Friday, February 15, 2013

New publications from Past Tense

Last week's Radical History Network of NE London discussion on the past, present and future of radical pamphleteering was packed out (20+ people) and riveting! Full report to follow soon....   Meanwhile, past tense press on with some new and exciting agitational publications. See below.

Dobro vecer.

Past Tense have been busy... staying indoors with the telly off, (to avoid
screwbilees and that poncy olympic ballroom horse ballet), we actually got
some writing and layout done... after some hot slaving over melting
hardware and glitchy software, we have put together a couple of books and
two free pamphlets, which are now available, from us direct, and soon from
select retail outlets.


The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions
Omasius Gorgut.
Price: £7.00
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-3-1

“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees
that grow by a lake full of beer…
The landlord well take and tie to a stake
and we won’t have to work like a slave...

In the face of a life defined by exploitation and suffering, the poor of
the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where their sufferings were
reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty ­ and the rich were
barred. This myth of a free earthly paradise emerged in a popular song,
The Land of Cokaygne, in which rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses
were made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to
From fourteenth century Europe to the twentieth century USA, Poor Man’s
Heaven traces this popular fantasy, its links to the culture & customs of
the times ­ and the rebels who tried to turn dream into reality...

Reflections on the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent
Price: £4.00
ISBN 978-0-9565984-6-2

The 1978-79 Winter of Discontent, forgotten and repressed as it may be,
nevertheless still haunts the memory of this society. The last great mass
success of the class struggle for the employed section of the working
class in the UK, it also marked the beginning of the new epoch - the
Thatcherite counter-revolution, a decisive change of strategy for British
The only time politicians and the media can bring themselves to mention it
is as their
ultimate horror scenario, one that must never be allowed to happen again.

“To Delightful Measures Changed” (compiled from two texts written by Dave
Wise and Henri Simon, then shaped into a killer text by endangered
phoenix) recounts the build-up to the the events of 1978-79, details (and
celebrates) some of the crucial struggles, and analyses them in their
economic and political context. It also asks searching questions about the
past, present and future role of autonomous workers’ movements and trade

and then there's

The Spitalfields Silkweavers: London’s Luddites?

For centuries, silkweaving was one of London’s biggest industries,
employing thousands in the East End. Through the 18th century, the
silkweavers fought to defend their wages & conditions: their tactics
included strikes, riots, sabotage and more. In some ways the issues they
faced, and the methods they used, anticipate those of the later Luddite
movement; but with crucial differences.
Past Tense's oblique contribution to the debate and commemoration around
the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprising.

• WE REMEMBER THE ROTUNDA coincide with the 2012 Cuts Cafe squat in South London’s Blackfriars
,  a short account of the groundbreaking 19th century radical space
that once stood opposite.


write to

past tense
c/o 56a Info Shop
56 Crampton Street,
SE17 3AE

For the books: enclose a cheque for the required amount, plus £1.00
Postage/Packing for the first item and 50p for each one on top.
For the free pamphlets, send two first class stamps per item.

BULK ORDERS: If you would like a few copies to sell/give away to your
mates, your local bookshop or for a book stall, let us know what you'd
like, and we’ll do you a discount deal.

please make cheques payable to Past Tense Publications.

We are in the process of putting together a past tense catalogue,
detailing all of our old and new publications that are still in print.
Watch this space...

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