Tuesday 20 October 2015

Emilio Crisi, (Buenos Aires): Partners and friends, as I once again have the pleasure to invite you to a talk-debate on the topic that encloses the book Revolucion Anarquista en Manchuria 1929-1932, based on research work that I managed to publish in 2014, and that already is in the libraries thanks to Libros de Annares (Argentina). The book is digitised by IATH, the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (Brazil)

The book, with a foreword by Michael Schmidt, tries to develop among other topics the historiography, the difficulties of investigate the facts, the political context, social and economic development of the moment, the life of the Korean anarchist organisations and the surrounding regions who managed to give life to an unprecedented libertarian revolution for that area of the world, only comparable maybe because of its magnitude to the Spanish Social Revolution of 1936 or the 1919 Ukrainian Makhnovschina. 

The book in addition gives evidence of a number of factors that try to explain how, an area of half a million peasants - plagued by exploitation, domination and the invasion of colonial armies - managed to practice antagonistic federalist administrative bodies in a new formation, at the same time that there were technical advances in rural processes of self-employment. 

These and other points we will be able to share and discuss in this talk organized by Libros de Anarres and the Anarchist Book Fair.This book is a humble tribute to that generation of Korean anarchists who gave their lives in the pursuit of a project social emancipation: Kim Jong-Jin, Kim Jwae-Jin, Lee Eul-Kyu, Lee Jung-Kyu, Lee Hwae-young and Yu Rim, among others...

Wednesday 7 October 2015

A Taste of Bitter Almonds: draft back cover blurbs

When Nelson Mandela took the oath as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president in 1994, it symbolised the triumphal defeat of almost three and a half centuries of racial separation since the original corporate raiders of the Dutch East India Company planted a bitter almond hedge to keep indigenous people out of ‘their’ Cape outpost in 1659. The Mandela moment had deep global resonance and for a few years thereafter the ‘Rainbow Nation’ was the world’s darling – but in the world’s most unequal society, for the majority of its people, being excluded from a dignified life remained the rule over 1994 to 2015, and a taste of bitter almonds remained. In the year of South Africa’s troubled coming-of-age, veteran investigative journalist and anarchist activist Michael Schmidt brings to bear 21 years of his scribbled field notes to weave a tapestry of the view from below: here in the demi-monde of our transition from autocracy to democracy, in the half-light glow of the rusted rainbow, you will meet neo-Nazis and the newly dispossessed, Boers and Bushmen, black illegal coal miners and a bank robber, witches and wastrels, love children and land claimants. Yet, with their feet in the mud, still our Born Free youth have their eyes on the stars.

Michael Schmidt will challenge you in this book. He will enlighten you too. You will want to embrace him for going so far out on a limb with his truths. You will also want to punch him in the face for some of those revelations, and draw blood. There is, however, one thing you will never do. You will never say of this man: ‘Michael Schmidt never was any good as a writer.’ He gripped my attention… and never let it go. – Eric Miyeni, author of O, Mandingo! The Only Black at a Dinner Party

A raucous, rollicking yet lucid ride into South Africa's often violent, absurd and hilarious past, racing into its schizophrenic, disoriented present and pointing towards its equivocal future. Schmidt, using a motley cast of characters, paints the country's rainbow in shades of grey... yet
the Technicolor remains. – Darren Taylor, Voice of America (VOA) Africa features correspondent