THE ROUSING OF THE SCOTTISH WORKING CLASS 1774-2008 by James D. Young. With an appendix on Marxism and the Scottish National Question — eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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In introducing this reissue of The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class (1979) to a new generation of readers in Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and North America, especially in Canada, I require to say it was the first of the twelve books I have had published since 1979. It was widely reviewed, mostly denounced in Scotland, upset Unionist historians, questioned by a few prominent members of the Scottish National Party, and made a big and sympathetic impact on what was still a strong Scottish labour movement. It was not a book for ambitious scholars interested in promotion at the cost of the truth to identify with or praise; and, when first published David Daiches, the Scottish literary authority praised, and then bowed to pressure in later years by ignoring it. It was published by Croom Helm, London, Fontana Books, London, and McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, Canada; and it was later published by two American publishers. It was in 1994 that Professor Willy Maley wrote an article ‘Cultural Devolution? Representing Scotland in the 1970s’ for the book The Arts in the 1970s: Cultural Closure? (1994), where he responded to the silly attack on The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class by Christopher A. Whatley. Maley wrote with penetrating, analytical skill.

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THE COMMON PEOPLE 1746-1946 by G.D.H. Cole and Raymond Postgate — eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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First published in 1938 and updated and rewritten in 1946, G D H Cole and Raymond Postgate’s ‘The Common People. 1746-1946’ is a classic study of British working class history from the defeat of the Jacobite cause at Culloden in 1746 through to the end of WWII in 1946. Its 714 pages provide a comprehensive overview of British working class life from a libertarian socialist perspective from the end of the Jacobite rebellion to 1946: eighteenth century social and political movements; the Industrial Revolution and the French War; the post-Napoleonic Peace (including Peterloo and the rise of the trade union movement); England under the Reform Act; working class life during the so-called ‘Great Victorian Age’; Imperialism and Socialism; everyday life in the run-up to the First World War; the First World War itself; the inter-war period; Britain in 1939; the Second World War; plus a list of recommended books and a useful chronology of important dates

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ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM Theory and Practice by Rudolf Rocker. Translated by Ray E. Chase, Preface by Noam Chomsky, Introduction by Nicolas Walter. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

“The publication of Rudolf Rocker’s Anarcho-Syndicalism, after far too many years, is an event of much importance for people who are concerned with problems of liberty and justice. Speaking personally, I became acquainted with Rocker’s publications in the early years of the Second World War, in anarchist book stores and offices in New York City, and came upon the present work on the dusty shelves of a university library, unknown and unread, a few years later. I found it an inspiration then, and have turned back to it many times in the years since. I felt at once, and still feel, that Rocker was pointing the way to a much better world, one that is within our grasp, one that may well be the only alternative to the ‘universal catastrophe’ towards which ‘we are driving on under full sail’, as he saw on the eve of the Second World War. This catastrophe will be beyond the limits he could then imagine, as states have acquired the capacity to obliterate human society, a capacity that they will exercise if the current social order evolves along its present paths.

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