Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You win some, you lose some...

A stroke of good luck happened to me today - a Library near me was relocating and selling off books it did not need - and I knew about it!

My housemates will not be particularly pleased that I have got more books (they like to keep the place neat and tidy) - but I have to share the good news with someone and so here, in no particular order, is what I brought home today:

Betty D Vernon - Ellen Wilkinson (1982)
AL Morton (ed) - Freedom in Arms: A Selection of Leveller Writings (1975)
Victor Serge - Memoirs of a Revolutionary (1963)*
C. Rosberg/J. Nottingham -The myth of 'Mau-Mau'; Nationalism in Kenya(1966)
L Schaefer (ed) - The Ethiopian Crisis - Touchstone of Appeasement? (1965)
Michael Foot - Aneurin Bevan, Vol 1 (1962)
T Ryle Dwyer - Eamon de Valera (1980)
Wal Hannington - Unemployed Struggles, 1919-1936 (1977)
Nan Milton - John Maclean (1973)
Victor Serge - Year One of the Russian Revolution (1972)*
Lawrence Stone - The Crisis of the Aristocracy 1558-1641 (1967)
David Jones - Chartism and the Chartists (1975)
J.P. Nettl - Rosa Luxemburg, Vol 1 (1966)
GDH Cole and R Postgate - The Common People, 1746-1946 (1971)**
Gwen Jones - A History of the Vikings (1968)
Martin Albrow - Bureaucracy (1970)
Richard N Hunt - German Social Democracy, 1918-1933 (1970)
James Curran and Jean Seaton - Power without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain (1985)
R K Hunt - The British Working Class Reader, 1790-1848 (1955)
V Haynes and O Semyonova (ed) Workers Against the Gulag; The New Opposition in the Soviet Union (1978)
David Howell - British Social Democracy; A Study in Development and Decay (1976)
Ray Challinor - The Origins of British Bolshevism (1977)

* I already had copies of these, but you can never have too much Serge.
** I had bought this once before - thought it crap, took it back to the second hand shop, then later regretted taking it back.

The bad news is I returned home to find I have picked up an offensive Right wing troll called 'noserubber' on my blog - who sadly seems not to have read a single book in the whole of his life.



At 8:15 pm, Blogger HV said...

Ohhh, I am so jealous! We don't get much radical British history across the Atlantic.

I agree, pick up Serge wherever you find him, cos he's so rare: I just found this old paperback edition of The Case of Comrade Tulayev, that wasn't printed by Writers & Readers (the main English-language Serge publishers) - I figure it'll make a great gift to someone.

A local university holds 4 different booksales in October; I did manage to find a filebox full of dependency theory stuff from the 70s, and some cool studies of African workers' movements, but sadly, the season is drawing to a close. There's one more sale tomorrow, and that's it.

The local SWP (USA) branch was liquidating its library a few years ago. Pathfinder Books being needlessly expensive, I was delighted to find James Cannon polemics for $3. However, I passed up a Lenin's Collected Works (every volume but #2) for $100. I was poor at the time, and since I was visiting the city, I couldn't bring them back with me. Now, every time I see someone selling random volumes for $6 each, I shudder, thinking of the lost opportunity.

Anyhow, good on you for the books. Have you had to buy a new bookcase yet?

At 12:05 am, Blogger Snowball said...

You'd be even more jealous when you found out how cheap I got them - if I put that up then I think I would create such a wave of envy that it would make 'noserubber' look like natural justice. Needless to say, the only thing that stopped me buying more was how much I could carry. I have already given away the 'Memoirs of a Revolutionary' as a present to a comrade who lacks it - having owned it for all of three hours.

I wish I had space for a new bookcase - I currently have books filling up most of my available space on my floor.

One issue that arises when you collect books is where do you draw the line with respect to 'non-Marxist' works. I think that it is important to have some key texts from non-Marxists - especially in the world of fiction etc. However, if I simply bought up Right wing historical accounts of say, the English Revolution - just so I had 'both sides' as it were then where would I store them all? I think that it is ok to say I am only going to spend my limited amounts of money on books that I have respect for - and just get the orthodox accounts out from the library if needed.

On Lenin's CW - a comrade of mine once saw his University Library literally about to throw out a whole set - and saved them from the skip. I was fortunate enough to then benefit from getting some of the volumes he had collected up to then - which was great. To have the whole lot would be quite something - and it seems the best way of getting it is indeed all in one go - it is too expensive to buy them individually...

At 4:43 pm, Blogger Ed said...

On Noserubber - he's like a virus, passing from one left wing site to another. Just point out that his obsessive and ritual use of the word 'cunt' suggests a hatred of women which stems, more likely than not, from childhood trauma and an abusive mother. Suggest that his personal inadequacies and tragic life history are no excuse for misogyny.

Then ban him.

He doesn't like it.

At 4:48 pm, Blogger Ed said...

Quite disappointed I didn't get to the booksale. You told me about it - and I forgot all about it as soon as I got into the library. Doh!

At 9:03 am, Blogger bat020 said...

Hey Snowball, congratulations on getting in on page 2 of the Guardian today...

At 7:27 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Just got back - been away a few days.

Bat - Cheers - What day did I get a mention in the Guardian and why?

At 11:32 pm, Blogger bat020 said...

Errm, I think it was Friday. I'll check tomorrow. Anyway, you get quoted re Trafalgar & Haiti in that blog round up bit, stuck down in the corner of p2 next to the Sudoku. Fame of sorts...

At 10:43 am, Blogger Snowball said...

'Fame of sorts' - well, indeed.

Friday is probably quite likely - as I think that was the day of the anniversary of Trafalgar.

Anyway well spotted. If you could let us know what they said as well at some point (I can't find it online) that would be grand. Not that I want to glory in my victory or anything.

At 2:50 pm, Blogger bat020 said...

It was Monday 24 October... relevant extract below:

Today on the web: Nelson


Not everyone was celebrating:

"Perhaps never before in the field of human conflict has so much imperial propaganda about a past battle been forced upon so many by so few. For socialists, our response should arguably be to recall the Haitian Revolution which defeated not just the tyrannical French and Spanish empires but also the murderous British empire as well. To hear the sound of liberty ringing down through the centuries, let us listen to Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution and a military genius at least the equal of Nelson."




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