The Village Against The World

The Village Against The World

by Dan Hancox
     
 

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The story of a village that dreamed of a better future, and won.

For the last thirty-five years the small Andalusian village of Marinaleda has been the centre of a tireless struggle to create a living utopia. Dan Hancox reveals the fascinating history of a community that seized the land owned by wealthy aristocrats in order to work

Overview

The story of a village that dreamed of a better future, and won.

For the last thirty-five years the small Andalusian village of Marinaleda has been the centre of a tireless struggle to create a living utopia. Dan Hancox reveals the fascinating history of a community that seized the land owned by wealthy aristocrats in order to work it themselves. Since the 1980s, led by the charismatic mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, the villagers have been fighting for a better life. But as the economic crisis started to bite, how long could the utopia hold on to its dreams?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
Marinaleda, a small village in Andalusia, Spain, gained international notoriety in 2012, when its citizens, led by their revolutionary mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, raided supermarkets to feed the poor. Hancox, a British journalist, traveled to the "communist utopia" to research its history, politics and culture. With a lighthearted hand, the author portrays an alternate reality to both late capitalism and the dictatorial communism of the former Soviet Union and China. The book chronicles Marinaleda's 30-year struggle for "land and freedom," and how its extraordinary government and social system—grounded in owning and farming the land, providing collective work and affordable home ownership, transforming religious holidays into cultural celebrations—is uniquely suited to "the peasant pueblas of Andalusia, and their remarkably deep-seated tendency toward anarchism." Though he has an obvious affinity for the village, Hancox unearths its weaknesses and contradictions; among these are its financial problems and precarious political system. This provocative depiction of the vision and tenacity of this social experiment should stretch the imaginations and raise the hackles of progressives and entrenched capitalists alike. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"A thoughtful, take-nothing-for-granted account ... this engaging book is as much a study of idealism in practice as it is of life in a highly unusual pueblo. The respectful, intelligent writing places the villagers at the centre of their own story—and that story is fascinating." —New Statesman

"Hancox captures the optimism necessary for alternative ways of doing politics, economics and living together. As the borderline between dream and reality shimmers in the heat of Andalucia, we begin to wonder if living as if change were indeed possible is the very key to making actual change happen. Do we really have any other choice?"—Suzanne Moore, The Guardian

"It sounds like science fiction: a small rural town led by a charismatic mayor tries to turn itself into a communist utopia. But it’s fact—it’s happening right now in Andalucia, and colliding with the region’s real-world history of violent rebellion and radicalism. Hancox’s book could not be more timely—with Spain on the brink of social crisis and the shadows of the past emerging."—Paul Mason, author of Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere

"Dan Hancox’s The Village Against the World is, for lack of a better word, awesome. ... Hancox’s book reads like something one might find on the New York Times best-seller list if it weren’t for its subject matter: the anti-authoritarian shenanigans of a Communist village and it’s Robin Hood mayor. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in radical movements like Occupy Wall Street or the Zapatistas."—Critical-theory.com
 
“full of lively and genuinely inspiring detail”—David Edgar, The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781781681305
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,273,521
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Dan Hancox is a journalist who has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman, Independent, Frieze, New Inquiry, National, Dazed & Confused, Q magazine, Mute and the Wire. He is the author of two ebooks: Kettled Youth and Utopia and the Valley of Dreams.

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