In The Struggle for Equality. The History of the Anarchist Red Cross by Boris Yelensky eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

A fascinating first-hand account of the activists of the Anarchist Red Cross (later the Anarchist Black Cross — ABC) in the Russian revolutionary movement from 1905 through 1917, and the subsequent Leninist/Stalinist repression.

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The book contains a tribute to Yelensky from fellow Russian revolutionary M. Beresin: “When I arrived in the United States in 1911, a fugitive from a hard-labor sentence in Siberia, my first thought was to devise some means of extending aid to our comrades who were languishing in Russian prisons. I promptly proceeded to have a noticed inserted in the Russian language newspapers requesting any co-workers in our ideological movement who were located in Philadelphia… to come to a meeting. Among those who attended that gathering was Yelensky. Our first step was the … organization of the “Anarchist Red Cross” … Yelensky is one of the most ardent and dynamic workers in our Movement; he has not for a single moment deviated from his ideological course; He has not allowed himself to become assimilated… by the American Bourgeois spirit. This intransigence of his… was responsible for the fact that in time he became to be recognized as more than a person. He became a veritable `institution’“

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IN THE SOCIAL STORM. Memoirs of the Russian Revolution by Boris Yelensky. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

Boris Yelensky’s memoir charts the history of the Russian anarchist movement in the early years of the 20th Century. Told in prosaic yet detailed fashion, unadorned by romanticism, it is his personal account of the turbulent period leading up to — and after — the successful take-over of the Russian monarchy by Lenin and the Bolsheviks. He provides an alternative historical viewpoint as to the Russian anarchist experience of that momentous period.

In the Social Storm: Memoirs of the Russian Revolution is not only a critique of the Bolshevik modus operandi and why they willingly sacrificed the one great opportunity to implement the socialist ideals fleshed out over the previous half century or more. It is more than an analysis of the Bolshevik mindset. Yelensky illustrates how the anarchist movement and men such as Nestor Makhno played a vital role in the social forces and the massive political and social upheaval of the period.

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Yelensky (Russia, 1889 — USA, 1974) describes how the anarchists living and struggling within this maelstrom of change did their utmost to implement their ideas through the example of their everyday lives. The experiments in actual anarchist projects of which Yelensky was a part, and which he describes in detail, were attempts to redefine social organizations to make them fair and liberating to everyone involved. They had a short window of opportunity to show the positive aspects of their philosophy, one that promised a viable alternative social and industrial organization to the repressive, totalitarian, brutal state dictatorship of the Bolsheviks — and to that of the capitalists who, likewise, used a centralized authoritarian government system disguised as “democracy” to fulfill similar ends.

For anarchists and political researchers Yelensky’s book is a revealing account of anarchism in action. A first-hand description of the lives and the efforts of those who went to Russia in good faith, believing positive changes were at hand. Instead, they faced the grim reality there was no new utopia awaiting them; Russia had fallen into the hands of a cabal of ruthless Marxist ideologues who, with their dreaded cheka terror squads, were hell-bent on acquiring total power over one of the largest empires on earth — and, in the process, murdering anyone who stood in the way of their ambitions.

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EDWARD HEATH MADE ME ANGRY: The Christie File: Part 3, 1967-1975 Fully revised and updated (with chronology). eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

Edward Heath Made Me Angry: The Christie File: Part 3, 1967-1975. (The later memoirs of a West of Scotland ‘baby-boomer’) 

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This third volume of Christie’s memoirs provides the historical and political context for the international anti-Franco resistance of the anarchist ‘First of May Group’, from 1967 to the dictator’s death in 1975. It is a first-hand account — by someone accused but acquitted — of the campaign of anti-state and anti-capitalist bombings by diverse groups of libertarian militants who came together as the ‘Angry Brigade’ to challenge the aggressively anti-working class policies of the Tory government of Edward Heath.

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THE ALBERT MEMORIAL. The Anarchist Life and Times of Albert Meltzer (7 January 1920 — 7 May 1996). An Appreciation by Phil Ruff, with a postscript by ‘Acrata’. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

AlbertPressAlCoverTHE ALBERT MEMORIAL. The Anarchist Life and Times of Albert Meltzer (7 January 1920 — 7 May 1996). An Appreciation by Phil Ruff, with a postscript by ‘Acrata’. ChristieBooks 2013  ISBN 978-1-901172-10-2 Published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK —

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Albert Meltzer was one of the most notable and influential figures in the British anarchist movement of the second half of the 20th century. This commemorative appreciation of Albert’s life and work by his close friend and comrade, ‘Black Flag’ cartoonist Phil Ruff, also includes contributions from his European activist contemporaries and a response to the calumnies propagated by those who attempted for several decades to revile or belittle his indefatigable efforts in the cause of human liberation. Funeral of Albert Meltzer ; I Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels