Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Village Against The World - reviews

So, my book about Marinaleda came out a month ago. It's had a lot of great reviews, I'm pleased to say:

"A thoughtful, take-nothing-for-granted account ... this engaging book is as much a study of idealism in practice as it is of life in a highly unusual pueblo. The respectful, intelligent writing places the villagers at the centre of their own story – and that story is fascinating." (New Statesman)

"(The) book is full of lively and genuinely inspiring detail ... Most importantly, the co–operative answers Slavoj Žižek's warning to Wall Street Occupiers that "what matters is the day after, when we will have to return to normal lives". As Hancox makes clear, socialist Marinaleda has defined the fabric of the normal life of its residents, day after day, for 30 years." (The Guardian)

"Dan Hancox's The Village Against the World' is, for lack of a better word, awesome ... Hancox’s book reads like something one might find on the New York Times best-seller list if it weren't for its subject matter: the anti-authoritarian shenanigans of a Communist village and it's Robin Hood mayor. It's a must-read for anyone interested in radical movements like Occupy Wall Street or the Zapatistas." (Critical Theory)

"A fascinating recent history of the region - part prettily written travelogue, part political commentary. A delightful counterpoint to the tales of woe that have emerged from Spain post-la crisis, this story of Marinaleda's battle against all odds to survive self-sufficiently will delight anyone with a revolutionary heart." (easyJet Traveller)

"Citing Orwell's reflections on ''that strange and moving experience' of believing in a revolution,' Hancox offers the reader a rare chance to believe, to relive his own encounter with the village and the mayor who 'drained the capitalist-realist defeatism out of me and carried me halfway back to adolescence.'" (Jacobin)

"In his captivating new book, The Village Against the World,” Dan Hancox shows, in lyrical and penetrating prose, that not only is it possible, but 'an observable fact.'" (Truth Dig)

"This provocative depiction of the vision and tenacity of this social experiment should stretch the imaginations and raise the hackles of progressives and entrenched capitalists alike." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Takes us beyond the wavering attention of the mainstream media to offer a substantive understanding of the actions, politics, history, and daily life of the marinaleños. The marinaleños actions, principles and tenacity are inspirational ... [the book] will ... hold fascination for all those in search of a utopia." (Red Pepper)

"With late capitalist malaise so prevalent and chronic that people have stopped believing in cures, this well-observed account of a village of 2,700 stout souls who think and live otherwise is a tonic." (New Internationalist)

A couple of interviews still online: In Vice Spain, where "the definitive book about Marinaleda has been written". On ABC, Aussie national radio for a long, 40 minute interview, where I was awarded a coveted Koala Badge (really), for being interesting. And most recently, I was on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed.

Numerous buying options here. Spanish version is out now. Korean version to follow.

Thanks to everyone who came to the London and Bristol launch events - I'm talking about Marinaleda at the RSA on Thursday 21 November, 1pm, it's free but ticketed.