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Hello Michael Harrison from the UK, I just wanted to call to your attention that this book of Mao is missing: https://www.bannedthought.net/China/Individuals/MaoZedong/Books/WritingsOfMaoZedongPost-1949-Chinese-sm.pdf
Also, the last volumes of Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949 was published, yet it is not on your website.
I don’t really understand this comment. The link is to the bannedthought site – over which I have no control whatsoever. And anyway when I click on the link it works, although slowly. Further, the fact that a item has been published doesn’t mean to say it is readily available.
Yes, sorry for the confusion, I meant to say that the last 2 volumes of Mao’s Road to Power
Revolutionary Writings: https://www.routledge.com/Maos-Road-to-Power/book-series/MRP
Have been published in the Year 2023, your website only has till volume 8 of that work, which is the only English translation of the 1912-1949 collected works of Chairman Mao.
Your website has the official Selected Works, but still, Mao’s Road to Power
Revolutionary Writings: is an awesome book, if it’s accurate.
The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project does excavations in the area and seeks summer volunteers, with the possibility of academic credit through Northern Arizona University. The similar Maya Research Program does work in northwestern Belize. I’ve thought about volunteering or otherwise visiting Belize, but I haven’t been to Mesoamerica at this point. Are the decapitated figures mentioned on El Castillo supposed to be modelled on specific people and if so who were they?
All I know about the decapitated figures is what is written in the text; ‘seated inside the niches are the figures of people who were decapitated towards the end of the Classic period (AD 800-900). Judging from their position, these figures may well represent the Bacabs or ‘skybearers’. The frieze on the west side displays just one and a half of these masks symbolising the sun god. Situated between them is a square frame around an image of the fire god Chaac or Kah’k Chaak, which in turn is framed by bands adorned with the woven mat design, Pop in the Maya language. The upper record also shows the image of a mutilated figure, possibly corresponding to a pauwahtun, as in the frieze on the opposite side’.
The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project, which Dr Jaime Awe is a co-director of, does excavations in the area and seeks summer volunteers, with the possibility of academic credit through Northern Arizona University. The deadline for the 2024 field school with academic credit is in February, though there might be flexibility. The similar Maya Research Program does work in northwestern Belize. I’ve thought about volunteering or otherwise visiting Belize, but I haven’t done much travelling at this point. I’ve wanted to visit Mesoamerica, especially central Mexico, and the American tropics for a long time, so this is an interesting series of posts.
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Hi Michael I’m searching for a trail guide of Els tres mont. any idea where I can find one? Trail description directions to trailheads etc. thanks Maureen Connors
Sorry for the delay. The information I used when I did the walk was the guide and maps for the Cingles de Bertí. The guide I have scanned and placed at the bottom of the post Els Tres Monts – Stage 1 – the post to which you added your comment. It’s in Catalan but hopefully it will be of help. The two maps that accompany the guide I found (if my memory serves me right) quite good.
Please remember that I did this walk more than ten years ago and some of the information might be out of date. However, I don’t see why the maps shouldn’t still be available.
I found some interesting books here. Thank you very much. But what a pity that some books are in image format, not PDF. It would be great if all books are available in PDF. By the way, the link to
On Literature and Art, Progress, Moscow, 1973, 509 pages.
Good to read you found the Marx/Engels page interesting and useful.
Thanks for pointing out the broken link – don’t know how that happened. Should be OK now.
Don’t really understand your other point. All the documents on that page (and most of the documents on the rest of my site) are downloadable as pdf’s. Could you cite specific cases so I can investigate and understand what you mean?
Firstly I very much enjoy meandering through your wonderful website, especially the Albanian writings.
The tampering of this mosaic is certainly an interesting topic.
“The War of National Liberation against the invading fascists, first Italian then the German Nazis, was led by and principally carried out by Albanian Communists. ” I am not sure David Smiley would agree. I think the history Albanian resistance has not been fully understood and published. The communist regime most certainly exaggerated their effectiveness and of course set the narrative for the Ballists and Legalitit combatants.
