talk, Black recounts her struggles to find her way in a community that made her feel different at every turn, and shares her personal view of early multi-cultural London.

Combining her life at the top of the 2-Tone phenomenon with her search for her birth parents, Black will speak about her experience of London, as told in her new autobiography, Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir.

Book information
‘Black by Design: A 2-Tone Memoir
By Pauline Black
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail (2011)
Language English
ISBN-13: 9781846687907
RRP:      £12.99
CLICK HERE TO BUY


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JULY 2011

War Resisters’ International presents:
‘Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle’
with Rafael Uzcategui

Saturday 30th July, 6pm


‘Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle’ analyses the Chávez regime from an anti-authoritarian Venezuelan perspective. It debunks claims made by Venezuelan and U.S. rightists that the Chávez government is dictatorial, as well as claims made by Venezuelan and U.S. leftists that the Chávez government is revolutionary. Instead the book argues that the Chávez regime is one of a long line of Latin American populist regimes that - "revolutionary" rhetoric aside - ultimately have been subservient to the United States as well as to multinational corporations.

The book concludes by explaining how Venezuela's autonomous social, labour, and environmental movements have been systematically disempowered by the Chávez regime, but that despite this they remain the basis of a truly democratic, revolutionary alternative.

Rafael Uzcátegui has contributed to many anti-authoritarian publications in Venezuela and the rest of the world, including CNT, Earth First! Journal, Platanoverde, and Profane Existence. He's been an editor of the long-running Venezuelan anarchist paper, El Libertario, since 1995. His first book, Corazón de Tinta (Heart of Ink), was released in 2001.

Since 2006, Rafael Uzcátegui has been the chief investigator for the Venezuelan human rights group PROVEA (Programa Venezolano de Educación de Derechos Humanos), and was co-writer of its documentary, El Masacre de El Amparo: 20 Años de Impunidad (The El Amparo Massacre: 20 Years of Impunity). Since January 2010, he is a member of the WRI Council. He is presently working on a new book on independent and social movements in Latin America.

Book information
‘Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle’

By Rafael Uzcategui
Paperback: 219 pages
Publisher: See Sharp Press (2011)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1-884365-77-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-884365-77-5
RRP:      £9.50
Only available instore



Verso presents:
‘The New Ruins of London’
with Owen Hatherley

Wednesday 27th July, 7pm


Before the recent economic crash, the past decade painted British cities as hubs of architectural growth and promise. New buildings ranging from art galleries to luxury apartment complexes to shopping malls sprung up, all glowing monuments to the promised financial prosperity of the age. But following the crash, many of these buildings were quickly abandoned or even never completed, offering up tangible evidence of the economy’s effect on us all.

In his book, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Hatherley set out to explore the wrecked hulks of former financial promise, and gives us a scathing commentary on the British urban environment. Heralded by critics as an “angry, fiercely funny book” and “an exhilarating read,” A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is a must-read for anyone interested in urban decay and the physical fall-out from the current economic downturn.

To launch the paperback edition of his book, Owen Hatherley will be at Housmans to share his journey through the wreckage of London and give us his cutting take on the aspirational politics that resulted in a now-blighted urban landscape. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion after his talk.

Book information
‘A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain’
By Owen Hatherley
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Verso (2011)
Language English
ISBN-13: 978 1 84467 700 9
RRP:      £9.99

CLICK HERE TO BUY



London Street Photography Festival present:
‘Why does street photography make us paranoid?

Wednesday 20th July, 7pm


A panel of photographers, activists and law enforcers will debate and discuss the increasing fear and prosecution of photography in the city. The discussion will focus on the uses and impact of Project Griffin, the role private security forces should play in policing the city streets and the rights of photographers working in the public.
Part of the London Street Photography Festival 2011. Please follow the link for more information:
http://londonstreetphotographyfestival.org/diary/panel-discussion-why-does-street-photography-make-us-paranoid


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London Street Photography Festival present:
‘Restless Cities: Psychogeography and Street Photography’
with Matthew Beaumont, Gregory Dart, Mimi Mollica and George Georgiou

Wednesday 13th July, 7pm


Writers, thinkers, artists and photographers have long influenced each other's practice and nowhere is this more visible than in the context of the metropolis. Restless Cities is a collection of writings by eminent authors including Iain Sinclair and Geoff Dyer, which attempts to trace the idiosyncratic character of the modern city from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first-century megalopolis.

Join editors Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart, as they discuss the book and its themes in this fascinating talk. Award-winning photographers Mimi Mollica and George Georgiou will also join the conversation, revealing how notions of psychogeography and philosophies of urban life have influenced their work as street photographers.

"a collection of quirky and occasionally superb essays by an eclectic range of writers and academics, which attempts to define new ways of reading the city and bring us back, by and large, to London." Financial Times

‘Seen/Unseen’ by Mimi Mollica and George Georgiou exhibits at Collective Gallery, 7-17 July as part of the London Street Photography Festival

Book information
‘Restless Cities’
Edited by Matthew Beaumont, and Gregory Dart
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Verso (1 Mar 2010)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1844674053
ISBN-13: 978-1844674053
RRP:      £12.99

CLICK HERE TO BUY


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Military Out Of Schools campaign launch
Challenging military presence in schools and colleges’
with U.S. speaker Oskar Castro, plus Ben Griffin, School Students Against War and others, organised by ForcesWatch
Saturday 9th July, 7pm

ForcesWatch launch their ‘Military Out Of Schools campaign’ with a talk on the growing levels of militarism being propagated in US and UK schools.

The UK armed forces visit thousands of schools each year. They offer school presentation teams, youth teams, 'careers advisors' and lessons plans. The Government is suggesting the expansion of cadet forces within state schools to encourage the military 'spirit' and that ex-soldiers mentor youngsters in schools.

While there are claims that school involvement is not about recruiting young people, the Ministry of Defence has itself stated that visits to educational establishments are a 'powerful tool for facilitating recruitment'.

Should the armed forces by given access to children within education? How can we challenge their activities in schools and colleges? How can a more balanced view of what life in the armed forces involves be given to young people?

Oskar Castro is currently the Director of the US organisation, Military Families Speak Out. Previously he was the Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee's Youth and Militarism Program, which seeks to reduce the influence of the military in schools, to provide young people with alternatives to military service and to empower them to become peacemakers within their communities.

Ben Griffin, ex SAS, left the UK armed forces in 2005.

ForcesWatch raises awareness and campaigns on issues of ethical concern and the armed forces. Our work includes challenging unethical recruitment practices, raising concerns about human rights within the military and questioning the climate of uncritical national pride in the armed forces.

For more information: office@forceswatch.net, 020 7837 2822
www.forceswatch.net

JUNE 2011


‘The Return of the Public’

with Dan Hind
Wednesday 22nd  June, 7pm

For decades, the political and intellectual elite have drawn on a nebulous idea of the public to achieve their own ends and maintain the status quo. Following the financial meltdown of 2007 and the accompanying bail-outs given by governments in the name of “public interest,” journalist Dan Hind was inspired to look more deeply at “the public” and what politicians were perpetrating in its name.

In so doing, Hind discovered centuries’ worth of examples of the political elite’s purposeful exclusion of the public from debates and decisions about issues of public interest. Appalled by what he found, Hind created his own plan for the public to participate in politics, focused largely on a reformation of the media and a rebirth of “the public” following the failure of private groups such as banks and other financial institutions.

Praised by journalist John Nichols as just what we need “to reinvigorate the public debate and, in so doing, re-empower the people,” Dan Hind’s The Return of the Public outlines the history of the idea “the public” and reveals Hind’s own ideas about the future of participatory politics. Join Hind as he presents his book and plans for “re-empowering the people” with plenty of time for discussion and questions after his talk.

‘The Return of the Public’ has just been declared the winner of the Bristol Festival of Ideas Best Book of Ideas 2011

‘The Return of the Public’, by Dan Hind
Published by Verso, 2010
ISBN-13 9781844675944
252 pages
RRP: £14.99
Click here to buy



'Ngo Van: Vietnamese Revolutionary'
with Hilary Horrocks and Simon Pirani
Wednesday 8th June, 7pm


Ngo Van joined the struggle against the French colonial regime in Vietnam as a teenager in the 1920s, suffering imprisonment and hardship. But when revolution swept Vietnam at the end of the Second World War, the Stalinists of the Vietnamese Communist Party took control and tried physically to eliminate other socialists and anti-colonialists. Van escaped this massacre, in which many of his comrades were murdered. From 1948 he lived in exile in Paris, where he took a factory job and participated in workers’ movements before, during and after the 1968 general strike.

Van, who died in 2005, wrote extensively about Vietnamese worker and peasant resistance, both to French colonialism and to Ho Chi Minh’s brand of Stalinism, helping to hand that history on to later generations.

In The Crossfire, published by AK Press, is the English edition of Ngo Van’s autobiography. Hilary Horrocks, one of the book’s translators, will talk about this unique eye-witness account of a little-known aspect of the anti-colonial struggle, and read from Van’s vivid story of secret meetings, arrests, torture, battles and insurrection. Simon Pirani, who researched the history of Vietnamese Trotskyism and edited some of Van’s earlier English-language publications, will also speak. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion from all.

‘In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary’, by Ngo Van
Published by AK Press, 2010
ISBN-10 9781849350136
296 pages
RRP: £16.00

Click here to buy



'Climate Change: The Science, the Solutions and the Way Forward'
with Danny Chivers
Wednesday 15th June, 7pm

In conjunction with the recent publication of his newest book ‘The No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change,’ eco-activist Danny Chivers will speak on his personal experiences within the movement, the future of climate change, and his plans for a fossil-free world by 2030.

Chivers, a climate change researcher, activist, and performance poet, has recently been in the news as one of the six activists whose trial collapsed following revelations about an undercover police officer in the environmental movement. His personal experience colours his portrayal of the movement and forces us to seriously question the role of the police in activism.

Drawing out the political connections between anti-cuts protests, the rights of activists, and climate change, Chivers encourages others to stay informed and get involved.

As Focus on the Global South’s Nicola Bullard says, Chivers “goes beyond the scary stuff and gets to grips with some big and complex ideas about climate change, science, economics, power, politics, and history. In fact, he pins them down and makes them squirm, using wit, outrageous metaphors, lots of numbers, and good, plain language.”

‘The No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change: the Science, the Solutions, the Way Forward’, by Danny Chivers
Published by New Internationalist Ltd., 2011
ISBN-10 1906523851
144 pages
RRP: £7.99
Click here to buy

MAY 2011


'Emergency Verse: Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State'
featuring a selection of poets

Wednesday 25th May, 7pm

Incorporating over 160 poems by 112 poets, Emergency Verse is an extraordinary anthology and record of citizen contempt in response to the Government’s proposed budgetary cuts. Emergency Verse comes to the defense of the Welfare State and creatively voices opposition to the Government’s proposals to cut welfare by a massive £18 billion. This anthology campaign also exemplifies the ire of citizens opposed to recent proposals to further privatise the National Health Service and to cut over 60,000 jobs from the public sector.

Emergency Verse’s contributors collectively join together to say ‘no’ to the Con-Dem Coalition’s deeply regressive Thatcherite ‘emergency’ Budget in this remarkable cooperative poetic effort, supported by the Coalition of Resistance.

Personally endorsed by Green MP Caroline Lucas, Emergency Verse has been called a ‘brilliant initiative’ by Labour MP John McDonnell and Irish author Father Brian d’Arcy has hailed the book as ‘a vitally significant project.’

Reading on the night will be: Alan Morrison, Jeremy Reed, Michael Horovitz, Brenda Williams, Barry Tebb, Niall McDevitt, Helen Moore, Philip Ruthen, John O'Donoghue, N.S. Thompson, Dr Robert Ilson, and Rodney Wood.

‘Emergency Verse’, selected and edited by Alan Morrison
Published by Comparison Press in association with the Recusant, 2010
ISBN 978 0 9567544 0 0
293 pages
RRP: £10.00



‘Militant Years: British Car Workers’ Struggles’
with Alan Thornett

Wednesday 11th May, 7pm

Resistance Books has just published Alan Thornett’s new book on the struggles of workers in building and defending the unions in the huge Cowley car plants in the militant period of the 1960s and 1970s—the high point of British trade unionism in the 20th century.

It is a unique and gripping account of the dramatic struggles against both conservative trade union officials and anti-union management, which places the plant at the centre of a media spotlight for over two decades.

Alan Thornett began work in the plant in 1959, and became a shop steward for the lorry drivers, deputy TGWU convener for the plant, and chair of the Joint Shop Stewards Committee and of the TGWU branch.

The book is extremely timely: the rich experiences of that period have lessons for today as the unions, after decades of decline, gear up for action in defense of jobs and public services against a coalition government determined to set the clock back to the days before the welfare state exists.

‘Militant years: Car workers’ struggles in Britain in the 60s and 70s’, by Alan Thornett
Published by Resistance Books, 2011
ISBN 978 0 902869 73 8
368 pages
RRP: £12.00



'Mysticism, Bohemia, German Anarchy: Landauer and Mühsam'
with Gabriel Kuhn

Sunday, 8th May , 6pm

Gustav Landauer (1870-1919) and Erich Mühsam (1878-1934) remain the most influential figures in the history of German anarchism. Intellectual contemporaries and militant comrades, the two friends pre-empted many of the problems of politics that would result from the two world wars, problems which remain active today. Whilst Landauer developed a unique mystical understanding of socialism, Mühsam combined bohemianism with strong anarcho-communist principles.

Foremost English translator of Landauer and Mühsam's political writings, Gabriel Kuhn, will present the life and work of the two revolutionaries. For anyone interested in preparatory reading, selected extracts from Kuhn's translations of Landauer and Mühsam are available from the event organisers: contact jewdas@gmail.com.

Talk to be followed by discussion and greasy Eastern European snacks!

'Revolution And Other Writings' by Gustav Landauer
PM Press, 2010
528 pages
Our Price: £19.99
Click here to buy

‘Liberating Society from the State and Other Writings:  A Political Reader’, by Erich Muhsam
Published by PM Press, 01 June 2011
240 pages
RRP: : £14.95
Click here to pre-order

APRIL 2011


Peace News introduce:
‘Nonviolence and Democratic Struggles in the Arab world’

Wednesday 27th April, 7pm

Housmans has republished Gene Sharp’s influential book ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’ (with a new foreword by Michael Randle) which offers a practical and theoretical guide to toppling dictatorships through nonviolent means.

Cited as an inspiration by democratic movements all over the world, including by activists in Egypt’s Tahir Square, we felt it was important to get this classic text back in print, for although those of us living in Western democracies do not face such extreme circumstances, the insights are just as pertinent to campaigns against unjust and irresponsible policies in our own societies, as well as enabling us to understand and respond to the stirring events across the world which are reshaping global politics in the 21st century.

Sharp is the world’s foremost expert on nonviolent revolution, this text alone having been translated into more than 30 languages. His books have been slipped across borders and hidden from secret police, inspiring revolutionaries all over the world.

Peace News is the key paper of nonviolent theory and practice in Britain, and is also the paper on which Gene Sharp himself once worked.
We are delighted to welcome guest from the current staff of Peace News who will be discussing Sharp's work, particularly in realtion to the current wave of democratic struggles sweeping across the Arab world.

'From Dictatorship to Democracy - A Conceptual Framework for Liberation', by Gene Sharp
Published by Housmans Bookshop, London, March 2011

Price £5.95



‘The Plot Against the NHS’
with Colin Leys and Stewart Player

Wednesday 20th April, 7pm

Colin Leys’ and Stewart Player’s new book, 'The Plot Against the NHS', is a disclosure of what has been happening behind the scenes of the healthcare reform. It prompts us to think about the consequences of the reform for patients, and ask ourselves what alternatives there might be.

Arguing that the reform of the healthcare system is a plot to replace the NHS and mould the new system onto the American market model, they demonstrate that this directly leads to a situation where the profits of the private-health industry end up subordinating the public interest. This means NHS services are being cut, quality lowered, while costs on patients are driven up.

Colin Leys is an emeritus professor at Queen’s University Canada and an honorary professor at Goldsmiths College London. He has been studying and writing about the NHS since the late1990s.

Stewart Player is a public policy analyst with extensive experience of studying the NHS. He is the co-author with Colin Leys of Confuse and Conceal: The NHS and Independent Treatment Centres.

‘The Plot Against the NHS’, by Colin Leys and Stewart Player
Published by Merlin Press, 2011

ISBN 978 0 85036 679 2

RRP: £12.95

Click here to buy



‘Politics and Trauma in African-American Writing’
with Tim Armstrong
Wednesday 13th April, 7pm


Tim Armstrong will be giving a talk entitled ‘The Rest is Weather: Politics, Trauma and the Everyday in African-American Literature’, surveying major African-American literary works. He will focus in particular on Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel, 'Beloved'.

Tim Armstrong is a Professor of Modern English and American Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is currently working on a project on slavery as metaphor.

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American writer. Her fifth novel, 'Beloved', a free copy of which will be given to those attending the talk, was published in 1987. It is considered one of the most important works of American fiction of the past century. It follows the lives of Sethe and her daughter Denver as they try to rebuild their lives after having escaped from slavery, raising the issue of the psychological impact of slavery on people.



‘Fight Back!’
with Nina Power, Aaron Peters, Anthony Barnett,
Jonathan Moses and Sophie Burge
Wednesday 6th April, 7pm


Join us for the print launch of ‘Fight back!’ where Nina Power (Roehampton University), Aaron Peters (PhD student and co-editor, Fight back!), Anthony Barnett (founder, openDemocracy), Jonathan Moses (National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, contributor, Fight back!) and Sophie Burge (Camden School for Girls, contributor, Fight back!), will discuss the issues raised by 'Fight back!' in the aftermath of the TUC demonstration against the cuts on the 26th March, which looks set to be a historic mobilisation of opposition to the cuts, and a defining moment for the movement.

‘Fight back!’ is a gripping, 300 page reader of the blogs, articles, posts and exchanges of those involved in the student uprising. It has already received over 10,000 downloads online and plenty of enthusiastic reviews.

An unofficial politics is developing, largely hostile to the Westminster version, and Fight Back is its first manifestation.” – Andreas Wittham Smith, The Independent.

“For anyone who wants to understand the anti-cuts movement, whether or not they agree with it, it is essential reading.” – Stuart White, Politics Lecturer at Oxford University.


‘Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest’, edited by Dan Hancox
Published by openDemocracy, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781441114266

MARCH 2011


‘The London matchwomen’s strike of 1888‘
with Louise Raw
Wednesday 23rd March, 7pm


In July 1888, fourteen hundred women employed by the matchmakers Bryant and May went on strike, protesting against poor working conditions and the dismissal of a fellow worker. In her new book, Louise Raw provides a challenging account of the movement, proving that the women themselves, not celebrity socialists like Annie Besant, began it. Returning for the first time to the story of the women themselves, Raw is able to construct a new history which challenges existing accounts of the strike itself and radically alters the accepted history of the Labour movement in Britain.

Louise Raw is a Labour historian with a background in the Trade Union movement and political campaigning. Her research into the matchwomen’s strike, which repositions the women as the mothers of the modern Labour movement, has triggered much interest – and Raw has been invited to speak about her book throughout the world and in the media.

‘Striking a Light: The Bryant and May Matchwomen and their Place in History’ by Louise Raw
Published by Continuum Books, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781441114266

Click here to buy



‘The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted’
with Fredrik S. Heffermehl

Wednesday 16th March, 7pm


The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize has been the subject of several controversies in recent years, and the Peace Prize Committee is facing mounting criticism. They have been accused of Eurocentric inclinations, political bias, and of awarding the award to undeserving candidates. In his book, ‘The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted’, the Norwegian lawyer, Fredrik S. Heffermehl, accuses the Committee of not respecting the will of Alfred Nobel.

Using previously unpublished primary sources, Heffermehl explores the controversial history surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize, which was first awarded in 1901. His analysis leads him to conclude that only one of the ten prizes awarded since 1999 can be considered legitimate under Swedish and Norwegian law.

He faults the committee for ‘gross neglect’ and an ‘astounding decline in loyalty toward Nobel,’ insisting that the causes of legitimate peace champions have been wronged by their decisions. Heffermehl argues that the Prize has become ‘increasingly grandiose, pompous, and remote from its original purpose’ - co-opted by business and ‘ruinously corrupted by commercial thinking.’

Heffermehl will be introduced by former CND chairman Bruce Kent.

‘The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted’ by Fredrik S. Heffermehl
Published by Praeger Publishers, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0313387449
Hardcover: 239 pages
RRP: £12



‘Eleven Reasons to Resist the Con-Dem Cuts’
with Neil Faulkner

Wednesday 9th March, 7pm


On Saturday March 26th Britain shall witness what is set to be the biggest demonstration since that opposing the most recent war on Iraq. The national demo on the 26th has been called by Trade Union Council, but has been backed by a host of regional and local anti-cuts campaigns, including the Coalition of Resistance and Counterfire.

Neil Faulkner is a representative of the Coalition of Resistance, a broad united non-sectarian national campaign against cuts and privatisation, and also of Counterfire, an organisation of revolutionary socialists concentrating their efforts on activism and political resistance.

