'Tis the season to think radically
Celebrate radicalism this Christmas and support your local bookshop
Considering everything that is going on in the world right now, from European-wide General Strikes to the tax avoiders on our own doorsteps, who's up for a Radical Christmas? With a bit of imagination and research, it is possible to avoid the bigger culprits of tax avoidance and union busting and enjoy a more politically healthy and inspiring Christmas. There is no doubt that pretty much all your gifting requirements can be covered by (a) shopping locally and (b) searching out more ethical alternatives on the internet. Even The Guardian has produced a guide to having an Amazon-free Christmas - and the Ethical Consumer has recently launched a campaign to boycott Amazon which lists various alternatives, at the top of which is to support your local bookshop.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons to visit your local bookshop other than to make a statement. Take this little radical bookshop right her in Durham, for instance. Where else are you going to find a pamphlet on CIA infiltration of the American Labour movement and a 'Still Hate Thatcher' T-shirt under one, very small roof? Bookshops are surely about being inspired by browsing its shelves, to dig out that perfect pressie which you hadn't even imagined existed. Like this:
The People's Bookshop stocks a range of new radical, socialist and green books, the majority of which you simply won't find in most chain bookshops and supermarkets. There are some really exciting titles that have come out this over the last few months, including this little bundle from Lawrence and Wishart, a publisher who has stayed true to it's original radical mission and is still going strong thanks to independent outlets:
If you're looking for something a bit special, the bookshop stocks a range of rare and interesting books, from local working class authors such as Ellen Wilkinson and Harold Heslop, to odd poetry collections from local poetry groups. One of the joys is digging these things out, so make sure you visit and browse. There may even be mince pies on offer if you linger..
We don't just sell books, either. New to the bookshop is a range of radical t-shirts, the most popular of which are: 'Pleb & Proud', 'Still Hate Thatcher' & my personal favourite, featuring Nye Bevan's famous 'vermin' quote:
"No amount of cajolery can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I'm concerned they are lower than vermin"
We also now stock a range of Christmas Cards from the Radical Tea Towel Company, including a brilliant Penguin 'Unity is Strength' card - perfect for those of you who cringe at the standard Xmas cards on offer and want to say something very appropriate to our times:
And finally, for stocking fillers, what about this fantastic little series from Bookmarks: 'A Rebel's Guide to Rosa Luxemburg, Marx, Lenin and more - at only £3 each:
If you aren't able to make it into the shop, because you live out of the area or find it difficult to get up our stairs, for that matter - there is another way to support the People's Bookshop venture. We have an online shop, based at Abe Books, where you can browse the majority of our second hand books and some of our new books too. To check out our online shop, see:
If there are any that you don't find on there or have any other enquries about mail orders etc, please don't hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0191 3844399. Make sure you also follow the People's Bookshop on twitter (hashtag #radicalchristmas for Xmas recommendation) and facebook for more Christmas-related radicalism and recommendations from our stock - as well a fair bit of the usual troublemaking / campaigning (delete as appropriate)