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sabot Wooden Shoe Books: anarchist and radical literature
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Book Reviews ...

Reviewed: Clandestines: the Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile by Ramor Ryan
Review by: James Generic

I never thought I would enjoy a travel journal, but Ramor Ryan changed my mind. At first I thought it was going to be an over-romantic story of this guy travelling around the world in order to avoid himself, in the way that a lot of Crimethinc type of stuff reads. I'm really not into that kind of stuff. However, he really surprised me, and I'm ashamed I thought that of him in the first place in association with Crimethinc, because this guy is a real character, a great writer, and no one can call him fake for leaving out the messy details. In fact, read about his review of the two different "Days of War and Nights of Love" (one by Crimethinc, and one by Eduardo Galeano) online.

In the great tradition of Irish story-tellers, Ryan recalls experiences from the squats of West Berlin, the war zone of Kurdistan, the revolution and post-revolution repression in Nicauragua, his youth in Ireland watching the British army attack a Republican demonstration, and much more. He is an exile from his native land, moving from situations of struggle across the planet with a keen analysis of each. Ryan left Ireland in the 1980s for Nicaragua to help defend the Revolution there, and ended up seeing the Sandinistas crumble under the might of the US-funded Contras, alienating Indigenous peoples struggling for autonomy in the process. He remarks that a generation of international solidarity activists in the 1980s got their start in Nicaragua; much like many saw the same in Chiapas in the 1990s.

If you've never heard of Ramor Ryan, look him up. I would love to meet him, because this guy has such a wealth of information and has seen so much without thinking he is better than anyone else for having done so. He brings a personal touch to bloody places stormed by revolution, repression, and fights for a better world. By the end of it, I thought to myself that he had really lived his life thus far to the fullest, and brought a whole new meaning to what I thought of as an "international solidarity" activist. Much of what he writes is exciting in that revolutionary situations are very much within reach, but at the same time depressing when he discusses the aftermath in the case of defeat (like in Kurdistan or in Nicaragua).

If you want to find an inspirational person, you have to meet Ramor Ryan by reading his Clandestines.

Wooden Shoe Books • 508 S. 5th Street • Philadelphia, PA 19147 • • (215) 413-0999