Counterfire have just published Neil Faulkner’s pamphlet ‘Eleven Reasons to Resist the Con-Dem Cuts’, which outlines the key arguments against the coalition governments agenda.

A great public speaker, Neil’s talk is sure to be enlightening and inspiring.

‘Eleven Reasons to Resist the Con-Dem Cuts’ with Neil Faulkner
Published by
Counterfire
RRP: £2.00

FEBRUARY 2011


‘Canada's Genocide: One Man's Journey to Uncover the Truth’
with Rev. Kevin Annett

Wednesday 23rd February, 7pm

Reverend Annett, fired and defrocked by the United Church of Canada 15 years ago, has waged a singlehanded campaign for justice for indigenous people following his investigations of what he terms “the Canadian genocide”, perpetrated by the three major church organizations in 141 ‘residential schools’, with the complicity of the Canadian government  for 140 years.

Annett has written and produced a film on the subject, ‘Unrepentant,’ telling the story of how he came to be aware of what had happened, and featuring shocking testimonials from native Americans who had experienced such appalling physical, mental and sexual abuse at the religious schools. The film picked up a string of awards (Best Director, New York Independent Film Festival 2006, Best Foreign Film, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival 2009, Best Feature Film, Canadian Native Film Festival 2009).

In the light of the growing disclosures of systematic child abuse within elements of the Catholic church, Annett’s relentless campaigning is receiving a new audience in Europe. ‘Unrepentant: Disrobing The Emperor’ is a timely book, which recounts his investigation, testifies to the horrors experienced, and charts the struggles he has faced in persevering with this campaign to bring the episodes to light.

Annett’s talk at Housmans will be the first in a series of speaking engagement across Europe.

‘Unrepentant: Disrobing The Emperor’ by Kevin Annett
Published by O Books, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1846944055
Paperback: 202 pages
RRP: £10.99
Click here to buy



The Short Film Movement
Saturday 12th February, 3pm

The Short Film Movement are a loosely aligned group on nonconformist film makers, based in and around London. In their second visit to Housmans they will be screening a selection of their unique brand of films, on this occasion exploring the subject of free will and predestination.



‘Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music’
with Rob Young

Wednesday 9th February, 7pm

Rob Young’s book highlights the way in which folk music has changed in its self conception over time. The author of noted works ‘Adventures in Modern Music’ and ‘A Guide to Modern Music’, maps out the complex relationships at play in the history of folk music, from political radicalism, to a call for the pleasures of the home country.

Both looking forward and through nostalgic reminiscences, ‘Electric Eden’ attempts to identify what unifies these often divergent musical styles filed under the broad rubric of ‘folk’, and whether there is anything uniquely ‘British’ about British folk music. His look beyond the famous names of folk music reveals a hidden history of music left relatively undiscovered by 21st century ears.

Looking at such diverse output as Nick Drake, the Beatles and Kate Bush, ‘Electric Eden’ locates the connection between Britain and the folk spirit that informs its identity.

Rob Young is a musical author who, alongside editing ‘The Wire’ magazine, has written for the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and Uncut magazine.
In a short talk at Housmans, Rob Young discusses his book and invites us to discover the unearthed gems of the British folk scene.

JANUARY 2011


‘Ecology and Anarchism’
with Brian Morris

Wednesday 26th January, 7pm

For more than two decades, Brian Morris has been writing essays and critical reviews on ecology, anarchism and related issues. Morris offers critical reflections on many contemporary issues and debates, relating to Taoism, deep ecology, eco-feminism, Marxism and the French Revolution.

Essays, written from the standpoint of radical humanism, stress the crucial importance of socialist anarchism as the only political tradition that offers an authentic complement to ecological thought, and provide critiques of both bourgeois thought (mechanistic philosophy, neo-liberalism) and ecomysticism.

Brian Morris has written books and published articles on a wide range of topics and issues in the fields of ecology, ethnobiology, religion, history, philosophy, and anthropology.

Always an entertaining and animated speaker, we hope to see you for what’s sure to be a fascinating talk. Copies of Brian Morris’ ‘Ecology and Anarchism’ will be available (£5).



‘Restless Revolutionaries’
with Clive Bloom

Wednesday 19th January, 7pm

From regicides to revolutionaries; from fascists to anarchists; from Tom Paine to Tom Wintringham, Clive Bloom’s book is a history of noble ideals and crushing failures. ‘Restless Revolutionaries’ takes us on a journey through British history, exploring our often rocky relationship with the ruling elite, whether that it is the government of the day or the monarchy.

Clive Bloom reveals our legacy of terrorism and revolution, reminding us that Britain has witnessed centuries of revolt, through three bloody civil wars in Ireland, the bombing campaigns by the IRA, two Welsh uprisings, one Lowland Scottish civil war, uprisings in Derbyshire and Kent, five attempts to assassinate the entire cabinet and seize London and numerous attempts to murder the royal family. From the 1790s to the present day over 23,000 British subjects have fought and died for the ideal of a fair republic.

Restless Revolutionaries:
A History of Britain's Fight for a Republic
by Clive Bloom

Published by The History Press, 2010
Paperback: 312 pages
RRP: £12.99
Click here to buy



'Hobson’s Imperialism’
presented by Jeremy Corbyn MP, Alex Callinicos and Nathaniel Mehr
Wednesday 12th January, 7pm

This January, Spokesman Books will be re-publishing J.A. Hobson's 1902 classic 'Imperialism: A Study'. Hobson's book was among the first to explore the links between political economy and imperial expansion. It inspired a number of Marxist critiques of imperialism, and was quoted extensively in Lenin's famous pamphlet, 'Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism'.

The new edition will feature an introduction by Nathaniel Mehr and a foreword by Jeremy Corbyn MP. At the event Jeremy Corbyn and Nathaniel Mehr will be joined by Professor Alex Callinicos, who has written extensively on economics and imperialism, to discuss the significance of Hobson's book in today's world.

DECEMBER 2010


‘John Lennon’s Poetry and Politics’
with Tim Biancalana
On the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death

Wednesday 8th December, 7pm

With his uncanny resemblance to - and even voice of - John Lennon, actor-author-musician Tim Biancalana keeps Lennon's spirit and message alive. Sharing original, comedic and absurd Lennonesque poems from his book ‘Village Idiom’, as well as from Lennon's own works, Tim will convince you that John Lennon is either still around or at least not too far away. The evening will conclude with a chance for the audience to ask ‘John Lennon’ questions regarding his current political stances!

Tim perfectly evokes the spirit and imagery of John Lennon in one of the most origi­nal and effective tributes ever heard (and seen). ‘Village Idiom’ combines Lennon’s two books with the style of the Beatles 1966 Christmas Record, complete with John reading his own poems, set to sound effects. If John HAD recorded solo recordings of his books, it would have sounded just like this. Not only does Timothy write original poetry and stories in the spirit of IN HIS OWN WRITE, but he also writes Lennon-Inspired songs representing every period of his career.
–– Ronnie Dannelley, Editor of EAR CANDY, the eclectic, Internet music magazine.

...If channelling is real, he [Tim] WAS John Lennon ... he had the look, the manner­isms, and everyone was amazed, to say the least!
— Dave Mason, Host of the Sunday morning "Beatles Radio Show" on 101.5 KGB San Diego.

Tim Biancalana performs worldwide as John Lennon, both solo and with his band Dig It! See TributeToJohnLennon.com and DigIt.com.

NOVEMBER 2010


The Socialist Party of Great Britain present
‘What’s Wrong With Using Parliament?’
Saturday 20th November, 5pm

This pamphlet comes at a time when many people are questioning the destructive effects of capitalism, and also with it a rejection of leaders and the traditional left. This is something that can be encouraged. The aim of the pamphlet is to show that there is another view of social change that may be a blind spot with those who get involved with anti-capitalist, activist or/and anarchist politics. 

Join guest speakers from the Socialist Party of Great Britain will be discussing the future of socialist democracy in a time of non-ideological politics.



‘Electric Eden’
with Rob Young was...
~POSTPONED~

Unfortunately due to ill health Rob Young
was not be able to make this event as planned.

Rob Young’s book highlights the way in which folk music has changed in its self conception over time. The author of noted works ‘Adventures in Modern Music’ and ‘A Guide to Modern Music’, maps out the complex relationships at play in the history of folk music, from political radicalism, to a call for the pleasures of the home country.
 
Both looking forward and through nostalgic reminiscences, ‘Electric Eden’ attempts to identify what unifies these often divergent musical styles filed under the broad rubric of ‘folk’, and whether there is anything uniquely ‘British’ about British folk music. His look beyond the famous names of folk music reveals a hidden history of music left relatively undiscovered by 21st century ears.
 
Looking at such diverse output as Nick Drake, the Beatles and Kate Bush, ‘Electric Eden’ locates the connection between Britain and the folk spirit that informs its identity.
 
Rob Young is a musical author who, alongside editing ‘The Wire’ magazine, has written for the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and Uncut magazine.
 In a short talk at Housmans, Rob Young discusses his book and invites us to discover the unearthed gems of the British folk scene.



'Class in British Cinema'
with Carl Neville

Saturday 13th November, 5pm

Carl Neville’s book ‘Classless’ asks why mainstream British film has erased faithful representations of class in the past 20 years. By looking at films as diverse as ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Neville shows how impressions of British society are manufactured and distributed through cinema.
 
The book plots a line between Blairite notions of class and the directors who attempted to create the image of such a society through mass communication. Biting critiques of the work of Guy Ritchie and Richard Curtis offer a new way of understanding modern popular British cinema. 
 
Carl Neville was born into a working class family in Lancashire, and studied at Leeds and Bretton Hall. This is his first non-fiction work, with his novels including ‘White Diaspora’ and ‘Three Men, One Room’

In a short talk, Neville discusses his book and the future of a more socially driven film industry.



‘Talk on Politics & Song’
with Leon Rosselson

Wednesday 10th November, 7pm

Starting out writing satirical comedy songs for BBC’s ‘That Was the Week That Was’, Leon Rosselson has branched into different music genres and experimented with multiple influences.
 
His songs are loved by many, his innumerable fans include Billy Bragg and Dick Gaughan, who have both recorded his most famous song, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’. Described by Record Collector magazine as defining the ‘power, musical eloquence and history of politicised song’, his songs seek to challenge received opinion. 
 
Both as a singer and demonstrator, Leon Rosselson has inspired many to the political cause. An internationalist, he believes in the fight for justice, equality, and civil liberties, seen in his biting ‘Ballad of a Spycatcher’, ridiculing the Thatcher government’s censorship of the book. One of his most recent albums, ‘The Last Chance’ donates all proceeds to Medical Aid for Palestinians.
 
Leon Rosselson discusses his politics and music at Housmans, and will make a brief performance of some of his songs.



Adventures in Kate Bush and Theory
with Debora M. Withers

Saturday 6th November, 5pm


Since Kate Bush gained fame in the late 1970s, fans have been mesmerised by her unique style, said by John Lydon, former Sex Pistols front man, to supply him ‘with all the clues and it’s up to me put the answers together.’ ‘Adventures in Kate Bush and Theory’ reanalyses her music, dance and videos through a philosophical and critical lens.

The book straddles the line between the academic and the popular, enabling Withers to leave the strictures of academic writing, and flesh out critical studies in an understandable form.

Mark Radcliffe, BBC 6Music DJ, described the book as ‘an in-depth labour of love from a genuine Bush fanatic’ and feminist artist Allyson Mitchell called it a ‘weaving of theory, historical data, imagination and activism tied with astute observation and wry wit’.

In a short talk, Deborah M. Withers discusses her new book and the interplay of popular culture and critical cultural studies.

OCTOBER 2010


Religion - Cause of war or tool for peace?
with Symon Hill

Wednesday 27th October, 7pm

Mention violence, and talk of religion is not far behind. Many see religion as the greatest cause of war, while others find that religion motivates them to campaign for peace and to live nonviolently.

Symon Hill, author of ‘The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion’, explores the ins and outs of religion's links with both war and peace. With religion so often associated with violence, he asks if it has a role to play in achieving a nonviolent world.



No Sweat present
'Radical Ideas for Revolutionary Action’
with Michael Albert

Friday 22nd October, 7pm


In a rare visit from the USA, Michael Albert, author of ‘ParEcon: Life After Capitalism’, 'Realizing Hope: Life Beyond Capitalism' and co-editor and co-founder of the influential US publication ‘Z Mag’, will deliver an introductory overview of the theory and practice he has developed over 30 plus years of activism. Drawing on his own experiences and extensive knowledge he will address the key problems facing the revolutionary left today and suggest solutions for more effective organising.


Edited Audio Recording Highlights of the Evening



       Play



Housmans Peace Diary Launch Party
Saturday 16th October, 5pm

Housmans has been producing its world renowned Peace Diary with World Peace Directory since 1954, and are proud to launch the 2011 edition, alongside our close colleagues from the Peace Pledge Union and Peace News.

Bill Hetherington of the Peace Pledge Union will be presenting his new pamphlet ‘Swimming Against the Tide: the Peace Pledge Union Story 1934-2009’. Written to commemorate the PPU’s 75th anniversary, Bill will be recounting the role the organisation has had in campaigning against wars, the brave actions taken by its members to stand up against militarism, and aid the victims of armed conflict.

The 2011 edition of the Peace Diary includes a special feature celebrating the 75th anniversary of Housmans’ sister organisation, the anti-war newspaper Peace News. Guests from Peace News shall be joining us to say a few words on the paper’s history, and to give a preview of the exciting new initiatives being prepared in the wings for the paper’s future.

As well as being a chance to pick up a copy of the new diary, Housmans will be digging through its stock and putting together a sale of second-hand peace books, including some very hard to find titles. Many bargains to be had…

There will also be drinks available, so why not come along and join us over a glass of something, for what promises to be an enjoyable celebration of the peace movement.


Please visit www.housmans.com/diary.php for more info on the history of the diary, and how to order it online



 Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy’
with Matthew Alford
Wednesday 13th October, 7pm


Hollywood has long been labelled subversive, left-wing and anti-American.  The labels are wrong.
 
‘Reel Power’ exposes the entertainment industry’s intimate links with the US Department of Defense, the CIA and major weapons contractors. Through examining a hundred major films across a range of genres, Alford demonstrates how liberal movies like Three Kings, Avatar and Hotel Rwanda are often just as conformist and misleading as those scripts - like Air Force One, Windtalkers and Black Hawk Down - that have been subject to Pentagon interference. 
 
In a system dominated by reactionary moguls, despite the progressive impulses of a few individual players, Hollywood is hard-wired to support the national security state and the use of all-American violence overseas.
 
Matthew Alford writes for various publications, including the Guardian, New Statesman and Fortean Times.  He has featured on Canal+ TV, Al Jazeera and BBC Radio.
 
In a short talk (followed by Q&A) written specifically for Housmans, Matthew Alford discusses his book and brings the story up-to-date with analysis of the latest films serving the American establishment. 

Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy’ by Matthew Alford is available from Housmans online shop here.



Mouvement Communiste present:
‘Worker’s Struggle in China’

Saturday 9th October, 5pm


The wave of strikes in China this summer - beginning at Honda but then spreading to other car plants (e.g. Toyota) and on to other industries - seems to represent a qualitative break with the past. The collective of collective struggle by workers has been rising steadily since the mid-90s, but almost all the disputes have been confined to single enterprises and have usually been in protest against unlawful actions by the bosses (e.g. unpaid wages or pensions).

In contrast, the recent strikes have spread across workplaces and have involved ‘offensive’ demands for higher wages, as well as for the right for workers to elect their own representatives in negotiations. Is this the beginning of a new, more militant, era for workers in China? And what does it mean for workers in the rest of the world?

A speaker from Mouvement Communiste in France sets out some facts and invites us to try to answer these questions.
http://mouvement-communiste.com/



War Resisters’ International present:
‘The struggle for West Papuan's indigenous rights’ with Rosa Moiwend

Wednesday 6th October, 7pm

Rosa is from the Malind tribe of West Papua. She is an activist working with the Office for Justice and Peace in Jayapura, which works on promoting justice and peace building. Rosa has worked with the community at the grassroots level, and with partner organisations at the national and international level, to organise people to document the human rights situation in Papua every year and to advocate for the rights of indigenous Papuans. She is also a member of SORPATOM (Solidarity of People Against MIFEE).

Rosa will be speaking about indigenous people's rights in West Papua related to the Food Estate Project, which is known as MIFEE (Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate). The presentation will focus on the threats of MIFEE to the existence of the Indigenous Papuan (Malind tribe) in Merauke Regency, West Papua and how indigenous people protect their rights against this project, which was established by Indonesian Government, allegedly in order to save the world and Indonesia from the food and energy crisis. Some big investors from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia itself are investing their money in this project.
http://wri-irg.org/



War Resisters’ International present:
‘Afrocolombians for the land and against militarism’ with Jota Ramos

Saturday 2nd October, 7pm


Jota Ramo, hip hop singer and organiser from Villa Rica in Colombia, will present the documentary 'Mi FinK' and talk about the situation and struggle of Afrodescendants in Colombia, which arose in the face of vulnerability to losing the land: one of the few things that keep the community united and free.

Since the abolition of slavery in Colombia, the land has sustained the food supply and the economy of the Afrodescendants in Villa Rica. Today the sugar companies are dominating the area, planting sugar cane as a monoculture, thereby forcing out the traditional small farms of the region. Some families are resisting this eviction and the loss of their livelihoods.

As a result, the life of Jota, one of the community leaders, is being threatened. Persons as yet unidentified have accused him of subversion, a very dangerous accusation in Colombia, and warned him against working for his community.

‘As a way of protecting ourselves and to highlight these problems, we have made the documentary Mi Fink, and the music CD. We have also organized a tour of Latin America and Europe, to let the world know what is going on, so that we will not be alone on the path that we have chosen, towards freedom for our community.’ Jota Ramos

This event is presented by War Resisters’ International.
http://wri-irg.org/

SEPTEMBER 2010


‘Resisting the cuts – past and present’
with Janine Booth and Jon Rogers

Saturday 25th September, 5pm


In the aftermath of the First World War, thirty Labour councillors went to prison rather than accepting inequitable taxes. With unemployment rising in 1921 in Bow, Limehouse, Millwall and Old Ford, Poplar Borough Council could not help provide relief drawing only on the limited wealth of one poor London borough.

Poplar councillors, including future labour leader George Lansbury, demanded that rates from richer areas should help. Rich Kensington had a hugely greater rateable value and fewer jobless people; it could afford to pay more. So Poplar refused to pay over rates to the London County Council, and thus began the Poplar Revolt, which led to the imprisonment of thirty rebel councillors.

Janine Booth’s book ‘Guilty and Proud of It!’ tells the story of this important moment in Labour history, which resonates so strongly in the current climate of cuts on a scale not yet truly unimaginable.

Janine will be joined by Jon Rogers of UNISON, a committed trade unionist and Labour party member, who will be drawing parallels from the Poplar incident and discussing the possible responses of the organised Left to the governments cuts agenda.



‘Walking the Siege of Sidney Street’
with Clive Bloom
Sunday 12th September

The Siege of Sidney Street, popularly known as the ‘Battle of Stepney’, was a notorious gunfight in London's East End in 1911. It ended with the deaths of two members of a politically-motivated gang of burglars supposedly led by Peter Piatkow, a.k.a. Peter the Painter, and sparked a major political row over the involvement of the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill.

Join Clive Bloom, author of ‘Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts’, as he retells this captivating tale at the scene of the action.



‘Roughler’s London’
with Ray Roughler-Jones

Wednesday 8th September, 7pm

Very few people have seen life from as many angles as Ray Jones. After a regular upbringing in a working-class area of Swansea, Ray veered off the rails into a life of shoplifting and small-time drug dealing fuelled by alcohol and driven by gambling. Inevitably, Ray was sent to prison and eventually left Swansea for London such was his growing notoriety with the police and magistrates in his home town.

He settled in Ladbroke Grove and became a key figure in the burgeoning music and art scene emerging from the boho pubs around Notting Hill. He toured with Joe Strummer, hung out behind the scenes in Paris fashion houses and mingled with the fast and flash London set while in Swansea some of his closest friends lost their lives to drink and drugs.

Ray launched The Roughler magazine from the Warwick pub in Portobello Road and ran Dylan’s bar in San Francisco before being ripped off in a massive drugs deal leaving him destitute.

Ray’s has put it all down in his new autobiography, ‘Drowning on Dry Land’. Join Ray at Housmans to hear some great anecdotes about his escapades, and for an insight into a side of London living painstakingly airbrushed out of Richard Curtis’s version of Notting Hill.



‘Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts’
with Clive Bloom
Saturday 4th September, 5pm

Clive Bloom charts the story of London through centuries of popular insurrection and protest. It is a story of political activism expressed in street fighting and slum warfare, in assassination and bombing. Clive will and be launching his new updated version of ‘Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts’ published by Palgrave Macmillan.




AUGUST 2010


‘Dan Chatterton - London's One Man Revolution’
Wednesday 25th August, 7pm

Guests from The Freethought History Research Group and Anarchist Federation remember Dan Chatterton: Communist atheist pamphleteer, bill poster, slum dweller, early birth control advocate, fierce public ranter, and one of the most fascinating and undeservedly obscure characters of the London radical scene in the second half of the 19th century.



