Wednesday 8 June, 7pm
Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX (2 mins walk from Kings Cross station)
Ngo Van joined the struggle against the French colonial regime in Vietnam as a teenager in the 1920s, suffering imprisonment and hardship. But when revolution swept Vietnam at the end of the second world war, the Stalinists of the Vietnamese Communist Party took control and tried physically to eliminate other socialists and anti-colonialists. Van escaped this massacre, in which many of his comrades were murdered. From 1948 he lived in exile in Paris, where he took a factory job and participated in workers’ movements before, during and after the 1968 general strike. [See here for a short online biography.]
Van, who died in 2005, wrote extensively about Vietnamese worker and peasant resistance, both to French colonialism and to Ho Chi Minh’s brand of Stalinism, helping to hand that history on to later generations.
In The Crossfire, published by AK Press, is the English edition of Ngo Van’s autobiography.
Hilary Horrocks, one of the book’s translators, will talk about this unique eye-witness account of a little-known aspect of the anti-colonial struggle, and read from Van’s vivid story of secret meetings, arrests, torture, battles and insurrection. Simon Pirani, who researched the history of Vietnamese Trotskyism and edited some of Van’s earlier English-language publications, will also speak. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion from all.
Entry: £3, redeemable against any purchase
Enquiries 07947 031268. Housmans 020 7837 4473, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are publicising this talk, but it is not organised by The Commune.