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Sabaté: Urban Guerilla in Spain (1945-1960)

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It is necessary to understand that we cannot wait for others—not even for other comrades—to give us the sign to act, the final indication. This must come from us. Each one of us, taken individually, must find his or her own comrades and constitute small affinity groups which are the essential element for giving life to the organisation of attack that we need. Actions will It is necessary to understand that we cannot wait for others—not even for other comrades—to give us the sign to act, the final indication. This must come from us. Each one of us, taken individually, must find his or her own comrades and constitute small affinity groups which are the essential element for giving life to the organisation of attack that we need. Actions will come easily, as a natural consequence of the decision to act together against the common enemy. Grand words, declarations to go down in history, the great organisations of the glorious past and vast programmes for the future are all useless if the will of the individual comrade is lacking.And in this perspective Sabaté was never alone. His struggle is still continuing today.


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It is necessary to understand that we cannot wait for others—not even for other comrades—to give us the sign to act, the final indication. This must come from us. Each one of us, taken individually, must find his or her own comrades and constitute small affinity groups which are the essential element for giving life to the organisation of attack that we need. Actions will It is necessary to understand that we cannot wait for others—not even for other comrades—to give us the sign to act, the final indication. This must come from us. Each one of us, taken individually, must find his or her own comrades and constitute small affinity groups which are the essential element for giving life to the organisation of attack that we need. Actions will come easily, as a natural consequence of the decision to act together against the common enemy. Grand words, declarations to go down in history, the great organisations of the glorious past and vast programmes for the future are all useless if the will of the individual comrade is lacking.And in this perspective Sabaté was never alone. His struggle is still continuing today.

49 review for Sabaté: Urban Guerilla in Spain (1945-1960)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Subvert

    I read this in Dutch. How amazing is it that people took the effort to translate and republish this book earlier this year? Much props to them. I found this a quick and thrilling read that also taught me quite a bit of history. And not an unimportant history. Although it sometimes feels a bit too romanticized, the amount of sacrifice, militancy and urgency felt by Sabaté and his comrades is inspiring. I sort of know the basic outline of the Spanish civil war, but not much about all the stuff afte I read this in Dutch. How amazing is it that people took the effort to translate and republish this book earlier this year? Much props to them. I found this a quick and thrilling read that also taught me quite a bit of history. And not an unimportant history. Although it sometimes feels a bit too romanticized, the amount of sacrifice, militancy and urgency felt by Sabaté and his comrades is inspiring. I sort of know the basic outline of the Spanish civil war, but not much about all the stuff afterwards. Of how Spanish anarchists re-organized in France during WW2, hoping the Allies would help them against Franco after Germany and Italy were beaten. Of how Franco's regime murdered hundreds of thousands after the war. And how anarchists continued the armed struggle despite the bad conditions. I know about ETA of course, but somehow didn't know about anarchists doing the same kind of attacks. And the exploits by Sabaté as described by Téllez Solá are crazy. Spreading thousands of pamphlets by shooting them into the air with a self-made mortar through the roof of a taxi that drives around Barcelona. And of course all the bank-robberies to finance the struggle, the shootings and crazy escapes. It's a bit of a hagiography, but why the fuck not? Plus interesting as well is the critique of the CNT leadership abroad that actually tries to stop him, doesn't facilitate the actions and actually slanders him in their communiques. Because they didn't think it was time for actions (or were afraid for the consequences and their comfortable committee positions). It's sort of a diversity-of-tactics debate, but then against the Franco regime. Téllez Solá's critique of the centralization-mania sounds convincing. And it does seem quite damning how the CNT leadership both during the civil war and afterwards continuously made mistakes and expelled dissidents from their ranks. It's interesting and raises questions of how even in the CNT there's a clash between the rank-and-file, militant minorities and the leadership. I do want to note towards the insurrectionary anarchists (that probably includes those that published this new Dutch version) that both the Friends of Durruti and Sabaté always stayed loyal to the CNT and considered its existence as an absolute necessity.

