recent books

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Lives of the Orange Men

book blurbs: 
Major Waldemar Fydrych In Communist Poland, Surrealism Paints You!!! Between 1981 and 1989 in Wroclaw Poland, in an atmosphere in which dissent was forbidden and martial law a reality, the Orange Alternative deployed the power of surrealist creativity to destabilise the Communist government. It worked. The militia were overwhelmed by thousands of unruly dwarves; celebrations of official festivals so disturbingly loyal that the Communist forces had to arrest anyone wearing red; walls covered in dialectical graffiti; new official festivals to assist the secret police with their duties; and a popular restaging of the storming of the Winter Palace using cardboard tanks and ships. Lives of the Orange Men tells for the first time the story of this activist-art movement and its protagonists that played a key role in the 1989 revolution in Poland. Written by its central figure and featuring an appendix of newly-translated key texts including the ‘Manifesto of Socialist Surrealism’, a timeline of every Orange Alternative happening and a new foreword from the Yes Men.

2015 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints

book blurbs: 
2015 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints
Radical Heroes for the New Millennium!
James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective

Autonomedia's Jubilee Saints Calendar for 2015! Our 23rd annual wall calendar, with artwork by James Koehnline, and text by the Autonomedia Collective.

Hundreds of radical cultural and political heroes are celebrated here, along with the animating ideas that continue to guide this project — a reprieve from the 500-year-long sentence to life-at-hard-labor that the European colonization of the "New World" and the ensuing devastations of the rest of the world has represented. It is increasingly clear — at the dawn of this new millennium — that the Planetary Work Machine will not rule forever!

Celebrate with this calendar on which every day is a holiday!

32 pages, 12 x 16 inches, saddle stitched

isbn 978-1-57027-299-8 : price $9.95 : 32 pages

Pay for two, and we will send a third calendar for free!

Afghanistan: From Herat to Balkh and Back Again

book blurbs: 

“Tom Savage wrote these poems during his travels through Afghanistan. He was twenty-three at the time but his words ring with unparalleled maturity. His journey took place before the Taliban came to power and had a chance to destroy the Bamiyan Buddhas, a 20th century tragedy for all mankind. He describes their glory, giving us a guided tour of his spiritual and physical states while doing so. These are love poems: They are tender, witty and full of compassion, wisdom and insight. Savage says it plainly yet ever so deeply when he chants: ‘my book is my pillow / my fireplace is breath / my friends are my food / the tree-swept is singing.’ While reading these gems, which are not unlike their great eastern predecessors Rumi or Jami, you too might make this book your pillow, your breath and your food as you let these poems sing to you.” — Steve Dalachinsky, author of The Superintendent’s Eyes and The Final Nite & Other Poems: The Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987–2006

“Tom Savage's new book of poems offers a rare glimpse of Buddha in His humanistic manifestations. Savage's observations and reflections remind me of Rabindranath Tagore, ‘The soil, in return for her service, keeps the tree tied to her; the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.’ Or as Savage puts it, ‘I cannot live with imagination. / I cannot live otherwise.’ a spiritual account of merging with the unknown with the doors of perception open and shut at the same time — immortality is seen through the cracks. When the doors are shut, his love seeks others. When the doors are open, nature comes alive. An amazing book.” — Hal Sirowitz, author of Mother Said: Poems, Stray Cat Blues and former Poet Laureate of Queens, NY

“Tom Savage takes us on a journey, his journey, we are his footsteps, we are his breath, to Afghanistan. He is alone and it is not the Now of US military, or recent past Russian military, the sad, modern history of Afghanistan, it is Then. It is to journey in time, before hippies discover the medieval hash temple ball camel dung Buddha beauty top of the world otherness Afghanistan. Tom Savage is poet tour guide internal, his words slide indelibly through eyes, leave impressions so simple, so shockingly different, yet true, pure and unadorned, that you find yourself transforming. This unusual book is that gentle companion. Leave it beside your bed, read before lights out. Then will dreams and poems join to take you there, footsteps and breath.” — Bob Holman, author of Picasso in Barcelona, Aloud: Voices From the Nuyorican Poets Café and Director of the Bowery Poetry Club

“Written at a time and place when it was still possible to‘wait patiently for laughter’ this travelogue consisting of descriptive, lyrical and, in hindsight, elegiac poems by a twenty-three-year-old very far from home, exudes his love, longing, sadness and fascination, while moving among exotic particulars, many of which are now lost to us. One can’t read the stunning ‘Bamiyan Poems’ without being aware of the presence of ghosts.” — Larry Fagin, author of Nuclear Neighborhood and Complete Fragments

Precarious Communism

book blurbs: 

How does one demonstrate the enduring relevance of a sacred text but to help it speak to present times? This is what churches do with the Bible and what Marxists do with the writings of Marx. Richard Gilman-Opalsky offers a book-length détournement of The Communist Manifesto as a loving blasphemy, as a grateful revolt, both for and against the original text. Gilman-Opalsky detourns the 1848 manifesto as an exploration of its ongoing applicability, as well as its failures, in relation to capitalism and its evolving crises. Precarious Communism explores long-form détournement as a tool for critical theory. But most importantly, Gilman-Opalsky’s new book is a mutant manifesto of its own that makes the case for an autonomist and millennial Marxism, for the many movements of precarious communism.

