Hip-hop lyrics shouted through
the speakers about a “new world order…” Posters
called to “stop attacks on immigrants.” Buttons
read, “Bush is a four letter word.” And the shelves
of the Revolution Book Store were filled with titles addressing
today’s many controversial issues.
Revolution Books, at 1019 University Ave behind Puck’s
Alley at University Square, was established 30 years ago, according
to Carolyn Hadfield, who has been on staff for 26 of those years.
Hadfield and the other volunteer staff are all members of the
Revolutionary Communist Party.
The party follows the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as
stated in Revolution, the party’s newspaper and voice,
which challenges “those with a burning desire to see a
drastic change for the better, all those who dare to dream and
to act to bring about a completely new and better world.”
The party operates 12 bookstores across the country, each a research
base for its region, Hadfield said. The staff analyzes revolutionary
history and selects all the books on the shelves.
What we’re trying to do,” Hadfield said, “is
find out what is true in the world.” But she admitted, “It
[the bookstore] is absolutely swayed to one side.”
According to Hadfield, the goal of the Revolutionary Communist
Party is to abolish capitalism.
Consciousness and understanding in the world is going to get
us to that goal,” Hadfield said.
The bookstores serve as a way to create the consciousness and
understanding Hadfield speaks of. Titles found on the shelves
include: Stem Cell Now, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, The
New Gay Teenager, and Hatfield’s number one recommendation,
From Ike to Mao and Beyond, written by the leader of the Revolutionary
Communist Party, Bob Avakian.
The book is about Avakian’s experiences while transforming
his lifestyles from mainstream American to Revolutionary Communist.
Hadfield praised Avakian for being a leader with love for the
The most essential thing,” Hadfield said, “if you’re
a revolutionary, is love for the people. If you can’t relate
to the people, you’re a nutcase.”
People who can’t relate to others in the group “think
they’re better than everyone else, pretty soon they’re
going to do something stupid,” she added.
Under Avakian’s leadership the party publishes the weekly
Revolution, manages bookstores, researchers issues, and supports
other organizations. While a lot of movements relate to the bookstore,
Hadfield wouldn’t call the store itself a movement. Rather
it is a means of dispensing truth.
The party doesn’t hold demonstrations, but they do support
other organizations that do. The World Can’t Wait is the
primary organization the party is currently with.
The party and the bookstores together work to “to change
things to better the world and to work with those who want to
do that,” Hadfield said.
For more information, visit www.revcom.us.