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Books: Come Together, Michael and Jethro Bor





A FATHER and son from the New Forest have joined forces to write a book examining the history of trade unions and trades councils in Britain.

Come Together explores trades councils between 1920 and 1950 – their role in the General Strike of 1926, unemployment responses in the 1930s, the impact of World War II, the role of women, interactions with British communists.

Written by Jethro and Michael Bor, the book is published by the Book Guild.

Michael Bor - author of Come Together
Michael Bor - author of Come Together

Michael, who has previously volunteered at Furzey Gardens, explained: “I originally wrote this book as a way of understanding the political history of my step-dad, Stan. We think there are millions of trade unionists who would be interested in their histories and, with the current radicalisation of working people, a big appeal for those who think that looking back can be one way to look forward.”

As the General Election approaches there is an increased focus on public services, local hospitals, education facilities for children, equal pay for women, communal housing provisions, social security, food banks, the needs of minorities, help for the disabled, and the provision of youth centres.

Come Together cover
Come Together cover

In their book author-activist team Michael and Jethro celebrate the often overlooked and hidden history of how people came together to lead, inspire and encourage, and provide confidence and political tools to working people in their localities to shape a better future.

Come Together explores how from 1920-50 trades councils responded to national union leaders, noting the impact of the young Soviet Union on the West, how people engaged in the 1926 general strike, mass unemployment, the challenges faced by the 1939-45 war, the emerging roles for women (now a majority in trade unions in the UK), and the future possibilities for local activities to help people negotiate a cost of living crisis (familiar to many of us today).

Michael said: “This is the kind of book you can dip into - each of the 11 chapters tells a different story. Franz Kafka at 20 years old wrote that ‘a book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us’.

“During the Covid axe on communities, this book was developed as a celebration of what local people have and can achieve. It will fascinate the reader and inspire campaigners, so that those in local communities can, as John Lennon once sang, ‘Come Together’.”

Come Together is available now for £13.99. For more information visit https://www.bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/come-together-trades-councils-1920-50/



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