Pistoleros! 2: 1919 is the second volume of the memoirs and notebooks of Farquhar McHarg, a seventy-six-year-old anarchist from the Govan district of Glasgow.
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Pistoleros! 2: 1919 is the second volume of the memoirs and notebooks of Farquhar McHarg, a seventy-six-year-old anarchist from the Govan district of Glasgow, the writing of which was prompted by the murder, in October 1976, of his lifelong friend, Laureano Cerrada Santos. McHarg’s Chronicles record his evolving beliefs, sense of mission and the remarkable adventures he experienced from the day he sailed into the port of Barcelona in 1918, a naïve but idealistic eighteen-year-old, and 1924, when he and his comrades of the Los Solidarios anarchist group escaped into exile across the Pyrenees in the wake of the Mussolini-style coup d’état of General Primo de Rivera.
Praise for The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg: ¡Pistoleros! Series
Having known Farquhar McHarg in his prime, and despaired of him ever putting down on paper his extraordinary experiences, I am delighted that he has finally done so. Glasgow’s answer to Victor Serge has produced a document of remarkable value, so grippingly written that one might almost think it was a novel.”
— Professor Paul Preston, historian, Hispanist and Principe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies, LSE
“What a remarkable and rollicking tale Farquar McHarg has to tell, one that will fascinate anyone interested in anarchy, life, love, Scotland, Spain and the world. When we met very briefly in the late sixties in Les Deux Magots in Paris, he kept a bunch of us entranced with his adventures—then he borrowed some francs off me to buy his round and must have lost his way back to the table for I never saw him again. What a treat to be able to read those stories in all their vivid historical splendour at last.”
— Duncan Campbell, journalist (The Guardian—former senior reporter, Los Angeles’ and crime correspondent), author of The Paradise Trail, and screenwriter
A young boy casts his fate with the wretched of the earth, leaps onto the back of the mad bull that will become the Twentieth Century, and holds on for dear life . . .’
— Bill Ayers, cofounder of the Weather Underground
“…A rare plunge into the dark whirlpool of politics, passion and intrigue that swirled around the docks, bars and tenements of Barcelona in 1918. B. Traven would be envious of McHarg’s skill in re-creating the dangers and treachery of the times with such historical accuracy. The story is a fascinating bildungsroman; a young Scots seaman has hardly set foot on shore before he is caught up in the maelstrom. Chance encounters with charismatic characters of Barcelona’s anarchist movement combined with tests of his resolve bring about the dawning of his own political consciousness and commitment. It is above all a richly-textured adventure story, refreshing in its humour and in its illuminating depiction of life in a period and place that will be unfamiliar to many readers of British fiction. ¡Pistoleros! is a crack shot that rings out to remind us of times that were less bland.”
— Pauline Melville, writer, actress and author of Shape-Shifter, The Ventriloquist’s Tale, The Migration of Ghosts and Eating Air
“A fact-packed history of anarchist struggle against the Spanish Catholic Church and state written by a Glaswegian whose revolutionary syndicalism is felt to be partly the inheritance of ‘the Presbyterian and Covenanting tradition’ in which he was brought up. As such this instructive and entertaining memoir is not only both a kind of retrospective ‘prequel’ to the story and ideas of Stuart Christie’s excellent Granny Made me an Anarchist, but its Scottish antecedents also take in not only the anarchism of Guy Aldred, but the polemical and committed covenanting history of John Galt’s great novel Ringan Gilhaize.”
— Tom Leonard, poet, professor and author of outside the narrative. Poems 1965-2009
‘This splendid memoir is marred only be some carelessness in the caption writing that (for example) misdates a picture of Clyde pleasure steamers to a much later epoch.’
— Ian Jack, journalist,