Magazine article Tikkun

The London Years

Magazine article Tikkun

The London Years

Article excerpt

Capsule Reviews The London Years, by Rudolph Rocker. AK Press, 2005.

It's hard to imagine a better role model than the protagonist of The London Years. The narrator of this autobiography is an absurdly hard-working soul with the song of freedom in his heart. Whether stepping in to save Yiddish-language publishing in pre-World War I Great Britain even though he barely knows the language, or subordinating his global aspirations to the local demands of East End sweatshop workers, Rudolph Rocker is a down-to-earth hero who blows his horn best by muting it.

The reader with a soft spot for progressive politics will be hard-pressed to avoid falling in love with him. This is one case, though, when passion seems thoroughly justified. TIKKUN readers will thrill at Rocker's tales of political organizing among the destitute Eastern European Jews who came to England to escape persecution in their homelands. Though Rocker's prose is more workmanlike than wondrous, the style suits his story perfectly.

It helps greatly that he is so generous of spirit. As Rocker recounts his wide-ranging experiences as a political activist and publisher, he goes out of his way to show solidarity with progressives of every stripe. …

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