Resources

READING LIST

Stop the War and its critics by Andrew Murray

 Andrew Murray, Chair of the Stop the War Coalition, dissects the charges that its opponents bring against Britain’s most successful progressive political movement.

The People v Tony Blair: Politics, the media and the anti-war movement by Chris Nineham

Based on interviews and insider accounts, this book describes panic in Downing Street and despair in Whitehall, as Chris Nineham argues even a hostile media can be neutralised by a powerful mass movement. 

 International Women’s Day by Alexandra Kollontai

Following the Russian Revolution, International Women’s Day was established as a national holiday and Alexandra Kollontai became head of the Women’s Department and People’s Commissar for welfare and led the campaign to improve women’s living conditions, eradicate illiteracy and establish a new legal and social framework for women’s liberation. International Women’s Day is now celebrated throughout the world and its close links to the revolutionary struggles of the 20th century become more relevant as systemic crisis grips the capitalist world.

Slave songs and symphonies

Poems by David Betteridge
Drawings by Bob Starrett

Slave Songs and Symphonies is an ambitious, beautifully crafted collection of poems, images and epigraphs. It’s about human history, progressive art and music, campaigns for political freedom, social justice and peace. Above all it’s about the class and cultural struggle of workers ‘by hand and by brain’ to regain control and ownership of the fruits of their labour.

David Betteridge’s poems are leftist, lyrical, and learned, infused with sadness and compassion for the sufferings of our class, the working class. They are also inspired by visionary hope, and a strong belief that our class-divided society and culture can be transformed by radical politics and good art – and by radical art and good politics.

Bob Starrett’s drawings are much more than illustrations. They dance with the poems, commenting on them as well as illustrating them. They are like Goya’s drawings in their dark, ink-black truthfulness and their intimate knowledge of suffering and Blake’s ‘mental fight’. Like the poems, they express and resolve the struggles they depict.

Slave Songs and Symphonies tells the story of how slave songs become symphonies – and helps makes it happen. It is not just about class and cultural struggle – it is class and cultural struggle.

 

 

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