Born OTD in 1933, American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist, Susan Sontag. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag’s first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between ‘high’ & ‘low’ art forms, & to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces ‘Notes on Camp’ &, ‘Against Interpretation’. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis & contemporary religious thought.

Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations…

Mod has its roots in in London with a group of young men in the late Fifties who were known as modernists because they listened to modern jazz. A Pocket Guide to Mod covers fashion including the use of the Union Flag and RAF roundel; music including bands such as The Who, Small Faces and Yardbirds who were associated with the music and locations such as The Eel Pie Island Hotel at Twickenham near London; amphetamines, the mod drug of choice that fuelled marathon all-night dancing; and scooters including Vespas and Lambrettas often highly customised.

Available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. MLK was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. MLK was arrested and jailed early in the campaign – his 13th arrest out of 29. From his cell, he composed the now-famous Letter from Birmingham Jail that responds to calls on the movement to pursue legal channels for social change.

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not…

Back in stock, our Gareth’s, ‘Marshland’. Marshland is a deep map of the east London marshes, a blend of local history, folklore and weird fiction, where nothing is quite as it seems. Cocker spaniel by his side, Rees wanders the marshes of Hackney, Leyton and Walthamstow, avoiding his family and the pressures of life. He discovers a lost world of Victorian filter plants, ancient grazing lands, dead toy factories and tidal rivers on the edgelands of a rapidly changing city.

Ghosts are his friends. As strange tales of bears, crocodiles, magic narrowboats and apocalyptic tribes begin to manifest themselves, Rees…

Born OTD in 1921, American social theorist, author, orator, historian, and political philosopher, Murray Bookchin. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin formulated and developed the theory of social ecology and urban planning, within anarchist, libertarian socialist, and ecological thought.

In the essays that make up this book, Murray Bookchin calls for a critical social standpoint that transcends both “biocentrism”…

Out of print for 50 years, Jeff Nuttall’s Bomb Culture has achieved legendary status as a powerful, informative, & spirited exploration of 1960s alternative society & counterculture. Nuttall’s confessional account of the period investigates the sources of its radical art, music, & protest movements as well as the beliefs, anxieties, & conceits of its key agitators, including his own.

Nuttall argued that a tangible psychic dread of nuclear holocaust pervaded both high and low cultures, determining their attitude and…

In the early 90s a handful of people concerned with the crisis of homelessness & joblessness among the young started the Foyer movement in Britain. They were influenced by the experience of their equivalents in France & Germany who had developed what the French call Foyers de Jeunes Travailleurs as an ‘integrated approach to meeting the needs of young people during their transition from dependence to independence by linking affordable accommodation to training & employment’.

By 1997 there were 46 Foyers operating in the UK with a further 32 due to open during the year…

Born OTD in 1876, John Griffith London, AKA Jack London. The People of the Abyss is a book by Jack London about life in the East End of London in 1902. He wrote this first-hand account after living in the East End for several weeks, sometimes staying in workhouses or sleeping on the streets. In his attempt to understand the working-class of this deprived area of London the author stayed as a lodger with a poor family. The conditions he experienced and wrote about were the same as those endured by an estimated 500,000 of the contemporary London poor.

As well as being a literary masterpiece, The People of the Abyss stands as a major sociological study. While other…

Born OTD in 1931, saxophonist and founding member of The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso. “..Coxsone maintains that his first-ever commercially minded session, with a band led by saxophone colossus Roland Alphonso, disappeared somewhere between the mastering rooms in New York and Kingston harbour”.

The first major account of the history of reggae, black music journalist Lloyd Bradley describes its origins and development in…