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From Coldwar Communism to the Global Emancipatory Movement: Itinerary of a Long-Distance Internationalist

category:
   SOCIETY
   History
   Biography

isbn:
 

978-952-264-388-9

formats:
    pdf 2.7 MB
    epub 1.8 MB

published: 11 / 2014

pages: 466

price: FREE

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From Coldwar Communism to the Global Emancipatory Movement: Itinerary of a Long-Distance Internationalist

By Waterman Peter

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REVIEWS

This is an admirable memoir of an intellectual-activist who has lived most intensely the progressive struggles of the last sixty years of world history. Yes, world history, because despite being born in Europe, Peter, in the best tradition of communist internationalism, participated in struggles and movements, not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in Africa and most recently in Latin America. But this is much more than a memoir. It is so well documented that, in this personal experience, there are reflected some of the most decisive events of contemporary history. It is a living history book. But even more than this, this book is so clearly and vividly written that at times it reads like the script for an imaginary documentary of our times. This book should be read by all concerned with our recent history in order to get a much more complex inside view of what happened while it was happening. In particular it should be read by the youth in order to get a close-up of the difficulties and possibilities in building another possible world at a time where there existed a vibrant international communist movement. It is up to such youth to evaluate whether difficulties are now less or more daunting, the possibilities less or more luminous.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Professor of Sociology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Peter Waterman here presents a wider public with his ‘Itinerary of a Long-Distance Internationalist’. The book is above all a gift and a tribute to all former militants who have devoted their lives, as Peter has, to the cause of labour and communist internationalism. Many of their struggles are revealed in the narrative of this particular life. The book is also a gift to those studying previous generations who have tried to uncover the forms of internationalism and contradictions amongst workers. Many of their problems and doubts can be clarified by reading this account. The book is also an inspiring gift to young scholars and activists who, like me, seek to understand and extend international links ‘from below’ in the contemporary world. The autobiography of Peter Waterman is very important for internationalist militants from all over the globe. It is required reading for all who believe in a world without borders, where freedom and equality can be creative and fundamental parts of the lives of men and women.

Flavia Braga Vieira

This autobiography crosses countries and continents. It spans decades. It traverses the places and traces the times through one life and the lives intersecting this life. It does so grounded in a healthy dialectic between self and world, revealing much about growing up in a Communist household in the nineteen fourties-fifties and participating in the World Social Forums in the two thousands, as well as a myriad of movements and events, people and places, attitudes and ideologies along the way from the one to the other. The account of Prague in 1968 is especially fascinating. Peter Waterman was too implicated to be Zelig but too peripheral to be Dubček. It is a view from a particular focal length that is unusual in the historical discourse on this seminal turn of events. The book is a lively account of a life vigorously lived. It is critical and self-critical in a way that many memoirs are not. Read it.

Helena Sheehan, Professor Emerita of Dublin City University

keywords: Activism, Contemporary history, Movement

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