Just as the ‘west’ tried to undermine the crucial/fundamental role of the Soviet Union in the defeat of the Nazis (all as part of their ‘Russophobe’ campaign (which began long before the Special Military Operation of February last year) so capitalism has constantly been attempting to undermine any role played by Communists in the Second World War.
But if it wasn’t the Communist who drove first the Italians and then the German fascists out of their country who did?
The Communists disrupted ‘the plans of the German Nazis from establishing some element of legitimacy to their occupation of the country with the setting up of a ‘Quisling’ government. The date chosen for this sham was the 18th October 1943 and on that day the Albanian traitors met in the Victor Emmanuel III Palace on the outskirts of the city of Tirana.’
And who was it who brought the disparate groups fighting the invaders together?
‘Different nationalist groups, but especially those organised by the Communist Party of Albania (CPA) after its foundation on 8th November 1941, fought against the invaders but by the middle of 1942 it was recognised that the struggle for liberation needed co-ordination and with that in mind the Communists invited all nationalists to a conference to create a structure that would defeat the materially superior foreign forces.’
Perhaps it was the English ‘James Bonds’ who threw out the fascists, all by themselves?
But the Nazis knew who were their real enemy shown by their murder of Persefoni and Bule and the destruction of Borove.
And even the British knew who the real fighters were by finally ‘accepting’ that the Partisans were the only force that was serious in its fight for National Liberation.
But once the war was won the British did everything in its power to destroy the new Socialist Republic.
So what does a little ‘re-writing’ of history matter?
Grover Furr is not a Soviet Historian! He’s a despicable apologist for Joseph Stalin and denier of his atrocities! Furr has a degree in Medieval English not Russian History or any history! Conquest didn’t lie about anything Skunkwipe! He used legitimate sources and provided evidence of Stalin’s genocide! Furr ignored evidence and provided worthless sources! He’s the scum of the earth and so are you!
can I have wattapp number in order to communcate with someone to answer my questions regarding Spring 6 at Tskaltubo – Georgia
Just ask you questions through Comments on the Spring 6 post and I’ll try to answer them. I don’t use whatsapp.
Well, you may be right about that, for little appeared to be going on this week ((the one which ends up with oil being wiped over the British head of state. But the statutes of Lenin and Stalin, at least, have moved from the gallery’s back yard to the (impeccably kept) front garden of Mehmet Shehu’s house, now guarded by security men. Makes of that what you will….
Thanks for the update of the whereabouts of Lenin and Stalin. Does it mean both the Stalin statues have been moved there. And do you have the address of Mehmet Shehu’s house? I don’t think I’ve ever been there. If you give me the adress I’ll update the post in case anyone wants to go looking for them now that the art gallery may not return to what it was if any renovation actually takes place.
If you walk down rr Ismail Qemali from the Boulevard, into the former Blok, you walk along the north side of a little park. When you get to the end of the park, the house on your left is Mehmet Shehu’s house, so the address is probably the corner of Ismail Qemali and rr Ibrahim Rugova. The front or Enver Hoxha’s house is diagonally across the crossroads in front of you and at the back of the Shehu’s house, but whether there is a tunnel connecting them, as Kadare wrote, is not known. The house is used as a government guest house, and is under security guard, which prevents getting near. In the front garden you can see (the top parts of) Lenin and Stalin (and a jeep-like truck). I am afraid I cannot say whether there is any more, though someone suggested that some works from the gallery of Figurative Arts were being stored there on the inside.
