It feels a little strange, inappropriate almost, to buy from a second-hand bookshop copies of political papers that I would have bought at the time for a few pence. I suppose it's almost a way of communing with my own past.
Anyway, while sifting around in a cardboard box marked 'Anarchy' at Black Gull Books in East Finchley at the weekend, I came across complete (I think) runs of two of the most innovative anarchist monthlies of the 1970s. Wildcat got going in September 1974 and ran for ten issues; Zero, put out by much the same bunch of people, I think, though with more emphasis on feminism, started publication in June 1977 and persisted - with increasing irregularity - for seven issues.
Strange to say, I still have the odd copy of these titles that I bought back in the day - though most of what I picked up ended up deposited at the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick, including six issues of Wildcat and five of Zero.
So most of what I've just bought I once had - and I guess my latest purchase will, I trust many years hence, end up in a library or archive somewhere.
Having said all that, I am very happy to have a complete set, in great condition, of these really rather stylish and important papers, in design influenced by the alternative press and in agenda by the libertarian left - notable too for their keen sense of, and engagement with, the past.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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