“Precarious Communism offers a creative, convincing, and provocative rerouting of The Communist Manifesto, exploring the catastrophes of both statism and capitalism in a fresh new light. Gilman-Opalsky lays bare ideological specters of the past that continue to haunt the present. This book is a must read for anyone interested in what autonomy, dignity, and association mean today, and in understanding the insurrectionary hope of people everywhere.” – John Asimakopoulos, Director of the Transformative Studies Institute

Bio: Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy (2011) and Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory (2008).

Astral Botanica

book blurbs: 

“The esoteric and the exoteric co-exist in a B-Movie carnival of noir nocturnes where mortality is pondered and meaning is plumbed in wry and witty vignettes. Black humor laced with Victorian secrets, the clever conceits and cunning confessions of this Shakespearian steam-punk auteur will have you writhing with pleasure as he articulates his plight. Like Virgil, the venerable Carl Watson takes us on a mystical, mythical tour. Here, hope has been replaced by a sophisticated synthesis of emotions — of despair and delight — in what can only be called a triumph of style.’’—Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, author of Triple Crown: Three Crowns of Sonnets. Employment of the Apes and editor/publisher of Live Mag!

“Carl Watson is a Steampunk Baudelaire, his genius a Last Exit To Nowhere Existentialism of sinisterly exotic thoughts. Both behind and ahead of his time; a futuristic-classicist, Watson’s richly reposited and rescued English language butchers Corporate Clone-Speak , and reveals to us an Adamic namer-poet-seer of the cruelest nightmares slouching our way to be born .”—Alan Kaufman, author of the memoir Drunken Angel and editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.

“In images of great beauty, and play within poetic form, Watson has written a passion play in what might be a meeting between Rimbaud and Donne in a final dream where ‘...sleep can offer both terror and escape’.” —Bonny Finberg, author of Kali’s Day.

“With Astral Botanica Watson goes straight to the heart of writing and the art of poetry giving us within the freedom and confines of that (he)art something few are capable /culpable/comparable of producing: a book that has redefined the parameters of poetic thought and writing. Watson’s poetry and prose share a similar blend of dense, dark, chaotic, surreal and dreamlike qualities and few are as able as he of blurring the lines between pros(e)/cons, poetry, reality and fantasy.’’ —Steve Dalachinsky, author of A Superintendent’s Eyes and The Final Night.

“The poems in Astral Botanica, Carl Watson’s new collection, are hybrid things indeed; like Fabergé eggs with shoe-bombs inside. To give you some idea of what we’re talking about here, imagine an Edgar Poe gene-spliced with J.R. Oppenheimer – the resultant being would be able to fill black holes with gothic musings on ancient sexuality and repressed modernity. Everything is grist for Watson’s mill: Anglo-Saxon epic notions surround Wasteland remnants. What he’s put on the page invites you to think, and in this age of non-thought, that’s art of a very high order.’’ —Ron Kolm, editor of The Evergreen Review and author of Divine Comedy.

Suburban Ambush

book blurbs: 

“Ron Kolm’s poems leave you with a lot of images and lines to savor and ponder — ‘absolute gravity / In a zero-cold zone,’ the lone nightfighter ‘out beyond the edge of love’ — but he’s no mere cleverist. There’s a deep and devious wisdom here, and a big heart.’’ — John Strausbaugh, author of The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, A History of Greenwich Village.

“Ron Kolm is a master of the short line. His poems are filled with wit and pathos. He once said of me that I was a populist poet but in all truth this honor belongs to him. He is a lover of humanity; the common man and the artist as well. He fills his short lines with the long breath of life, and his sensibilities range from low art to high art in one fell swoop with simple, straight forward language that everyone can understand. But don’t be fooled by this seeming innocence. His street-wise statements are filled with deep warmth and wisdom. From ‘Problem Child’: ‘I’d like to forge / A humanism / So exact / The future becomes / Imaginable again.’ He gets inside your skull, deep within your heart and ‘out beyond the edge of love’.” — Steve Dalachinsky, author of A Superintendent’s Eyes and The Final Nite & Other Poems: The Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987–2006.

Debt Resisters' Operations Manual

book blurbs: 

For debtors everywhere who want to understand how the system really works, this handbook provides practical tools for fighting debt in its most exploitative forms. Over the last 30 years as wages have stagnated across the country, average household debt has more than doubled. Increasingly, people are forced to take on debt to meet their needs; from housing to education and medical care. The results—wrecked lives, devastated communities, and an increasing reliance on credit to maintain basic living standards—reveal an economic system that enriches the few at the expense of the many. Detailed strategies, resources, and insider tips for dealing with some of the most common kinds of debt are covered in this manual, including credit card debt, medical debt, student debt, and housing debt. It also contains tactics for navigating the pitfalls of personal bankruptcy, as well as information on how to be protected from credit reporting agencies, debt collectors, payday lenders, check-cashing outlets, rent-to-own stores, and more. Additional chapters cover tax debt, sovereign debt, the relationship between debt and climate, and an expanded vision for a movement of mass debt resistance.

