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Apropos of a Foreword

GÓMEZ, Freddy. "José Peirats’s Second Death"

Friday 31 December 2010, by ps

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... or How Enric Ucelay Da Cal, eminent representative of academia,
in his foreword to José Peirats’s Memoirs,
has invented a brand new method of intellectual execution: post mortem abuse

José Peirats (1908-1989), who was a brick-maker and worker-journalist before
becoming one of the finest experts in Spanish anarchism, has often been cited in the
columns of A Contretemps, and there are at least two reasons for that. One, because
during the 1930s his role as a militant (he being on the editorial panel of Solidaridad
Obrera at the time) placed him right at the heart of the “revolutionary gymnastics” that
were to culminate in July 1936 in a revolutionary process of unparalleled dimensions.
at revolution which even now continues to feed — as well as question — the
libertarian imagination. Peirats saw its dawning and later witnessed its inexorable
petering out as it found itself trapped in the hellish logic of warfare. Two, because he
made up him mind to become its painstaking historian and in the 1950s produced a
critical work of immense analytical and documentary merits—La CNT en la revolución
española1— a crucial accomplishment for that time. e impeccable rectitude he
demonstrated at times when at various points in its history the CNT trespassed against
the fundamental principles by which it was governed, and the intellectual rigour with
which he strove to fathom the reasons for such deviations made Peirats a most
extraordinary individual and, without question, one of the most praiseworthy
representatives of a generation of activists since deceased.

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