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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Partisan View
Unlike some who have reviewed this book, I am not a fan of the 'Hooligan' Genre. There's nothing wrong with reading about well tasty geezers who are a bit naughty on the pavement, but I don't see the appeal. It's too short a walk before you're into Danny Dyer territory.

But despite the fact that I'd have trouble beating off a seig heiling moth, I share the same...
Published 20 months ago by RM

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars This is like one of these boring football hooligan books where the ...
This is like one of these boring football hooligan books where the author and his mates are the hardest, funniest most charismatic men on earth and the opposition are the complete opposite.
Im glad Nazis got their arses kicked but I refuse to believe that they got their arses kicked on every single occasion the author was involved no matter how much the odds were...
Published 1 month ago by Billy Smart


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Partisan View, 4 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
Unlike some who have reviewed this book, I am not a fan of the 'Hooligan' Genre. There's nothing wrong with reading about well tasty geezers who are a bit naughty on the pavement, but I don't see the appeal. It's too short a walk before you're into Danny Dyer territory.

But despite the fact that I'd have trouble beating off a seig heiling moth, I share the same militant anti-fascist convictions as the authors and have done since a teen.

As such I found the book exciting inspiring in equal measure and read it in an afternoon. Yes of course it's biased, it's no doubt a romanticised and mythologised version of events and there's little in the way of self-reflection. But dive in with a pint at hand and enjoy it for what it is.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Retreat:, 1 Dec. 2003
By 
Anthony Mcmahon (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
Having read many 'hoolie' books, I started reading No Retreat with a certain amount of scepticism. This new genre looks to promote and tittilate us with tales of mindless violence where the only winners are the author's 'lads'. No Retreat certainly does not fall into this trap. Whilst it does describe scenes of graphic violence, it puts the behaviour of anti-fascist organisations in a context that, to many people was justifiable in combating fascism on our streets. The style of writing that both authors adopt is exciting and stimulating.
Having limited my reading on this subject to the books written by the far-right, this was a refreshing insight into how two ordinary members of our society took a stand to defend what they passionately believed in.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This is like one of these boring football hooligan books where the ..., 26 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: No Retreat: The Secret War Between Britain's Anti-Fascists and the Far Right (Kindle Edition)
This is like one of these boring football hooligan books where the author and his mates are the hardest, funniest most charismatic men on earth and the opposition are the complete opposite.
Im glad Nazis got their arses kicked but I refuse to believe that they got their arses kicked on every single occasion the author was involved no matter how much the odds were stacked against them. If your going to tell a story about this sort of thing then at least giving the book a bit of creditability by not making out that the good guys were unbeatable in street violence and the bad guys were simply whipping boys.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Retreat-, 19 Jan. 2004
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
I originally only read this book on the strength of someone else's recommendation. I'd been warned that it was both very laddish and violent, and being female with pacifist tendencies I had misgivings that I may not be the intended target audience. But armed with this knowledge I thought I'd give it a whirl and I've got to say I was surprised and fascinated by its contents.
I'm not a huge fan of the hoolie-fan genre and whilst there are certain elements of that in the book it's also much more than that. Somehow despite numerous graphic accounts of twenty-five years worth of brawls, the violence does not seem wholly gratuitous, maybe because when it's being doled out against fascists it seems so much more deserved.
Living in the North West the book seemed especially pertinent, prior to reading this book I knew only the scantest details about the activities of the relevant organisations, and was naively unaware that much of this was occurring on my own doorstep, and of how ordinary working class fishmongers and plasterers could make a difference, so it proved to be something of an educational eye opener.
Despite my lack of knowledge the book was certainly accessible and it's fast pace and sharp, punchy style meant that I couldn't put it down. Given the nature of the material I hardly expected the book to have a comedic bent but at times I did find myself laughing aloud, so every credit to it's authors for achieving this...
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read and historically accurate, 5 Feb. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
This book is a great read, as a member of Manchester AFA
in the early to mid 1990s, I was introduced to Manchester
AFA by members of my family who played
important roles in the organization so I feel I
can with some authority verify that the book if anything
understated their success in beating the nazis off the
streets...
I feel that both authors personalities come across
well in their writing, and that the book, unlike
some of the football hooligan type of book to come
out of late, tries not to revel in gung ho BS and
does indeed tell it like it was during those times.
There were times that AFA were outnumbered by the
enemy such as the battle of Waterloo but managed to
beat them by their belief and the fact they were
inaudated with a large lunatic fringe (Gary the Axe
should and could write his own book!)
Steve Tilzeys account of the wars with the NF
in the 1970s was facsinating and having prior
knowledge of the battles with the BNP in East
Lancashire in the 1990s Dave Hann tells his story
in an accurate and humourous way.
You want a fat free account of a true account for
a change and want to be entertained at the same time
then you can't do better than this book.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read., 25 Aug. 2008
By 
Gogol (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
A book published by the same company which churns out endless "hoolifan" books from West Ham to Celtic is hardly one you would imagine publishing anything or any worthy political content but this book, charters the history of two anti fascists who during the 80s and 90s were involved in a series of physical fights against their political opponents.

