Kevin McCaighy

Ernest Bevin

Issue section: 

Ernest Bevin Andrew Adonis Biteback, £20
With this new biography of Ernest Bevin, Andrew Adonis (former MP and cabinet minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) offers a view of the trade union leader and wartime Minister for Labour as a “preeminent leader and statesman”, wishing to restore Bevin to “his rightful place among… Britain’s greatest political leaders”. This work of hagiography is cut straight from the Great Men (or Big Beast) template of history.

Algiers

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Somehow it was apt that Algiers took the stage as Storm Ciara took its toll on the country. Inside, the brave, the curious and the devoted were treated to a devastating live set, which drew heavily from their new album There Is No Year.

The opening punk blast of “Void” set the tone; resplendent under the neon red strip lights, the band tore through a diverse set list with absolute command. The band acted as one supremely powerful entity, locking in and out of searing dance grooves and discordant noise sequences with consummate ease.

Set the Night on Fire

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Set the Night on Fire is a major contribution to our understanding of the struggles taking place in Los Angeles during the 1960s.

It is a movement history, an 800-page chronicle of struggle encompassing everything from anti-nuclear campaigns to the battle for civil rights, emerging feminist and LBGT liberation and so much else besides.

Hitler’s Hollywood

Issue section: 

What does cinema know that we don’t? That is the intriguing question posed by two powerful documentaries about the cinematic legacy of the Nazi era and the Weimar Republic respectively.

Inspired by the work of critical theorist and film critic Siegfried Kracauer, Hitler’s Hollywood investigates Nazi cinema as a style unto itself, completely under the control of the Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels.

A World to Win

Issue section: 

The bicentenary of Karl Marx’s birth has been commemorated in various ways this year and this colossal new biography by Swedish academic Sven-Eric Liedman is the latest addition to the Marx bibliography.

At over 600 pages, Liedman’s book aims “to present Marx’s work in all its breadth”, giving equal weight to both his life and his work. Everything from Marx’s university thesis and love letters to Jenny Von Westphalen to unpublished responses intended for Russian revolutionary Vera Zasulich are considered worthy of evaluation alongside The Communist Manifesto and Capital.

Cocoa Sugar

Issue section: 
Issue: 

There has been no shortage of new music released so far this year, but little to lift the heart and soul. Thankfully Cocoa Sugar, the new album by Young Fathers, has answered the call.

It is the third album from an Edinburgh trio comprising Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham “G” Hastings, who won the Mercury Music Prize in 2014 with their debut album Dead.

Jean-Luc Godard + Jean Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971

Issue section: 
Issue: 

In this age of multimedia saturation, the history of revolutionary cinema still has many secrets left to be unearthed. Among them are the series of films made by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Pierre Gorin under the collective name Dziga-Vertov Group.

Greatly influenced by Maoist politics in the immediate aftermath of the May 1968 uprisings, Godard, Gorin and company sought not just to make “political films” but to make films politically.

And this collection of radical cinema spectacles still makes for startling and confrontational viewing half a century on.

Cosmic Shift

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The centenary of the Russian Revolution has seen some excellent publications on the subject, but very little of it from Russia itself. Conceived as the first anthology of Russian art writing outside of Russia, Cosmic Shift is, in the words of curator Elena Zaytseva, “a collection that explores the aesthetic and moral legacy of the Russian Revolution in the field of contemporary art”, bringing together a vast array of artists, curators, writers and the philosophers in a shared task on an epic scale. The results are discursive and idiosyncratic in their treatment of the subject.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Kevin McCaighy