Truth And Dare

book blurbs: 

"Truth and Dare: The world is ending, and the revolution has begun!"

"Truth and Dare" is a comic book and a curriculum, a graphic novel and a gateway to further knowledge and action. With fifty pages of illustrations from nine different world-class artists, and a ten page curriculum and resource list, it is a crash course in world history, political economy, sociology, gender studies, ecology, climate change and the world-wide ecosocialist struggle for humanity and nature in the 21st century.

Truth and Dare is written mostly by Quincy Saul, together with the Ecosocialist Horizons editorial collective, including Seth Tobocman, Fred Ho and Joel Kovel. It is illustrated by members of the World War Three Illustrated Collective, including Christopher Cardinale, Ethan Heitner, Seth Tobocman, Kate Evans, Paula Hewitt Amram, Teofilo Olivieri, Jordan Worley, and Mac McGill. The covers and design are by Arabelle Clitandre.

This book is designed for all settings and for all age groups, from elementary schools through universities; and outside the classroom, in homes, workplaces, grassroots organizations and beyond.

"This book is unconventional in that it challenges many mainstream assumptions and attitudes. Not only does it question the powers that be, but it also challenges many of those claiming to have solutions for today's profound problems. James Baldwin said that “artists are here to disturb the peace,” and we have tried with every aspect of this book – the illustrations, the words, and this curriculum – to be artistic. We hope to start conversations, and most of all to help people move into ever-more educated and organized forms of action."

It is published and produced by Ecosocialist Horizons, with the support of The World War Three Illustrated Collective, Scientific Soul Sessions, Big Red Media, Autonomedia and the Toolbox for Education and Social Action.

“A great presentation of our collective dilemmas, one that will provoke intelligent and productive debate about what we need to do to save ourselves and our descendants in this moment of the structural crisis of our modern world-system.” Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

“Against all the odds, Art dares to tell the Truth: this Comic collection is a fantastic achievement. In its diversity, it puts artistic imagination, surrealist irony, black humor, and spiritual energy at the service of the Ecosocialist struggle - the decisive fight against the Enemy of Nature and Humanity: Kapitalism!” Michael Löwy, co-author of the International Ecosocialist Manifesto

“A great presentation of our collective dilemmas, one that will provoke intelligent and productive debate about what we need to do to save ourselves and our descendants in this moment of the structural crisis of our modern world-system.” Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

“Against all the odds, Art dares to tell the Truth: this Comic collection is a fantastic achievement. In its diversity, it puts artistic imagination, surrealist irony, black humor, and spiritual energy at the service of the Ecosocialist struggle - the decisive fight against the Enemy of Nature and Humanity: Kapitalism!” Michael Löwy, co-author of the International Ecosocialist Manifesto

“Should be a prescribed text for all undergraduate students in every discipline, and is an essential toolbox for activists from a variety of backgrounds. Shop stewards, it will open your minds to the imperative of ecosocialism; social justice activists, it will impress upon you the imperative of changing production processes; environmental activists, it will force you to address class inequality and global injustice. There really is no way around it – read it, use it, get organized.” - Janet Cherry, South African activist and historian, former political detainee, and researcher for the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Best wishes! This teaches more than the many boring pages which I, among others, have written.” - Hugo Blanco, leader of the Campesino Confederation of Peru; editor of the journal Lucha Indigena

The Radical Bishop and Gay Consciousness

book blurbs: 

Bishop Mikhail Francis Itkin was known in the gay radical world as a non-violent anarchist and activist — as well as an independent openly-gay bishop. He was a stumbling block to radicals and a scandal to Christians. He was born into a Jewish family and fated — or chosen by the Spirit — to be a stirrer-up of discontent, a “ring-leader” of anarchists, and, indeed, a great reconciler of the contending forces within society and, indeed, within his own soul. This festschrift offers five appraisals of his life, and reprints excerpts from his The Radical Jesus and The Gay Anarchist.

The Devil's Anarchy (second edition)

book blurbs: 

By rebelling against hierarchical society and living under the Jolly Roger, pirates created an upside-down world of anarchist organization and festival, with violence and death ever-present. This creation was not a purely whimsical process. In The Devil's Anarchy, Stephen Snelders examines rare 17th-century Dutch pirate histories to show the continuity of a shared pirate culture, embodied in its modes of organization, methods of distributing booty and resolving disputes, and tendencies for high living. Focussing on the careers of Claes Compaen, a cunning, charismatic renegado who claimed to have stolen more than 350 vessels, and Jan Erasmus Reyning, who hit the seas at age 12 and became a buccaneer in the pirate jungles of Santo Domingo, Snelders paints a salty picture of the excesses, contradictions, and liberatory joys of pirate life.

Stephen Snelders is a Dutch historian with a research focus on social transformation and resistance, in the body as well as the mind. He is past editor of Pan Forum, a leading research journal of psychotropic studies.

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