Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, February 03, 2013

New Book: Arms and the People

Mike Gonzalez & Houman Barekat (eds.), Arms & the People: Popular Movements & the Military from the Paris Commune to the Arab Spring
Pluto Press, 292pp, £17.50, ISBN 9780745332970

Looking at a range of global historical experiences, Arms and the People examines the relationship between mass movements and military institutions. Some argue that it is impossible to achieve and protect a revolution without the support of the army, but how can the support of the army be won?

Arms and the People explores the impact of profound social polarisation on the internal cohesion of the state’s ‘armed bodies of men’ and on the contested loyalties of soldiers. The different contributors examine a series of historical moments in which a crisis in the military institution has reflected a deeper social crisis which has penetrated that institution and threatened to disable it.

With a range of international contributors who have either studied or been directly involved in such social upheavals, Arms and the People is a pioneering contribution to the study of revolutionary change and will appeal to students and academics in history, politics and sociology.

'A most revealing study of some of the most dramatic moments of modern history, from the people in arms in the Paris Commune to today’s headlines. Often beaten back but even then leaving a legacy of achievement and understanding to carry the struggle forward.'
Noam Chomsky

 Read a review by Ian Birchall here

and also one by Estelle Cooch here

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