October 11, 2011

Late Cable Street commemoration news

There have been a lot of Cable Street commemorations since the start of this month and some are still to come.  I went to a talk last week by David Rosenberg of Jewish Socialist Group and Roger Mills at Housmans, the leftist bookshop. David was discussing his book, Battle for the East End and Roger was discussing his, Everything happens in Cable Street.

I've been reading Battle for the East End and it deals with far more than the battle of Cable Street, more than just the east end and more than just fascism and the struggle against it.  The book is subtitled, Jewish responses to fascism in the 1930s but it is something of a social, political and economic history of the UK in the 1930s though of course there is a special focus on fascism, Jews and London's east end.

Here's the blurb taken from David Rosenberg's East End Walks site including dates of forthcoming talks and the chapter titles from the book:

Battle for the East End: Jewish responses to fascism in the 1930s

268pp ISBN: 978 1907869181 Five Leaves Publications, 2011, £9.99
What’s the book about?
During the 1930s, Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts intensified their campaign against the Jewish community, particularly in London’s East End. As that campaign became more overtly antisemitic, and more physically intimidating, Jewish groups debated how to deal with the Fascist threat, ultimately building their own defence organisations, and forging alliances with other campaigners.  The simmering tensions in East London culminated in the Battle of Cable Street, when more than 100,000 people, especially from the local Jewish and Irish communities, prevented Mosley’s troops from marching through the East End.

In Battle for the East End, David Rosenberg charts the changing nature of the British Union of Fascists’ ideas about Jews and describes the growing rifts between the official leaders of the Jewish community and those who wanted to mount an active resistance to the fascists.
Battle for the East End is written by an anti-fascist activist with a real feel and connection both to the politics and the geographical area he writes about. For anyone who wants to understand the political, historical and cultural context in which the Battle of Cable Street took place then Battle for the East End is a must for the bookshelf.” Searchlight Educational Trust
“The Battle of Cable Street is one of the most celebrated moments in Anglo-Jewish history and, in Battle for the East End, David Rosenberg gives a compelling account of the context and controversies that surrounded it, made even more vivid by eye-witness testimony.” Nadia Valman, Jewish Chronicle
Contents of the book
1. Britain’s Jews
2. How Jews were viewed
3. The rise of Mosley’s movement
4. Antisemitism and the British Union of Fascists
5. How Jewish leaders perceived the threat
6. Battle for the East End
7. Divided on defence: the grassroots rebellion
8. Rally to Aldgate and Cable Street
9. Antisemitism, fascism and the state
Order it online
To purchase the book online go to:http://inpressbooks.co.uk/battle_for_the_east_end_jewish_responses_to_fascism_in_the_1930s_david_rosenberg_i022676.aspx
Battle for the East End is one of five publications that Five Leaves are publishing to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street. To see the other titles visit: http://www.fiveleaves.co.uk/

Come to a reading/discussion from David’s book
Wednesday 12th October, 7.30pm Reading/discussion at England’s Lane Bookshop, NW3 4YD
Thursday 13th October, 5.30pm, illustrated talk on Cable Street with book excerpts, in Small Hall Cinema, Goldsmiths College, SE14 6NW
Thursday 20th October 6.30pm Brick Lane bookshop, 166 Brick Lane E1 reading/discussion (jointly with Roger Mills)
Saturday 22nd October, 11am, illustrated talk on Cable Street with book excerpts, at the Anarchist Bookfair (room 319), Queen Mary College, E1

I must say that David Rosenberg deserves special credit for wading through a mountain of Jewish Chronicles from the time when they were advising Jews to not be so Jewish and to stay at home and ignore those nasty fascists.


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