‘How to Live Free in London’
with Katharine Hibbert
Saturday 14th August, 5pm

Journalist Katharine Hibbert decided to give it all up for a year: no job, no rented flat, no shopping, no debit card and no travel pass, walk the streets with only a backpack and spend a year living off the food, clothes, other goods and accommodation that would otherwise go to waste. It would be a year of squatting, scavenging and no spending. The experience has changed her life, and she is now an active member of the Advisory Service for Squatters. Join Katharine to find out all you need to know about living free in London.



‘Fighting Fascism in London’
with David Renton
Wednesday 11th August, 7pm

Dave Renton will be discussing the anti-fascist struggles Londoners have engaged in over the years, taking in East Enders’ resistance against Mosley’s Black Shirts in the 1930s, the Anti-Nazi League fights of the 1970s, right up to today’s struggles against the BNP and the English Defence League.

JULY 2010


‘Radical St.Pancras & Somers Town’
with Mike Berlin
Saturday 31st July – time TBC

Mike Berlin leads a walk around the streets of St.Pancras and Somers Town and recounts its hidden history and radical past.



‘The Partisan Coffee House’
with Mike Berlin
Wednesday 28th July, 7pm

Mike Berlin discusses the Partisan Coffee House, the spiritual home of the New Left. It drew in some of the leading intellectuals and artists of the late 1950s including John Berger, Doris Lessing, Lindsey Anderson, and Karel Reisz. Mike will be recounting the fascinating story of this short-lived, but highly influential, cultural institution.


‘Poetry from Another London’
with Alan Morrison, David Kessel, John O'Donoghue, Tom Jayston and Jan Bradley
Saturday 24th July, 5pm

An evening of poetry about imagined Londons. Alan Morrison will be launching his latest long poem, ‘Keir Hardie Street’, a fantastical journey on the hidden Sea-Green Line of the Underground, which ends at Keir Hardie Street, the heart of a secret, parallel socialist London utopia. 


‘WalkWalkWalk‘
London

Wednesday 14th July, 7pm

Since 2005 walkwalkwalk have created live art events inspired by a routine walk through East London’s overlooked places. They have a vast archive of found objects, printed ephemera, texts and recordings which document the history and mythology of the route. For this event walkwalkwalk will present a selection of archival flyposters, prints and other artefacts from the archive. There will be a series of readings of walk stories, and the chance to sample some traditional walkwalkwalk refreshments.  For more info about walkwalkwalk visit their website  www.walkwalkwalk.org.uk

JUNE 2010


Feminist Review present:
‘Migration and the role of politics, love and sexuality’
with Rutvica Andrijasevic and Nick Mai
Wednesday 30th June, 7.30pm


Rutvita Andrijasevic and Nick Mai will be discussing the how love and sexuality have intersected with politics amongst migrant and ethnic minority communities in the UK.

In recent years the issue of migration has been strategically mobilised into moral panics which emphasised its association with irregularity, criminality and trafficking, while morally sanctioning cripplingly restrictive migration and integration policies. At the same time, migrants and ethnic minorities are increasingly mobilising themselves according to emerging political subjectivities.

The convergence between these social processes prompted scholars to focus on the specific ways in which the political, affective and sexual dimensions are implicated in the development of new forms of subjectivity related to mobility and migration.

These complex dynamics are examined in two special issues of the Subjectivity and Mobilities journals, which were published in late 2009 and co-authored by Rutvica Andrijasevic and Nick Mai, and which the authors will be discussing at Housmans Bookshop.

Rutvica Andrijasevic, a member of the Feminist Review Collective, will present a special issue on migration of the Subjectivity journal with the title ‘Conflicts of Mobility.’ The focus will be on theoretical and political innovative interventions in order to rethink the relationship between migration, labour and citizenship and the associated new forms of political subjectivity.

Nick Mai is Senior Research Fellow in Migrations and Immigrations at ISET, the Institute for the Study of European Transformations of the London Metropolitan University.  He will present a special issue on ‘Love, Sexuality and Migration’ of the Mobilities academic journal, exploring the ways in which feelings of love, as well as discourses and practices framing sexualities are implicated both in the migration process and in the negotiation of migrant subjectivities.




‘Dissent, Resistance and the Military:
How should the peace movement engage with ordinary soldiers?’

Saturday 26th June, 6pm


In the 60s and 70s, dissent and resistance by ordinary soldiers played a major role in ending the Vietnam War. Returning to barracks following his appearance at an anti-war rally in London last October Joe Glenton - the only British soldier to date to have been jailed for refusing to return to Afghanistan - was greeted with handshakes and pats on the back: "Someone said I was saying what everyone else is thinking. I heard that from several people".

With the Observer reporting “growing fears [in the Government] that the loss of public support for the war could spread to the forces community”, join us at Housmans Bookshop on 26 June (Armed Forces Day) for a discussion about war refusal past and present, and how the UK peace movement should engage with ordinary soldiers.

Mike Marqusee is a journalist, anti-war activist and author. He currently writes Level Playing Field, a column on politics and culture for The Hindu Sunday magazine, one of India’s largest circulation English language publications, and Contending for the Living for Red Pepper (www.mikemarqusee.com). Ben Griffin is a former soldier, who left the army in 2005 after refusing to return to Iraq. He is now an active anti war campaigner and also sits on the steering comittee of ForcesWatch (www.forceswatch.net). Gwyn Gwyntopher is a voluntary counsellor with At Ease (www.atease.org.uk), a free, independent, confidential advice and information service for members of the Armed Forces.

This event is supported by Justice Not Vengeance (www.j-n-v.org) and Peace News (www.peacenews.info) and is part of the Afghan Peace Walk: six days of action against the war and Army recruitment, and in support of Joe Glenton: see www.j-n-v.org and http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/04/450117.html




‘The Changing Face of Journalism’
with Richard Norton-Taylor

Wednesday 23rd June, 7pm


Veteran Guardian security editor Richard Norton-Taylor, will be in-store on the 23rd of June to discuss the present state of the journalistic profession in both print and broadcast, and the many changes he has witnessed since embarking on his career some thirty years ago. He will be discussing the changes to the field wrought by the impacts of developments in communications technology, as well as cultural and structural changes in newsrooms.

Does the rise in ‘user generated content’, be it amateur footage of the 2004 Asian tsunami, current affairs blogs from every point on the political spectrum, or simply the comments left on major news websites represent the democratisation of news reporting? Or are they fuelling a de-professionalisation of journalism, allowing potentially ill-informed authors to publish their work without checks on factuality or style? Has the content of news reporting changed over the last thirty years, and if so, how? Is investigative journalism a dying art, replace by a low-cost culture of embellishing press releases and news feeds from centralised sources? Norton-Taylor will be drawing on his career's-worth of knowledge and experience to offer insights into journalism's past and predictions for its future.

Do join us at Housmans for what promises to be a fascinating event for anyone interested in news reporting. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers with the speaker.



‘Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy’
with Philippa Perry
Wednesday 16th June, 7pm


Artist and psychotherapist Philippa Perry will be in-store discussing her new graphic novel ‘Couch Fiction’, the touching and witty story of one woman’s experiences in therapy. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on a psychotherapist's wall?

Couch Fiction’ is a psychotherapy case study in the form of a graphic novel - the first of its kind. It tells the story of James and his journey through a tumultuous year of therapy sessions. Handsome and successful, he struggles to cope when his girlfriend refuses to move in with him and it is only by confronting the reality of his past and admitting his insecurities that he can begin to make progress with his therapist…with surprising results.

A thought-provoking story which both entertains and educates, in Couch Fiction’ explores several difficult themes including sexual fantasies, stealing and childhood neglect. It reveals how therapeutic change takes place by looking at the inner thoughts of both the therapist and the client.

Philippa Perry is an artist and practising psychotherapist, and is married to the artist Grayson Perry. She will be in-store on the 16th of June to discuss her experiences as a therapist, graphic novels as a genre, and how she has combined the two in Couch Fiction’. There will be opportunities for questions and book signing.



‘Reclaiming the F Word’
with Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune
Saturday 12th June, 5pm


Join The F Word website founder Catherine Redfern and senior lecturer Kristin Aune to discuss the demands of the new feminist movement.

In today's 'post-feminist' society, women and men are considered equal. For younger women and men, feminism is often portrayed as unfashionable and irrelevant. But since the beginning of the new millennium a revitalised feminist movement has emerged to challenge these assumptions and assert a vibrant new agenda.

This groundbreaking book reveals the what, why and how of the new feminist movement and what it has to say about women's lives in today's society. From cosmetic surgery to celebrity culture and girl power to globalization, from rape to religion and sex to singleness, this book reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today's feminists, unveils the beginnings of a fresh and diverse wave of feminism, and calls a new generation back to action.

Join the authors to discuss the meaning the new feminist movement.



‘Demilitarising global society’
with Diana Francis

Wednesday 9th June, 7pm


Diana Francis will be discussing her latest book, ‘From Pacification to Peacebuilding: A Call to Global Transformation’, which reviews developments in the field over the past twenty years.

Does conflict transformation work? In her latest publication, ‘From Pacification to Peacebuilding’ (Pluto Press), Diana Francis reviews developments in the field over the past twenty years. She recognises that it has helped those engulfed in violent conflict to respond constructively, but also warns that the real requirement for peace is a global rejection of militarism.

She will be considering some of the largest questions surrounding contemporary peacebuilding: What, for example, can be learned about demilitarisation (DDR) at local levels and how can those insights be applied globally? What are the impacts of gender politics and roles on the peacemaking process? How can peace professionals and peace movements work more together to promote nonviolent power? And, crucially, how can we bring about the transformation of current international relationships, based on national and sectional interests,  backed by military violence, into interdependent, cooperative ones?

Join Diana at Housmans to discuss these issues and others raised by her research. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers, and drinks and snacks will be provided.



‘Human rights violations and resistance in China since 1989’
with Shao Jiang

Saturday 5th June, 5pm


Chinese activist and political exile Shao Jiang will be in-store discussing the state mechanisms of oppression in China and the future of Chinese human rights and civil resistance.

Twenty-one years ago, Shao Jiang helped to organise the Beijing pro-democracy student protests that culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre at the hands of Chinese government troops. He spent eighteen months jailed as a prisoner of conscience and on his release was placed under house arrest and surveillance.  Now living in political exile in London, where he is a researcher at the University of Westminster as well as a reporter on Chinese human rights for Amnesty International, he can return to China only if he agrees to publicly renounce his political beliefs.

Housmans are delighted to be able to host Shao Jiang in-store on 5th June, when he will be discussing the Chinese state’s mechanism of oppression, the social crises in since Tiananmen, and the potential futures of human rights activism in China.
Shao Jiang ~ Amnesty Blogs

MAY 2010


‘The Meaning of David Cameron’
with Richard Seymour

Wednesday 26th May, 7pm

 

The Tories are posing as a 'progressive' and 'radical' alternative to New Labour.  Drawing from George W Bush's 'compassionate conservatism', they maintain that the 'Big Society' can do what 'Big Government' cannot - produce a cohesive, mutually supportive, happy society. Cameron's court intellectual, Philip Blond, maintains that this is a viable alternative to the failures of the egalitarian left and the excessively pro-market right. But is this more than campaign mood music?  And are the conservative traditions that they draw on - from the bucolic, pseudo-medievalism of G K Chesterton to the anti-statism of Friedrich Hayek - really a bulwark of progress and radicalism? 

Richard Seymour argues that such ideas can only seem 'progressive' in light of New Labour's acquiescence to Thatcherism. To understand the Cameronites, it is necessary to understand how the social landscape and corresponding political language was transformed by the collapse of post-war social democracy and its more radical competitors. To resist the Cameronites, he argues, it is necessary to attack the neoliberal consensus on which all major parties found their programme.

Join Richard Seymour, blogger of ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ fame, and author of ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ to discuss ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’. Copies of the book will be available for signing.



‘The Life and Times of a Revolutionary’
with Bill Hunter

Saturday 15th May, 5pm


Born in County Durham six years before the General Strike of 1926, Bill Hunter has been a committed Trotskyist from the age of eighteen. He has dedicated his long adult life to fighting against capitalism, fascism and bureaucracy and for the Fourth International – Trotsky’s anti-Stalinist interpretation of communism.

In 1936, Bill began working at an engineering factory in London, becoming a shop steward and joining a Trotskyist group the following year. After spending the war as a convenor in London’s Chrysler aircraft factory, he was elected to Islington borough council in 1952. In 1954, along with his wife Rae, a nurse and convinced socialist, Bill was expelled from the Labour Party on the grounds of his association with the radical left-wing journal Socialist Outlook.

He has supported the struggles of Tyneside and Liverpool dock workers from the unofficial strikes of the 1950s to the disputes of 1996-8, as well as founding the Liverpool 8 support group during the 1984 Miners’ Strike and a joint trade union committee into allegations of police violence.  In more recent years, he has been one of the first to denounce the ‘War on Terror’ as a front for British and U.S. oil interests.

Housmans are honoured to be hosting a celebration for Bill’s ninetieth birthday this month. He will be in-store discussing the first volume of his autobiography ‘Lifelong Apprenticeship’, a fascinating insider’s perspective on the class struggles of the first half of the twentieth century, both in the U.K. and abroad.



'Pressure Drop'
with Billy Bragg and Mick Gordon

Wednesday 12th May, 1pm


Housmans are delighted to welcome Billy Bragg and playwright Mick Gordon to discuss ‘Pressure Drop’, a new play about English identity and its complexities. This event will also act as a launch for the script of ‘Pressure Drop’, published by Oberon Books, which is is playing as part of the KX Reveal festival.
http://createkx.atticmedia.com/arrivals/reveal/default.aspa

'Pressure Drop' is the latest work from On Theatre and Mick Gordon. Asking a central question - what makes me who I am? - it explores the individual, familial, social and political reference points that make a person definable and recognisable to themselves and others.

Part play, part gig, part installation, the event presents three generations of a white, working-class English family struggling to define themselves both in relation to one another and within a changing social landscape. At the heart of the work lies a paradox. Our identities are continually in flux, but at the same time we need a firm sense of rootedness, of belonging to something stable.

'Pressure Drop' sees Gordon join forces with legendary singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. In his book 'The Progressive Patriot', Bragg explores what it means to be English in contemporary Britain. Reflecting on his family and their history, and revisiting the music that originally inspired him, Bragg challenges versions of patriotism proposed by the far right. For the production he will write and perform new work.



London Zine Symposium

Wednesday 5th May, 7pm


The London Zine Symposium is an annual event bringing together zine makers from across the country to share in one another’s work. In celebration of the Symposium’s fifth anniversary an anthology of work has been put together, capturing the depth and breath of the British zine scene.

In celebration of the launch of this new title, Housmans will be hosting an evening of entertainment and information with zinesters, such as Rumlad, Last Hours, Hey Monkey Riot and Morgenmuffel. They shall be recounting tales of punk rock, vegan mass catering, UK social centres, revolution, anarchy and  of course, zine-making.

The evening promises to be a wonderful chance to check out the great work being done in bedrooms and kitchen tables all over Britain. Please visit www.londonzinesymposium.org.uk for more information.



Mouvement Communiste present:
Italian Workers' Struggles in the 1970s

Saturday 1st May, 5pm


The last great global proletarian political movement began in 1968 and reached its highest expression in Italy, in a movement lasting more than 12 years. Although it was centred on the struggles of workers in big workplaces, its influence spread well beyond the factory walls. Very quickly it took on questions of housing, transport, energy and means of subsistence by organising the self-reduction of prices and the seizure of housing, as well as having to directly confront the reactionary manoeuvres of the Communist Party and the trade unions.

The centre of gravity of the workers’ committee movement was the Milan area, and it was the workers’ committee of Magneti Marelli in the Crescenzago factory which was the most advanced expression of the committees in this region and thus in the whole country.

The Red Guard Tells its Story’ is a recently published book about these struggles. As of yet, it is only available in French and Italian. However, a member of the ‘Mouvement Communiste’ who worked on the French translation of the book is travelling to London to bring the message of this book to a British audience. The event will involve a discussion of what is important about the struggles of that time and what we can learn from them in relation to workers' struggles today.

APRIL 2010


‘Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists'
with Daniel Dorling

Wednesday 28th April, 7pm

Professor Daniel Dorling discusses his new book on the persistence of injustice. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this is essential reading for everyone concerned with social justice.

Few would dispute that we live in an unequal and unjust world, but what causes this inequality to persist? Leading social commentator and academic Danny Dorling claims in this timely book that, as the five social evils identified by Beveridge are gradually being eradicated, they are being replaced by five new tenets of injustice, viz: elitism is efficient; exclusion is necessary; prejudice is natural; greed is good; and despair is inevitable. In an informal yet authoritative style, Dorling examines who is most harmed by these injustices and why, and what happens to those who most benefit. Hard-hitting and uncompromising in its call to action, this is essential reading for everyone concerned with social justice.

Daniel Dorling is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. With colleagues he has published 25 books, including 8 atlases, one now translated into 7 languages. In 2007 (Sir) Simon Jenkins described him as 'Geographer Royal by Appointment to the Left', in 2008 he was appointed Honorary President of the Society of Cartographers, and in 2009 he was presented with the Back Award of the Royal Geographical Society.

“Beliefs which serve privilege, elitism and inequality infect our minds like computer viruses. But now Dorling provides the brain-cleaning software we need to begin creating a happier society”.  Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology and co-author of 'The Spirit Level'



War Resisters’ International present:
'Women and Conscientious Objection'

Friday 23rd April, 7pm

War Resisters’ International launch their new publication ‘Women and Conscientious Objection’. The book includes contributions from women conscientious objectors from several parts of the world, and historical contributions.  Including Mitzi Bales’ ‘They said 'no' to war’ – looking at women conscientious objectors across Europe and the US in World War II, and Tali Lerner and Idan Halili's stories of women’s refusal in Israel, alongside numerous other contributions from Korea to Colombia.

Editors Ellen Elster and Majken Jul Sorensen will be discussing book, and looking at the creation of a ‘distinctive feminist antimilitarism’ across the world. 

"This anthology is much, much more than a mere round-up of experience of women in the movement for men’s conscientious objection to obligatory military service. It is more, even, than an account of women’s struggle against their own conscription. For what we see here is women, at different moments, in one country after another, creating for themselves the concept, analysis and practice of a distinctive feminist antimilitarism."  - Cynthia Cockburn



Red Pepper debate:
“If voting changes so little, what are the means of radical change?”

Saturday 24 April, 5pm

Two weeks ahead of the forth coming general election, this debate, hosted by Red Pepper, sets out to challenge the merit of engaging in the current voting process, and discuss possible alternative means to initiate change in the political arena of the UK.

Red Pepper was launched in May 1995 and aims to provide a bold and attractive voice for the independent-minded left.  It also aimed to provide a means by which people from different traditions on the left could think aloud as they tried to recover from the defeats of the 1980s, drawing inspiration from green, feminist and ’developing’ world liberation movements to recreate a socialist vision.

Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper since 1996 and author of ‘Reclaim the State’, will be discussing the outlined debate topic alongside Stuart White, Oxford University lecturer specialising in egalitarianism and its application to policy, and Marianne Macekelbergh, lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and alterglobalisation activist.



No Sweat Forum: 
‘How Honduran workers took on sweatshop bosses... and won’
with Speakers from People & Planet and No Sweat

Thursday 22nd April, 7pm

In 2009, Honduran workers who had been fired from their jobs making garments for US apparel giants like Russell Athletic won reinstatement and union recognition after a massive international solidarity campaign.

In many ways, their case was typical; low-paid workers in a developing country working for employers operating on subcontracts from big apparel companies. The clothes they stitched would be sold on college campuses and high-streets across America and, when their bosses fired them for attempting to organise a union, their experience was one shared by thousands of other workers in the garment industry across the world.

What makes this group of workers different is that, unlike so many others, they won. The combined pressure of domestic protest and massive international solidarity campaign - in which UK organisations like People & Planet, Labour Behind the Label and No Sweat were central - forced their employers to reopen a closed workplace and rehire all 1,200 workers on union contracts. How did they do it, and what does it teach us about how we can support frontline workers' struggles against sweatshop exploitation? 

No Sweat is a UK campaign for workers' solidarity against sweatshop labour and hyper-exploitation; since 2001, it has build active links between workers and activists in the UK and workers in struggle against exploitation from Argentina to New Zealand, from Haiti to Indonesia. Our monthly central London discussion forums help us raise awareness of a variety of workers' struggles and discuss how we can support them.



'Animals Count'
campaign launch

Saturday 17th April - 5pm

Animals Count, a political party formed in 2006, will be at Housmans to outline their manifesto ahead of the forthcoming general election, at which they will contest the Islington and South Finsbury seat.

Their mission, as outlined on their website is “to establish a voice for the animals through a dedicated political party that focuses on respect and compassion for all living beings.” Amongst their policies are the establishment of an NHS-style infrastructure of veterinary treatment, the promotion of vegetarian meals in hospitals and schools, the abolition of factory farming and vivisection, a  ban on all recreational bloodsports.

