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 … More

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 … 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 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 … 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

Born OTD in 1810, English novelist, biographer, and short story writer, Elizabeth Gaskell. Set in Manchester in the 1840s – a period of industrial unrest and extreme deprivation – Mary Barton depicts the effects of economic and physical hardship upon the city’s working-class community.

Paralleling the novel’s treatment of the relationship between masters and men, the suffering of the poor, and the workmen’s angry … More

Born OTD in 1952, American author, feminist & social activist, bell hooks. In this classic study, cultural critic bell hooks examines how black women, from the seventeenth century to the present day, were and are oppressed by both white men and black men and by white women. Illustrating her analysis with moving personal accounts, Ain’t I a Woman is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class.

While acknowledging the conflict of loyalty to race or sex is still a dilemma, hooks challenges the view that race … More