Thanks for the update Adrian. I’ll try to work out how best to include the latest information in the other blogs where I’ve mentioned the statues of Lenin and Stalin. It will also be interesting to see how, or indeed if, they find a permenant home – accessible to the public – in the future of all the statues that were hidden away at the back of the National Art Gallery. I’m particularly concerned with the fate of the statue of Liri Gero
Michael, I wonder if we might have permission to use your photograph of Beggars Bridge to accompany a biographical entry for Thomas Ferres? He is to be included in a new book on people related to Hull over many centuries which is currently being compiled to mark 100 years of Lord Mayors in Hull.. All proceeds are to go to the Lord Mayor of Hull’s charities. I look forward to hearing from you. Dr Robb Robinson R.N.,Robinson@hull.ac.uk
No problem. I’ll send you direct higher definition copies which might be better for your purpose.
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Thanks for this write up. It was very helpful. Would you please tell me if they move all business class seats towards to forward movement direction of the train? Thanks!
I wouldn’t have thought so – but don’t know for sure. These are fixed trains. Seats will face front going one way and back the other. It all depends.
This is quite an old post, but the third artist would be Frederik Shuka.
I might have posted information and pictures of the mosaic some time ago But I’m still interested in updating/correcting if necessary anything I might have written. In that way I be able to, slowly, fill in the gaps in my information about Albanian lapidars in general.
Thanks for the name. Would he have been an artist or an architect? I know on other lapidars the two skills worked together.
Hello, Petro Sota was my grandfather’s brother. There is a book made about him. Also there is the technical university of Albania that was named after him.
I can give you more details on his life.
As per the sculpture in 2014. It was paid by my grandpa in honour of his brother. The original monument was destroyed when the city council gave the land to UAE mollahs to build a mosque without any consultation and through some generous bribes.
My grandpa collected a few favours here and there in order to get the statue there.
Side note, Raqi Sota (another brother also died during the occupation) him and Petro were exercising their aim when a bullet ricocheted and killed Raqi. He was later made hero of the people.
As per Petro, he was being followed based on information given by a local spy. He noticed that he was being spied and tried to get into a local “bar”. He tried escaping from the windows since he had in his possession a lot of over 40 something names of the resistance. He got shot, and tried eating the letter based on the local eye witnesses. The fascist broke his jaw while his was dying in order to get the letter. Apparently the letter was so damp with blood and chewed that it was unusable.
He got shot a total of 28 times total. And left in the the middle of what yes to be the market for 2 days. His father went to pick up his corpse on the 3rd day by night time.
After this incident, his/my family was sent to the goulag for 2 years.
They were able to come back when the Germans were defeated.
Thanks for the information. It’s so difficult to get details about many of the lapidars and monuments from the socialist period in Albania and there are many gaps in my knowledge. Thanks you, again, for filling some of those gaps.
RESPEKTE PER TRIMIN, PATRIOTIN E KOMBIT.
Thank you very much for this very accurate and useful article. There is so much good content.
Glad you shared the coordinates as some points are really hard top find.
I’m currently in Albania and will take time to visit some of these fabulous places.
Keep up the good work.
Glad to hear you have found the information useful. Please get in touch if you find any errors or omissions. I will then update. Have a good time in Albania.
May have been moved recently…
The National Art Gallery was closed around the end of November 2021 following the most bizarrely curated exhibition I have ever seen. For a few months towards the end of 2021 it seemed that ALL the exhibits from the Gallery’s storerooms were brought into the exhibition space and put on ‘display’. No organisation, no information but an interesting exhibition, nonetheless, for anyone interested in Albanian Socialist Realist art. I wrote a blog post, together with hundred of pictures, here. When I saw the hoardings around the building I wondered about the fate of the statues from the ‘Statue Park’ at the back of the building.
When I first went to Tirana I had to play cat and mouse with security to get to the back of the building but in recent years it has been on the itinerary of the Tirana walking tours. So it seems Joe and Vladimir have a new, if only temporary, home. Some of the other larger bronze statues can be found in the internal courtyard of the Historical Museum in Skenderbeu Square – go through the doorway that is opposite the main visitor entrance and turn right.
I wasn’t able to find out anything about when the gallery would reopen or what had been the fate of all the exhibits that were placed on show last year.
