Paddy Nielsen

We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

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A Tribe called Quest’s new album is a breath of fresh air in the stale halls of “new” hip hop.

For the last couple of years a dominant theme in US hip hop has been the emergence of trap music. Artists such as Future, Rich Homie Quan, Lil Uzi, Young Thug and others have been propelled into the limelight, and signed for millions, due to their categorisation as trap artists.

A History of the Barricade

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This is an enthralling study of class struggle in France.

It is littered with examples of ordinary people fighting back, whether it was during the French Revolution against absolutism, or in the Paris Commune.

Working class people and the power they have to collectively change the world is the central theme of the book. Hazan describes brilliantly the way that, through collective action and the experience of struggle, the French masses unearthed a brilliant tactic to exert pressure and ultimately confront the state — the barricade.

Islamic State

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Michael Griffin’s study of Islamic State is a useful book for anyone interested in its growth and impact on the Middle East.

Griffin tracks the development of ISIS from its origins in the US occupation of Iraq to the present, before “it disappeared behind the smokescreen of its own vicious celebrity”.

Griffin starts by comparing ISIS with the growth of the Taliban and al Qaeda stating, albeit vaguely, that all three organisations were, to some extent, a response to imperialism in the region.

Solidarity is the key

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The interview in June’s SR, “Putting the Politics Back into Pride”, was a brilliant insight into how we can learn from previous struggles and use those lessons to fight against the Tories and austerity today.

The message of solidarity pushed by LGSM, in raising money for striking miners during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85 is as relevant today as it was in the 1980s.

Important industrial disputes, like that of the National Gallery (who to date are on their 36th day of strike action), need the support of trade union branches, liberation groups, students and others.

Outlaws of the Atlantic

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The maritime history we all learned at school was dominated by the names of admirals, generals and gentlemen who won their fame, fortune and their place in history by brutally exploiting hundreds of sailors on board their vessels. We are all familiar with the names Columbus, Drake, Raleigh, Cook and Nelson. Absent is the part played by the common sailor in the historic voyages and sea battles. Here is where Marcus Rediker’s latest book, subtitled Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail is a breath of fresh air.

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