Beating the Fascists - The Authorised History of Anti Fascist Action

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May 22 2010 11:23
Beating the Fascists - The Authorised History of Anti Fascist Action

Due out on 28th July this year (the 25th anniversary of the original founding of AFA)

Following the electoral collapse of the National Front in 1979, fascists went on the rampage. Race attacks escalated. NF/BNP gangs employed violence on the streets, on the terraces and to control the music scene. Young anti-fascists stepped up. AFA was formed in 1985. ‘A state of war’ was how one rueful BNP leader would describe what happened next.

Not only is ‘Beating the Fascists’ a meticulously researched study, it is also a much-needed piece of 'history from below'. Throughout, the voices of working class anti-fascists come across hard, clear, and without apology. Illuminating and sometimes chilling by turn, the running commentary they provide helps ensure the tempo never flags. Gradually the reader is drawn into an all but vanished world of back street idealism and self-sacrifice.

More details and pre-ordering to come in the next week or so

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Steven.
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May 22 2010 12:26

looks interesting. does "authorised" mean by the red action/IWCA side?

gypsy
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May 22 2010 12:33
oisleep wrote:
Due out on 28th July this year (the 25th anniversary of the original founding of AFA)

Following the electoral collapse of the National Front in 1979, fascists went on the rampage. Race attacks escalated. NF/BNP gangs employed violence on the streets, on the terraces and to control the music scene. Young anti-fascists stepped up. AFA was formed in 1985. ‘A state of war’ was how one rueful BNP leader would describe what happened next.

Not only is ‘Beating the Fascists’ a meticulously researched study, it is also a much-needed piece of 'history from below'. Throughout, the voices of working class anti-fascists come across hard, clear, and without apology. Illuminating and sometimes chilling by turn, the running commentary they provide helps ensure the tempo never flags. Gradually the reader is drawn into an all but vanished world of back street idealism and self-sacrifice.

More details and pre-ordering to come in the next week or so

How much will this mofo set me back?

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May 22 2010 12:53
Steven. wrote:
looks interesting. does "authorised" mean by the red action/IWCA side?

other parties have had opportunities for input (being published by freedom also)

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How much will this mofo set me back?

not been fully costed yet, so not sure

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May 22 2010 13:05

i know you've got form in talking about books you haven't read, but should hold fire and see what you think once you've actually read it

it's certainly not in the style of your typical hooligan book, or the various anti-fascist anarchist books that are out there - it's as much a political and social history as anything else - clearly given the subject matter it involves fairly vivid/telling accounts of various things that happened, but not in a glorified manner, and they are set within the wider context and feed into the overall analysis, not just being out there on their own for the sake of it

the quote below perhaps gives an example of the approach taken to dealing with the subject

I had no problem with the use of political violence it was the fighting I didn’t like

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May 22 2010 13:08

what else could you do but imagine though?

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May 22 2010 13:09

i've just checked the text and although there are a handful of 'needless to say's' in it they are not quite in the vain you feared!

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May 22 2010 13:12
revol68 wrote:
oh and what books do I talk about have I not read?

capital?

(it was a gentle dig anyway, so don't shit your oddpants)

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May 22 2010 13:15
revol68 wrote:
oisleep wrote:
i've just checked the text and although there are a handful of 'needless to say's' in it they are not quite in the vain you feared!

you do realise I was making a half arsed joke about the anti fascist genre in general.

the anti-fascist genre in general is pretty much one of the reasons the book needed to be published, as a counterweight to it all - and one showing that at a certain time and place and in certain given conditions it was the right tactic, and furthermore to demonstrate that given that that was then and this is now, it's use as a tactic is pointless and counterproductive

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May 22 2010 13:20

you've read all of capital twice (i.e. not just one volume)?

anyroads, as i said it was a gentle dig, can't be fussed arguing about it

MATB is technically still going, but pretty much run its course - urban seems to be the centre of gravity for some reason, can't be arsed with it myself

gypsy
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May 22 2010 13:28

Interested in seeing what price you's make it as if its not too pricey I will buy a copy. What does MATB mean btw?

gypsy
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May 22 2010 13:33
revol68 wrote:
oisleep wrote:
you've read all of capital twice (i.e. not just one volume)?

anyroads, as i said it was a gentle dig, can't be fussed arguing about it

MATB is technically still going, but pretty much run its course - urban seems to be the centre of gravity for some reason, can't be arsed with it myself

Sorry I meant Volume 1.

I read it with Harry Cleaver's Reading Capital Politically the first time, the second time was last year, and I did it by itself.

Am reading it again at the moment with the Harvey lectures, see if it clears up some more stuff for me.

p.s. would you ever get back to responding to my questions on the LTV thread.

Even with the Harvey lectures, its still very difficult for me. And I am still to complete Volume 1.

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May 22 2010 13:40
Quote:
Sorry I meant Volume 1.

I read it with Harry Cleaver's Reading Capital Politically the first time, the second time was last year, and I did it by itself.

Am reading it again at the moment with the Harvey lectures, see if it clears up some more stuff for me.

p.s. would you ever get back to responding to my questions on the LTV thread.

the harvey lectures can be pretty good at occasionally making things slot into place, also good at signalling the existence of the other volumes and what they cover and why they are important (although i think it would have been more useful if he'd done more of this, but given the course was on volume 1 it's understandable why it doesn't)

perhaps a better way to get a grip on volume 1 would be not to read it many times, but push on with the other two volumes, although they expand on things and push the analysis into new and different directions and perspectives, this can actually be quite a good way of consolidating and reinforcing the stuff that preceeds them, so often the mixture of these things can helps slotting the preceeding stuff into place - also the different perspective can also help shine a light on earlier things in a new way so also helpful as well

i've not really got time at the moment to continue on the other thread, don't really want to post anything that i can't properly engage with any responses to it - and that kind of stuff sucks you in too much once you get into it, so trying to avoid that happening

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May 22 2010 17:16

I second oisleep's suggestion of just moving on to Vols. 2 and 3. I've yet to finish (and digest) Vol. 3, but I found that re-reading Vol.1 after reading vol. 2 was much easier.

