‘His death left unanswered questions’
Mike Gonzalez introduces Hugo Chávez

Published for the anniversary of the Venezuelan President’s death on the 5th March, Hugo Chávez is a book that reveals, for the first time, the unfolding of the entire span of the leader’s tumultuous life. The author, Mike Gonzalez takes a radical, and in parts critical approach to Chávez’s political decisions and his legacy. He introduces the book below.

Chavez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Hugo Chávez  was always controversial. As he followed George Bush to the podium at the U.N. General Assembly, he complained that there was a smell of sulphur in the air. In Moscow he crouched in a mock karate stance in front of a stony-faced Putin. His scorn for protocol won him the approval of poor citizens in many countries. And while right-wing commentators scoffed at his long speeches punctuated by songs and stories, Venezuela’s poor laughed with him because he looked and sounded just like them. For more than four decades, Venezuela’s much-vaunted democracy had been dominated by professional, mainly middle-class politicians who shared power, and the country’s oil wealth, among themselves. And regular and properly conducted elections concealed the torture and murder of political opponents, and corruption on a massive scale that ensured that the huge oil profits never found their way into the public purse. Chávez promised to change all that.

Read more…

A first look at 2014′s Revolutionary Lives books

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There’s been excitement at Pluto HQ this morning as two new Revolutionary Lives were delivered hot off the press.

Ellen Wilkinson by Paula Bartley, and Hugo Chávez bu Mike Gonzalez.

Revolutionary Lives is a series we are proud of here at Pluto – a mix of popular and lesser-known, but no less important figures, introduced by authors speaking from a radical perspective. Click here to see other titles in the series.

Introducing Ellen Wilkinson

Pluto Press is pleased to announce that Paula Bartley’s new biography, Ellen Wilkinson: From Red Suffragist to Government Minister will be published in February 2014.

Ellen Wilkinson lead an extra-ordinary life that is shamefully little-known today. From textile-worker to MP, her rise was both brilliant and controversial, ending in an early death which left many questions unanswered.

Paula’s new book introduces us to the life and work of this pioneering feminist, socialist activist and MP. Famously the leader of the 1936 Jarrow Crusade to London, she was also the woman who introduced milk to school children (when later another famous female politician would take it away). Due to her many successful struggles in a man’s world, ‘Red Ellen’ remains deeply pertinent to feminist and socialist movements today.

We asked Paula Bartley for the four most important points about Ellen Wilkinson. She replied:

1. She helped gain the vote for women over 21.

2. She led the Jarrow March.

3. She helped make the Labour Party socialist (Tony Blair jettisoned this).

4. She was the first female Minister of Education.

To read more about the life of Ellen Wilkinson, in preparation for the February publication, read this short post from Bartley here, at the Women’s History Network.

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Reviews and Praise

“Ellen Wilkinson introduces to new audiences a pioneering Labour woman. This very readable account brings to life an extraordinarily energetic and often contentious advocate of a wide range of radical causes. A feminist, communist and anti-imperialist before she became an MP, the book explores whether radical commitments can be sustained inside parliament and how a socialist woman responded to the effects of economic crisis on the communities she represented. Paula Bartley makes a passionate case for the relevance of ‘Red Ellen’ to the twenty-first century.”

- Karen Hunt, Professor of Modern British History, Keele University

“Paula Bartley shines a dazzling light on the life of ‘Red’ Ellen Wilkinson, a pioneering feminist and socialist Member of Parliament.”

- Diane Atkinson, author of ‘The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton’

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site

 

Win signed copies of ‘Sylvia Pankhurst’!

We have 3 signed copies of Katherine Connelly’s superb Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire to give away. To enter simply answer these three questions correctly:

1. What was the post-1917 name of the radical newspaper established by Sylvia Pankhurst?

2. In 1936 Sylvia Pankhurst started a campaign against the invasion of which African country?

3. In which area of London was Sylvia Pankhurst’s suffragette activism based?

E-mail your answers to: marketing@plutobooks.com. The first three people to answer correctly will win a signed copy of the book and other Pluto goodies!

Watch a short video of Katherine Connelly talking about the book here.

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Win the first 5 ‘Revolutionary Lives’ books – Final Round!

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September sees the release of the fifth book in our ‘Revolutionary Lives’ series, Katherine Connelley’s Sylvia Pankhurst. This follows biographies of Salvador AllendeLeila KhaledGerrard Winstanley and Jean Paul Marat. The biographies aim to provide accessible, critical and inspiring accounts of the life, thought and action of revolutionary figures from across the world and from different radical traditions.

