As an historian, Baruch Hirson will be remembered for a series of beautifully
written and passionately argued books about the political formation of South African
labour. As a teacher, he has inspired a generation of writers who have tried to
examine South African history from below, from the point of view of those who are
normally considered its victims.
Professor Tom Lodge, in the Foreword to Revolutions in My Life
All prices plus postage and packing. The first two volumes are available mail order using a credit card, from
Porcupine Bookcellar, 5 Caledonian Rd, London, N1 9DX
telephone 0171 837 4473
or direct from the author (using cheques denoted in £ sterling or IMO) at
13 Talbot Ave, London, N2 0LS (add £ 1.00 p&p outside UK)
or email via Revolutionary History
The Delegate For Africa, Life and Times of David Ivon Jones, 1883-1994
Core Publications, 1995, £ 8.50
With Gwyn Williams
A study of the life of David Ivon Jones, the eminence grise behind the formation of the Communist Party of South Africa, based entirely on new material.
Strike Across the Empire,
The Seaman's Strike of 1925 in Britain, South Africa and Australasia,
Clio Publications, 1992, £ 5.50
With Lorriane Vivien
On 1 August 1925, British merchant seaman paralysed the world's most powerful merchant fleet in defiance of their bosses and their union. The strike followed a 10% wage cut offered to the shipowners by the seaman union's leader Havelock Wilson.
The strikers faced insuperable difficulties. Their union condemned them and recruited crews for the bosses. Only the Communist led National Minority Movement called for a strike committee in London. By mid August the strike was nearing collapse as fully crewed ships left port. Then, on 20 August, when they arrived in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the ships were immobilised as crews refused further duties. Only when the crews in South Africa finally surrendered did the strike committee in London concede defeat.
There are chapters on the events in London and each Dominion, on racism and corruption in the unions, and on the impact of the workers in each country.
Revolutions in My Life
The autobiography of Baruch Hirson,
published by Witwatersrand and University College London Press.
ISBN 1-86814-255-8. 365pp
In 1964 Baruch Hirson was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for his part in the activities of the African Resistance Movement. In this lively autobiography Hirson traces his life from its early days in Johannesburg's immigrant Jewish community through the prison experience to exile in England.
Available through commercial channels only, NOT direct from the author, but can be ordered from any good bookshop, £ 12.95
The following are believed to be out of print at present :
Yours for the Union
Class and Community Struggles in South Africa,
published by Zed Books Ltd and Witwatersrand University Press, 1989
ISBN 0-86232-370-3 Pbk
A major history of the black working class in South Africa. Drawing on previously unpublished or inaccessibe materials, it covers the period 1930 - 47, when rapid industrialisation was creating a huge increase in the working class. Uncontrolled urbanisation generated the vast shanty towns around the big industrial centres. In addition to descriptions of unionisation struggles in the factories and mines, this book presents accounts of squatting campaigns and mobilisations of domestic workers and rural peasants, giving a new and broader understanding the the history of the class.
Year of Fire, Year of Ash
published by Zed Press, London, 1979
A highly regarded account of the 1976 Soweto uprising which was widely read in South Africa during Hirson's exile in London.
[Thanks to Ted Crawford for providing the data for this section]