In the Brexit aftermath...
Feelings run high in the country after the narrow (UK wide) vote in favour of leaving the European Union. Language has been immoderate, to say the least, with one prominent Leave activist, only today, describing the reaction in favour of Remaining as ‘a hysterical wave’. Meanwhile, attacks on immigrants including long term Polish residents have risen significantly.
Over the years, Sandstone Press has published a number of books on the scapegoating and victimisation of minorities and the nascent totalitarianism which it both enables and operates within.
One correspondent, discussing Babylon Berlin, Volker Kutscher’s examination of Germany through the rise of the Nazis, says: ‘It oozes menace like a film noir and reminds me that Hitler rose to power via a series of plebiscites.’
In 2010, the company published The Long Bridge, a posthumous memoir by Urszula Muskus of her journey through the Gulag Archipelago. Urszula was a Polish woman whose life ended, through natural circumstances, in London with the pages of her manuscript strewn around her. As a historical document it stands beside the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, although it is more energising and hopeful.
Most of all, I wish to draw your attention to Shadow Behind the Sun by Remzije Sherifi. In 2006, this remarkable woman was Development Officer for the Maryhill Integration Network in Glasgow. It was my great privilege to be embedded within the network to assist her in producing her memoir not only of the British integration processes as she directly experienced them, but also the breakdown former Yugoslavia, its history and terrifying ends. I say ‘ends’, but look closely and it becomes clear that there can be no end, and that the beginnings are in our own, human, nature.
Looking back at that time I see it as probably the most significant of my career, on which much has turned. All of these books are important (and there are more) but it is Shadow Behind the Sun (published 2007) that we present as being the most significant for our present times as it points not only to the worst of human nature but also to the best, which is surely where our solution will be found.
We now offer Shadow Behind the Sun for the exceptionally low price of 90p. To some extent it is a gesture towards our times, but not a mere gesture as it presents a shocking look at what human beings are capable of in their dealings with one another, and also a sort of road map to safety.