More titles in the series will be released next year, but to celebrate the release of the first 5, we’re giving you the chance to win all 5 books released so far in the ‘Revolutionary Lives’ series!

The competition runs in 3 rounds, and rounds 1 and 2 have already been posted. Each round will contain 2 photos of young revolutionaries, and you’ve got to guess who they are! Once you think you know all 6 revolutionaries, email us at marketing@plutobooks.com with your answers, but only when you think you know all 6 answers.

2 weeks ago we posted the first round of pictures. Here they are to refresh your memory:

1.

competition_1

2.

competition_3

And last week we posted round 2:

3.

competition_2

4.

competition_4

And now it’s time for the final round:

ROUND 3:

5.

competition_5

6.

competition_6

Do you think you know who all 6 of these revolutionaries are? Now is the time to tell us! Send your answers to marketing@plutobooks.com and the first 3 people to send us the correct answers will win all 5 books released so far in the ‘Revolutionary Lives’ series!

Good luck!

All pictures are available on Wikicommons. If you would like to contact us about copyright or accreditation issues please email: marketing@plutobooks.com and we will be happy to help.

COMPETITION: Win the first 5 ‘Revolutionary Lives’ books – Round 2!

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September sees the release of the fifth book in our Revolutionary Lives series, Katherine Connelley’s Sylvia Pankhurst. This follows biographies of Salvador AllendeLeila KhaledGerrard Winstanley and Jean Paul Marat. The biographies aim to provide accessible, critical and inspiring accounts of the life, thought and action of revolutionary figures from across the world and from different radical traditions.

More titles will be coming out next year, but to celebrate the release of the first 5, we’re running an exciting competition to win all the first 5 books in the series! The competition is taking place in 3 rounds, each with 2 pictures of revolutionary figures when they were young.

To win, you have to correctly guess the identities of all 6. The first 3 people to correctly guess all 6 answers will each win a copy of the first 5 books in the ‘Revolutionary Lives’ series. Once you think you know all the answers, email your guesses to marketing@plutobooks.com but not until all 3 rounds have been posted.

Last week was round 1. These are the young revolutionaries we posted:

1.

competition_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

competition_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know who they are? If so, it’s time for you to have a go at…

 

ROUND 2:

3.

competition_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

competition_4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you who these revolutionaries are? If you think you do, you’ve only got one more round to go before you can enter the competition. When you think you have all the answers, email them to marketing@plutobooks.com but remember, don’t email until you have all 6 answers.

Round 3 – the final round – will be posted on Tuesday, 17th September.

 

All pictures are available on Wikicommons. If you would like to contact us about copyright or accreditation issues please email: marketing@plutobooks.com and we will be happy to help.

COMPETITION: Win the first 5 ‘Revolutionary Lives’ books!

9780745331935

9780745329512

9780745331836

9780745333076

 

9780745333229

 

September sees the release of the fifth book in our Revolutionary Lives series, Katherine Connelley’s Sylvia Pankhurst. This follows biographies of Salvador Allende, Leila Khaled, Gerrard Winstanley and Jean Paul Marat. The biographies aim to provide accessible, critical and inspiring accounts of the life, thought and action of revolutionary figures from across the world and from different radical traditions.

There will be more titles in the series released next year, but to celebrate hitting the first five we have an exciting competition where you can win all the titles in the series so far.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

We’ll be posting 6 pictures of famous rebels and revolutionaries when they were young. There will be 3 rounds, with 2 pictures per round. The first 3 people to correctly guess the names of all 6 revolutionaries will win a copy of each of the 5 ‘Revolutionary Lives’ books so far!

When you think you’ve got the answers, email them to marketing@plutobooks.com, but remember, only email once you have all 6 answers.

 

Round 1:

1.

competition_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

competition_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know who these young revolutionaries are? If so, see if you can guess the identities of the next batch of photos to be posted in round 2, which will be up on Tuesday, 10th September.

All pictures are available on Wikicommons. If you would like to contact us about copyright or accreditation issues please email: marketing@plutobooks.com and we will be happy to help.

 

VIDEO: Victor Figueroa Clark on the life, politics and heroic final hours of Salvador Allende

In this short video Victor Figueroa Clark, author of Salvador Allende: Revolutionary Democrat, provides a fascinating overview of Allende’s life, including the personal experiences which formed his politics and his heroic final hours.