Founding member Jasmijn de Boo was a member of the Dutch Party for Animals, standing for them in the 2004 European elections, and has likened the ongoing struggle for animal rights to the early twentieth-century movements for universal suffrage. Their Dutch counterparts are represented at all levels of government, with seats in the Senate, House of Representatives and local councils; Animals Count hope that this year’s election will mark  the first step towards instating animal rights at the heart of UK politics.



'Gender Matters in Global Politics'
with Cynthia Cockburn and Dibyesh Anand

Saturday 10th April, 5pm

Cynthia Cockburn and Dibyesh Anand will introduce ‘Gender Matters in Global Politics’, with specific discussion of their chapters ‘Militarisation and War’ (Cockburn), and ‘Nationalism & Gender’ (Anand).

‘Gender Matters in Global Politics’ is written by an international line-up of established and emerging scholars from a range of theoretical perspectives, providing provocative and cutting-edge insights into the study and practices of how gender matters in global politics.

The book explains the insights of feminist theory for a range of other disciplines including international relations, international political economy and security studies.  It addresses a large number of key contemporary issues such as human rights, trafficking, rape as a tool of war, peacekeeping and state-building, terrorism and environmental politics.

The event will feature
a brief introduction to the book as a whole, with specific contributions from Cynthia Cockburn on her chapter ‘Militarisation and War’, and Dibyesh Anand on ‘Gender and Nationalism’. There will also be an opportunity for a question and answer session at the end.



Verso present:
‘The Last days of Gordon Brown’ with Christopher Harvie
Wednesday 7th April, 7pm

SNP MP Christopher Harvie discusses ‘Broonland’, his scathing and witty indictment of the architect of New Labour, Gordon Brown.
How did the intellectually intimidating, industrious architect of the New Labour project become its maligned and feckless undertaker?
Offering an indictment of the architect of New Labour, Christopher Harvie details how Brown came to preside over a bankrupt country on the brink of economic and political breakdown. Taking us on a tour of Britain, it explores the ever-widening disparity between rich and poor, and how manufacturing was replaced by 'retail, entertainment and recreation' - otherwise known as shopping, gambling and drinking.
Looking at how a deregulated, casino economy veered wildly out of control, and how Britain's public utilities and industries were privatised and sold off to the highest bidder, ‘Broonland’ is both an essential anatomy of New Labour's bankrupt policies and a caustic portrait of a decade that went from boom to bust.

Join the author as he discusses his latest publication at Housmans. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and to have books signed.

 

MARCH 2010


‘Women and Activism’
with Maya Evans and Tamsin Omond
Wednesday 24th March, 7pm

Activists Maya Evans and Tamsin Omond will be discussing womens’ roles in contemporary peace and environmental movements.

Maya Evans was the first person to be convicted under the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act; her offence was to stand in front of the Houses of Parliament, reading out the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq. Since her conviction, she has campaigned against Islamophobia and the Afghan war, and for civil liberties.

Tamsin Omond is a high-profile environmental activist and founder of Climate Rush, an all-female climate change awareness movement inspired by the struggles of the Suffragettes, who advocate peaceful civil disobedience to inspire change.

Maya and Tamsin will be discussing the roles played by women in contemporary peace and green movements, and examining questions of gender and class identity in activism.


Tamsin Omond's book 'RUSH! The Making of a Climate Activist' is available by clicking here.




‘Dissenting Women of the Eighteenth Century’
with Jennifer C. Kelsey
Wednesday 31st March - 7pm to 8.30pm

Throughout the eighteenth century, from childhood to old age, women from all strata of British society faced the same prejudice because of their sex. Not all women, however, were prepared to accept their lot; some openly objected to a double standard which placed them under far more restrictions - physical, intellectual, financial and social - than men and boys.

Even for those who did accept the status quo, there were ways to make use of, or even exploit, the situations in which they found themselves in order to better their positions and claim some autonomy. Kelsey’s new publication is a study of women’s resistance both explicit and subtle.

Join the author for a discussion of ‘A Voice of Discontent’ as well as an opportunity for questions and answers and book signing.

Jennifer C. Kelsey's 'Voice Of Discontent' is available by clicking here.




No Sweat Anti-Sweatshop Benefit Gig featuring
Resolution 242 + Jonny One Lung +
The Ruby Kid + Captain of the Rant

Saturday 20th March 6pm


No Sweat regularly host the best nights in politically-charged music, with all proceeds going towards fighting sweatshop bosses around the world.
This evening No Sweat bring a selection of their favourite artists to Housmans, all playing in an unplugged style. The fantastic line up includes:

Resolution 242 – sharp as nails acoustic folk punk reggae
Jonny One Lung - emotive and outspoken songs
The Ruby Kid – political rap, a cappella style
Captain of the Rant - spot-on slam poetry

…plus anti-sweatshop speeches, drinks and a raffle.
http://www.nosweat.org.uk






Zed Books present
‘Glamour: Social History Women and Feminism’
with Carol Dyhouse

Wednesday 10th March - 7pm

How do we understand "glamour"? Has it empowered women or turned them into objects? Once associated with modernity and the cutting edge, is it now entirely bound up with nostalgia and tradition?

Dyhouse’s latest publication tells glamour‘s story. It explores the changing meanings of the word, its relationship to femininity and fashion, and its place in twentieth century social history. Using a rich variety of sources - from women's magazines and film to social surveys and life histories , the author examines with wit and insight the history and meaning of costume, cosmetics, perfume and fur. She disentangles some of the arguments surrounding femininity, appearance and power, directly addressing feminist concerns.

The book explores historical contexts in which glamour served as an expression of desire in women and an assertion of entitlement to the pleasures of affluence, finally arguing that glamour can't simply be dismissed as oppressive, or as male fantasy, but can carry celebratory meanings for women.

Join us at Housmans to hear Prof. Dyhouse discuss her publication. There will be an opportunity to meet the author and to have books signed.


'Glamour' is available by clicking here, currently with a 15% discount.




‘Feminism Today’
with Nina Power and Lindsey German

Saturday 6th March - 5pm to 6.30pm


Author and academic Nina Power joins veteran socialist campaigner Lindsey German to discuss the state of contemporary feminism, with a focus on the rise of ‘consumerist feminism’.

Nina Power’s latest book, ‘One Dimensional Woman’ charts the rise of ‘consumer feminism’, the cultural phenomenon according to which the height of female achievement consists of “the ownership of expensive handbags, a vibrator, a job, a flat and a man.” But how has it come to this?, she asks. Did the desires of twentieth-century women's liberation achieve their fulfilment in the shopper's paradise of 'naughty' self-pampering, playboy bunny pendants and bikini waxes?

Socialist activist and London mayoral candidate Lindsey German similarly examines women’s places within a consumer-capitalist economy in her 2007 publication ‘Material Girls: Women, Men and Work’, in which she argues that women’s relatively recent admission to the world of work has left them exposed to the worst exploitations of capitalism.

Join the authors in conversation at Housmans bookshop for a discussion of feminism’s possible futures.


Nina Power's book 'One Dimensional Woman' is available by clicking here.
Lindsey German's book 'Material Girls' is available by clicking here.

FEBRUARY 2010


‘Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO’
with Paul Trewhela

Saturday 27th February 5pm


During its period of outlaw and exile under South Africa’s apartheid regime, the African National Congress operated from Angola and Tanzania. Located north of Luanda in Angola, Quatro was one of the most feared of the secret camps of the ANC, and only a selected few in the ANC leadership seem to have had access.

Established in 1979, Quatro (officially known as Camp 32) was supposed to be the rehabilitation centre of the ANC, where enemy agents who had infiltrated the ANC would be "re-educated" and would be made to love the ANC through the opportunity to experience the humane character of its ideals.

Through a process that still demands explanation, however, Quatro became as horrific as any prison that the apartheid regime - itself a crime against humanity - had ever had. Inmates were brutally assaulted, starved, given humiliating nicknames, denied medical treatment and subjected to forced labour. Camp staff were often young, impressionable, and sworn to secrecy. Were ANC leaders aware of what was happening in their name?

Born in Johannesburg in 1941, Paul Trewhela worked in underground journalism with Ruth First and edited the underground journal of ‘MK, Freedom Fighter’ during the Rivonia Trial, in which ten ANC leaders were prosecuted by the apartheid regime for sedition. He was a political prisoner in Pretoria and the Johannesburg Fort as a member of the Communist Party in 1964–7, separating from the SACP while in prison. In exile in Britain he was co-editor with the late Baruch Hirson of Searchlight South Africa, banned in South Africa. Since 2006 he has published numerous articles on South African political subjects on the websites. Join him at Housmans for a discussion of this publication, with an opportunity for questions and answers.




No Sweat Forum - Haiti Earthquake
Thursday 25th February 7pm

No Sweat are holding a public meeting about the earthquake in Haiti and its impact on the labour movement there. Speaking at the meeting will be Charles Arthur from the Haiti Support Group and No Sweat activists.




Last Hours Collective present:
‘Excessive Force – policing in Britain’

Wednesday 24th February 7pm

The Last Hours publishing and politics collective present their latest offering, ‘Excessive Force’, a ‘comix’ anthology by eighteen different artists, - as well as articles by three authors - dealing with the issue of police brutality. Some of the short strips are drawn from imagined events, whilst others are based on real-life experience, including Edd Baldry’s account of the 2009 G20 protests, and the subsequent death of Ian Tomlinson.

The event will feature an extended discussion by members of Last Hours, FITWatch, and the LDMG (Legal Defence and Monitoring Group) on the current policing situation in the UK, how it has changed over the years, and how to best to respond to it. There will also be an opportunity to have books signed by contributing artists.




David Paul Press present:
‘This Room in the Sunlight’
with Bernard Kops

Wednesday 17th February 7pm


Bernard Kops, one of Britain’s most celebrated and prolific authors, has written more than forty plays for stage and radio, nine novels and two autobiographies, as well as seven volumes of poetry. ‘This Room in the Sunlight’ is his eighth - and latest - collection of poems,  covering his preoccupations with love and death, reflecting his early breakdown and drug addiction, family life, growing up in London's East End, growing old and his Jewish identity.

He has included well-known poems such as ‘Shalom Bomb’, an unofficial anthem for the CND movement in the 1960’s, and the more recent ‘Whitechapel Library, Aldgate East’, in which he mourns the passing of the old library in London’s East End, a gathering place for writers and radicals of the area. Other poems tell of his feelings about encounters with people, ordinary and famous. There are glimpses of WH Auden, Allen Ginsberg and Henry Williamson, alongside those of his friends, neighbours and loved ones.

Join us at Housmans to hear Kops reading and discussing his poetry. There will also be an opportunity to have books signed.
This Room in the SunlightBernard Kops (David Paul, 2007)



Zed Books present:
‘Possibilities for the Post-Capitalist Era’
with Harry Shutt

Saturday 13th February 5pm


“Dissident economist” Harry Shutt predicted the recent economic collapse as early as 1998 with his book ‘The Trouble With Capitalism’. In the second edition of this remarkably prescient publication, he argues that the on-going crisis has arisen as a result of fundamental economic problems, stemming from the growing redundancy of both labour and capital since the 1970s. In doing so, he exposes the sham of laissez-faire economics, showing that state power and capital are increasingly being used to prop up capital while pretending that the aim is to roll back the frontiers of the state.

His forthcoming book, ‘Beyond the Profits System: Possibilities for the Post-Capitalist Era’, moves beyond the predictions explored in ‘The Trouble With Capitalism’ to offer a radical yet realistic way forward in light of the catastrophe.

The author will be discussing his theories and publications, answering questions and signing books. Do join us at Housmans for what promises to be an extremely interesting event.



War Resisters' International present:
‘Antimilitarism In Latin America’

Tuesday 2 February - 7pm


In recent years, there have been efforts to create a Latin America-wide
antimilitarist network, which has produced statements on, amongst other issues,  the threat of war between Colombia and Venezuela, and the military coup in Honduras. One of their most significant challenges is the new populist face of militarism in the region, with leaders such as Hugo Chavez garnering widespread support from civilians for potential conflicts.

Organised by War Resisters International, who monitor, report on and promote pacifist causes across the world, this event will feature activists Pelao Carvallo, a Chilean living in Paraguay, and  Rafael Uzcategui from Venezuela, discussing their
experiences within the burgeoning Latino antimilitarist movement. 

The event will be in both Spanish and English, with interpreters.


JANUARY 2010


Guy Debord's 'Game of War'

presented by Class War Games
Wednesday 27th January 7pm

Class War Games will show a short film introducing the Marxist theorist Guy Debord's political board game "Game of War". Audience members will then be able to play the game for themselves.

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 Wargames in London and the Radical Software Group in New York have launched a project to promote the game, are playing matches in public and developing their own versions of the game. The accompanying book has been translated into English for the first time.
Class Wargames 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.

Game of War Guy Debord (Atlas Press, 2007)




Zed Books present:

'Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story'
with Eric Selbin

Wednesday 20th January 7.00pm

Eric Selbin will be discussing his new book which examines the role of myth and storytelling in lighting the fires of revolutions and political struggles.

Why do revolutions happen? Decades of social science research have brought us little closer to understanding where, when and amongst whom they occur.
In this groundbreaking book, Prof. Selbin argues that we need to look beyond the economic, political and social structural conditions to the thoughts and feelings of the people who make revolutions.

In particular, he argues, we need to understand the stories people relay and rework of past injustices and struggles as they struggle in the present towards a better future. Ranging from the French revolution to the Battle for Seattle, via Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and Nicaragua, Selbin makes the case that it is myth, memory and mimesis which create, maintain and extend such stories.

Published by Zed Books, this volume identifies four kinds of enduring revolutionary story - Civilizing and Democratizing, The Social Revolution, Freedom and Liberation and The Lost and Forgotten. These tales do more than report on events: they catalyse changing the world.

Eric Selbin is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Southwestern University, Texas. His books include Modern Latin American Revolutions and Understanding Revolutions (with John Foran and Jack Goldstone).

Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance Eric Selbin (Zed Books, 2009)




'Venezuela: An Anarchist Perspective'

presented by War Resisters International

Monday 18th January 7.00pm

Rafael Uzcategui is a member of Colectivo El Libertario, an anarchist project and magazine in Venezuela, and works for the human rights organisation Provea.

He will talk about the situation in Venezuela from a critical anarchist perspective, with a special focus on the militarisation of Venezuelan society and the co-option of social movements.

The event will be in Spanish and English.



'Health under Capitalism'
with Colin Leys, Wendy Savage and Jonathan Tomlinson

Wednesday 13th January 7.00pm

Launching the 2010 edition of ‘Socialist Register‘, editor Colin Leys, along with contributors Wendy Savage and Jonathan Tomlinson, discuss the state of healthcare within capitalist systems.

The Socialist Register was founded by Ralph Miliband and John Saville in 1964 as ‘an annual survey of movements and ideas’ from the standpoint of the independent new left. It is currently edited by Leo Panitch, Colin Leys, Greg Albo and Vivek Chibber, assisted by an editorial collective of eminent scholars in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Each volume is focused on a topical theme and features a selection of inter-disciplinary analyses taking in diverse geographical locations.

This volume examines the struggle between commercial forces, across the world, seeking to make health care a field of capital accumulation, and popular forces fighting to keep it -- or make it -- a public service with equal access for all.

It addresses the political and accumulation strategies of ‘big pharma’, the global food industry’s production of hunger and obesity, and the relationships between capitalism and mental illness, amongst other topics. It also examines the forces at work in a broad range of national health care systems to explain:

- President Obama’s plans for the US health system,
-The commodification of European public healthcare,
-Systemic gender discrimination in the health systems of Sub-Saharan Africa
-Cuba’s egalitarian health policies at home and abroad
-What we can learn from HIV/AIDS mobilizations to build a comprehensive public health movement.

Colin Leys, along with contributors Wendy Savage and Jonathan Tomlinson, will be discussing the state of healthcare across the world, followed by a Q &A session with audience members.

Health Under Capitalism: Morbid Symptoms edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch (Merlin Press, 2009


DECEMBER 2009


'Bending the Bars' with John Barker
Wednesday 16th December 7pm


John Barker, one-time member of militant libertarian group The Angry Brigade, discusses his experience of seven years imprisonment, and answers questions on the Brigade’s outlook and actions.

Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade, strongly influenced by anarchism and the Situationists, launched a bombing campaign which targeted banks, embassies and the homes of Tory MPs. In total, 25 bombings were attributed to them by the police. The damage done by the bombings was mostly limited to property damage although one person was slightly injured. A group of anarchists from North East London, the 'Stoke Newington Eight', were prosecuted for carrying out bombings as the Angry Brigade in one of the longest criminal trials of English history (it lasted from 30 May to 6 December 1972).

John Barker was one of those imprisoned. John went to prison in 1971, and stayed there for seven long years. ‘Bending The Bars’ is a collection of stories written then, and published together for the first time in 2007. This evening John will be discussing his experience of imprisonment, and answering questions on the Brigade’s outlook and actions.



'As Far as the Eye can Sing'
with Frankie Armstrong
Saturday 12th December 5pm


Celebrating the re-launch of her autobiography, folk musician and voice teacher Frankie Armstrong reminisces about forty years in the folk, women’s and peace movements, with anecdotes and songs.


Frankie Armstrong is a singer with over 40 years in the folk, women’s and peace movement. From the early days of the Vietnam War, to the recent concert for Musicians Against Nuclear Arms, she has sung to raise spirits and awareness.


Housmans are delighted to welcome Frankie for an evening of reminiscence and music in celebration of the re-launch of her autobiography ‘As Far as The Eye Can Sing’.







'Arabs, Muslims and the Poverty of Liberal Thought'
with Steven Salaita
Wednesday 9th December 7pm


'The Uncultured Wars' is a powerful indictment of dominant American liberal-left discourse. Through twelve stylish essays Steven Salaita returns again and again to his core themes of anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia and the inadequacy of critical thought amongst the 'chattering classes', showing how racism continues to exist in the places where we would least expect it.
By looking at topics as diverse as 'Is Jackass Justifiable?', 'Open Mindedness on Independence Day' and 'Ambition, Terrorism and Empathy', Salaita explores why Arabs are marginalized, and who seeks to benefit from this. He goes on to make the case that Arabs and Muslims urgently need to be included in the conversations that people have about American geopolitics. Part of a long tradition of politically engaged writing, and a trailblazer in the emerging genre of Arab-American writing, this book is eminently readable and relevant to our times.


Steven Salaita, RAWI Executive Director, is Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Tech. His other books include 'Anti-Arab Racism in the USA', 'The Holy Land in Transit', and 'Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics'.



'Putin's Russia: Power, Money and People'
with Simon Pirani
Wednesday 2nd December 7pm

Launching his new book on the subject, Simon Pirani discusses the interaction of power, money and people in Russia during the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and his successor Dmitry Medvedev, and the social movements that are working against an increasingly authoritarian government to change Russia for the better

Simon Pirani investigates the interaction of power, money and people in Russia during the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and his successor Dmitry Medvedev. Profiling the Putin team, including contingents from the security services and pro-market economic 'reformers', Pirani argues that the economic growth it presided over during the oil boom was one-sided. The gap between rich and poor widened. Now the boom is over, inequalities will multiply further. As well as explaining Russia's economic trajectory, the book provides a unique account of the social movements that are working against an increasingly authoritarian government to change Russia for the better.

Simon Pirani is a researcher and journalist focused on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. As a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies his specialisms include oil and gas, other commodities, and financial markets.
Other Books by Simon Pirani

NOVEMBER 2009


'Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops'
with Graham Jones
Wednesday 25th November 7pm


Graham Jones’ will be sharing anecdotes about the world of music retail and discussing the future of independent record shop, as explored in his book ‘Last Shop Standing’.

Graham Jones’ book ‘Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops?’ is an outstanding insight into the ever dwindling world of record shops, and a fly on the wall look at the industry with all its plus and minus. He reveals the truth about chart hyping and shines a light on some of the extraordinary shenanigans that have regularly gone on behind the scenes as record companies go about promoting some of their biggest hits (and misses).

The book begins with a roll call of some of the 540 record shops that have closed in the last four years alone. For record retailing is an industry in crisis. Beset by the onward march of the supermarkets, the growing popularity of music downloading and a host of other rapidly emerging market trends, the traditional record shop has become an endangered species. While Graham recognises such problems, and explains them with an insider's knowledge and eye for detail, he remains committed to the future of the industry that he loves.

As well as being a eulogy to an era that is fast fading into history, ‘Last Shop Standing’ is also a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully in such a harsh trading environment. All of which makes this a most timely and important book.


Housmans is delighted to welcome Graham Jones to share anecdotes about the world of music retail and discuss the future of record shops.




'The Chomsky Effect'
with Robert F. Barsky
Saturday 28th November 5pm

Professor Barsky, on a rare visit from the USA, will be exploring the work of Noam Chomsky, considering his role as a both analyst and activist, and trying to asses why he has come to mean so much to so many.

