YOU ARE INVITED TO OUR BOOK LAUNCH
1839: The Chartist Insurrection by David Black and Chris Ford
Friday, 6 p.m.18 May 2012
Workers’ Educational Association
96-100 Clifton Street. London. EC2A 4TP
Speakers: JOHN MCDONNELL MP, DAVID BLACK AND CHRIS FORD
“This book assists us greatly in understanding the potential for future challenges to the system” — John McDonnell MP
“In retrieving the suppressed history of the Chartist Insurrection, David Black and Chris Ford have produced a revolutionary handbook” — Ben Watson
1839, the year after Queen Victoria’s coronation, saw a chain of events which brought Britain closer to revolution than at any time since the English Civil War – or any time since. The issue was the unjust and corrupt electoral system, in which only seven hundred thousand people were entitled to vote in a country of twenty-five million. Drawing on the accounts of the participants themselves – agitators, conspirators, idealists, journalists, informers, soldiers and politicians – 1839 shows how Parliament’s rejection of the first Chartist petition for Universal Suffrage led to mass rioting, a failed general strike and insurrections in south Wales and northern England. The events of 1839 are presented not just as a battle of wills between the Chartists and the Government, but also as a battle of ideas between the radicals themselves on questions of democracy, social justice, and the ‘limits’ of peaceful protest.
Foreword by John McDonnell MP. Appendices include Julian Harney’s ‘The Tremendous Uprising’ and Edward Aveling’s memoir, ‘George Julian Harney: A Straggler of 1848’. Illustrated throughout.
David Black is author of ‘Acid: A New Secret History of LSD’ and ‘Helen Macfarlane: A Feminist, Revolutionary Journalist and Philosopher in Mid-Nineteenth Century England’.
Chris Ford’s works include ‘The Crossroads of the European Revolution: Ukrainian Social-Democrats and Communists 1917-1920’ (Critique, 2010), and Introduction to ‘Borotbism: A Chapter in the History of the Ukrainian Revolution’ by Ivan Maistrenko.