The oak is the wooden tie between heaven and earth. It is the lynch pin of the British landscape. The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together.

More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain. Many of our ancestors – the Angles, the…

Born OTD in 1890, Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early-20th-century Irish struggle for independence, Mícheál Ó Coileáin (Michael Collins). The Rising was Collins’ first appearance in national events. When it commenced on Easter Monday 1916, Collins served as Joseph Plunkett’s aide-de-camp at the rebellion’s headquarters in the General Post Office in Dublin. There he fought alongside Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, & other members of the Rising leadership. The Rising was put down after six days, but the insurgents achieved their goal of holding their positions for the minimum time required to justify a claim to independence under international criteria.

Now with a new preface for the centenary of the Easter Rising, a compelling interpretation of the rebellion that launched…

Formed OTD in 1966, The Black Panther Party for Self Defence, by Bobby Seale & Huey Newton. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics to address issues like food injustice.

The late 1960s, when the Panthers captured the imagination of the nation’s youth, was a time of regulation. While their…

In February 1900 a group of men representing trade unionists, socialists, Fabians & Marxists gathered in London to make another attempt at establishing an organisation capable of getting working-class men elected to Parliament. The body they set up was the Labour Representation Committee; 6 years later when 29 of its candidates were elected to the House of Commons it changed its name to the Labour Party. No women took part in that first meeting, but several watched from the public gallery.

Throughout Labour’s history, even in its earliest years, women were present in the room, but they were not always recorded…

Born OTD in 1923, Italo Calvino, Italian journalist & writer. You go into a bookshop & buy If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But alas there is a printer’s error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again.

This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance, a satire, an erotic story,…

Born OTD in 1844, German philosopher, cultural critic, poet & philologist, Friedrich Nietzsche. Covering topics such as nihilism, Christianity, morality and the famous ‘will to power’, the book was controversially presented as Nietzsche’s all-but-completed magnum opus containing his philosophical system.

Including some of his most interesting metaphysical and epistemological thoughts, as well as some of his most disturbing ethical and…

Global finance is a system that works for the few and against the many. We need finance – but when finance grows too big it becomes a curse. The City of London is the single biggest drain on our resources; it sucks talent out of every sphere, it siphons wealth and hoovers up government time. Yet to be `competitive’, we’re told we must turn a blind eye to money-laundering and appease big business with tax cuts. We are told global finance is about wealth creation; the reality is wealth extraction.

Tracing the curse back through economic history, Shaxson uncovers how we got to this point. He exposes offshore tax havens;…

All you ever wanted to know about setting up a Housing Co-op – from the nitty gritty of the legal stuff and buying a place through to the first-hand experience of actually living in a co-operatively owned house. Fundraising, accounts, tenancy law and a useful list of further information sources from the good people at Radical Routes who aim to share their many collective years of knowledge and experience.

Why pay rent into a landlord’s pocket when you can create a permanent, secure housing controlled by the tenants?… 2015…

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to my Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: it’s part guidebook, part memoir, part poetry – and pure delight. Here in short essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons about compassion and fortitude.

Whether she is recalling lost friends, extolling honesty or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya…