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Housmans would like to wish you all a peaceful time over the festive season and hope you have a great 2009! Thanks for all your continued support this year…
In order to make gift-buying that little bit easier, they will be keeping the shop open on Sundays in December until Christmas, between 3pm and 7pm at a minimum. If you can, please do use Housmans as the place to get your cards and presents, and help to keep the chain stores at bay!
Housmans is always in need of volunteers – to help out around the shop, staff bookstalls and in-store events and to do promotional work. Previous experience isn’t necessary, but a commitment to come regularly, and a passion for radical bookselling is. If you think you might be interested please call Nik on 020 7837 4473 to find out more.
We desperately need someone to come in as soon as possible and help us to do a much-needed mail out. If you think you could help please call Nik on the number above.
Wednesday 3rd December – 7pm
We are delighted to welcome to Housmans two of Britain’s best political singer-song writers, Chris Butler and David Ferrard. This evening these two great guitarists and singers will be performing a selection of their latest material.
Fusing early Guthrie and Dylan with the DIY energy of punk, Chris’s unique sound has been described as “where punk meets folk and protest meets resistance”. Heavily inspired by the anarcho wing of punk-rock and by political folk singers such as Dick Gaughan, Christy Moore and Leon Rosselson, it's not surprising to find that Butler's songs are high on political commitment, and have led him to having shared a stage with likes of Chumbawamba, Robb Johnson and David Rovics.
David Ferrard is a young Scottish American singer-songwriter based in Edinburgh. His voice has been compared to James Taylor and John Denver, and his writing to Woody Guthrie and John Prine. His songs tell stories about his and others' lives, and are marked by a strong commitment to social justice and peace.
“Moving, powerful and compelling” Tony Benn
“…a vocal purity of the quality of a Scottish burn combined with the style and delivery of the tried and tested American product” Iain Anderson, BBC Radio Scotland
Saturday 6th December – 5pm
Ruling elites in Venezuela, the United States and Europe, and even Hugo Chávez himself though for different reasons, have been eager to have the world view him as the heir to Fidel Castro. But the truth about this increasingly influential world leader is more complex, and more interesting.
The Chávez that emerges from Bart Jones’s carefully researched and documented biography ‘Hugo!: The Hugo Chavez Story from Mud Hut to Perpetual Revolution’, is neither a plaster saint nor a revolutionary tyrant. He has an undeniably autocratic streak, and yet has been freely and fairly re-elected to his nation’s presidency three times with astonishing margins of victory. He is a master politician and an inspired improviser, a Bolivarian nationalist and an unashamed socialist.
His policies have brought him into conflict with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and major oil companies. They have also provided a model for new governments and social movements in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. When in September 2006 he declared at the United Nations that ‘the devil came here yesterday … the President of the United States’, it was clear that he was taking on challenging the most powerful nation on earth, in conscious imitation of the liberator, Simon Bolivar.
To mark the 10th anniversary since Hugo Chávez came to power, Housmans are delighted to welcome US writer Bart Jones to reflect on the effects Chávez’s term has had on Venezuela, and on the wider world. Bart will also be signing copies of his book, ‘Hugo!: The Hugo Chavez Story from Mud Hut to Perpetual Revolution!’
Wednesday 10th December – 7pm
‘Some of the People All of the Time’ is the sparkling autobiography of a former Air Commodore and H-bomber, who rejected the so-called nuclear deterrent and became vice-chairman of CND. It is a witty, thoughtful, absorbing, and shocking read that will also, sometimes, make you laugh-out-loud.
Alastair Mackie's autobiography gives a colourful insight into life in the RAF and beyond. The chapters are spiced with the occasional risqué aside and the author’s love of puns. He also reveals other sides of his character in his candid descriptions of his own bouts of depression and his references to the Bible.
Housmans are delighted to welcome Alastair Mackie, who will be recalling his journey from soldier to peace-maker, and signing copies of his autobiography.
Saturday 13th December – 5pm
Onyeka, one of Britain’s best black-fiction authors, produces work which explores the issues of cultural identity and resistance to oppression. A unique voice, Onyeka’s work is a testament to the African-British experience. Always challenging, his writing is a shout against the literary and educational establishment – he is always determined to provoke thought, debate and controversy.
Housmans are delighted to welcome Onyeka for an afternoon of readings and conversation. Onyeka will also be signing copies of his latest book ‘The Phoenix: Misrule in the Land of Nod’.