The ‘anger’ mentioned in the short piece to which you provided a link just goes to show how stupid some people are. These statues, and more, had been on ‘public’ display for years. Ignorant people seem to have the perpetual desire to be outraged.
I’ll place a note at the end of my posts about the gallery to let readers know of the current situation with the ‘refurbishment’. Thanks for your comment, it has reminded me that I should have done that once I realised the gallery was closed.
WHAT A CHRONOLOGY COMRADE. NOW WE NEED A STUDY GROUP TO ANALYSE AND THEN DISSEMINATE ON ALL OUR TRADE UNION PICKETS.
Liverpool Town Hall.
“The four spandrels (the triangular corner paintings) are by Charles Furse …”
They are called pendentives, not spandrels.
Thanks for putting me right. Corrections made.
Liverpool Town Hall.
“The statue at the top of the first flight of stairs is of George Canning, an MP for the town and Prime Minister for 4 months in 1827, was completed in 1832 by Francis Chantry.” — Chantrey seems to be the preferred spelling.
Not mentioned directly is the fact that at Yalta and Teheran, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that Greece would be in the Western sphere, whereas Albania and Yugoslavia would be in the Eastern sphere. If Stalin had broken the agreement and supplied arms and support, the Greek communists would certainly have won control of the country after the war.
You have done a great work publishing all of these issues. I hope you will publish more on your blog in the next month. That would be amazing. I hope you’re still active
The reason there are gaps in the postings is that I don’t have access to those issues. I’m constantly looking for a source but, to date, without any luck.
If that situation changes then I will certainly post the missing issues as soon as possible.
But not in the next month, I’m afraid
Hi Michael, an incredible work you have done with pulling together all this content. I am the found out albaniangallery.art website and was wondering if I can republish some of your articles on my website. Without saying the credits will go to you as author/curator. let me know if I get your permission. Regards Alban
There’s no problem using items from my site. Good to hear you find my blog useful.
Are you related to the Michael Harrison who was moved to leave the rather disobliging assessment of Rinas airport, and those who work in it, last year ? If you are, it sounds as things do not only get better…
I posted on the airport more than nine years ago. Since then I’ve both arrived and left Rinas a number of times. It’s a small airport – though much busier now than it was when I wrote the post – as well as being quite modern and because of that is one of the more ‘pleasant’ airports to pass through. (ALL airports are unpleasant to a lesser or greater extent.) I don’t have any serious criticisms of the airport and I’m not the person that has posted on any site about Rinas – I don’t post on review sites for anything.
Another attempt by the imperial core to offload the blame for their own problems onto the victims of neocolonialism. Perhaps somewhat related to this was the recent remark by William Windsor blaming environmental damage on “Africa’s rapidly growing human population.”
Exactly. The problem is they have been doing it for decades and still get away with it. They blame someone else to protect themselves.
Interesting site/content. A 1952/3 book caught my eye: https://michaelharrison.org.uk/2018/08/jv-stalin-biographies-reminiscences-and-appraisals/
I became skeptical and did a search. According to the only Amazon review of the Budu Svanidze book, it “was exposed as a forgery shortly after it came out by historian Boris Souvarine (Bulletin de l’Association d’Etudes et d’Informations Politiques Internationales, May 1953, Nos. 88 and 89.)” I acquired the articles and confirmed they do indeed refer to this book as a forgery – along with several others. I could send them along with my translations if you’d like.
It’s a long time since I read ‘My Uncle Joseph Stalin’ but my memory was that it was quite benign. How Joe came out of it I can’t remember exactly but I don’t think the book tried to make out that Stalin was a perfect husband and partner – the only reason why I could think of of it being a ‘forgery’.
At the same time I would think that anything written by Souvarine has to be considered suspect – especially when it comes to the topic of Joseph Stalin. Souvarine was a Trotskyite and like all Trotskyites spent much of his time from the mid 1920s attacking the Soviet Union and its leadership.
