Monday 4 December 2023

Lives. Books.

In the late 1970s I sat in Fulham town hall listening to Bruce Kent (CND) ask Richard Harries (who wrote on the ‘just war’ and later became Bishop of Oxford): Do the personal moral values and standards we ask of our friends also apply to politicians, or do they get a realpolitik get-out clause?

Palestine. Israel. I cannot speak on behalf of all the writers I publish, I am not their elected representative, but by definition a publisher operates in public so, for the record: damn the State of Israel’s apartheid and barbarous actions, and damn Hamas, whose own actions are those of a death cult. And damn, too, political leaders in my country and elsewhere who are prepared to accept indefinite killing and mutilation of women and children in the interests of what, precisely?

Books. A free copy of Leila Berg’s Flickerbook, which is one of CBe’s touchstone books, will be sent with the next 12 online orders. Berg: immigrant Jewish family, Manchester, defiantly left-wing and an activist for the welfare of children all her life.

Tony Lurcock’s Uncommon Places, a commonplace book by the author/compiler of a trilogy of books about Finland published by CBe that stretched to four volumes, was recommended in the TLS last week; it’s not a CBe book but is available from the website.

Books alone do not save lives. But they are voices too and my work is to get some of them heard. Either for yourself or as a present for others, see the Season Tickets on the website home page: 6 books of your own choice for £45, or 12 for £80.

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