The book charters the lives of the two authors one from the North (Manchester) and the other from the South (London) both of a working class background who became involved in anti fascist politics in the 70s with the Socialist Worker anti Nazi league. Both expelled from that group along with a number of others due to their militant methods in dealing with their opponents, one being sentenced to a prison sentence (In the book "When we touched the sky" it is also mentioned) the two quickly joined the group 'Red Action' and the umbrella group 'anti fascist action' who sought to physically confront the National Front/BNP and later the group Combat 18.

The book in parts does read like your typical 'hoolifan' book "Went to such and such town, did their pub, job well done" But the political overtones of the book do give it another dimension. The author mentions the fights with Manchester Cities National Front supporters in the 70s and early 80s (Interesting in that he mentions how the NF were attacked once by Cities mixed race 'Cool Cats' firm something that Mickey Francis also mentions in his book Guvnors (Though he makes no mention of any left wing/political involvement just that the two firms were at loggerheads with each other)

The book for the large part talks about the fight in the Greater Manchester area and Lancashire only once touching on Leeds, never on Merseyside. It mentions various confrontations in London such as the 'Main Event' and the 'Battle of Waterloo' and also the various fights during confrontations at the 'Bloody Sunday' marches. While the author mentions for the large part the victories of the group it seems for the most part they were on the wrong end of pitch battles during the bloody Sunday marches. The author also points to the involvement of Chelsea's 'Headhunters' hooligan firm in a great many of the far rights attacks against their opponents though mentions that Millwall were something of mixed (Neither for nor against, he mentions one Millwall 'main face' actively fighting against the far right at the 'Battle of Waterloo')

An interesting book though does have a number of flaws.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important read, 15 Jan. 2007
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
Coming from the north i was involved in afa during the 1990's. I was at some of the incidents reported in the book and certainly heard about many of the others at the time. The book is pretty accurate and ties in well with what i remember at the time. It's also good that the book discusses Afa's demise at the hands of Red Action. It would have been interesting to hear more about other groups in the North, such as Leeds and Newcastle, but i guess thats for another book. Well worth a read and a useful document of our country's hidden history.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it, 14 Dec. 2003
By 
C Brazil (Manchester, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
Not a book I'd pick up myself (was recommended by a friend). Was gripped from the start and wasn't disappointed. Of particular interest to those from the North West.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read and historically accurate, 5 Feb. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
This book is a great read, as a member of Manchester AFA
in the early to mid 1990s, I was introduced to Manchester
AFA by members of my family who played
important roles in the organization so I feel I
can with some authority verify that the book if anything
understated their success in beating the nazis off the
streets...
I feel that both authors personalities come across
well in their writing, and that the book, unlike
some of the football hooligan type of book to come
out of late, tries not to revel in gung ho BS and
does indeed tell it like it was during those times.
There were times that AFA were outnumbered by the
enemy such as the battle of Waterloo but managed to
beat them by their belief and the fact they were
inaudated with a large lunatic fringe (Gary the Axe
should and could write his own book!)
Steve Tilzeys account of the wars with the NF
in the 1970s was facsinating and having prior
knowledge of the battles with the BNP in East
Lancashire in the 1990s Dave Hann tells his story
in an accurate and humourous way.
You want a fat free account of a true account for
a change and want to be entertained at the same time
then you can't do better than this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Rivetting..., 27 Feb. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: No Retreat (Paperback)
No Retreat gripped me from start to finish. I have some knowledge of the events described in this book, but knew little of the detail and background information that make this such an important historical document. Full marks to the authors for saving and documenting a slice of real working class history. This is as real as it comes. There is no fluffy, give-peace-a-chance, liberal do-gooder nonsense from these lads, just a warts and all re-telling of a war between anti-fascists and fascists that was at times bloody and vicious. Told in a style that is a cross between pub war-stories and gallow's humour I found I could not put the book down and stayed up all night to finish it. It's that good!!!
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