By all means send the article you mentioned (with translation) if you have them to hand. It would be interesting to read Souvarine’s ‘proof’ that the publication was a ‘forgery’, by whom and for what reason it was ‘forged’ and what political gain there was in such an elaborate task over a book that is hardly well known. I’ve never come across any reference to it so if it was concocted then the aim was a failure.
Yes, your memory is still quite sharp. It is _unusually_ benign. That’s partly the rub. And the BEIPI analysis isn’t free of errors either. Perhaps I should have elaborated more up front.
Two sample points that can be checked independently of BEIPI on the “Svanidze” book (“forgery” = not Stalin’s nephew):  Stalin’s second wife didn’t overdose but instead shot herself by the morning of 8 Nov 1932 due to a migraine episode that started Nov 6 and was made worse by attending the Nov 7 anniversary parade;  Rosa (Rachel) Kaganovich could not have been an option to be Stalin’s third wife because she died in 1926.
 Artem Sergeev, Stalin’s adopted son, comments on Nadezhda’s migraines: translate.yandex.com/translate?url=hrono.ru/biograf/bio_a/alliluevans.php&lang=ru-en – “…Nadezhda Sergeevna had constant, very powerful, completely unbearable headaches. She often held her head in her hands and cried out: ‘My head! My head!’” “Svanidze” may have known this: “‘I have a headache,’ Nadia said stiffly. ‘Please excuse me.’” (p. 59) “Svanidze” says: “One night she took an overdose, with fatal effect.” (p. 98)
 Kaganovich family comments on ‘Wolf of the Kremlin’ (1987): revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv1n2/kaganfam.htm – “LMK’s [Lazar Kaganovich’s] only sister, by mistake named in the book as Rosa (her name was Rachel), died in 1926…” Therefore the statement in “Svanidze’s” book that “Molotov, Kaganovitch, Mikoyan, Beria […] now that Stalin was once more a widower […] took the liberty of selecting a wife for him—Rosa Kaganovitch, the beautiful sister of Lazar Kaganovitch” (p. 99) is false.
“Waverly Root” (“Svanidze” again?) in the preface: “If Molotov is to be one of the future rulers of Russia also, it is not unimportant to know that he is a bad loser, or that he dislikes to take responsibility in critical situations.” Fake Stalin quote: “Everyone complains of Molotov’s stiffness, his inability to show the slightest flexibility. It’s true, you know. Sometimes he is really unbearable.” Fake Mikeladze quote: “…we’ll arrange for you to come again when you have that memorandum to prove that Molotov has become anti-Marxist.” Even without BEIPI or the sources above it’s not impossible to see “Svanidze” only pretended to be favorable to the Soviet leadership while in substance making them appear ridiculous.
I’m not really sure where this discussion is going and neither could I couldn’t really understand the points made by the BEIPI analysis.
If the Trotskyites want to make out it is a forgery then it’s to use that against the Soviet Union. But then it would have to have been produced in the Soviet Union. However, the simple mistakes which you point out would seem to suggest it wasn’t produced by someone who knew all the facts.
Then who do you suggest created this ‘forgery’ and for what purpose? And is it really important? It is a rather obscure book and I can’t remember exactly where or when I came across my copy.
If it was created for some ‘ill intent’ then what was it? As it doesn’t seem to have been very successful – especially in the great scheme of things when Uncle Joe has been accused of everything apart from causing the present climate emergency.
This was written just prior to Khrushchev’s slander of “Uncle Joe” and it’s true the book was soon overshadowed. One of the points made in BEIPI is that this series of publications, including those by “Svanidze”, occurred with unusual (or even impossible) speed, so the implication is that the book was authored by international imperialism. The purpose would have been to create confusion and dissatisfaction abroad with the Soviet leadership, potentially for people to quit their parties. And from the description in “The Wolf of the Kremlin” (1987): “The true story of Stalin’s third wife, Rosa, who was Lazar’s sister.” This was decades later so was this sort of narrative really unsuccessful? As to where this is going, the whole point of reading history is to learn, isn’t it? And if it’s disinformation, to alert people. I’ve given my contact info if more needs to be said. I don’t want to spam this page.
