‘Well good evening, my name is Jeremy Hardy and I’m a comedian who likes to make wry witty satirical observations about the society we live in — but I prefer to keep them to myself, thank you very much.’Edited by his wife, Katie Barlow and his long-time producer David Tyler, this comprehensive celebration of Jeremy Hardy’s work is introduced by Jack Dee and Mark Steel. Further reflections on Jeremy come from Rory Bremner, Paul Bassett Davies, Jon Naismith, Francesca Martinez, Sandi Toksvig, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Andy Hamilton, Graeme Garden and Hugo Rifkind. Katie Barlow also provides a moving Afterword.

Jeremy Hardy, who died in February 2019, was perhaps the most distinctive and brilliant comedian to arise from the 80s … More

First published OTD in 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto. Much of what Marx and Engels’ proposed – a state education system, a progressive income tax, the nationalisation of banks – would continue to be at the heart of political debate into the 21st century. It is no surprise, perhaps, that The Communist Manifesto (as it was later renamed) is the second best-selling book of all time, surpassed only by The Bible. The Guardian’s editorial cartoonist Martin Rowson employs his trademark draughtsmanship and wit to this lively graphic novel adaptation of Marx and Engels’ revolutionary pamphlet.

Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, at a time of deep mistrust in The Establishment, The … More

Our next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Chris Nineham’s new book, ‘The British State’. What happens if a radical government gets elected in Britain? How will the banks, the civil servants, the media and the military react? Is the idea of a British coup far-fetched? How can the left prepare? Chris Nineham addresses these questions by looking behind the myths at the reality of two hundred years of British state rule. He brings us a warning from history.

Book available in store and online. Next PM Book Club meet at the shop 6pm. Monday, 2nd March.

Born OTD in 1901, Trinidadian historian, journalist, cricket fan & socialist, C.L.R. James. C.L.R. James is one of the 20th century’s most remarkable individuals. As the author of the influential book The Black Jacobins, he is widely recognized as the premier scholar of slave revolt; the publication of his acute & sensitive volume Beyond a Boundary established an equal reputation as a historian of sport; & his tireless political & intellectual interventions have become the hallmark of a highly creative Marxist thinker, a brilliant dialectician & the last surviving pioneer of Pan-African liberation.

James’s work has never previously been studied in its entirety. Now Paul Buhle, a longtime editorial collaborator with James, has … More

Rosa Luxemburg’s writings reveal one of the most brilliant and passionate minds drawn to the revolutionary socialist movement. Through the letters, pamphlets and theorising, we see an outstanding social and economic theorist, a dedicated political activist and a devoted confidant. Providing an extensive overview of her writings, this volume contains a number of items never before anthologised.

Her work was broad in scope tackling capitalism and socialism; globalisation and imperialism; history; war and peace; social struggles, trade … More

Born OTD in 1854, Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. In Praise of Disobedience draws on works from a single miraculous year in which Wilde published the larger part of his greatest works in prose the year he came into maturity as an artist. Before the end of 1891, he had written the first of his phenomenally successful plays & met the young man who would win his heart, beginning the love affair that would lead to imprisonment & public infamy. In a witty introduction, playwright, novelist & Wilde scholar Neil Bartlett explains what made this point in the writer’s life central to his genius and why Wilde remains a provocative and radical figure to this day.

Included here are the entirety of Wilde’s foray into political philosophy, The Soul of Man Under Socialism; the complete essay … More

Born OTD in 1922, American historian, playwright, and socialist thinker, Howard Zinn. For anyone who grew up in the 20th century, this book is a must read. This autobiography chronicles the life and times of Howard Zinn, America’s foremost social historian. From his days growing up poor in New York to his service is the Second World War to his work with the SNCC in the Civil Rights movement, Zinn tells the story in a personal fashion with poignant detail and antecdotes and tales that will make you laugh and make you cry. This is one of the best autobiographies of the 1990’s, and is a must read for all fans of history, Howard Zinn, and the human bonds that bring us all together.

Available in store and online.  

Born OTD in 1880, American author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes.

This unique book presents a generally unrecognized aspect of Helen Keller’s life: her radical socialism, her defense of the IWW … More

Born OTD in 1936, British director of television & independent film, Ken Loach. Loach’s film Kes was voted the seventh greatest British film of the 20th century in a poll by the British Film Institute. Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley & I, Daniel Blake, received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him the ninth filmmaker to win the award twice. Loach, a social campaigner for most of his career, believes the current criteria for claiming benefits in the UK are “a Kafka-esque, Catch-22 situation designed to frustrate & humiliate the claimant to such an extent that they drop out of the system & stop pursuing their right to ask for support if necessary”

The Cinema of Ken Loach examines the connection between art and politics that distinguishes the work of this leading British … More

Over the last century the novel ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ has been credited with having more influence on the growth of the labour & trade union movement than Marx & Engels. Yet for a long time little was known about the author, a house-painter called ‘Robert Tressell.’ Ian Hernon has traced his life from Victorian Ireland & South Africa to Edwardian Hastings &, ultimately, Liverpool. It is the story of how arguably the greatest novel about the English working class sprang to life from Tressell’s bitter experience & first-hand observations. It is also the personal story of a workmate & single parent who was much-loved in life & venerated after his premature death before his masterpiece was published.

That masterpiece has particular resonance in today’s political climate of austerity and division. With a preface by Len McCluskey, General … More