Boris Badenov
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May 22 2010 17:30

Harvey does manage to spell out certain things in a manner that Marx does not really bother with, so that's useful (I think the book-form companion is just as good as the lectures in that respect and probably easier to access), but Vol. 1 is ultimately pretty clear and well-written, and the prose is surprisingly easy to follow given its age. Just reading it carefully, underlining passages that explain key concepts and jotting down a few notes here and there, is the best technique in my experience.

On topic, this book looks fairly promising, but I'd be interested in knowing if there is a history of British anti-fascism that stretches back to before 1950 (and isn't just about the Cable Street battle).

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May 22 2010 17:50
Vlad336 wrote:
On topic, this book looks fairly promising, but I'd be interested in knowing if there is a history of British anti-fascism that stretches back to before 1950 (and isn't just about the Cable Street battle).

Theres Morris Beckmans history of the 43 Group, covers the immediate post WWII period.

petey
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May 22 2010 18:08
allybaba wrote:
What does MATB mean btw?

go to oisleep's profile and click the link. it's not very active but healthier than he lets on, imo.

Caiman del Barrio
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May 22 2010 18:15

Wow, I always thought MATB was 100% shit talk and bad jokes as well as being invite only for people Oisleep thought were "kewl". Didn't realise it almost had a bit of a focus.

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May 22 2010 18:28
Quote:
On topic, this book looks fairly promising, but I'd be interested in knowing if there is a history of British anti-fascism that stretches back to before 1950

pretty much the only book that comprehensively covers anti-fascism as a topic in itself over any lengthy period is Nigel Copsey's 'Anti-fascism in Britain', which covers the period from about 1920's to late 1990's

the problem with it is that it's written by an academic and relies largely on second hand accounts of things, yet puts himself forward as an esteemed authority on the matter - however the period in his book that parallels the one covered in this book for example he manages to give an account of the whole period without even consulting anyone involved in AFA - so it has a certain distance to things. The AFA book is also seen as a counterweight/alternative to this kind of academic analysis.

also he pretty much rejected the whole filling the vacuum strategy and the AFA analysis from 1995 onwards, and just assumed that the far right in britain would just wither away due to public's increasing acceptance of political multiculturalism (his book was written in 1999)

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May 22 2010 18:27
petey wrote:
allybaba wrote:
What does MATB mean btw?

go to oisleep's profile and click the link. it's not very active but healthier than he lets on, imo.

it's in the end days, there's very little political content/discussion now, it was pretty good a few years ago, but not now - it's worth keeping alive though just for the archive of threads in the politics forums, there's been some good stuff there overr the years

gypsy
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May 22 2010 18:27
oisleep wrote:
petey wrote:
allybaba wrote:
What does MATB mean btw?

go to oisleep's profile and click the link. it's not very active but healthier than he lets on, imo.

it's in the end days, it was very good a few years ago, but not now - it's worth keeping alive though just for the archive of threads in the politics forums, there's been some good stuff there other the years

I registered with it and i see some of the usual suspects from here are on it. smile

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May 22 2010 18:37

it's definitely nose-dived - used to get about 100 visitors a day and between about 300 and 600 posts a day - now it's lucky to get 30 visitors and 50 posts a day

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May 22 2010 20:48
Steven. wrote:
looks interesting. does "authorised" mean by the red action/IWCA side?

Freedom are going to publish it, and before it went to press they did contact people to check whether details in the book were correct. I circulated the email within SF a couple of months back (DAM were heavily involved in AFA). Not sure what came of it.

PS. This thread needs tidying up.

Boris Badenov
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May 23 2010 17:16
oisleep wrote:
Nigel Copsey's 'Anti-fascism in Britain'

.

notch8 wrote:
Morris Beckmans history of the 43 Group, covers the immediate post WWII period.

Cheers for the suggestions.

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May 24 2010 11:04
allybaba wrote:
Interested in seeing what price you's make it as if its not too pricey I will buy a copy

should be between 12.50 and 15 once out

also special pre-publication price of a tenner

Connollyite
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May 24 2010 14:30

From what I've heard it's meant to be a hefty tome. Was the final version cut down much, oisleep?

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May 24 2010 14:57

not cut down at all no, think it's about 400 pages at the moment

some info now up on freedom's site about it

http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/afa-book/

gypsy
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May 24 2010 15:11

cheers for info

freemind
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May 26 2010 19:01
Steven. wrote:
looks interesting. does "authorised" mean by the red action/IWCA side?

I may be wrong but i think the recently deceased Dave Haan was behind this nbook but i'm not 100%.Apparently he left Red Action over differences and so this book will be independent of any former AFA constituent group.Dave was working on a similar/same project so i presume this is it.

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May 26 2010 22:22

Dave Haan had nothing to do with this book

in other news, the pre-order offer/email address has been taken down for just now due to 'overwhelming interest' (from both media/press and orders) - online ordering/shopping cart stuff should be up in the next few days and a dedicated email address for press/media enquiries

freemind
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May 27 2010 19:47
oisleep wrote:
Dave Haan had nothing to do with this book

in other news, the pre-order offer/email address has been taken down for just now due to 'overwhelming interest' (from both media/press and orders) - online ordering/shopping cart stuff should be up in the next few days and a dedicated email address for press/media enquiries

Thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding oisleep.