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T. Bark "Autonomous British Marxist Historian, class struggle activist" (De-industrialised northern town, UK)
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The Rich at Play: Foxhunting, Land Ownership and the Countryside Alliance (RPM)
The Rich at Play: Foxhunting, Land Ownership and the Countryside Alliance (RPM)
by Mark Metcalf
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has solid research building upon years of experience., 14 Nov. 2008
The Rich at Play was badly needed at the time to counteract both ahistorical Leftism, post modernism, and the stupid right wing. Rather than look at the foxhunting issue in isolation, the research put the Countryside Alliance and their backers into their correct socio-economic position - as part of the historical ruling classes of the UK.

The excellent research by Corporate Watch and others backed up arguments with empirical evidence, and this could only be dismissed easily by the prejeudiced and right wing. Serious thinkers would actually have to understand and argue with the content of this book. In short, this is an excellent historical contribution to the literature on these subjects.

The other reviewer also seems to not understand the difference between 'quality' and 'quantity'. 'Quality' writing does not need too much space, especially because it is in a popular format designed for mass consumption, and this was a balance the book achieved.


Bash the Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK
Bash the Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK
by Ian Bone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sartorial politics lavortorial humour, 5 Nov. 2006
This is a fantastic voyage from Ian Bones experience and politics up to 1986. As such it lives through the heady days of 1968 student culture, and 1970s/1980s unemployment culture. There's Ians participation in community politics in Swansea with the Alarm newsletter where a council leader was jailed for corruption, and how this broadened into national political effect with Class War. The description of the illicit birth of Class War from amongst the victims of Thatchers Britain are good, though the people concerned would not see themselves as victims. There are many good descritions of Class War politics, from the infamous Bash the Rich marches from where the book gets its name, to the incident where Ian rubbed mud into Joan Ruddocks face at a CND press conference - this is pure entertainment with a packed political message. Some of the photos are funny as F#ck too. All in all an easy read of Ians political and social life as it mixes with the many major issues of the day.


Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms
Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms
by Benjamin Franks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.00

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The politics of Anarchy in the UK, 20 Sept. 2006
Ben Franks book is not only a contribution to the recent history of the class struggle anarchist movement, it draws out the progressive elements and theorises them at a higher level. The analysis of Direct action will be particularly useful for a long time in countering 'do-nothing' or 'reactionary' Marxists - such as those found in small sects or the SWP. For too long the anarchist movement has allowed itself to be portrayed as being composed of thugs by the left, 'all mindless action - no programme', this book is one important reply to such treatment.

Franks fairly treats all sides of the movement, and doesn't slag anybody off. Class War come out of it the best IMHO, though he is most interested in constructing an ideal type class struggle anarchism - something we can aspire to practice.This prefigurative element is very important as it shows we have (the working class) to be the change we want to see. Thus, experiments in class justice and dual power (such as in the north of Ireland in the 1970s) are vital. The important themes of class struggle anarchism, the nature of the revolutionary subject, class identity, the importance of workplace activity, and propaganda are all covered.

As for its direct use in the everyday class war, in terms of participation and propaganda, then I would read other things first. So its not for the beginner, but the graduate, or medium/long term member of political groups/unions should find enough interesting in it, and new insights, for it to be very worthwhile.


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