UK EVENTS

Come and see Victor Figueroa Clark discuss the book at the following events:

Sheffield – August 25, Showrooms Cinema
Machynlleth, Wales – Aug 30 (Friday), El Sueno Existe Festival 
London, Sept 11 (Wednesday) Royal Court Theatre, ‘Allende, 40 Years On’ Q&A
London Sept 14 (Saturday), Chilean political prisoners event, UNITE offices, Theobald Road
London Sept 25 (Wednesday), Salvador Allende documentary + Q&A, with Chilean Empanadas and Wine, Bolivar Hall

Salvador Allende

Revolutionary Democrat

Victor Figueroa Clark

A political biography of one of the 20th century’s most emblematic political figures.

“This is a much-needed account of Allende’s life, showing the consistency of his political project and arguing persuasively that he was always at heart a revolutionary. Figueroa Clark’s study shows the relevance of the Chilean experience to current developments in several Latin American nations which have proclaimed ’21st Century Socialism’ as their goal.” – Diana Raby, Senior Fellow, University of Liverpool

“Figueroa-Clark provides an excellent book on a very interesting Latin American political figure that deserves to be recuperated.” – Jorge Arrate, economic adviser and Minister for Mining under Salvador Allende

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site

‘Allende, 40 Years On’ – Victor Figueroa Clark at the Royal Court

London’s Royal Court Theatre is hosting a series of special plays to coincide with the 40th anniversary of General Pinochet’s coup in Chile which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. As the Royal Court describes the series:

Five plays by contemporary Chilean writers will be performed as rehearsed readings, in translation, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The plays offer a rare insight into life in Chile today, from a traditional Mapuche community to contemporary, urban Santiago, reflecting the painful legacy of dictatorship still alive in the memories of the Chilean people.

Victor Figueroa Clark, author of Salvador Allende: Revolutionary Democrat, will be talking before one of the performances on Wednesday September 11th, the day of the coup in the 1973, at 6pm on ‘Allende, 40 Years On’. The talk is free to attend for theatre ticket-holders or £5.

Visit the Royal Court Theatre for more information.

Salvador Allende

Revolutionary Democrat

Victor Figueroa Clark

A political biography of one of the 20th century’s most emblematic political figures.

“This is a much-needed account of Allende’s life, showing the consistency of his political project and arguing persuasively that he was always at heart a revolutionary. Figueroa Clark’s study shows the relevance of the Chilean experience to current developments in several Latin American nations which have proclaimed ’21st Century Socialism’ as their goal.” – Diana Raby, Senior Fellow, University of Liverpool

“Figueroa-Clark provides an excellent book on a very interesting Latin American political figure that deserves to be recuperated.” – Jorge Arrate, economic adviser and Minister for Mining under Salvador Allende

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site

FREE documentary screening and talk on Salvador Allende

Documentary Screening: Salvador Allende, directed by Patricio Guzman (Wednesday 25 September/London, UK)

Followed by Q&A with Victor Figueroa-Clark, author of Salvador Allende: Revolutionary Democrat.

Chilean Empanadas, Wine and Refreshments will be available on the night

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In SALVADOR ALLENDE, acclaimed Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile and Chile, Obstinate Memory) returns to his native country thirty years after the 1973 military coup that overthrew Chile’s Popular Unity government to examine the life of its leader, Salvador Allende, both as a politician and a man.

Using rare archival footage, family photos, interviews with Allende’s friends, professional colleagues, his daughters and other relatives as well as UP militants, workers, journalists, his personal secretary and Edward Korry, former U.S. Ambassador to Chile, SALVADOR ALLENDE portrays the life, times and political formation of the Valparaiso-born doctor who was active in Socialist Party politics as a senator and who ran unsuccessfully for President three times before finally being elected in 1970.

“Rich, strong… assuredly striking and patiently collated in a precise historical work.” —Synopsis

Running Time: 100 minutes

Time: 5.30-9pm (films starts at 6.15pm)

Date: Wednesday 25 September

Venue: Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL

FREE ENTRY – ALL WELCOME!

Visit Alborada for further information and updates.

Salvador Allende

Revolutionary Democrat

Victor Figueroa Clark

A political biography of one of the 20th century’s most emblematic political figures.

“This is a much-needed account of Allende’s life, showing the consistency of his political project and arguing persuasively that he was always at heart a revolutionary. Figueroa Clark’s study shows the relevance of the Chilean experience to current developments in several Latin American nations which have proclaimed ’21st Century Socialism’ as their goal.” – Diana Raby, Senior Fellow, University of Liverpool

“Figueroa-Clark provides an excellent book on a very interesting Latin American political figure that deserves to be recuperated.” – Jorge Arrate, economic adviser and Minister for Mining under Salvador Allende

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site