Resist: Stories of Uprising

Edited by Ra Page

 We live in a golden era of protest. From the anti-gun rallies in the US, to the March of Return demos in Palestine, people are taking to the streets around the globe, standing up to governments that have fallen out of step with the popular mood. As Britain teeters over the brink of Brexit, it has never been more important to re-engage with its own long history of popular resistance.

Building on the success of Comma’s previous project, Protest, this anthology challenges 20 acclaimed authors to get under the skin of key moments of British protest, working closely with historians, crowd scientists, and activists. From Boudicea’s revolt against Roman occupation in 45 AD to the protests that followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, these stories reimagine each event through the eyes of the people involved, and take in every form of resistance - from the letter-writing campaigns of Caroline Norton (who single-handedly reformed child custody laws in the 19th century), to plots to overthrow governments, peaceful demos turned violent by bad policing, and all-out riots. Each story is followed by an afterword by the specialist who consulted on it, setting the event in a wider, historical context.

Bidisha with Prof. Richard Hingley on BOUDICCA's RISING, 60 AD
SJ Bradley with Prof. John Walter on the OXFORDSHIRE RISING, 1596
Martin Edwards with Dr. Robert Poole on PETERLOO, 1819
Kamila Shamsie with Prof. Malcolm Chase on the CATO STREET CONSPIRACY, 1820
Anna Lewis with Dr. Richard C. Allen on MERTHYR RISING, 1831
Kim Squirrell with Dr. Marcus Morris on the TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS, 1834 
Eley Williams with Dr. Rhian E. Jones on the REBECCA RIOTS, 1839
Lucy Caldwell with Dr. Ben Griffin on CAROLINE NORTON, 1839
Uschi Gatward with Dave Steele on the GREAT CHARTIST MEETING, 1848
Jude Brown with Dr. Mark O'Brien on the LIVERPOOL TRANSPORT STRIKE, 1911
Donny O'Rourke with Prof. Billy Kenefick & Dr. Jim Philips on the BATTLE OF GEORGE SQUARE, 1919 
Steve Chambers with David Rosenberg on the BATTLE OF CABLE STREET, 1936 
Karline Smith with Dr. Kenny Monrose on the NOTTING HILL RIOTS, 1958
Luan Goldie with Dr. Jonathan Moss on the FORD DAGENHAM WOMEN'S STRIKE, 1968
Irfan Master with Suresh Grover on BLAIR PEACH, 1979 
Lucas Stewart with Mike Carden on the LIVERPOOL DOCKERS DISPUTE, 1995
Gaia Holmes with Dr. Chris Cocking on the NEWBURY BYPASS PROTEST, 1996
Zoe Lambert with Jo Blackman on SEEDS OF HOPE, 1996
Nikita Lalwani with Dr. Roger Ball on the MARK DUGGAN RIOTS, 2011
Julia Bell with Seraphima Kennedy on GRENFELL, 2017

This project has been supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman-Miliband Trust, as well as Arts Council England.

[provisional cover]


One of The Guardian Bookshop's 'Ones to Watch' September 2019 - shop HERE! 

'It's historic and new, it reflects while questioning the current day, it offers a fictional exploration and a grounded real world context.' - The Skinny

Read Eley Williams' story on the Rebecca Riots, featured in The Times Literary Supplement.

Read about Karline Smith's story "The Whistling Bird" in The Voice.

Watch the preview event at Hay Festival 2019 on Hay Player, featuring Eley Williams, Bidisha and Zoe Lambert. (£)

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Book Details

17 Oct 2019