  2. 5 out of 5

    UNMENSCH

    This was fairly enjoyable, though as far as histories of anarchist outlaws go it falls a bit short of animating the world is describes. Mostly just scene after scene of close calls/shootouts with cops and copious names and dates without enough time spent bringing these individuals to life. The part I find most interesting in any document of anarchist banditry/illegalism (and there is a seemingly minute but important difference) is the clash between those who refuse passivity and seek to attack a This was fairly enjoyable, though as far as histories of anarchist outlaws go it falls a bit short of animating the world is describes. Mostly just scene after scene of close calls/shootouts with cops and copious names and dates without enough time spent bringing these individuals to life. The part I find most interesting in any document of anarchist banditry/illegalism (and there is a seemingly minute but important difference) is the clash between those who refuse passivity and seek to attack authority here and now and those who insist on waiting for more propitious circumstances and/or sanctimoniously denouncing those who refuse to limit themselves to words or sanctioned modes of action. This book does a fairly good job of detailing the turgid rationalizations which many of the organs of Spanish and French anarchism went through to condemn Sabaté and his accomplices and their determination to stoke and unleash the fires of revolt no matter the cost, so I found it worthwhile. And even if such machinations don’t interest you, the author does a admirable job of unearthing the historical details of El Quico’s life of struggle and almost despite himself manages to paint a thorough portrait of an individual whose war against tyranny and subjection remains inspiring and impactful to this day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Juan Conatz

    The description that Goodreads gives is this is "the incredible story" of Sabate. You could put it that way. Or you could also say that he was the Vin Diesel of Spanish anarchism. This biography reads like an action movie. Even that doesn't do it justice, because some of what happened to him and what he did just couldn't be made up. The description that Goodreads gives is this is "the incredible story" of Sabate. You could put it that way. Or you could also say that he was the Vin Diesel of Spanish anarchism. This biography reads like an action movie. Even that doesn't do it justice, because some of what happened to him and what he did just couldn't be made up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ΑΝΤΥ ΒΡΟΣΓΟΣ

    Ίσως η καλύτερη σκοπιά που έκανα ποτέ. Με θέα τη λίμνη Κουμουνδουρου και τα φωτάκια από τα πλοία να καθρεφτιζουν στη θάλασσα αλλά κυρίως με ένα βιβλίο για έναν άνθρωπο που δεν υπέκυψε πότε. Ελ Τσικο υποκλίνομαι. Απλά συγκλονιστικό.

  5. 4 out of 5

    xDEAD ENDx

    As important as I think it is to tell stories of fighters like Sabaté, this book is written pretty poorly. There's an unfortunate lack of background information that would give the characters life, and while the footnotes sometimes attempt to make up for this, they fail to give a fullness to the story. Much of this reads like blasé history, rather than the exciting tale of a self-styled revolutionary. Additionally, the Ardent Press edition that I read contains a tremendous amount of errors, leavi As important as I think it is to tell stories of fighters like Sabaté, this book is written pretty poorly. There's an unfortunate lack of background information that would give the characters life, and while the footnotes sometimes attempt to make up for this, they fail to give a fullness to the story. Much of this reads like blasé history, rather than the exciting tale of a self-styled revolutionary. Additionally, the Ardent Press edition that I read contains a tremendous amount of errors, leaving me with the impression that the printing was rushed and that nobody even cared to read over the text before printing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    karly

    this book was a really good read after reading Christie's "Granny made me an anarchist". It is a biography written by an amazing historian of the anti-fascist resistance in Spain. I liked the book a lot because it did a good job filling in the personal, political, and historical aspects of sabate's life. It's available via AK Press, in britain or the us. it's also rather inspirational. this book was a really good read after reading Christie's "Granny made me an anarchist". It is a biography written by an amazing historian of the anti-fascist resistance in Spain. I liked the book a lot because it did a good job filling in the personal, political, and historical aspects of sabate's life. It's available via AK Press, in britain or the us. it's also rather inspirational.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    A gripping story, showing that the most powerful anarchist movement still produced exceptional figures after its sudden decline in 1936. A sad new era was entered but dreams of insurrection survived.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Viola

