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José Peirats Valls


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José Peirats Valls was born in Vall d'Uxó in the province of Castellón on March 15, 1908 and died in Burriana near his place of birth on August 20, 1989. Of working-class origins, he started working at age eight. He received some primary education at the Rationalist School of Barcelona and attended night school from 1924 onward. At age fourteen, he joined the anarcho-syndicalist movement. Although he baked tiles for a living, he studied independently and soon began writing. He published his first articles in the bulletin for the union of construction workers and subsequently contributed to periodicals such as Ética, La Revista Blanca and Tierra y Libertad. From 1934 until early 1936, he was a journalist for Solidaridad Obrera. He was schooled in journalism prior to this by Felipe Aláiz, who got him onto Solidaridad Obrera. During the periods that the censors prohibited the paper's publication, he supported himself through construction work. 

In the interview that appeared in El movimiento libertario español, he described his activities in the years preceding the Civil War: "As a member of the CNT, I did a little bit of everything." He addressed meetings and gatherings, served on committees, drafted manifestos, organized strikes and handled guns and explosives when the need arose. At congresses he represented fairly orthodox views within the movement. In addition to his work for the union and the newspaper, he was deeply interested in the educational work at libraries and ateneos and believed that the organization of the Libertarian Youth (which he co-founded in 1932) was dedicated both to defending social causes and to raising anarchist awareness. After the war he helped establish the Ateneo Español in Toulouse in 1959. He also wrote several plays and novellas. 

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The CNT in the Spanish Revolution Volume 1
Written by José Peirats
Edited and Introduced by Chris Ealham
Translated by Paul Sharkey
Publisher: PM Press / Christie Books
Released: March 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60486-207-2
Format: Paperback
Pages: 324
Package Size: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, History
$28.00

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is the history of one of the most original and audacious, and arguably also the most far-reaching, of all the twentieth-century revolutions. It is the history of the giddy years of political change and hope in 1930s Spain, when the so-called ‘Generation of ’36’, Peirats’ own generation, rose up against the oppressive structures of Spanish society. It is also a history of a revolution that failed, crushed in the jaws of its enemies on both the reformist left and the reactionary right.

José Peirats’ account is effectively the official CNT history of the war, passionate, partisan but, above all, intelligent. Its huge sweeping canvas covers all areas of the anarchist experience--the spontaneous militias, the revolutionary collectives, the moral dilemmas occasioned by the clash of revolutionary ideals and the stark reality of the war effort against Franco and his German Nazi and Italian Fascist allies.

This new edition is carefully indexed in a way that converts the work into a usable tool for historians and makes it much easier for the general reader to dip in with greater purpose and pleasure.

Praise:

"José Peirats’ The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is a landmark in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War... Originally published in Toulouse in the early 1950s, it was a rarity anxiously searched for by historians and others who gleefully pillaged its wealth of documentation. Even its republication in Paris in 1971 by the exiled Spanish publishing house, Ruedo Ibérico, though welcome, still left the book in the territory of specialists. For that reason alone, the present project to publish the entire work in English is to be applauded." --Professor Paul Preston, London School of Economics

"...this is a wonderful work and an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of the CNT and the Spanish revolution. Indeed, reading Peiriats work you see how much other historians (and other anarchists) have lifted from it in their books. It is great to finally have the work available in English." --www.struggle.ws

"For those whose field of study is modern Spain, this is indeed an obligatory purchase. Given that this edition has been indexed and footnoted it may prove more useful to scholars than the original Spanish-language editions." --Kate Sharpley Library

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution Volume 2

Written by José Peirats with Introduction by Chris Ealham
Publisher: PM Press
Released: April 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60486-208-9
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
Package Size: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, History
$22.95

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is the history of one of the most original and audacious, and arguably also the most far-reaching, of all the twentieth-century revolutions. It is the history of the giddy years of political change and hope in 1930s Spain, when the so-called ‘Generation of ’36’, Peirats’ own generation, rose up against the oppressive structures of Spanish society. It is also a history of a revolution that failed, crushed in the jaws of its enemies on both the reformist left and the reactionary right.