I don’t disagree with anything you say. Your memory/knowledge of some of the facts is better than mine and I also agree it’s good to point out these situations in the past to remind people what the enemies to socialism are prepared to do. We only have to look at the ‘Zinoviev Letter’ to realise that the idea of ‘fake news’ is not something invented in the last few years. There’s a book, which I have but have yet to scan, called ‘The Great Conspiracy against Russia’. That documents just such incidents to cause confusion amongst those who might have been sympathetic to the aims of the Soviet Union. I’ll see if I can get it scanned and posted on the Soviet Union page on this blog in the next few weeks.
A Reeeeally Wonderful Website! Learn a lot from it ! Precious documentaries!
—— From a Maoist Researcher China
I read your reviews regularly. It would be helpful to know whether you have been to North Korea, either as a tourist (as I have); as a guest of the DPRK; or in your own right. It might actually help people to understand more clearly the pluses and minuses of that amazing country.
Like you I have only visited the country as a tourist, the once towards the end of 2017.
Hi, can tell you now, the Historical Basis for socialism in Ireland is from 1919, originally published in New York
Thanks for the detail. Post now updated.
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It is a pity there are still uninformed people like you Michael and Thomas Mrett that believe executed innocents during communism in Albania do not deserve rehabilitation. Communist’s leaders in Albania were nothing more than murderers! They isolated the country to destruction only for their privileges.
During king Zog, Albania recognized economic growth. Private property and free speech was never denied, nor were people executed for speaking their mind.
Your hero Zogolli;
returned to Albania in 1924 with the support of foreign, reactionary forces;
bestowed dictatorial powers upon himself;
made an alliance with Italian Fascism;
in a similar act to the megalomaniacal Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself king;
like a coward ran away when the Italians invaded Albania in 1939;
no doubt was instrumental in post-war efforts of the British government to undermine the government of the people following liberation in 1944;
and lived a life of luxury at the expense of the Albanian people.
Albania today still celebrates Skenderbeu and the idea of Independence but Zogolli’s actions and life were the antithesis of the national hero. He would have preferred to preen himself in a mirror in his dress uniform than get his hands dirty in actually fighting against the fascist (or any other) invaders. That task was left to the working men and women of Albania under the leadership of Comrade Hoxha and the Albanian Communists.
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“The organisation still exists but seems to function more as a mouthpiece of the Chinese government in Britain and providing its members with official visits to capitalist China.”
“…Now it praises the erstwhile Socialist country for its capitalist (and imperialist) development.”
Excuse me, what?
Not really sure what you getting at. Is China a capitalist and imperialist country or do you think it is still a ‘socialist’ society?
Those who produced the SACU News in the 1960s and early 1970s were promoting Socialist China at a time when it wasn’t easy to get information about developments in the country. By continuing to support ‘socialist’ China after the coup against the revolutionaries within the Party very soon after the death of Chairman Mao. If such support in the early years of capitalist restoration could be excused as ignorance of the reality any support, or thought that the country still follows a socialist agenda so many years later, is just plain stupidity.
Any support organisations, for example, set up to promote the interests of the United Kingdom or the United States would be to support the dominant economic and social system in place in those countries. Such slavish support always comes with advantages.
I’ve been following your blog for a long time now. It’s probably the best account online relating to the socialist era of Albania. I have a question regarding a building that was once located in Tirana, you might be able to help me. The building is the Museum House of the Party and I can’t figure out if it is still standing or what might be at its location now. If you have any idea I’d appreciate the info.
Sorry for the slight delay in replying, have been trying to find out more information from a friend who knows Tirana better than me.
Many years ago I went looking for the building. The only information I had at that time was the small map that’s in the book Museum House of the Party. You can download it here if you have not already done so. It was posted on Documents of the PLA 31-40 page. On page 19