Praise for ‘The Phoenix: Misrule in the Land of Nod’
“Onyeka has written a brilliant expose into the lives of those Africans in Britain who once integrated into the culture of a parasitic host nation and are now struggling to reclaim the soul they sold for the price they are discovering they cannot afford. This is one case where whilst the problems are on the page, the answers are definitely between the lines. Savage, funny brutally honest and spiritual, ‘The Phoenix’ is essential reading.”
Toyin Agberu, the Ligali Organisation UK
Wednesday 17th December – 7pm
The FAQ was started in 1995 when a group of anarchists got together in order to write a FAQ arguing against capitalist claims of being anarchists. Those who were involved in the project had spent many hours in on-line debate with self-described anarcho-capitalists concerning whether or not capitalism and anarchism are compatible.
Eventually, a group of net-activists decided to produce a FAQ explaining their thoughts on why anarchism and capitalism are incompatible. While the FAQ was written by many collaborators, the main contributors are listed in the introduction as Iain McKay (primary contributor and editor), Gary Elkin, Dave Neal and Ed Boraas, who refer to themselves as ‘The Anarchist FAQ Editorial Collective.’
However, the editors eventually decided that an Anarchist FAQ which focused on anarchism itself would be a better idea than one solely devoted to refuting the notion of anarcho-capitalism, and so the Anarchist FAQ was born.
This evening the main author Iain McKay will be speaking on the history and aims of the 748-page work, which has now been published by AK Press. This will be followed by a discussion on the book.
“The anarchist FAQ has been one of the standout achievements of the last decade in terms of its rigorous treatment of every aspect of the theory. Its translation from screen to print is long overdue.” Freedom
After a year full of great book events, Housmans has amassed a wonderful selection of titles signed by our guests. They make unique gifts, so get them while stocks last. There are too many to mention, but here’s a taster of just some of the many signed copies we have on our shelves at the time of writing:
Guitar Army by John Sinclair
Anarchy in Action by Colin Ward
Hostage in Iraq by Norman Kember
Earth Writing by Graham Burnett
Rebel Rebel: The Protestor’s Handbook by Bibi van der Zee
Barcelona by Michael Eaude
Set into Song by Peter Cox
We Will Not Fight by Will Ellsworth-Jones
Index by Bridget Penny
Railway Lands by Angela Inglis
Please come by the shop to see the full selection.
No Sweat annual gathering
After the great event No Sweat put on at Housmans in November as part of our Music & Politics month, we thought it would be only right to flag up the forthcoming No Sweat Gathering, taking place on Sunday 7th December ‘08.
Mark Thomas will be reading from his book Belching Out The Devil, exposing the truth about coca cola; hear Garment Worker Activists From Bangladesh tell their story; World Development Movement on rigged trade rules; plus workshops, stalls, films and loads more…
Learn about workers exploitation across the world, find out how you can join the struggle for justice and get involved in the campaign against sweatshops!
£6/£4concs 10.30am – 5.30pm
The People's Palace, Queen Mary College, University of London (near Mile End tube)
Tickets are available from the No Sweat Website and will soon be available from wegottickets.com
For more information on the campaign and the gathering please visit http://www.nosweat.org.uk
Thanks to the sterling work of one of our volunteers, we now have a very active and up-to-date Facebook presence. If you would like to join up, and get the latest info on our events through this site, then please follow this link and add ‘Laurence Housman’ as a friend.
The 56th edition of the Housmans Peace Diary is being published in October. Not only is it a beautifully presented, pocket-sized diary, but thanks to its World Peace Directory it serves as a unique reference tool for peace, human rights and green activists everywhere. The Directory lists almost 2000 peace, environmental and human rights organisation in 150 countries, and is the only directory of its kind.
The Diary and its Directory (both a non-profit service to fellow activists) continue to depend on much voluntary labour. We welcome help in promoting the Diary – appropriate leaflets are available from Housmans Diary Group – either call the shop on 020 7837 4473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diary is available from Housmans and can be sent direct to any destination worldwide for just £8.95, post-free. It makes a wonderful gift, whether for your loved ones, fellow activists, or even yourself! To get your copy either get in touch with the shop by phone or in person, or email email@example.com
5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX
t: 020 7837 4473
“Support the shop that supports your campaigns!”