Born OTD in 1954, political activist and journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Beginning at the age of 14 in 1968, Abu-Jamal became involved with the Black Panther Party & was a member until October 1970. After he left the party, he completed his high school education, & later became a radio reporter. He eventually served as president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He supported the MOVE Organization in Philadelphia and covered the 1978 confrontation in which one police officer was killed. The MOVE Nine were the members who were arrested and convicted of murder in that case.

Produced under the auspices of Amnesty International, this is a compact analysis of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal who had … More

Born OTD in 1763, English pamphleteer, farmer, and journalist, William Cobbett. Cobbett is best known for his ‘Rural Rides’, a classic account of early 19th century Britain which has never been out of print. But he was a much greater figure than that implies, being the foremost satirist and proponent of reform of the time. He had a taste for provoking the deceit and vanity of the supposedly good and great, and had an abiding hatred of the establishment, or ‘The Thing’, as he christened it. In the pages of his ‘Political Register’ he lambasted corruption and excoriated hypocrisy, and was forever in fear of prosecution for libel, for which he was sent to Newgate prison for two years, which was the cause of his bankruptcy and forced him to flee to America.

The early years of the 19th-century were ones of misery and oppression. The common people were forced into conditions of … More

Born OTD in 1926, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo, Gabriel García Márquez. Equally tragic, joyful and comical, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece of magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a seamless blend of fantasy and reality, translated from the Spanish by Gregory Rabassa in Penguin Modern Classics. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s great masterpiece is the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town they have built.

Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. … More

Born OTD in 1947, British journalist, author & Labour politician, Chris Mullin. As a journalist in the 80s, Chris led a campaign that resulted in the release of the Birmingham Six, victims of a miscarriage of justice. Author of four novels, including A Very British Coup: The novel that foretold the rise of Corbyn. Against the odds, former steel worker Harry Perkins has led the Labour party to a stunning victory. Now he’s going to dismantle Britain’s nuclear warheads, bring finance under public control & dismantle the media empires. But the establishment isn’t going down without a fight…

As MI5 conspires with the city and press barons to bring Perkins down, he finds himself caught up in a … More

Born OTD in 1956, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer, Chris Hedges. “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a 2012 illustrated non-fiction book authored by Chris Hedges and illustrated by Joe Sacco, chronicling life in poverty in different parts of the United States. The book is interspersed with interviews with several individuals as well as monographs capturing the devastation caused to people and the environment by unchecked post-industrial free market capitalism in the United States, in so called sacrifice zones.”

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Born OTD in 1927, Columbian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter & journalist, Gabriel García Márquez. Since it was first published in May 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude has been translated into 37 languages & has sold more than 30 million copies. The novel, considered García Márquez’s magnum opus, remains widely acclaimed & is recognized as one of the most significant works in the Spanish literary canon.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s great masterpiece is the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town … More

Born OTD in 1913, French philosopher, author, and journalist, Albert Camus. In this profound and moving philosophical statement, Camus poses the fundamental question: is life worth living? If human existence holds no significance, what can keep us from suicide? As Camus argues, if there is no God to give meaning to our lives, humans must take on that purpose themselves.

This is our ‘absurd’ task, like Sisyphus forever rolling his rock up a hill, as the inevitability of death constantly … More

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, … More

Born OTD in 1960, Maltese-American cartoonist & journalist, Joe Sacco. In late 91 & early 92, at the time of the first Intifada, Sacco spent two months with the Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza Strip, travelling & taking notes. Upon returning to the United States he started writing & drawing Palestine, which combines the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighty situation.

He captures the heart of the Palestinian experience in image after unforgettable image, with great insight and remarkable humour. The … More