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Socialist Reading......

Yo friends! I need some advice from the more political active of ya! (Looking at Malc, Grim and Adam primarily I'm guessing on this one...)

I would like to have some books suggestions on the following:

Cuban Revolution and the Revolutionary Movement in South/Central America
France 1968 (Student and Workers Protests)
Pro-active Socialism and underground movements in the 60's through to modern day

Many thanks for tips!


Nov. 6th, 2005 11:18 pm (UTC)
No worries, Mira pointed me towards your question. Why the interest in leftist terror groups? It's interesting to me since so many obviously non-terrorist activist groups are currently being attacked and classified as terrorist when they clearly aren't ('carnival against capital' which has never even existed as a group, and British and US animal rights groups being the famous examples), and anti-terrorist powers are used to interfere with peaceful activists. I guess Italy is the example for that being adopted as an approach by governments who decide terror is quite useful to them.

Anyway, to your question:

Okay, there's a few books on the Angry Brigade (uk Marxist bombers). I've only read the Tom Vague one, which isn't amazing, and which just collates material from other books. It's also stupidly romantic about the Brigade, and pretty sparse on critical analysis. So, there's an anti-reccomendation to start.

For other angry brigade stuff, the most substantial account is

The Angry Brigade : the cause and the case : a history of Britain's first urban guerilla group / Gordon Carr, Stuart Christie, John Barker

Or there is the recent autoboiography, Granny Made Me an Anarchist by Stuart Christie.

Though it's worth bearing in mind that despite the popular mythology of bomb-throwing anarchsits, all these 70s terrorist groups were fundamentally Marxists, specifically Maoists though they sometimes adopted anarchist or the vernacular of the time to look hip and catch the zetigeist. Mao's example of the peasants uprising against capitalism meant these groups thought there was a 'short cut' too for them, using a terroristic vanguard. Of course, this proved to be wrong.

There are books on the weathermen, an unrelated but parallell group in the states, but I've not read any of them. These books, if you search on COPAC, are mostly either called 'the weathermen' or 'the weather undergound.' Again, the ak press site is the best place to start. There was also a very good documentary, which I know Sheffield Hallam university library has a copy of you might be able to get on inter-library loan. It's called 'The weather underground.' The weathermen never actually bombed a single person (come to think of it, I don't think the angry brigade did, either). But they did uncover 'cointelpro,' the FBI's program of monitoring, intimidation, interference and harassment of radical groups counter to the government or business interest. Cointelpro was the agency, since disbanded under public pressure(at least under that name), mostly deemed responsible for stuff like the assasinations of black panther organisers.

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