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Peace signs of our times


JAMES MANN has produced a wonderful book of original anti-war posters from around the world. The book is co-written with Nicolas Lampert and has an introduction by veteran US campaigner Howard Zinn. It makes a powerful case for politically committed art.

Dark truth of romantic age


MARY QUEEN of Scots may seem a strange subject for Jimmy McGovern's new BBC drama. McGovern is well known for writing that exposes prejudice and oppression. He has consistently championed left wing causes, while at the same time becoming a highly successful writer on series like Cracker.

The horrors and triumphs of death


Star of the Sea By Joseph O'Connor £6.99

A new weapon in the fight to stop the war


"THIS NEW video will be an excellent resource for people to use in Stop the War meetings," says school student and anti-war activist Ed Cope from Cambridge. "The makers of this film have managed to bring together material from leading members of the anti-war movement. It slots together interviews with footage from British news and Al Jazeera and film from the Vietnam War. "The nasty face of US and British imperialism is portrayed with powerful images. Nothing is more disturbing than the images from Iraq-the scalps of children in pools of blood, burnt bodies in crushed cars and men being thrust to the ground by soldiers, with plastic sacks over their heads and their hands bound behind

Novel that packs a punch


'TONY BLAIR'S New Labour was being returned to power for a second term by an apathetic landslide. "People voted for them because there didn't seem to be a credible alternative. In the country Blair's government would now oversee, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider. The fatally dilapidated railway infrastructure, the crisis in education, in housing, in health, in social welfare. Funding withdrawn, never returned. Thatcher's legacy-time bombs exploding all over the country."

The road to Dunkirk


THE BBC may well feel its back is against the wall in its battle with New Labour over coverage of the Iraq war. But the corporation must be on safer ground with another conflict, World War Two.

Laughing at the liars


DARIO FO is the author of radical theatre classics such as Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can't Pay? Won't Pay! During Fo's 50-year career he has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature-but he has also been arrested, had his house firebombed and been tried dozens of times for blasphemy and libel.

A band heading left as the crow flies


CD

Rembrandt and revolution: Revolt that shaped a new kind of art


THE NEW film Girl With A Pearl Earring about the Dutch artist Vermeer has provoked interest in the life and society of the great Dutch painters. JOHN MOLYNEUX looks at the reasons why Dutch society produced a flowering of great art in the 17th century.

Did you go on strike, mum?


SOME 200 years of struggle by working people in Britain is the theme for a new website which the Trades Union Congress has helped put together. "The Union Makes Us Strong-TUC History Online" covers the years 1815 to 2000. Its motivation is the fact that "trade unions have played and continue to play a decisive role in shaping economic and social developments in Britain. Yet much of their history is at present unknown and inaccessible to the public."

Evil Empire


ARUNDHATI ROY says, "Fiction dances out of me. Non-fiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning." In every essay in this collection you will find the same passion, clarity and rage as in her inspiring call to action at the opening ceremony of the World Social Forum last month.

They try to keep us frightened


Your book about the intelligence services has just been reprinted. Why did you write the book?

Punky Beatles from Motown city


CD - Elephant

Another country music is possible


Country music icon Willie Nelson has just written a protest song against the war in Iraq. He hopes it will stir the passions in those who hear it.

Shameless | Girl with a Pearl Earring


No shame in this artistic licence THE CHAOS runs thick and fast through the opening scenes of this outrageously funny new drama from Paul Abbott (creator of State of Play and Alibi).

Hit squad


ALL THOSE who oppose the US war on Iraq should try to get to a performance of the play Pugilist Specialist. Performed by US theatre ensemble Riot Group, the play has just begun an extensive tour of Britain and Ireland.

Irresistible Revolutionaries


Do you think there has been a radicalisation in music in the US?

Lies exposed and a blast against the liars


Book

Screening a time of revolt


THE GREAT rebellions of 1968 inspired many innovative and exciting films. The National Film Theatre in London is showing a season of films inspired by 1968. But don't worry if you can't make it-some of the best are available on video or DVD, and some are shown regularly on TV.

Frankenstein: birth of a monster


Frankenstein's monster is one of the most enduring ghouls of horror books and films.

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