José Peirats’ account is effectively the official CNT history of the war, passionate, partisan but, above all, intelligent. Its huge sweeping canvas covers all areas of the anarchist experience – the spontaneous militias, the revolutionary collectives, the moral dilemmas occasioned by the clash of revolutionary ideals and the stark reality of the war effort against Franco and his German Nazi and Italian Fascist allies. Volume 2 focuses on the battles raging at both the front and rear guards. Additionally, a biographical chapter, "The Life and Struggles of José Peirats" gives a great deal of insight into this CNT fighter and historian.

This new edition is carefully indexed in a way that converts the work into a usable tool for historians and makes it much easier for the general reader to dip in with greater purpose and pleasure.

Praise:

"José Peirats’ The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is a landmark in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War... Originally published in Toulouse in the early 1950s, it was a rarity anxiously searched for by historians and others who gleefully pillaged its wealth of documentation. Even its republication in Paris in 1971 by the exiled Spanish publishing house, Ruedo Ibérico, though welcome, still left the book in the territory of specialists. For that reason alone, the present project to publish the entire work in English is to be applauded." —Professor Paul Preston, London School of Economics

"...this is a wonderful work and an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of the CNT and the Spanish revolution. Indeed, reading Peiriats work you see how much other historians (and other anarchists) have lifted from it in their books. It is great to finally have the work available in English." —www.struggle.ws

"For those whose field of study is modern Spain, this is indeed an obligatory purchase. Given that this edition has been indexed and footnoted it may prove more useful to scholars than the original Spanish-language editions." —Kate Sharpley Library

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution Volume 3

Written by José Peirats
Introduction by: Chris Ealham
Publisher: PM Press
Released: April 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60486-209-6
Format: Paperback
Pages: 296
Package Size: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, History
$22.95

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is the history of one of the most original and audacious, and arguably also the most far-reaching, of all the twentieth-century revolutions. It is the history of the giddy years of political change and hope in 1930s Spain, when the so-called ‘Generation of ’36’, Peirats’ own generation, rose up against the oppressive structures of Spanish society. It is also a history of a revolution that failed, crushed in the jaws of its enemies on both the reformist left and the reactionary right.

José Peirats’ account is effectively the official CNT history of the war, passionate, partisan but, above all, intelligent. Its huge sweeping canvas covers all areas of the anarchist experience – the spontaneous militias, the revolutionary collectives, the moral dilemmas occasioned by the clash of revolutionary ideals and the stark reality of the war effort against Franco and his German Nazi and Italian Fascist allies. Volume 3 tells of the CNT's last push for the anarchist revolution in Spain, and the crushing defeat of the wide ranging activities of the CNT.  An additional chapter surveys "The History of Spanish Anarchism in the English Language."

This new edition is carefully indexed in a way that converts the work into a usable tool for historians and makes it much easier for the general reader to dip in with greater purpose and pleasure.

Praise:

"José Peirats’ The CNT in the Spanish Revolution is a landmark in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War... Originally published in Toulouse in the early 1950s, it was a rarity anxiously searched for by historians and others who gleefully pillaged its wealth of documentation. Even its republication in Paris in 1971 by the exiled Spanish publishing house, Ruedo Ibérico, though welcome, still left the book in the territory of specialists. For that reason alone, the present project to publish the entire work in English is to be applauded." —Professor Paul Preston, London School of Economics

"...this is a wonderful work and an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of the CNT and the Spanish revolution. Indeed, reading Peiriats work you see how much other historians (and other anarchists) have lifted from it in their books. It is great to finally have the work available in English." —www.struggle.ws

"For those whose field of study is modern Spain, this is indeed an obligatory purchase. Given that this edition has been indexed and footnoted it may prove more useful to scholars than the original Spanish-language editions." —Kate Sharpley Library

Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top

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cntSpain: model for anarchist organizing
by David Porter
The 5th Estate
Spring 2012

This volume, translated by Paul Sharkey and Chris Ealham and extensively edited by the latter, provides exception- ally well documented insight into the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist movement’s first tumultuous decades as well as its internal ideological struggles and organizational variety.

It continues with the CNT’s initial experience in fighting Spanish fascist/Nationalist forces while simultaneously constructing the beginnings of libertarian communism in the Civil War and Revolution of the 1930s.

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