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Reviews Written by
M. Empson "Martin Empson" (London, UK)
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Fighting Back
Fighting Back
by John Newsinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.05

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, and relevant history of US working class movement in the 1930s, 16 April 2014
This review is from: Fighting Back (Paperback)
John Newsinger packs and enormous quantity into this book. Some of the most inspiring tales are the high points of the struggle. The factory occupations and the Sit Down strikes. But there is also the lesser known history of the part played of women in the struggles of the 1930s, and the cowardly roles of some union leaders, who clearly didn't know which side they were supposed to be on. John Newsinger is a readable author, who, uses the voices of the participants themselves to great effect.

The defeats and victories of US workers in the 1930s, as well as the roles (positive and negative) of militants and revolutionaries remain enormously important. Despite seeming to be from a forgotten era, there isn't a trade unionist or socialist anywhere in the world that won't gain something from this important book.


Say It Loud: Marxism and the Fight Against the Racism
Say It Loud: Marxism and the Fight Against the Racism
by Brian Richardson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The origins of racism and the struggle to end it, 31 Mar 2014
This excellent collection of essays is written by a group of activists in the anti-racist movement. As such it is far from a dry academic text, it locates the origins of racism within the rise of capitalism, specifically the Slave Trade, and argues that the ongoing existence of racism has nothing to do with biological differences, and everything to do with the needs of capitalism to divide and rule. I found the chapter on the Stephen Lawrence family's struggle for justice particularly moving, and the section on Islamaphobia as a new "racism" very useful. The lessons of recent anti-racist struggles, and the way that racism is institutionalized is also very useful. Recommended for those who want to stop the far-right in the 21st century.


Jim Larkin and the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913
Jim Larkin and the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913
by John Newsinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons for today!, 31 Mar 2014
A century after the Dublin lockout, the tale of Jim Larkin and his Irish TGWU is more than just a history lesson. This is how workers have fought back, and the reasons they should have one. Newsinger is an excellent writer, in a short book he packs in lots about the massive power of the Irish workers movement on the eve of World War One, and sadly, we learn why they didn't stride to victory. There are inspirational tales of solidarity from across the Irish Sea and plenty for 21st century trade unionists and socialists to learn from.


Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain
Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain
by Christian Wolmar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of British railways, that doesn't shy from a criqitue of origins of contemprary problems, 5 Mar 2014
This excellent history of the development of the British railway system has much going for it. The early history is fascinating, particularly the burst of Victorian railway enthusasim which has, as one legacy, the sometimes chaotic and apparently random railway network.

Wolmar also details the post-WW2 funding crisis that led to a downgrading of the system, followed by a disastourous railway privatisation that has led to the modern, incomplete, unco-ordinated and very expensive passenger system. At precisely the time we should be looking at rail as a low carbon alternative, Wolmar details the limits of the current system. Though he does offer a vision that is cheaper, faster and greener.

Most people will read this for the history, and that is engaging, detailed and at times fascinating. Its a recommended read for the non-specialist that will make the reader think about how past and present are so closely linked.


Occupy!
Occupy!
by Dave Sherry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Before Occupy! There was Workers Occupy!, 14 Nov 2010
This review is from: Occupy! (Paperback)
Dave Sherry's fascinating book of forgotten working class struggle looks at how workers have taken over their workplaces, to defend them against closure, to protect their own jobs and in the process demonstrated that workers power is indeed possible. More recent occupations, by Visteon workers and the Vestas's wind turbine manufacturers get a mention. As austerity continues to bite working people, this is the history of how we can fight back and win!


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