"People are dangerous. If they're able to involve themselves in issues that matter, they may change the distribution of power, to the detriment of those who are rich and privileged." Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, groundbreaking linguist and outspoken political dissenter - voted 'most important public intellectual in the world today'in a 2005 magazine poll -Chomsky inspires fanatical devotion and fierce vituperation. In 'The Chomsky Effect', Chomsky biographer Robert Barsky examines his subject's positions on a number of highly charged issues - Chomsky's signature issues, including Vietnam, Israel, East Timor, and his work in linguistics - that illustrate not only 'the Chomsky effect' but also 'the Chomsky approach.'
Chomsky, writes Barsky, is an inspiration and a catalyst. Not just an analyst or advocate, he encourages people to become engaged-to be 'dangerous' and challenge power and privilege.

The actions and reactions of Chomsky supporters and detractors and the attending contentiousness can be thought of as 'the Chomsky effect.' Barsky discusses Chomsky's work in such areas as language studies, media, education, law, and politics, and identifies Chomsky's intellectual and political precursors. He charts anti-Chomsky sentiments as expressed from various standpoints, including contemporary Zionism, mainstream politics, and scholarly communities. He discusses Chomsky's popular appeal - his unlikely status as a punk and rock hero (Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is one of many rock and roll Chomskyites) - and offers in-depth analyses of the controversies surrounding Chomsky's roles in the 'Faurisson Affair' and the 'Pol Pot Affair'.

Finally, Barsky considers the role of the public intellectual in order to assess why Noam Chomsky has come to mean so much to so many, and what he may mean to generations to come.



'People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity'
with Howard Clark
Wednesday 18th November 7pm

Across the world, nonviolent movements offer resistance against repressive states, imperial interventions and corporate abuses. However, it is often hard for sympathetic activists in other nations to know how best to assist such movements. Howard Clark seeks to situate nonviolent struggles within a global context in which international solidarity is a critical weapon that such movements can use to achieve their ends. Howard Clark has edited the recently published Pluto Press title ‘People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity’. The contributors place nonviolent struggles in an international context where solidarity can play a crucial role. Yet they also warn that good intentions are not enough, solidarity has to listen to local movements. Examining movements from Zimbabwe to Burma and Palestine, the contributors assess various forms of solidarity, arguing that a central role of solidarity is to strengthen the counter-power of those resisting domination and oppression.
Howard Clark is a nonviolent activist and independent peace researcher living in Madrid. He has worked for Peace News and since 2008 has been chair of War Resisters’ International. He is a research fellow of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University and author of Civil Resistance in Kosovo (Pluto, 2000) and co-author with April Carter and Michael Randle of People and Power Protest Since 1945: A Bibliography of Nonviolent Action (2006).



'Songs of the Land'
with Leslie Ray
Friday 20th November 7pm

Author and musician Leslie Ray will be discussing folk music, its connection with English history, and its role in forming our sense of identity. He’ll also be perform a selection of songs on these themes.

In 2007 Les published 'Language of the Land', about the Mapuche indigenous people, their culture, history and struggle for control over their ancestral lands. In his current writing project he has turned his attention to these shores, focusing on folk music and its connection with English history, our sense of identity and our attachment to the land. In these times of intolerance, he sees folk music as a music that is rooted in place yet does not police its borders. He'll be performing a selection of songs on these themes, accompanied by his trusty guitar and mandola, and a selection of images.

For more of Leslie Ray's work and music please visit:
http://www.myspace.com/lesandthestreetscreamers






PEACE HOUSE 50TH ANNIVERSARY

CELEBRATION AND BENEFIT


Saturday 14th November 2009

3pm to 2am

At The Cross Kings,126 York Way, King’s Cross, London  N1 OAX

Just a few minutes from Peace House

 Peace House, at Caledonian Road in King ’s Cross, London, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Over the years the building has housed a host of progressive campaign groups. Join us in celebrating five decades of defiance, subversion and protest!  


Tickets for the evening entertainment are sure to sell out as space is limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


In the Main Room
3pm - 6pm PEACE HOUSE REUNION TEA PARTY
a chance to catch up with friends over tea and biscuits
Featuring political street choir RAISED VOICES and poetry from DENNIS GOULD
Free entry

From 6pm – 2am

Songs from the frontline with JOE WILKES
IAN SAVILLE  conjures his Magic for Socialism

Celebrating his 50th year of performing, political folk from LEON ROSSELSONThe unstoppable all-female five-piece FREYLEKH KLEZMER DANCE BAND
Beautiful, bold folk from SEIZE THE DAY
Followed by DJs till 2am.
+ more to be announced

In the Jester Bar
From 8.30pm till very late we have the best political and alternative comedy, hosted by ROBIN INCE, and featuring anarchist transvestite ANDREW O’NEILL, NATALIE HAYNES, and COLIN WATSON, as well as musical turns from MARTIN WHITE, PHIL JEAYS and JOANNA NEARY. Followed by DJs till 2am.


Because of capacity limitations, we're selling tickets which are either primarily for the Main Room, or primarily for the Jester Bar, depending on where you want to spend most time. However, subject to space constraints during the evening, you may be able to visit both entertainment areas.


All taking place at
The Cross Kings
126 York Way,
King’s Cross,
London  N1 OAX
map: http://www.thecrosskings.co.uk/map.html


Benefit Tickets:
Free entry for Reunion Tea Party
£9 for evening entertainment in the Main Room

£8.50 for ticket for Robin Ince and Friends in the Jester Bar


Alternatively to purchase tickets or for more info please call: 020 7837 4473


Other Information:

Open 3pm-2am
Regretfully no wheelchair access for the Jester Bar.

Under 18’s allowed up to 10pm if accompanied by a responsible adult.
Full bar, hot and cold drinks  and snacks available throughout
Vegan food available from 6pm



'Bob Dylan & Babylon: Together through Life'
with John Gibbens
Wednesday 11th November 7pm


Drawing on his book 'The Nightingale's Code: A Poetic Study of Bob Dylan', John Gibbens will be discussing the many influences on Dylan’s music, examining his more recent works, and playing some tracks.
As a poet and rock musician, John Gibbens has the background to give us a fresh perspective on Bob Dylan's substantial body of work. He has also read all the major critical studies and biographies and tracked down Dylan's literary and musical sources, from Blake and the Bible to Howlin' Wolf and Woody Guthrie. As a result, this book is literate, personal, refreshing and shows a deep affection for the artist he calls 'our first old rock star'. Dylan, Gibbens suggests, made himself into a particular kind of folksinger, an individual who picked up pieces of whatever lay around, including the 'museum of sound' of 20th-century recorded music, to create an individual vision, continually open to what was new and fresh.


Gibbens looks at all the different kinds of music Dylan has appropriated in this way, from country to gospel, and also at the social and political background against which Dylan has worked, particularly the rise and fall of the 1960s counterculture.


This evening will concentrate on the works since 2001 that have made the latter part of Dylan's career as brilliant as any before. There'll be some singing to leaven the speaking and at the end, even if the hour is getting late, some time to not talk falsely...






'What is Psychogeography Today?'
with Rich Cochrane
Saturday 7th November 5pm


Rich Cochrane explores the modern significance of psychogeography. Does modern psychogeography retain anything of the radical agenda of the 1960s? Should it? Does the term really mean much in relation to modern practice?
Rich Cochrane explores the modern significance of Psychogeography, defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals."

Psychogeography came to have a political dimension, particularly brought out by The Situationist International, who advocated experiences of life being alternative to those admitted by the capitalist order, for the fulfilment of human primitive desires and the pursuing of a superior passional quality.
In recent years there has been a revival of interest in psychogeography, and Rich Cochrane will be investigating how the modern conception relates with to previous understandings.

OCTOBER 2009


Zed Books present:
‘Lugo: The Priest of Paraguay’
with Hugh O'Shaughnessy

Saturday 31st October – 5pm

Paraguay had the oldest one-party regime on earth. Under the 60-year dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner's Colorado party, wealth and power became concentrated in the hands of a small few; until elections in 2008 broke the party's hold on the country and promised a newer, more egalitarian future, particularly for the country's indigenous people.

In ‘The Priest of Paraguay’, Hugh O'Shaughnessy tells the story of how Fernando Lugo, a bishop from a deprived diocese, swept to victory and what this will mean for his country, Latin America and the wider world. He traces Lugo's life alongside the turbulent history of Paraguay - from his early years in a family which fell victim to Stroessner to his release by the Vatican in order to follow a political calling.

The book also examines what may lie in store for the newest addition to Latin America's 'pink tide' of socialist and social democratic countries. This is history of a fascinating but largely unknown country by one of the most respected commentators on Latin America.

"There could be no one better placed to bring these events to the general public than Hugh O'Shaughnessy. His work on Latin America has been outstanding in its historical depth, subtle insight and sympathetic understanding of the travails of the population, and the intricacies of the domestic structures and international environment." Noam Chomsky



PRE-ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR SPECIAL
R.A.G. Issue Launch &
Colin Ward film screening
Friday 23rd October – 7pm

Ahead of this year’s Anarchist Bookfair, Housmans welcome the Revolutionary Anarcha-feminist Group from Dublin, who will be launching the latest issue of their magazine, whilst downstairs we will be screening a new documentary of ‘Colin Ward in Conversation with Roger Deakin’.

The RAG (Revolutionary Anarcha-feminist Group) is a magazine produced by a diverse group of anarcha-feminist women in Dublin. The members of the group are united in their recognition that women's subordination exists, and in the belief for the need to create alternatives to what they recognise as a capitalistic, patriarchal society wherein all are dominated and exploited. This evening guests from the group will be launching the fourth issue of this important publication.

Colin Ward was an editor of the British anarchist newspaper Freedom from 1947 to 1960, and the founder and editor of the monthly libertarian journal Anarchy from 1961 to 1970. Colin has written a number of books, which brought a fresh anarchist perspective on subjects such as housing and education. One of his most well-known book, ‘Anarchy In Action’, was an attempt to show "that an anarchist society, a society which organises itself without authority, is always in existence, like a seed beneath the snow, buried under the state and its bureaucracy, capitalism and its waste. . . "




Five Issues presents: 

'Necropolis: rehearsing Koltes in such times' 

A play by Kolkata Campus

Wednesday 14th October – 7pm


Five Issues is an independent journal publising voices of dissent in India and tonight will be presenting a poetry/installation performance called 'Necropolis: Rehearsing Koltes in such times'. The piece is inspired by 'In the Solitude of Cottonfields' by Bernard Marie Koltes with additional texts from Slavok Zizek, Yulembam Ibomcha, Prabal Kumar Basu, Thangjam Ibopishak, Rajkumar Bhubonsana, Bhaskar Chakraborty, and Rabindranath Tagore.


It has been performed all over India and in International festivals at Dhaka and Thailand. This evening we are delighted to be a part of the first UK tour of this important piece of political theatre.




‘Payback ’
with Rosemary Hayes

Saturday 10th October – 5pm


Like other young Muslim girls of 18, Halima has moved with her family to London and her horizons are beginning to expand. Then, just as she is about to start university, she discovers her father's plan: to marry her to the son of a distant relation in Pakistan who once did him a favour. Halima is to be the repayment of the debt. And it's payback time...  

Housmans are delighted to welcome Rosemary Hayes, who will be introducing her latest book for young adults, ‘Payback’, based on the actual experiences of a young Muslim woman who was brave enough to defy her family and reject the husband chosen for her.

About the Author

Rosemary Hayes lives and works in Cambridgeshire. She has written numerous books for children including historical and contemporary fiction and fantasy many of which have been shortlisted for awards. She is also a reader for a well known authors advisory service and enjoys helping unpublished writers to hone their skills. Rosemary's first Frances Lincoln book, Mixing It, about the relationship between a Muslim girl and a non Muslim boy against a background of terrorism, was shortlisted for the South Lanarkshire Book Award.

Praise for ‘Payback’

“While clearly about a hot topic, this book should not be dismissed merely as a vehicle for the introduction of different points of view about Muslim and other ways of life in Britain today... Rosemary Hayes does not shrink from uncomfortable events and truths. The style is lucid and readable and the book should definitely appeal to teenagers who read less avidly. It would also make a useful starter for discussions about faith and values.” Writeaway



'Black Shoes' by Michael Obiora

Saturday 3rd October – 5pm

This evening Michael Obiora, best known for his role as flamboyant receptionist Ben Trueman in BBC One’s Hotel Babylon, will be reading from his new novel,'Black Shoes'. Through the exploration of love, friendship, paranoia and ignorance, 'Black Shoes' looks at a black professional man’s quest to find his way through the maze of negative stereotypes, and his own personal battle with his identity.

SEPTEMBER 2009


Skookum Boom present:
Leon Walker, Viclambrusco, Captain Of The Rant
Jimi Gherkin
and Deferred Sucess
Saturday 26th September – 6pm


The Skookum Boom collective host a benefit gig for Housmans Bookshop, featuring singer-song writer Leon Walker, the punk poetry of Viclambrusco, spot-on rantings of Captain Of The Rant, as well as folk-punk from Jimi Gherkin
and Deferred Sucess. Unfortunately this event was Cancelled at the last moment...



‘Solsbury Hill
Chronicle of a Road Protest’
with Adrian Arbib
Wednesday 23rd September – 7pm

In 1994 eco-warriors took to the tree-tops and set up camps in the Solsbury Hill protest, as they launched a bid to halt construction of the Batheaston to Swainswick bypass at Bath.

Their hard-fought campaign failed to stop the road through a Bronze Age beauty spot and ancient monument being built, but is credited with boosting other campaigns against road- building projects across the country, which eventually led to 300 road schemes being axed by the Government.

Armed with little more than rope harnesses and mobile phones the size of bricks, the protesters were faced with often violent private security forces in muddy fields, high in the trees and even underground.

Adrian Arbib lived on site photographing the events. In so doing he captured all aspects of life on the protest. His work is a unique record of an important moment in British political history when a political movement changed government transport policy.

The photographs Adrian took over this period are at the heart of the book ‘Solsbury Hill: Chronicle of a Road Protest’, and we are delighted to welcome Adrian to Housmans to discuss the history and legacy of the road protest movement. Adrian will be illustrating his talk with a slideshow presentation of his photographs from the period.

“This is our history. It is appalling and inspiring at the same time. These pictures of brave people should not be forgotten.” John Vidal, Environment editor, the Guardian



‘Dark Light’
with Pat Arrowsmith
Wednesday 16th September – 7pm

Pat Arrowsmith is perhaps best known as an anti-nuclear protester and peace activist. She was at the very heart of organising the first protest in the UK against the nuclear weapons establishment in Aldermaston, Berkshire, and continues her work for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) as honorary vice-president.
Pat is also an accomplished writer, her work deeply influenced by her life-long campaigning for the causes of pacifism and feminism. This evening Pat will be reading from her latest collection, ‘Dark Light’. Published by Hearing Eye, the book also features original watercolours by the author, and will be available to buy on the night



Zed Books present:
‘Lugo: The Priest of Paraguay’
with Hugh O'Shaughnessy
Saturday 12th September – 5pm


Paraguay had the oldest one-party regime on earth. Under the 60-year dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner's Colorado party, wealth and power became concentrated in the hands of a small few; until elections in 2008 broke the party's hold on the country and promised a newer, more egalitarian future, particularly for the country's indigenous people.

In ‘The Priest of Paraguay’, Hugh O'Shaughnessy tells the story of how Fernando Lugo, a bishop from a deprived diocese, swept to victory and what this will mean for his country, Latin America and the wider world. He traces Lugo's life alongside the turbulent history of Paraguay - from his early years in a family which fell victim to Stroessner to his release by the Vatican in order to follow a political calling.

The book also examines what may lie in store for the newest addition to Latin America's 'pink tide' of socialist and social democratic countries. This is history of a fascinating but largely unknown country by one of the most respected commentators on Latin America.



Greenpeace and Climate Camp present:
‘Stopping Kingsnorth’
Wednesday 9th September – 7pm

This evening Housmans will be welcoming guests from Greenpeace and Climate Camp to reflect on this years camp, and to consider future strategies for campaigning against the expansion of the Kingsnorth coal power station.

Greenpeace will be providing details of their forthcoming campaign ‘The Big If’. The campaign asks supporters to make pledges as to what they will do if Ed Miliband gives the go-ahead for a new dirty coal power station at the Kingsnorth site in Kent.

Climate activist Jonathan Stevenson will be talking about this years Climate Camp, and also recalling some of the other recent actions that have been undertaken to try and raise awareness of the governments energy policies.

There will also be a a screening of Nick Broomfield’s short documentary ‘A Time Comes’, which tells the story of the ‘Kingsnorth 6’ – the six Greenpeace volunteers who in 2008 were tried and acquitted for shutting down Kingsnorth power station after scaling a tower at the coal-fired power station.

The film screened during this evenings discussion "A Time Comes", directed by Nick Broomfield, can be obtained in a variety of formats, from Greenpeace UK






Last Hours present:
Spoonboy, Apologies I Have None and PJ & Gaby
Friday 4th September – 7pm


Last Hours is an online and print zine for the anti-authoritarian, DIY and punk communities, offering news, analysis, interviews and articles about radical culture, be it music, protests, events, books, zines or commix.

This evening the good folk at Last Hours will be hosting a night of top-flight acoustic folk-punk acts. Apologies I Have None and PJ & Gaby’s emotive and outspoken acoustic songs have made them well established names on the scene. Joining them in a rare appearance in the UK will be Spoonboy, already a cult figure in the US, and sure to win over new fans whilst in London.


AUGUST 2009


‘A Historical Walk Through The Radical Jewish East End’
with David Rosenburg
Saturday 29th August – 11am


A walking tour of radical Whitechapel. Soon after you begin your Radical Jewish East End tour you encounter a number of important landmarks:

• Angel Alley where the Jewish anarchist tradition lives on
• Gardiners Corner where East Enders blocked the path to Mosley’s fascists.

and that’s just the start…


During the tour you will find the answer to many questions:

Why did the Jews come to the East End?
Who was Rudolf Rocker and what did he do?
Why was there a riot in Princelet Street in 1904?
Who lived in the Rothschild Buildings?
What was the Workers Circle?
Who was Hannah Billig and why did she refuse a once-in-a-lifetime invitation?



‘London Stories: Personal Lives, Public Histories’
with Hilda Kean
Saturday 29th August – 5pm

Hilda Kean debunks the melodramatic and romantic clichés that pervade popular conceptions of working-class Londoners in the 19th and 20th centuries. She will be recounting stories of muted historical figures, including an illiterate silk weaver, a grandmother in an asylum, a deserted family, an abused daughter, and a dead child, whose lives intertwine to evoke a haunting and original picture of working-class London that adds a much-needed, though bleak, facet to the city's social history.



Merlin Coverley & Friends
'Books that London Forgot'

Wednesday 26th August – 7pm


Merlin Coverley will be joined by writers, publishers and we hope you, to discuss some of the lesser known pieces of London literature.






‘Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts’
with Clive Bloom
Saturday 22nd August – 5pm


The complex and fascinating nature of London has provided fertile ground for bestselling social histories by writers like Roy Porter and Peter Ackroyd. For the first time a book explores the capital's secret history - the underground world of radicals and subversives from Boudicca and Wat Tyler to the anti-globalization riots of the Chartists, Suffragettes, Mosleyites and IRA.

‘Violent London’ is an account of political activism expressed in street fighting and slum warfare, assassinations and bombings. The main characters are demagogues and democrats, lunatics and libertarians, bigots and social revolutionaries. The story traces the growth of London as a capital and as a major city, following the people who live, work, demonstrate, fight and die in its violent byways. With its strong characters and dramatic narrative, Violent London is a riveting examination of past and present conflict, revealing a hidden thread in London's living history.

Some of Clive Bloom's publications are available from our online bookshop here






'Local Housing Campaigns in Context’
with Sarah Glynn

Saturday 15th August – 5pm


The Camden Council tenant and the late Professor Friedman – putting local housing campaigns in context.

From Hackney to Hammersmith, tenants and activists have been fighting a prolonged battle against what has become a persistent assault on the housing and housing standards of those on below average incomes. For that battle to have any chance of success it is important to know what we are up against.

In this talk, Sarah Glynn will be drawing on her recent book, ‘Where the Other Half Lives: lower income housing in a neoliberal world’, to analyse the impact of three decades of neoliberal economic policies that have regarded houses not primarily as homes for living in, but rather as a source of profit. And she will look at how this has resulted in crippling personal debt, rundown social housing, homelessness, mass demolition, unaffordability and now economic crisis.

Sarah is a campaigner as well as an academic and architect, and her interest in understanding what is happening is in order to provide the tools to change it. Her book looks beyond the impact of current top-down policies to examine grass-roots campaigns for better housing and explore possibilities for a different approach to this most fundamental of human needs.



The London Free School ~ Notting Hill 1966
Counter Culture, Community Action and Carnival Roots
slideshow and talk by Tom Vague
Wednesday 12th August – 7pm


Tom Vague is best known for editing the influential punk fanzine ‘Vague’, and also for his contributions to Zigzag magazine. He has since written the liner notes for the Clash’s ‘London Calling’ CD set and continued ‘Vague’ as the London Psychogeography series of books and websites.

