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Common Cause by Francis Combes

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Poetry on the history of utopia, revolution and hope, introduced by Booker Prize-winning author John Berger.

"Communism," wrote Brecht, "is the simple idea so hard to achieve." Common Cause tells the hard story of this simple idea, from the Garden of Eden to the French Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Common Cause is a ‘history of the defeated’, a book about enthusiasm and illusion, heroes and martyrs, saints and sinners. It is an epic, a tragedy and a manifesto for the utopian imagination. Translated by Alan Dent.

The French poet Francis Combes has published fifteen books of poetry, including La Fabrique du BonheurCause CommuneLe Carnet Bleu de Chine and La Clef du Monde est dans l’Entrée à Gauche. He has translated several poets into French, including Heine, Brecht, Mayakovsky and Attila Joszef. He has also published two novels and, with his wife Patricia Latour, Conversation avec Henri Lefebvre. He is a founder of the radical publishing cooperative, Le Temps des Cerises, and was for many years responsible for putting poems on the Paris Metro.

Alan Dent is a poet, translator and critic. He edits the radical cultural journal Penniless Press. His anthology of contemporary French counter-cultural poetry, When the Metro is Free, is published by Smokestack.

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