    Barcelona 1936 Hugo Dewar Woke one bright morning – not so long ago – heard the sound of shooting from the street below. Went to the window and saw the barricade of paving stones the workingmen had made – not so long ago. Met a man that morning – not so long ago – handed me a leaflet, on the street below. Lean and hard-faced workingman with a close-cropped head – held me for a moment eye-to-eye, then said: Read it, read it, read it, and learn what it is we fight for, why the churches burn. Down on the Ramb Barcelona 1936 Hugo Dewar Woke one bright morning – not so long ago – heard the sound of shooting from the street below. Went to the window and saw the barricade of paving stones the workingmen had made – not so long ago. Met a man that morning – not so long ago – handed me a leaflet, on the street below. Lean and hard-faced workingman with a close-cropped head – held me for a moment eye-to-eye, then said: Read it, read it, read it, and learn what it is we fight for, why the churches burn. Down on the Ramblas, she passed me on her way, weapon cradled in her arm – it was but yesterday. Not just for wages now, not alone for bread – we’re fighting for a whole new world, a whole new world, she said. On the barricades all over town – not so long ago – they knew the time had come to answer with a simple Yes and No. They too were storming heaven – do you think they fought in vain; that because they lost a battle they would never rise again; that the man with the leaflets, the woman with a gun, did not have a daughter, did not have a son? Hugo Dewar (1908-1980) This poem first appeared in Socialist Worker (23 August 1975). Two fragments appear in Soil of Liberty (Minneapolis) v.2, n.4 (undated but advertising events in July 1976): ‘Down on the Ramblas’ to ‘she said’ and ‘They too were storming heaven’ to end appear as boxes in ‘The CNT, a history of struggle’ by Jess Gordon. The poem was reprinted in Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review #3 (Autumn 1977). It was then quoted in various anarchist publications (The Sheffield Anarchist, Land and Liberty: Anarchist influences in the Mexican Revolution) before being published by Dewar in a collection of poems: Arsy-Versy World (Bookmarks, London, 1981). The 1981 version lacks ‘bright’ in the first line but has better line-breaks (which are used above). Anarchists obviously took to this evocation of the Spanish revolution, despite the fact that Dewar was a Trotskyist. It makes a connection of historic struggles with current ones. It’s telling that Dewar meets two people, and that they interrupt their journeys to have their say, before he looks at the big picture. The morning setting matches the hopeful theme. The poem does carry (why wouldn’t it?) signs of when it was written. Were many militants busy writing and handing out leaflets explaining what was going on, on the morning of the 19th of July as the revolution got going? ... Unlikely, but Dewar’s ‘Lean and hard-faced workingman’ is meant to reach out to us, across the years, with his message. And he forms a counterpoint to the (historically accurate) ‘woman with a gun’ who surely represented ‘a whole new world’ to people in the 1970s as much as she did in the 1930s. All that without making them seem as if they’re just there to repeat someone else’s historic slogans. You try and tell me which one is supposed to be a symbol of the destructive aspect of the revolution, and which the constructive! https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2...

  9. 4 out of 5

    R. Reddebrek

    A short but engaging read about a chapter of Spanish history that is often overlooked. While the focus is on Sabate, the book does cover some important features of the period, the attempt by Franco to replace the organisations that were crushed by the civil war, the collaboration between the French and Spanish authorities making the fight for a free Spain much harder, and infighting and issues within the exile CNT. It also reads at many times as heist movie with some daring and improvised schemes A short but engaging read about a chapter of Spanish history that is often overlooked. While the focus is on Sabate, the book does cover some important features of the period, the attempt by Franco to replace the organisations that were crushed by the civil war, the collaboration between the French and Spanish authorities making the fight for a free Spain much harder, and infighting and issues within the exile CNT. It also reads at many times as heist movie with some daring and improvised schemes, shootouts, police stings and escapes through alleys and the countryside.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joachim

    amazing

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rog Harrison

    I used to own a copy of this but must have lost it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Al Capwned

    Quite interesting and it gives some pretty good information but overall it's too sentimental. It feels like reading a novel and not a biography. Quite interesting and it gives some pretty good information but overall it's too sentimental. It feels like reading a novel and not a biography.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Martin

    Totally romanticizes revolution and those involved in the Spanish Civil War, but fun to read just the same. Riot porn in text.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Freddgg

  15. 4 out of 5

    Black Spring

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rone

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  21. 4 out of 5

    Max

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rach

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eben Buenaventura

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Minshull

  26. 4 out of 5

    impact

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  29. 4 out of 5

    grackle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  31. 5 out of 5

    Truck Dee

  32. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  33. 5 out of 5

    dusty

  34. 5 out of 5

    Mirza Sultan-Galiev

  35. 5 out of 5

    abclaret

  36. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  37. 4 out of 5

    tout

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  39. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena

  40. 5 out of 5

    W

  41. 5 out of 5

    AK Press

  42. 5 out of 5

    korga

  43. 5 out of 5

    foxfire

  44. 5 out of 5

    Siggi

  45. 5 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  46. 5 out of 5

    James

  47. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

  48. 4 out of 5

    Frédéric Vachon

  49. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie McGarrah

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