As a long-term resident of Notting Hill, Tom will be fusing his interests in his manor and psychogeography to discussing aspects of the social history of Notting Hill, particularly around the period of 1966, in which Notting Hill was a hot-bed of counter-culture and revolution. As part of this presentation there will be a slide show and also a screening of the ‘Notting Hill 1958 Riot Tour Westway’ TV film.

‘Vague is an extremely intense, radical, funny, el cheapo, deep-biting English mag with indescribable assortment of subject matter. Ugly as sin, but invaluable.’ Ivan Stang Sub-Genius Foundation






‘Falling Through the Centuries
Liverpool Street to Fleet Street ’
a walk with Tony Gee
Saturday 8th August – 2.30pm


Tony Gee will be leading this walk through the cities avenues, alleyways, courtyards, churchyards and slaughteryards.

Meeting at Liverpool Street and finishing in Fleet Street.

JULY 2009


Alternative Press in London
Wednesday 29th July – 7pm


A launch event for ‘Anthology’, a book celebrating zines, small presses, self publishing and creativity in the print media. Jimi Gherkin and friends will be exploring what’s happening on the scene in London today.

This is also the first event of the Alternative Press Festival 2009 - for more information on other events taking place please visit: alternativepress.org.uk/

Read More



‘The London Perambulator’
with John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou
Saturday 25th July – 5pm

A rare screening of John Rogers’ film ‘The London Perambulator’, a documentary portrait of arsonist and ‘deep topographer’ Nick Papadimitriou.



‘Michael X’ with John Williams
Wednesday 22nd July – 7pm


John Williams recounts the life of Michael X aka Michael de Freitas, aka Abdul Malik, who, as Williams' fascinating biography makes clear, was a more complex figure than the simple monster of popular lore (which is not to say he didn't act in monstrous ways).

Tracing his days as a Rachman-era Notting Hill hustler, to a 60s counter culture revolutionary, black power activist, and his ultimate descent into Manson-like madness in Trinidad, Williams skilfully captures the era and the man.



‘Dockers and Detectives’
with Ken Worpole
Saturday 18th July – 5pm

In the 1980s writer Ken Worpole interviewed a number of well known novelists and political activists in London's East End, such as Simon Blumenfeld, Alexander Baron, Jack Dash, on how they had mythologised the area in their books and political writings. Here he talks about that making of East End mythology and plays extracts from those recordings.







‘Visionaries, Dissenters and Rebels:
A walk through Islington’s history’
with David Rosenburg
Saturday 18th July – 11am

A walking tour of radical Islington. Find out:

• Which Islington-based preacher stood up to slavery

• Who used to meet in Clerkenwell’s Jerusalem Passage and why

• Which woman in Islington first proclaimed women’s rights

• Where the “Rights of Man” was written

• Which Islington school was closed because of its radical education

• Who the Spenceans were and why there were riots at Spa Fields

• Which radical newspapers were written in islington…

and discover Islington’s connections with Independence in India, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War and the liberation of South Africa.



‘Blake: London’s Visionary Anarchist’
with Peter Marshall
Wednesday 15th July – 7pm

Philosopher, historian, biographer, travel writer and poet, Peter Marshall recounts the life of one of London’s finest artists, William Blake.

Marshall offers a lively and perceptive account of his thought, ranging from his philosophy, his critique of existing society and culture, to his vision of a free world. Come along to find out why Blake can be understood as a forerunner of modern anarchism and social ecology, and discover the light which shines behind his symbolism and mythology.


'London' by William Blake

I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:

How the chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening church appalls,
And the hapless soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.






London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group:
How Peaceful is Pacifism?
Tuesday 14th July - 7pm


The launch event for a new London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group - a group that will be meeting monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of each month to discuss issues around pacifism and nonviolence. The subject for this month's discussion will be 'How Peaceful is Pacifism?'.

All are welcome, so even if this is a subject you know nothing about, do come along and take part in the discussion. For any queries please phone Albert Beale on 020-7278 4474.




River Fleet walk with Laura Oldfield Ford
Saturday 4th July 2.00pm

SAVAGE MESSIAH WALK ALONG THE PATH OF THE RIVER FLEET


www.savagemessiahzine.com

Laura Oldfield Ford invites you to join a collective tracing of the Fleet, one of London’s lost rivers.

First meeting point 2pm Hampstead tube – Second meeting point 4pm approx Quinns public house, the point where the two tributaries of the Fleet converge. 65, Kentish Town Rd, London, NW1 8NY --end approx 6pm Housman’s Bookshop, Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 where we will be showing London films, more info to follow.

This event is free but we will be collecting donations at Housmans for food and drink.

Fleet road/ Gospel Oak Estate/ Irish boozers in Malden road/ Queens crescent Man of Aran pub/ Royal College street/ Rimbaud and Verlaine’s house/ St Pancras churchyard……

JUNE 2009


Zed Books present: ‘The End of Certainty’
with Stephen Chan

Saturday 20th June - 5pm

Stephen Chan argues the case that international politics has failed because the certainties of singular traditions of philosophy fail to help us in understanding power shifts and struggles in an endlessly diverse world. Followed by Q&A and book signing.

‘The End of Certainty’ is a magical realist book on world politics. Stephen Chan takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through how we can establish a new kind of international relations and construct a common future for the planet. The book's main argument is that international politics has failed because the certainties of singular traditions of philosophy fail to help us in understanding power shifts and struggles in an endlessly diverse world.

Chan argues that fusing different strands of Western, Eastern, religious and philosophical thought, is far more likely to help us understand and move forward amidst uncertainty. In doing so, he takes us on a journey from the battlefields of Eritrea to the Twin Towers, via the Book of Job, Clausewitz, Fanon and Wahabism. You'll never think about politics in quite the same way again.
Stephen Chan is Professor of International Relations and was the foundation Dean of Law and Social Sciences in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He began life as the son of Chinese refugees in New Zealand, studied classics, came to the UK and then spent several years in Africa as an international civil servant.





ISBO present:
‘The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World’

Saturday 13th June - 5pm

The International School for Bottom-up Organizing (ISBO) launch their first book, sharing their work in training Revolutionary Organizers, creating and supporting radical grassroots projects across the Americas, and building powerful relationships of solidarity.  From a rural Social Action Research Centre and Palenques in Colombia, to the poor Black community of the Lower Ninth Ward in post-Katrina New Orleans, ISBO is organizing and seeking out radical folk passionate and deeply committed to creating a new world from the Bottom Up!

A founding statement by the ISBO puts it thus: “Ours is an international struggle that must be led by the poorest and darkest, especially women. We all need the same freedom and equality; we all have the same oppressors, worldwide. Our movement will work toward an internationalist, egalitarian world. We foresee a world in which the genius and creativity of humanity is unleashed, in which all humans share and share alike, whether in starvation or in plenty: in which we are free to love and truly take care of one another.”

This evening London-based members of ISBO will be discussing their work and launching their first book ‘The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World’.






‘Clear Red Water: Welsh Devolution and Socialist Politics’
with Nick Davies & Darren Williams

Wednesday 17th June - 7pm

While the Labour party in Westminster moves further from its roots, alienating its traditional supporters by its readiness to follow the United States into disastrous foreign wars, its tolerance of inequality and its commitment to the free market, a Labour-led administration in Wales has pursued a very different programme, underpinned by a sincere commitment to equality and social justice. In 2002, Welsh first minister, Rhodri Morgan, said that these policies were putting ‘clear red water’ between Wales and Westminster.


This book is a timely examination of the devolution process and the ambitions of the ‘clear red water’ programme, arguing that it draws on Wales’ rich traditions of radical politics, as well as a resurgent national consciousness. Warning of the dangers posed by the incomplete devolution process and the democratic deficit in Labour politics, the authors call on Welsh Labour to consolidate its initial achievements and follow a consistently socialist path to place Wales in the forefront of the struggle for a just and equitable world order.





‘Shamanic Maps of How the Universe Works’
with Leo Rutherford

Wednesday 10th June - 7pm

Leo Rutherford distils 30 years of study and experience of the Medicine Wheel, explaining the shamanic understanding of how the world works. Leo’s work hopes to explain how this complex and sophisticated tradition can realign us with the life force from which many of us have been separated.






Grey Hen presents:
‘Uncomfortable Poems by Older Women’

Saturday 6th June - 5pm

Grey Hen’s Joy Howard presents Angela Kirby, Gerda Mayer, Marianne Burton and Berta Freistadt  who will be reading poems from their popular new anthology ‘A Twist of Malice: Uncomfortable Poems by Older Women’. All welcome - wine and nibbles.
Grey Hen is a new small independent press whose aim is to publish poetry, short fiction and autobiographical work by older women.

Grey Hen collects and shares some of today’s exciting new work by older women; work that is perhaps not being taken up by mainstream publishers. For older women, especially those who have reached their sixties before realising their writing potential, it’s often the case that it is difficult to build up a publishing history in the expected way. 

If an older woman has not got ten years to play with before becoming an ‘overnight success’, she does have a special perspective - a lot of years and experience on which to reflect. Grey Hen also feels that older women from minority communities have tales to tell that the wider population often has little access to and so work hard to encourage those unheard women, and give them an opportunity to speak to us all.

This evening Grey Hen’s Joy Howard presents Angela Kirby, Gerda Mayer, Marianne Burton and Berta Freistadt  who will be reading poems from their popular new anthology ‘A Twist of Malice: Uncomfortable Poems by Older Women’.



‘Meltdown The End of The Age of Greed’
with Paul Mason

Wednesday 3rd June - 7pm

Newsnight’ economics editor Paul Mason discusses the financial crash and explains why, love it or loathe it, the neo-liberal era is over. Followed by Q&A and book signing.

'Meltdown’ tells the story of the financial crash that destroyed the West’ investment banks, brought the global economy to its knees, and began to undermine three decades of neo-liberal orthodoxy. Covering the credit crunch and its aftershocks from the economic front line, BBC journalist Paul Mason explores the roots of the US and UK’s financial hubris, documenting the real-world causes and consequences from the Ford factory, to Wall Street, to the City of London.

In response to the immense challenge now facing the existing economic system, he outlines a new era of hyper-regulated capitalism that could emerge from the wreckage. Paul Mason writes: “The book tells the story of the events of September-October 2008: I’m the economics editor of BBC Newsnight, so I had a ringside seat. It explains how we got here – from the shadow banking system, to subprime, to the commodities speculation that forced a billion people to go without meals in mid-2008. It also explains why, love it or loathe it, the neo-liberal era is over.”

About the author

Paul Mason is the economics editor of BBC Newsnight and has covered globalisation and social justice stories from locations across the world, including Latin America, Africa and China. His previous book ‘Live Working, Die Fighting’ was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Paul’s blog on the unfolding financial crisis ‘Idle Scrawl’ can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason.






No Sweat @ Housmans
Saturday 30th May 6pm

No Sweat regularly host the best nights in politically-charged music, with all proceeds going towards fighting sweatshop bosses around the world.
This evening No Sweat bring a selection of their favourite artists to Housmans, all playing in an unplugged style. The fantastic line up includes:
Clayton Blizzard -  the Finest in Political Hip Hop
Jonny One Lung - emotive and outspoken Folk-Punk
Apologies I Have None – rowdy acoustic magic
Babar Luck - unique Reggae-inspired sounds
 

…plus anti-sweatshop speeches, free drinks and a raffle.



‘Creatures of the Intertidal Zone’
with Susan Richardson

Saturday 23rd May – 5pm

Susan’s collection of poetry, ‘Creatures of the Intertidal Zone’ (Cinnamon Press, 2007), was inspired by her journey through Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland in the footsteps of an intrepid eleventh century female Viking. One of the collection’s central themes is the impact of climate change and other environmental issues on the landscape of the arctic and sub-arctic.

Reviews

“Here is poetry...driven from within into the shape best suited to its purpose. Internal rhyme and assonance...sing out when the poems are read aloud. This is free verse at its finest...Poems in this collection fly without difficulty…I can still feel their impact on my heart” - poet Ann Drysdale

“Susan Richardson beautifully marries the landscape of the polar regions with their - and her own - emotional topography. I particularly admire her spirited recreation of Gudrid, that enchanting eleventh century Viking heroine” - travel writer Sara Wheeler

“Susan Richardson's journey to the ice, a voyage of personal discovery, has yielded an intriguing harvest” - travel writer and broadcaster Trevor Fishlock






Green Left - Eco-Socialism
Wednesday 27th May – 7pm

Green Left is an eco-socialist, anti-capitalist current within the Green Party, which started in June 2006 when 36 Green Party members agreed its launch statement (the Headcorn Declaration).

Sarah Farrow, Green Left co-convenor said then: "Activists in the Green Party have founded Green Left because many Greens believe the only path to an ecological, economically and socially just and peaceful society has to be based on an anti-capitalist political agenda.”

This evening guests from Green Left will be discussing their agenda, and launching a new pamphlet on the issues at hand.






‘The Wheel’s Still in Spin’
with David Douglass
Wednesday 13th May – 7pm

David Douglass was a pitman for 40 years in the coalfields of the Tyne and in South Yorkshire. This book, the second in his trilogy ‘Stardust and Coaldust’, deals with the period from the end of the 60s to the coming to power of Thatcher. In this 15 year period, dramatic events in the world revolution course around the globe. Dave Douglass transports us back to a time conventional histories have tried to forget or bury or rewrite.

It is a political and social history told by a direct participant in the events, and not from some distant hill of academic neutrality. It has deep and insightful cameos of pit work and the recent history of the Miners Union. Douglass joins up the dots, along with some telling insights into the hidden world of underground labour in its harsh and gritty reality.

Throughout the whole story the air of sexual freedoms, which broke free of constraints in the previous decade survive and prosper. This is a time, when the world was up for grabs, the earth resounded to the world revolutionary impulse. The genii were free from the bottle, and the music was up loud. From where we all stand now, that distant period seems dim and becomes dimmer with every new law and every new brick successive governments have placed on the wall. Soon, they hope, no-one will remember how close we came, to finishing with the whole scumbag system of greed, privilege and power.

Housmans are delighted to welcome long-time coal miner, union activist and revolutionary Dave Douglass to discuss his latest book.

For more information about Dave Douglass please visit www.minersadvice.co.uk/dave.htm
http://libcom.org/tags/dave-douglass






‘Atheism and Feminism’
with Sue Mayer

Saturday 16th May – 5pm

The untold story of the feminist movement is that it was sparked and nurtured by women without superstition, by the religious nonconformists and liberals, the unorthodox, the heretics, by the freethinking sceptics, rationalists, agnostic and atheists.

Women of today owe an enormous debt to the freethinking founders and foremothers of the women’s movement who dared question and confront the religious status quo which demand women’s silence, subjection, servitude and unquestioning obedience.

Sue Mayer will be debating the relationship between atheism and feminism, and remembering the freethinking women who challenged religious sway over civil laws and practices so that women may have the rights they possess today.

Sue Mayer is the convenor for London Feminist Freethinkers, a secular feminist group the meets to discuss such issues as where attitudes to women come from, equal representation, pay, pensions and work, women’s role in the family and society, how politics and religion affect women and the family, women’s reproductive rights, autonomy, freedom and equality.






‘Conscientious Objection’
with Ozgur Heval Cinar and Andreas Speck
Wednesday 20th May – 7pm

The objection to participation in war is as ancient as war itself. Throughout history people have made use of various methods in order not to partake in war and military organisations. The most direct of these methods -- conscientious objection -- means refusing to perform compulsory military service in the armed forces or any other direct or indirect participation in wars for reasons of conscience or profound conviction.

Currently, out of 47 member states of the Council of Europe, only Turkey does not recognise conscientious objection as a human right. Conscientious objectors in Turkey risk repeated prosecution and imprisonment for their refusal to perform compulsory military service. They and their supporters are also frequently prosecuted for speaking out publicly in defence of the right to conscientious objection.

To mark International Conscientious Objectors Day Housmans are delighted to welcome Ozgur Heval Cinar and Andreas Speck to discuss this ever-important subject.



Out of Step
Saturday 9th May – 6-9pm

A night of the best politically charged music, poetry and comedy, from London collection Out of Step, featuring political punk-potery from Captain of the Rant, country tinged acoustic loveliness from Kelly Kemp, angry acoustic punk-rock by Torn Out, awesome words and rhymes from Dave Pepper, plus punktry tunes by L Morgan.

"The epitome of DIY and underground music"
Neil Sutherland

"Out Of Step keep putting on wicked free and dirt-cheap gigs" - Last Hours fanzine

"The best open mic in the capital" - The Leano


For more information about Out of Step
please visit www.myspace.com/outofstepmusicnight




APRIL 2009


Elevator Gallery presents:
The Postmodern Condition

Wednesday 29th April – 7pm

Guests from the cutting-edge artist-run Elevator Gallery present a discussion on the meaning of postmodernity, accompanied by a performance by Emma Bennett.

What is Postmodernity? Is it the abandonment of the ‘grand narratives’ of Modernity? Is it a neo-conservative threat to the Enlightenment Project? Is it, according to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,  a global state of schizophrenia – complete with wasps, orchids, black holes, flying bricks and bodies-without-organs? How does Nicolas Bourriaud use these ideas to theorise aesthetics as a system of relations and, more recently, Altermodernism? Come discover answers, to these questions and more, in an engaging introduction to the End of History! Accompanied by an live artistic performance by Emma Bennett.

For more information about Elevator Gallery please visit: www.elevatorgallery.co.uk






Reel News & Smash EDO film night
Saturday 25th April - 5pm

Reel News is an activist video collective, set up to publicise and share information on inspirational campaigns and struggles - not just in this country, but across the world. They regularly produce DVDs which capture the latest actions and protests.

The evening they will be launching their latest issue, which will feature exclusive footage from both the G20 actions in London, and the Strasbourg based anti-Nato actions from earlier in the month.

Joining them will be guests from Brighton’s Smash EDO campaign, who will be showing some footage from their continuing campaign, as well as introducing their forthcoming May Day street party. Throughout the month we will also be exhibiting a range of artwork that has come out of the Smash EDO campaign.

See http://www.reelnews.co.uk
and www.smashedo.org.uk for more info



Elevator Gallery presents:
Debord and the ‘Society of the Spectacle’
Wednesday 22nd April – 7pm

Guests from the cutting-edge artist-run Elevator Gallery present a discussion on Spectacle and Simulacra, with reference to the Situationist International.

‘Life used to be directly lived, but has since receded into representation’  – Debord, ‘The Society of the Spectacle’.

How do we understand a world saturated by media images? Do we live in a Society of the Spectacle from which authentic life needs to be recovered? Or, as Jean Baudrillard claimed, is there no reality to speak of, except a hyperreality of media representation?  An introduction to these problems, involving screenings of a selection of Debord’s films, to discuss how art can communicate outside of the dominant commodity culture of globalised capitalism, and how political resistance can remain possible in a world where the Gulf-War might not have really happened.

For more information about Elevator Gallery please visit: www.elevatorgallery.co.uk







Sonalle: Ethnic Minority Domestic Violence Survivors
Saturday 18th April – 5pm

Housmans are delighted to host the latest exhibition from up- and-coming photographer Sonalle, whose latest work explores ethnic minority domestic violence survivors.

“During our relationship, I asked his family for help but they never helped me. His sister suggested to ignore what he was doing and concentrate on me and the baby. He strangled me on many occasions, so it wasn't easy to ignore what he was doing.”

For more information about Sonalle please visit www.sonalle.com






Savage Messiah zine launch: The Olympic Zone
Saturday 11th April – walk from 3pm, launch at 7pm

Launch party for Laura Oldfield-Ford’s latest issue of her London-focussed, cult psychogeographic zine, which turns its spotlight on Stratford and the Olympic building site. 

Walk

We will be walking around the city of London and drifting towards Housmans where we will be having  drinks and showing films to launch the zine. Meet at Dirty Dicks Public House Liverpool Street 3pm.

Launch

Housmans Bookshop, Caledonian Road N1, from 7pm.

Issue 11 is a drift around the Olympic zone and focuses on a particular moment in the build up to the June the 18th Carnival Against Capitalism riots in the City of London. The riots happened in 1999 and were a protest against the ludicrousness of the global financial system. The zine was written after a day of walking around the perimeter fence of the Olympic zone In March 2009 and is a direct response to the mass destruction of the Lower Lea Valley.

 “I found the pub soon after that. From the outside it looked ordinary, an estate pub from the late 60s, early 70s, something of a bunker with fortress windows at the front, plastic hanging baskets and St George flags all over it. I thought at first the old man must have got the wrong place but then I could hear the thudding of the sound system inside, the frantic bpm and chaotic vocoder yelps.

As I got closer I saw all these skinhead types outside wearing tie dyed t shirts and temple of psychic youth symbols tattooed on their arms. There were groups staggering about lighting fires and breaking palettes. This party was the continuation of a Saturday all nighter at one of the massive abandoned factories on Carpenters road. They were all off it, topping up on psilosibin after a big weekend of acid and flyagaricks.”

Laura Oldfield Ford - Savage Messiah Issue 11. March 2009


For more information about Savage Messiah please visit savagemessiahzine.com/




John Sinclair – It’s All Good
A John Sinclair Reader

Thursday 9th April – 3pm

Housmans welcomes Detroit poet, one-time manager of the band MC5, and leader of the White Panther Party, John Sinclair, who will be signing and talking about the just-published collection of his writings ‘It’s All Good; the John Sinclair Reader'.

