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The Charter



1839:  The Chartist Insurrection
David  Black and Chris Ford
(Unkant Publishing)

ISBN:  978-0-9568176-6-2
Published:  April 2012, 268pp

‘This book assists us greatly in understanding the potential for future challenges to the system’ — John McDonnell MP

‘In retrieving the suppressed history of the Chartist Insurrection, David Black and Chris Ford have produced a revolutionary handbook’ — Ben Watson

1839, the year after QueenVictoria’s coronation, saw a chain of events which brought Britain closer to revolution than at any time since the English Civil War – or any time since. The issue was the unjust and corrupt electoral system, in which only seven hundred thousand people were entitled to vote in a country of twenty-five million. Drawing on the accounts of the participants themselves – agitators, conspirators, idealists, journalists, informers, soldiers and  politicians – 1839 shows how Parliament’s rejection of the first Chartist petition for Universal Suffrage led to mass rioting, a failed general strike and insurrections in south Wales and northern England.

The events of 1839 are  presented not just as a battle of wills between the Chartists and the Government, but also as a battle of ideas between the radicals themselves on questions of democracy, social justice, and the ‘limits’ of peaceful protest.

Foreword by John McDonnell MP. Appendices include Julian Harney’s ‘The Tremendous Uprising’ and Edward Aveling’s memoir, ‘George Julian Harney: A Straggler of 1848’. Illustrated throughout.

David  Black  is author of ‘Acid: A New Secret  History of LSD’ and ‘Helen Macfarlane: A Feminist, Revolutionary Journalist and Philosopher in Mid-Nineteenth Century England’.

Chris  Ford’s works  include ‘The  Crossroads of the European Revolution: Ukrainian Social-Democrats and Communists  1917-1920’ (Critique, 2010), and Introduction to ‘Borotbism: A Chapter in the History of the  Ukrainian Revolution’ by Ivan Maistrenko.


Update 23rd May 2012:

Promotional Film for the Book:


‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski:

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

MySpace Profile:

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