‘The revolution ended in May’, Mikel Muñoz’s 2015 film (Spanish with French subtitles) on the five days of infamy and treachery that ended Spain’s social revolution. In the Spring of 1937, with the anti-fascist war at its peak, the pro-Stalinist ‘socialists’ of the PSOE, led by Finance Minister Juan Negrín, the communist-led PSUC (The Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia) led by Juan Comorera, supported by right wing nationalists of the Estat Català, moved against the power bases of the anarcho-syndicalist workers’ militias in Catalonia, starting on April 25 with the customs post at Puigcerdá on the French border, and culminating in the attempted seizure of the Barcelona Telephone Exchange. The latter action and the call for the CNT employees defending the building and adjoining barrio barricades to abandon their positions and give up their arms was endorsed by the infamous ‘notables’ of the higher committees of the CNT, particularly anarchist ministers Federica Montseny and Juan Garcia Oliver, and CNT National Secretary Mariano T. Vazquez. The following account of the ‘Events of May’ is from ‘Building Utopia’.

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REVOLUTION AND SOCIAL REVOLUTION: A Contribution to the History of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Movement in Spain 1930-1937 by Stephen John Brademas. Edited and Introduced by Pedro García-Guirao – eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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John Brademas died in Manhattan on 11 July 2016, at the age of 89. He was an outstanding member of the United States Congress for the Democratic Party for 22 years (1959-81), a partner with the Rockefeller Foundation, founder of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University (of which he served as president from 1981 to 1992), a recipient of the Great Cross of Alfonso X (the Wise) of Spain (2011), conferred upon him by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and recipient of some thirty other awards.

However, as his obituary in the New York Times (11 July 2016) set out, behind this glamorous award-studded life lay something that ran much deeper. The son of a Greek immigrant restaurant-owner (whose restaurant came under repeated Ku Klux Klan attacks) and an Indiana elementary-school teacher, John Brademas recalled how his father told him on several occasions that he would strive not to leave him a great legacy (unlikely as he was an immigrant to Indiana and owner of a modest restaurant) but rather a first-rate education. Brademas embraced his father’s educational ambitions and never forgot his origins. In fact, James Fernandez (New York University) stressed in his obituary that “towering over everything else, perhaps, was the wisdom, decency and compassion of a truly extraordinary man who never forgot where he came from.”1

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NOSOTROS LOS ANARQUISTAS! Un Estudio de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) 1927-1937, Stuart Christie (Spanish Edition) eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

FAIsmallNOSOTROS LOS ANARQUISTAS! Un Estudio de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) 1927-1937, Stuart Christie ISBN 978-1-873976-64-7, published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK —

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Desde el nacimiento oficial del anarquismo organizado en el Congreso de Saint- Imier de 1872, ninguna formación anarquista se ha visto sujeta a una tergiversación tan flagrante como la Federación Anarquista Ibérica. La FAI era un grupo de militantes del siglo XX dedicado a mantener el sindicato más grande de España, la CNT, en un camino revolucionario y anarcosindicalista.
Esta obra posee dos dimensiones. La primera es descriptiva e histórica: repasa la evolución del anarquismo en España y su relación con el movimiento obrero en general y, al mismo tiempo, permite comprender mejor las ideas que convirtieron al movimiento obrero español en uno de los más revolucionarios de los tiempos modernos. La segunda es analítica, puesto que el libro trata — desde una perspectiva anarquista— el problema de entender y saber sobrellevar el cambio en el mundo contemporáneo: ¿cómo pueden los ideales sobrevivir al proceso de la institucionalización? El libro constituye un relato apasionante y una rectificación histórica e informativa que va más allá de la historia aportando lecciones para las organizaciones contemporáneas y para las luchas individuales que buscan el cambio social y económico.