John is well known for his role in activism and publishing throughout the 1960s, and then for his management of the seminal hard-edged proto-punk MC5 from 1966 to 1969. Under his guidance the band embraced the counter-culture revolutionary politics of the White Panther Party. But it was his arrest after a series of convictions for possession of marijuana, for which Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years in prison, that made him a national star of the counter-culture.

‘It’s All Good; the John Sinclair Reader' is an anthology of miscellaneous writings previously published across a number of sources, including music magazines, underground newspapers, album sleeve notes and poetry collections.

There are 44 selections (one for each of Sinclair’s years as a journalist and poet) covering a multitude of subjects. These include Sinclair’s imprisonment for possessing two joints of marijuana, founding the Detroit Artists Workshop, the Motor City’s volatile history during the 60s and 70s, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, North Mississippi Hill Country Blues and the Mardi Gras Indians Of New Orleans. There are also articles on, and interviews with, the likes of MC5, Iggy Pop, Sun Ra, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Jack Kerouac, Irma Thomas and Dr John. On top of the reading matter there’s also a 13-track CD of Sinclair’s assorted poetry readings featuring a variety of accompanists, including Wayne Kramer.




Elevator Gallery presents: Derrida and Deconstruction
Wednesday 8th April – 7pm

Guests from the cutting-edge artist-run Elevator Gallery present a discussion on Derrida and Deconstruction.

‘There is nothing outside of the text. …that what opens meaning and language is writing as the disappearance of natural presence.’ – Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology p. 158-159

What does that mean! Well…ever wondered whether speech is better than writing? Or what the difference is between différence and différance? Or even whether the self-reflexivity of language can cause a crisis in rationality that may undermine the Western tradition of philosophy and the ultimate emancipation of mankind? These questions sound tough, but they needn’t be! Come along to an enjoyable introduction to the oeuvre of Jacques Derrida, and his influence on the political and aesthetic.

For more information about Elevator Gallery please visit: www.elevatorgallery.co.uk






Nawal El Saadawi - feminist trailblazer
Saturday 4th April at 5pm

Housmans are delighted to welcome Nawal El Saadawi, who will be in London for a rare visit to celebrate the re-issue of four of her classic titles. Nawal will be discussing her life’s work, answering questions and will be signing copies of her books.

Famous as the first female Muslim author to write about feminism, sex and the veil, Nawal El Saadawi has published numerous novels as well as writing extensively about her own life. Nawal first brought the experiences of Arabic women to the attention of the west in the 1970’s with titles including ‘The Hidden Face of Eve’ and ‘Woman at Point Zero’, describing the harrowing conditions for women in her native Egypt.

Still supremely controversial and relevant today, Nawal has inspired generations of feminists throughout the world. Nawal is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including The Great Minds of the Twentieth Century prize, as well as honorary doctorates from the universities of York, Illinois in Chicago, St. Andrews and Tromso.

Praise for Nawal El Saadawi

“The leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab world.”
The Guardian

“Nawal el Saadawi writes with directness and passion, transforming the systematic brutalisation of peasants and of women in to powerful allegory.”
The New York Times Book Review







Nick Davies – ‘Flat Earth News’
Wednesday 1st April  - 7pm

Housmans are delighted to welcome Nick Davies, who will be discussing his findings, answering questions and signing copies of book, which is now available in paperback.

When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street's unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance. Working with a network of off-the-record sources, Davies uncovered the story of the prestigious Sunday newspaper which allowed the CIA and MI6 to plant fiction in its columns; the newsroom which routinely rejects stories about black people; the respected paper that hired a professional fraudster to set up a front company to entrap senior political figures; and the newspapers which support law and order while paying cash bribes to bent detectives.

MARCH 2009


Chomsky and Company (Chomsky et Compagnie)
Saturday 7th March – 5.30pm

Housmans Bookshop present the British premiere of ‘Chomsky and Company’, a French produced documentary which critically assesses Noam Chomsky’s body of political thought.

Noam Chomsky has become one of the most well known intellectuals in the world. His books, lectures, film and television appearances have familiarized his rumpled demeanour and revolutionary theories to millions of people, including a number of other influential thinkers and writers.

Co-directors Daniel Mermet and Olivier Azam travel from Boston to Montreal, Toronto to Brussels to uncover the far flung effects of Chomsky's work. Their exhaustive journey touches upon everything from Edward Louis Bernays' advertising techniques to Canadian Normand Baillargeon's ‘Crash Course on Intellectual Defense.’ The film also explicates many of Chomsky's greatest hits while paying particular attention to Chomsky's thesis that the perception of events often comes down to the interests of corporations, whether they're selling arms or selling news coverage.

This is not a complete love-in, however. The filmmakers, coming from a European position, pose a number of challenging questions including some rather pointed inquiries into the ‘Faurisson Affair’--the name given to the scandal that erupted when Chomsky's essay on free speech was used to preface a book by holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.

Covering some of the same turf as Adam Curtis' film The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? (VIFF 07), Mermet and Azam's film greatly benefits from direct access to the man himself. Love him or loathe him, the sheer volume and scope of Chomsky's work is deeply deserving of a measured and inclusive approach.



‘Cranks and Revolutions’ with Mark Gold
Wednesday 11th March – 7pm

Mark Gold discusses the inspiration behind his latest novel ‘Cranks and Revolutions’, a light-hearted drama-documentary of the last fifty years of radical protest in the UK.

Cranks and Revolutions tells the story of two brothers from a family for whom protest has always been a way of life. Brought up in the 1960s on CND marches, fund raising events for the victims of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war and rescuing oiled sea birds after the Torre Canyon disaster, the Bob Dylan inspired Rob goes off to university to be part of the hippy generation, campaigning passionately against the Vietnam War and apartheid.

But while Rob settles down to marriage, children and career, it is his younger brother who maintains the family tradition, involving himself in all the major campaign issues of the day before eventually taking a job with a rapidly growing animal rights organisation in the early 1980s. Against an unsympathetic backdrop of Thatcher and Blair's Britain, Tom Moore sets about convincing the world to become peace-loving vegans.   

Cranks and Revolutions is a light-hearted drama documentary of the last fifty years of radical protest in the UK. It is a funny and sympathetic book, full of quirky and amusing events and characters - such as unreconstructed Marxist Aunt Helen, kindly, radical vicar Tony Swallow, suburban High Priestess Denise Oakley and zealous vegan anarchist Septimus the Severe. An alternative political history in the tradition of John O'Farrell's ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ or Jonathan Coe's ‘The Closed Circle’.

About the Author

Mark Gold was Director of Animal Aid for eleven years and still works part-time for the organisation. He also works for Citizens' Advice. His previous books are ‘Assault & Battery’ (1983), ‘Living Without Cruelty’ (1988), ‘Animal Rights’ (1993), ‘Animal Century’ (1998) and ‘Under A Wanderer’s Star’ (2002).



Art Auction for Gaza
Saturday 14th March – 2pm

Peace News and Justice Not Vengeance will be hosting an art auction, with all proceeds to benefit Medical Aid for Palestinians and the Free Gaza Movement. The artworks, primarily donated by Hastings artists, include paintings, photographs, brassware and glasswork.


‘Politics & Paranoia’ with Robin Ramsay
Saturday 14th March – 5pm

In ‘Politics & Paranoia’ Robin Ramsay, editor of para-politics journal ‘Lobster’, has published a collection of his lectures on subjects such as covert action, destabilisation, strategic theory, economics, politics, para-politics, Colin Wallace, Fred Holroyd, whistle-blowers, new Zealand, Australia, nuclear weapons, Blair, Brown, espionage, MI5, MI6, CIA, 9/11 conspiracy theories, the rise of New Labour and much more.

Robin will be touching on a selection of topics from the book, answering questions and signing copies of his books.

Praise for Lobster Magazine

Paul Foot
'Lobster is one of the most important magazines to be launched in the post Second World War period in Britain. It has covered a long string of stories boycotted by the other media. How has a magazine with no resources been able to do this? By understanding the the sinister side of our intelligence services - out of control and careless of the consequences of its excesses.'

John Pilger
'Now that the British media, like mainstream politics, has become an echo chamber, one of the rays of light is a journal produced from Hull called Lobster. It is journalism at its best: curious, analytical, wry and indispensable.’


‘Unmasking the State: A Rough Guide to Real Democracy’
with Paul Feldman
Wednesday 18th March – 7pm

Housmans are delighted to welcome Paul Feldman to discuss his latest book ‘Unmasking the State: a rough guide to real democracy’.

The book analyses the historical origins of the contemporary British capitalist state and the long struggle for democracy and political rights, from the Levellers to the Chartists and beyond. It then goes on to describe the changes to the state under globalisation and how representative democracy has been undermined.

Paul also makes a series of proposals for a new, transitional state to extend democracy into workplaces and society as a whole. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

"This is a trenchant and timely re-statement of the classical Marxist analysis of the nature of the capitalist state, brought up to date. The aim is to show “how seemingly disparate struggles for rights can find their lasting solution in the struggle for democratic power itself”, and the book sets out ideas as to what a democratic state might look like. This well-informed and sophisticated book can be recommended to students and activists alike."  Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London

About the speaker


Paul is communications editor for A World to Win (www.aworldtowin.net) and is co-author with Corinna Lotz of a major book, also called “A World to Win”, that presents a detailed analysis of the corporate-driven globalisation process. With Gerry Gold, Paul also  authored 'A House of Cards – from fantasy finance to global crash', about the financial crisis.



Miners' Strike 25th Anniversary
Saturday 21st March – 6.30pm

In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the miners’ strike, Housmans will be holding a book launch for ‘The Dirty 30' - an oral history of the Leicestershire Miners who struck throughout the entire dispute, written by Dave Bell and published by Five Leaves.

The event will also be a party for the London Support Groups who worked tirelessly through the strike. Housmans' own contribution was the creation of Canary Press which published a series of books about the strike, and the shop was a base for miners and collected many pounds for the strikers. The Canary Press titles will be on sale at the party.

With music and some tales to be told…



‘Unlocking Democracy – celebrating 20 years of Charter 88’
Wednesday 25th March  – 7pm

This evening will see Anthony Barnett and Peter Facey considering the successes of the campaign to date, and discussing the future possibilities of achieving a more directly democratic parliamentary system in Britain.

Unlock Democracy (incorporating Charter 88) is the UK’s leading campaign for democracy, rights and freedoms. A grassroots movement owned and run by its members, Unlock Democracy campaign for policies that would bring political power closer to the people through a range of parliamentary reform measures.

‘Unlocking Democracy: 20 years of Charter 88’ is a series of essays which look back at what has been achieved and, even more importantly, seeks to identify what needs to be done now. It offers a diverse and challenging collection from across the political spectrum which is sure to stimulate debate. The impressive list of contributors includes Helena Kennedy, Trevor Phillips, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg, amongst many others.
For more information please visit:

www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk


FEBRUARY 2009


‘Securing Our Survival (SOS)
The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention’
a talk by Bruce Kent

Saturday 7th February  – 5pm



‘Frantz Fanon and the continuing struggle against colonialism’
a talk by Ziauddin Sardar

Wednesday 11th February  – 7pm



War Resisters’ International launch
‘Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns’
Saturday 14th February – 6pm



Campaign against Climate Change presents:
‘Too Little, Too Late: The Politics of Climate Change’
with Colin Challen MP
Wednesday 18th February – 7pm



Trusty Chords Presents:
Squab, Mega Games 2, PJ & Gaby
Saturday 21st February – 6-9pm



The Freethought History Research Group presents:
‘Darwin, Marx and Aveling’
a talk by Terry Liddle
Saturday 28th February – 5pm

JANUARY 2009


'Detox, Herbalism and Big Pharma'
with Melissa Ronaldson
Saturday 31st January - 5pm

Does the fact that the detox industry lays itself wide open to criticism from the quack busting brigade obscure the genuine advantages of traditional and seasonal fasting practices?

What is the rational of fasting and the physiology behind it? What exactly does detox mean? What is the point, and can you pick your own liver cleansing herbs yourself along the River Lea in spring time?

A seasonal, practical, and inexpensive look at theses issues from the perspective of medical herbalist, Melissa Ronaldson.

[due to server error events between Oct 08 and Jan 09 are not listed]

OCTOBER 2008


'Understanding Stalin's Soviet Union 1929-1941'
with Paul Flewers

 Wednesday 1 October 7pm

Paul Flewers will be discussing the impact of Stalinism on British intellectuals and political trends, in the period of Stalin's rule.

The first years of the Soviet Five-Year Plans witnessed an upsurge of interest in the Soviet Union. In hundreds of books and thousands of articles, commentators of all political outlooks expressed their opinions on the novel features of Stalin's Soviet Union - industrial construction and agricultural collectivisation, show trials and state terror, Popular Fronts and collective security.

What was the Soviet Union? Was it a totalitarian threat to Western civilisation, or was it a utopia taking shape before our eyes? Was Stalinism the logical outcome of the October Revolution, or did it represent its betrayal? Was there anything that Western countries could learn from the Five-Year Plans? These were just some of the questions asked.

Paul Flewers' latest book 'The New Civilisation?: Understanding Stalin's Soviet Union 1929-1941' uncovers and comments on a vast range of material published in Britain, from the far left to the far right, from the well known to the downright obscure, on all aspects of the Soviet Union during 1929-1941, and draws out the impact of the Soviet experience upon British intellectuals and political trends.

Paul Flewers has been involved in left-wing politics since the 1970s. He studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, where he obtained his PhD. He is a member of the editorial boards of Revolutionary History and New Interventions.

'The New Civilisation?: Understanding Stalin's Soviet Union 1929-1941' by Paul Flewers
RRP: £12.99
Paperback: 299 pages
Publisher: Francis Boutle Publishers (21 Jul 2008)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1903427401
ISBN-13: 978-1903427408



Radical Barcelona
with Michael Eaude

Saturday 4 October - 5pm

Michael Eaude, author of 'Barcelona: the City that reinvented itself', talks about radical Barcelona, ranging from recent community struggles with developers, to the Spanish Civil War.

Michael Eaude lives in Barcelona where he is active in the anti-capitalist movement. He is fluent in Catalan, Spanish and English.

"Partly a jauntily erudite guide to the city, partly a sharply written history, Eaude's book excels at spiking his deft snapshots of squares, bars and sites with flavoursome fragments of Catalan lore and literature. Unlike other Barcelona boosters, Eaude knows how hard the road from Franco to freedom proved, and shows us the marks of that struggle.
The city's candid friend, but no hyper merchant, he is the kind of companion who even knows (say) that Placa George Orwell was one of the first spots to have CCTV. So Big Brother is watching you - or was, till anarchists severed the cables." - The Independent

'Barcelona: The City That Re-invented Itself' by Michael Eaude
RRP: £9.99
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Five Leaves Publications (29 April 2008)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1905512147
ISBN-13: 978-1905512140



'Dark Streets and Shady Places:
writers and the East End'
with Ken Warpole

Wednesday 8 October 7pm

Ken Warpole talks about East End writers - past and present, based on the new edition of his book 'Dockers and Detectives'. Long unavailable but in demand, Ken Worpole's pioneering study of twentieth-century working class reading and writing in Britain helped revive a number of literary reputations, such as those of Alexander Baron and James Hanley, as well as distinguishing distinct regional literary cultures and narrative styles still existing in Britain.

Dockers and Detectives was Ken Worpole's first book, and was widely reviewed and praised on publication.

For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape." - The Independent

Ken Worpole is the author of a number of books on architecture, landscape and social history, including Last Landscapes and Here Comes the Sun. He writers regularly for the Guardian, Prospect, Times Higher Education Supplement and other papers. Ken lives in Hackney and is currently working on a book on childhood.

www.worpole.net/
Dockers and Detectives
Worpole, Ken
Five Leaves Publications
ISBN: 978-1-905512-37-9
Pages: 120
Price: £8.99 (Paperback)





The Truth About Work
and the Myth of 'Work-Life Balance'
with Sheila Cohen

Saturday 11 October 5pm

Sheila Cohen leads off a discussion on her recent pamphlet, which examines the largely hidden topic of work today and its increasing intensification and 'extensification' towards ever-longer working hours. New Labour's rhetorical embrace of 'work-life balance' suggests a utopia of ever-increasing leisure - but the opposite is happening.

The reality of life at work is tough, but exposing the myths doesn't have to be. Sheila's pamphlet "What's Happening?? The Truth About Work and the Myth of 'Work-Life Balance'" contains lively and jargon-free accounts by workplace union activists of what's really going on - and what they, and we, can do about it. Come along and join the debate!

Sheila Cohen (NUJ/UCU) is Education and Publications Officer of the National Shop Stewards Network and author of Ramparts of Resistance: Why Workers Lost Their Power, and How to Get It Back.



An evening with Bernard Kops
Wednesday 15th October 7pm

Bernard Kops reads from his poetry, memoir and fiction, taking in his change from East End boy to Soho writer in the 60s, by way of mental breakdown and drug addiction.

Bernard's' autobiography 'The World is a Wedding' has recently been re-issued by Five Leaves. The book marks his change from East End boy to Soho writer in the 60s, by way of mental breakdown and drug addiction. He will also be reading from his poetry, memoir and fiction in 'Bernard Kops' East End'.



East End Radicals
hosted by Five Leaves

Wednesday 22 October 7pm

From Rudolf Rocker to the Battle of Cable Street via Lenin, the Jewish East End has a radical past unique to Britain. Bill Fishman has authored such works as 'East End Jewish Radicals' and 'The Streets of East London', which bring to life the tales of the political struggles of anarchism, socialism, communism and anti-fascism.

Unfortunately, due to ill health, Bill Fishman will not be able to read from his work as planned - however, colleagues from his publishers at Five Leaves will be presenting an evening of discussion sure to inform and entertain.

Reviews for East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914
"Brilliantly chronicled" - AJP Taylor
"An extraordinary period described by an inspired storyteller" - Arnold Wesker
"An immensely readable work, it should attract a large and enthusiastic audience" - Paul Avrich

SEPTEMBER 2008


‘Remembering Franz Jägerstätter’
with Gerry McFlynn
Wednesday 3rd September 7 pm

Vice-president of Pax Christi Gerry McFlynn will be commemorating the life of Franz Jägerstätter, the Austrian farmer who refused to serve in the Nazi army on grounds of conscience. As in most countries at the time, refusal to serve mandatory military service in war time was a criminal offence in Germany, and Jägerstätter was sentenced to death and executed.

When German troops moved into Austria in 1938, Jägerstätter was the only person in the village to vote against the Anschluss. Although he was not involved with any political organisation, and did undergo one brief period of military training, he remained openly anti-Nazi, and publicly declared he would not fight in the war – a decision he paid for with his life.

Jägerstätter’s story reminds us of the importance of saying No - and as such serves as inspiration for all those who seek to face the injustices of our times.



Meeting with Julian Ovalle - Colombian Conscientious Objector
Hosted by War Resisters International
Wednesday 10 September– 7pm

*subject to Julian Ovalle receiving a visa (see below)

Colombia is a country with more than 50 years of armed conflict, especially affecting young people, who are at risk of being recruited by the state military, paramilitary groups, or the different guerrilla groups. However, many young people no longer wish to be part of the armed conflict, and want to opt out. They choose nonviolence and conscientious objection to service in any of the armed groups as their alternative – a choice that carries its own risks.

Julian Ovalle is a conscientious objector and activist with Collective Action of Conscientious Objectors in Bogota. He will talk about the situation in Colombia, the recruitment practice of the different armed actors in Colombia, and the work of the movement for conscientious objection in Colombia.

Julian will be speaking in Spanish, but translation will be provided by colleagues from War Resisters’ International.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Please call Housmans or WRI to confirm the event is taking place, as at the time of publication the British consulate has not yet confirmed that they will give Julian Ovalle a visa – however we remain hopeful.



‘War & Women's Activism’
with Cynthia Cockburn and friends

Saturday 13 September 5pm

The international feminist antimilitarist network Women in Black will be hosting an evening of discussion on the subject of the role of women's activism against war. Leading the discussion will be academic and Women in Black member Cynthia Cockburn, whose latest book ‘From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis’ explores in depth many of the dynamics of international feminist anti-militarist groups.

As part of the event, Housmans will also be exhibiting a series of photographs taken by Cynthia, which document the many women’s anti-war actions that she has been present at over the years.

Signed copies of Cynthia’s latest book, and previous work, will also be available.



‘The Necessity of Permaculture’
with Graham Burnett

Friday 19 September 7pm

“History is littered with societies that over- exploited their resources; they are all now extinct. We are rapidly moving to the same situation. By designing rationally however, we can set up the systems we need for good living in such a way that they don’t destroy or pollute. Permaculture is the most coherent system yet devised.”- Steve Reed, Permaculture designer and teacher.

What is Permaculture? Why do we need Permaculture? What are Permaculture ethics and the principles of working with nature’s patterns? What are the basics of the Permaculture design process? What are concepts such as zones, sectors, edge, stacking and succession, and how they can work for us? How can you use Permaculture practically in your life, home, garden, land or community, whatever your situation?

An experienced permaculture practioner, designer and teacher, Graham Burnett will be providing all the answers. His latest booklet on the subject, ‘Permaculture, a Beginners Guide’ will encourage you to apply its ethics and principles of sustainability, and working with rather than against nature, to your land (whether it’s a windowbox or a 1000-hectare farm), your community and your life.



'Thank you Greenham: one woman's memories of direct action'
with author Kate Evans, singer Frankie Armstrong, anti-nuclear
worker Rebecca Johnson and current activist Mell Harrison.

Wednesday 24 September 7.15pm

“Honest, brave and funny....I loved it” - Bruce Kent

In 1982 headline news of 30,000 women encircling the US base at Greenham Common shook the nation out of its paralysed fear of nuclear war preparations. Soon a photo of women dancing on the weapons silos at dawn on New Years Day went round the world. Fear turned to action as, inspired and encouraged by the women camping there, ‘Greenham women’ began doing direct actions up and down the country. They changed the pattern of protest and their lives as well as the nuclear climate.

Kate Evans took part in some Greenham actions, witnessed others, and has written up her memories in dramatic, moving and often amusing narrative.

Frankie Armstrong is a singer with over 40 years in the folk, women’s and peace movement. From the early days of the Vietnam War, to the recent concert for Musicians Against Nuclear Arms, she has sung to raise spirits and awareness.

Rebecca Johnson was a Greenham camper and activist, and has worked in the anti-nuclear field for 25 years. She will relate Greenham to current feminist anti-nuclear activity."

Mell Harrison, a current anti-nuclear activist, will talk about current direct action.

'Thankyou Greenham' is an honest, brave and funny account of how Greenham made Kate Evans aware of her potential and of her power to make positive change happen. I loved it.' Bruce Kent



John Green introduces his new book:
Engels: A Revolutionary Life
Saturday 27 September 5pm

Friedrich Engels supported his friend and comrade Karl Marx financially and he contributed massively to his thought, activity and writings. John Green will introduce his major new biography of Engels, followed by a discussion.

AUGUST 2008 - Latin America


'Why Workers are they Key to Tackling Climate Change'
with Paul Hampton
Saturday 2nd August 6pm

Paul Hampton from the Labour Research Department will be hosting an evening of discussion and debate that places socialism and workers' control at the heart of the battle against environmental destruction.



Che in Verse
Wednesday 6th August 7pm

Gavin O'Toole from Aflame Books will give an introductory talk on the Aflame books title 'Che in Verse', followed by readings and a discussion.

He was the last armed prophet - and became the first truly global icon of the modern era following his death at the hands of the CIA-backed Bolivian army. Complex and charismatic, Ernesto “Che” Guevara has been immortalised in popular culture as the archetypal, self-sacrificing rebel with a cause. His martyr’s death on 9 October 1967 transformed him into the poster-boy of revolution - but also inspired poets and songwriters the world over to put pen to paper.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of his execution, Che in Verse reproduces 134 poems and songs from 53 countries about this enigmatic Argentine-Cuban revolutionary. It examines how Che was celebrated or remembered from before his death to the present day, and it explores why Guevara - himself a gun-toting poet - has achieved a level of sanctification comparable to Christ.

Edited by Gavin O’Toole and Georgina Jiménez, Che in Verse is published by Aflame Books. It brings together contributions both published and unpublished by poets and songwriters living and dead - ranging from Che’s fellow revolutionaries and anti-colonial freedom-fighters to two Nobel Prize winners, a gay rights activist, Brazil’s minister of culture, a Cistercian monk, and a Cuban prisoner of conscience languishing in the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.

Gavin O’Toole is an academic and journalist who conducted research for Che in Verse under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, while a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow. His first two books were Politics Latin America (2007) and the translation of Oswaldo Salazar’s From the Darkness (2007). Georgina Jiménez Reynoso is a Mexican freelance writer and translator. She has translated and written for several British newspapers and writes book and film reviews for the Latin American Review of Books.



Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment
Wednesday 20th August 7pm

'Once the most lucrative European colony in the Caribbean, Haiti has long been one of the most divided and impoverished countries in the world. In the late 1980s a remarkable popular mobilization known as Lavalas, or “the flood,” sought to liberate the island from decades of US-backed dictatorial rule. After winning a landslide election victory, in 1991 the Lavalas government led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a bloody military coup. Damming the Flood analyzes how and why Aristide’s enemies in Haiti, the US and France made sure that his second government, elected with another overwhelming majority in 2000, was toppled by a further coup in 2004.

The elaborate international campaign to contain, discredit and then overthrow Lavalas at the start of the twenty-first century was perhaps the most successful act of imperial sabotage since the end of the Cold War. Its execution and its impact have much to teach anyone interested in the development of today's political struggles in Latin America and the rest of the post-colonial world.' - Promotional copy from Verso Books, see: www.versobooks.com



Film Screening 'Territorio Pacificado'
Saturday 23rd August 5pm

'On February 21, 2005, Colombian army units attacked two hamlets in the San Jose community in north-western Colombia. The soldiers brutally killed six people including two children and a baby. Those murdered were members of the peace community San Jose de Apartado. In 1997 the farmers had decided to declare neutrality and refrain from cooperation with any of the armed groups in the war-torn Uraba region - be it the state, paramilitaries, or the guerrilla. After decades of displacement the community hoped that neutrality would allow them to stay on their land.

In the face of continuing attacks, the people hold on to their project which they call 'el proceso'. 'El proceso' stands for the search for political alternatives in a conflict profiting few and victimizing many.' - cover text.



London Anarchist Forum present:
Author Uri Gordon talking about his book Anarchy Alive!

Monday 25th August 6pm

Activist and journalist Uri Gordon introduces his new book which described how "anarchist groups and networks are spreading an ethos of direct action, non-hierarchical organising and self-liberation that has redefined revolutionary struggle for the twenty-first century." Uri's only appearance in Britain.

Wednesday 27th August 7pm - Film screening 'Brad: one more night at the barricades' - remembering the death of an activist in Oaxaca, Mexico

When Mexican paramilitary forces shot Brad Will in the chest, killing him, his camera fell from his hands, But it didn't stop recording. It continued moving from hand to hand, telling Brad's story, as well as the story of the movement of movements he was a part of.

JULY 2008


The NHS is 60 - Undervalued, Underfunded and Undermined
Radical History Network

Wednesday 2nd July 7pm

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS, the Radical History Network (RaHN) has published a booklet which outlines some ideas we have about the health service. In particular we are keen to expose the conspiracy of the Labour government to privatise large parts of it, with a view to establishing a health care market, American style. At present we are seeing the start to the process with the government imposing a health clinic (almost certainly funded and run by the insurance companies) in every area in UK, which doctors are being required to move into. This is the thin end of the wedge – new buildings to be run by US style health management organisations, basically insurance companies.

Of course the UK National Health Service is still to a certain extent “The Envy of the World”. With its provision of medical care, for even the poorest, with no extra payment on delivery, despite the attacks, open and hidden, the NHS is a tribute to the million or so staff who daily work hard to provide services.

However the hard reality is that the NHS is at present undergoing consistent sabotage from within. Cleverly disguised by rather grand schemes like that of Lord Darzi, Gordon Brown and big business are attempting a take- over. This will be a money based system, with private insurance as the entry point. We know from news seeping of the market dominated countries, of people dying on the streets, of the insurance exclusions. The film SiCKO exposes this as a warning we would do well to learn. Unless we stop this scandal, we will soon have a national wealth service.

At this meeting, we are inviting several of the authors who have contributed to the booklet. The writers were Liz Willis, Alan Woodward, Dale Evans, Peter Sartori and Paulette Case Robinson, Lesley Fisher and Terry Burton, Janet Shapiro and Melissa Ronaldson. There is also a short history of the London Health Emergency, and extracts from their 1984 booklet on hospital occupations. Finally the statement from ‘Keep our NHS Public’ presents a critique of the early Darzi document. The book is illustrated with cartoons and concludes by reprinting Bertolt Brecht's worker's address to a doctor. A directory of organisations is included. The book is selective, not comprehensive.

The booklet begins with historical analysis, looks at conflicts and strikes, examines other issues and concludes with the current situation. The primary theme is that the libertarian idea of a locally controlled health service, freed of capitalist and State domination, is the way to secure a service that is responsive to the needs of the population.

There will be a formal book launch at Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross N1, at 7 pm on Wednesday 2 July. This is close to the actual anniversary on the 5th. Please come and bring a friend, refreshments provided.



How local authorities are investing in unscrupulous corporations, hosted by the London Local Authorities Pension Campaign
Thursday 3rd July 7pm

A talk marking the launch of a new campaign that aims to disclose how local authorities are investing funds from our council taxes and pension schemes into some of the world’s most unscrupulous corporations – often without knowing it.

By collecting data through the Freedom of Information act, and networking with a range of anti-corporate and corporate accountability campaign groups and individuals, a picture has emerged in which local authorities are investing in companies that are raping the environment, profiting from war, and trampling over human rights. The campaign has received support from Corporate Watch, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Islington Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and FairPensions amongst others.



How to Live Off-Grid
with Nick Rosen

Wednesday 9th July 7pm

The word 'off-grid' refers to places or people without mains water, power or phone line. Off-grid locations can range from private islands to tree-houses; the people living there might be back-packers, international business travellers or hippies; they may move around in buses or yachts, houseboats or 4-wheel drives. All are outside or in between the criss-crossing lines of power, water and phone that delineate the civilised world. Some are trying to save the planet, some live that way because it is all they can afford, some just want the freedom.

Nick Rosen’s book ‘How to Live Off-Grid’ is about that physical sense of off-grid. But it is also about taking the off-grid attitude into your local park or your own back garden. It is part travelogue as Nick Rosen, his wife and baby take off in a camper van to visit off-gridders representing every aspect of living off-grid - on land and water, metaphorical and actual, rural and city. And it is also a guide to avoiding the pitfalls and finding the best solutions for going off-grid yourself.

The Author

Nick Rosen is an award-winning documentary-maker, journalist and media analyst. He has produced and directed documentaries for ITV, Channel 4 (including Brezhnev's Daughter which won Best International Programme: New York Film and TV Festival 1994, and the widely praised documentary for PBS and C4 about the rebuilding of the World Trade Centre in New York) and for BBC Radio 4. In 1995 he founded one of the first UK Web-design companies and he wrote the Durlacher Report, a financial study of the Internet which spawned a generation of Internet investors.



'Dancing in the No-fly Zone:
A Woman's Journey Through Iraq'
with Hadani Ditmars

Saturday 12th July 5pm

Hadani Ditmars’ best selling book ‘Dancing in the No Fly Zone’ (chosen by the Toronto Globe and Mail as one of 100 best and most influential books of 2005) recounts her time in Iraq from 1997 until the autumn of 2003, and is one of the few recent books on Iraq that covers pre- and post-invasion reality. In this evening’s talk Hadani will be exploring the devastating effect that this most recent invasion has had on civil and cultural life, not least in the domination of religion over secular life.

"‘Dancing in the No Fly Zone’ …touches places in the nation’s soul that horror headlines never reach." - Boyd Tonkin, literary critic of the London Independent.



Film screening of 'How Cuba Survived Peak Oil'
Wednesday 16th July 7pm

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call ‘The Special Period.’ The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.

‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil’ is a project of The Community Solution, a non-profit organisation that designs and teaches low-energy solutions to the current unsustainable, fossil fuel-based, industrialised, and centralised way of living.

This screening is hosted by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, who will be introducing the film and running a question and answer session afterwards.

The film runs at 53 mins, and is exempt from classification.
www.powerofcommunity.org
www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk



'Producing Urban Order: Cleaning Up King's Cross'
Film and Discussion

Saturday 19th July 5pm

Inspired by the Foucauldian notion of Society of Control, MA students from the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, have created a series of short films and pamphlets exploring King’s Cross as an area of urban transformation. Focusing on the role played by the new terminal of St Pancras International as a catalyst for urban development, their work draws upon an extensive archive of mapping, field work and theoretical engagement.

Through encounters with institutional and informal networks the group produces counter-cartographies, video interviews, visual documentation and a lexicon of key terms as tools to initiate critical debate on the local and global forces shaping the area.
This evening’s event will take the form of screening of three short films with room for discussion and comment throughout.



Campaign against Climate Change present:
‘Climate Camp and beyond…’

Wednesday 23rd July 7pm


The Campaign against Climate Change, based upstairs from Housmans at 5 Caledonian Road, has been central in mobilising the population of Britain to stand up against the lack of action being taken by business and government in tackling this potentially catastrophic issue. This evening a range of supporters from this Campaign and from other climate campaign groups will be talking about the forthcoming Climate Camp, and looking forward to the future.

"We need to put climate change right at the top of the political agenda — it is by far the biggest threat to humanity. We have to turn this into the primary political campaign. That means keeping on the streets, keeping up the demonstrations and putting an enormous amount of pressure on our politicians." George Monbiot, Honorary President

www.campaigncc.org
www.climatecamp.org.uk



Newsnight's Paul Mason discusses syndicalism and workers' struggles
Saturday 26th July 6pm

We are delighted to welcome Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason, to talk about his book ‘Live Working or Die Fighting’, in which he compares the struggles of the global working classes of today, with those of the late 1800’s (the first time the working class went global). In this evening’s talk Paul will be focussing on the significance of syndicalism in those early formations of class solidarity.



Peter Cox discusses the cultural impact of the Radio Ballads
As explored in his new book 'Set in Song'

Wednesday 30th July 7pm

Peter Cox's new book ‘Set Into Song - Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker, Peggy Seeger and the Radio Ballads’ tells the story of a remarkable collaboration, one which produced a groundbreaking series of eight hour-long radio programmes for the BBC. The first, The Ballad of John Axon, was originally broadcast on 2 July 1958, and this evenings event will be marking its 50th anniversary.

Uniquely, the programmes took the speech of working people, until then almost always voiced by actors, and allowed them to tell their own stories. They told them into the new 'Midget' mobile tape recorder wherever they lived and worked - in railway yards, on fishing vessels, down pits, on bulldozers, in Traveller encampments. Their stories were woven together by Ewan MacColl with songs that he wrote specially for the programmes, after listening intensely to the language and rhythms of the voices, and by the young Peggy Seeger, who designed the musical setting and directed the performers. The programmes were rehearsed and recorded under the overall direction of the visionary Birmingham radio producer Charles Parker, a pioneer of the new painstaking art of tape splicing.

The radio ballads were hugely influential on what became the folk revival movement, and broke ground in challenging the domination of ‘Queen’s English’ on the BBC. Peter Cox lovingly explores this subject in his new book, and in this evening’s talk he will be playing extracts from the ballads and recounting his research.

www.setintosong.co.uk
Listen to the original radio ballads here:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/radioballads/original

JUNE 2008


Aidan Andrew Dun
Tuesday 3rd June 7pm

Acclaimed poet, author of 'Vale Royal', 'Universal', 'The Uninhabitable City', 'Salvia Divinorum' and 'Rimbaud Psychogeographer' - see www.aidanandrewdun.com

"Rimbaud, undoubtedly the most important poet since Dante, lived in London during the most critical phase of his brief career. 'Rimbaud, Psychogeographer' reveals that the French poet and seer encoded, in fantastic detail, a specific London cityscape into his famous 'Illuminations'.

"This is the place of power known as Kings Cross, the holy zone of a long secret tradition, the sacred ground proposed by William Blake as the New Jerusalem." - Jacket copy from Rimbaud, Psychogeographer.



One Eye Grey
Thursday 5th June 7pm

Shape shifting rats and feral pigs in the Fleet, lost zoos, pagan estate agents, Camden cannibals, ghosts of politicians and peculiar graveyards. Find out about some of London's more peculiar tales. Chris Roberts talks about the strange London stories that have gone into One Eye Grey - the 21st Century penny dreadful.



Squatting in London
Wednesday 11th June - 7pm


For decades the squatting of vacant property has played an important role in the history of London; from the mass squatting by families who lost their homes in the blitz of World War Two, to the recent squatting by homeless migrant workers. But London’s squat scene has also been a hotbed of political resistance, not least in the squatted social centres that today provide one of the few spaces in our city where counter-culture flourishes untainted.

Representatives from three of London’s best-known squatted social centres, Hackney Social Centre, 56a Info-shop, and Wominspace, will be hosting an informal talk at Housmans to discuss the current state of the squat scene, to share experiences on resisting eviction, and to give advice on how to set up your own squat successfully.



Stewart Home
Thursday 12th June 7pm

Brings you a trippy night of occultism, sex and London psychogeography to celebrate the first publications in Book Works Semina series.
Readings by Stewart Home, Maxi Kim, author of 'One Break, A Thousand Blows!' and Bridget Penney author of Index.



London’s Feminist Library
Friday 13th June 7pm


Is women’s liberation history worth saving? London is lucky to be home to a number of radical libraries, but unfortunately many are under threat. Come and join members of the Feminist Library management group to find out about their unique collection of Women's Liberation books, pamphlets, magazines, posters, badges ... and how they are trying to save it, who is trying to stop them, and what you can do to help.
feministlibrary.co.uk



Songs from the Hub
with Rob Inglis

Saturday 14th June 5pm

Rob Inglis and his Musical Flying Squad will be performing their unique and uplifting blend of London songs, which effortlessly bring to life many gems from local history .

Rob has been instrumental in supporting the arts within the King’s Cross area, and co-ordinates artsXchange, a partnership of community and cultural that seeks to nurture our separate cultural activities and share them with one another to increase mutual understanding.

www.musicalflyingsquad.org.uk/artsxchange



The London Nobody Knows
(Norman Cohen, UK 1967, 53 min)
+ Les Bicyclettes De Belsize
(Douglas Hickox, UK 1969, 29min)

Wednesday 18th June 7pm

A hymn to forgotten and now largely non-existent parts of the capital, ‘The London Nobody Knows’ stars James Mason as our guide who takes us around pie-and-mash shops, Victorian theatres and ‘gentlemen’s lavatories’. This is a little-seen London classic, noted for its compassionate treatment of the poor and down-and-outs. With London transforming at an astonishing rate, this film serves a crucial function by beautifully documenting and preserving our city’s collective memory.

The film will be shown along with the short ‘Les Bicyclettes de Belsize’, a stunning evocation of late sixties attitude, love and London.

The London Nobody Knows has just recently had a DVD release on Optimum Home Entertainment – please contact the shop if you’re interested in a copy.



Freeborn Traveller
with Grattan Puxon

Thursday 19th June - 6.30pm


- Based on real events during the 1960s, including the legendary stand made by the Travelling People at Cherry Orchard near Ballyfermot, this remarkable novel tells the story of a young English couple who join with the Travellers, get mixed up with the IRA and find themselves personae non gratae with the Irish state and church.



Spinning Room Poets
Friday 20th June 7pm


We are delighted to welcome for the first time this well-established group of North London-based poets, who will be showcasing four new, exciting anthologies: ‘Footprints on Africa and Beyond’ by Jennifer Johnson (published by Hearing Eye),‘Siren Song’ by John Snelling, ‘Accidents of Birth’ by Richard Leigh and ‘Sermons of Sedition’ by Murray Shelmerdine (all published by Nettle Press).



The Housmans Solstice Party
Savage Messiah Psychogeographic
Solstice Drift

Saturday 21st June

More excuses for parties! We’re going to celebrate the longest day of the year in fine style, by bringing the spirit of Stonehenge to King’s Cross! With plenty of refreshment and music, come and join us for a drink and a chat.

Then all those willing to be led of into the sunset are welcome to join cult London zine-star Laura Oldfield Ford, of ‘Savage Messiah’ fame, on a psychogeographic drift into the urban wilderness (for more details on the route please contact the shop).

www.lauraoldfieldford.com
www.savagemessiahzine.com



Occult London with Merlin Coverley
Wednesday 25th June 7pm

What Merlin Coverley doesn’t know about London isn’t worth knowing, and we are thrilled to have Merlin back at Housmans to launch his latest book ‘Occult London’.

London, perhaps more than any other city, has a secret history concealed from view. Behind the official façade promoted by the heritage industry lies a city of esoteric traditions and obscure institutions, of lost knowledge and hidden locations. ‘Occult London’ rediscovers this hidden history, unearthing the secret city and its forgotten inhabitants.

Today a concern for such hidden traditions has returned and Merlin Coverley explores this revival of interest in the occult tradition, one that accords well with emerging New Age philosophies, the interest in London's Ley Lines, in alternative histories, and in psychogeography.

The book itself is a must for any Londoner, and also included is an Occult Gazetteer: An A-Z of London's most resonant Occult Locations, from Abney Park cemetery to Wellclose Square, with a series of short descriptive entries including postcode, nearest tube, and map.



Out of the Woods
Friday 27th June 7pm


Out of the Woods come nine stories that will propel you into life and death, love and loss, comedy, tragedy and alien invasion. More taxing than television, less calorific than chocolate, longer lasting than sex, this collection will bring pleasure and delight to the curious and discerning reader – and discerning readers should make their way down to Housmans to hear these brilliant short stories read by their London-based authors.





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