Friday, 2 October 2009

Independent Bookshop - Housmans - Blog

Soon reaching its fiftieth birthday at its current site, Housmans is London’s premier radical bookshop and one of Exclusively Independent’s earliest supporters. As well as having that prestigious honour to its name, Housmans is also one of the last bookshops of its kind to still exist in London, and was one of the first when it opened its doors in 1945.

Based in Kings Cross, Housmans sells a wide range of radical literature, including books, pamphlets and an unmatched selection of over 200 magazines dealing with the full spectrum of campaigning issues. The shop also sells a range of campaigning paraphernalia such as t-shirts and badges, hosts regular in-store events and plays an active role within its local community. Recently it has started up a new online shop with over half a million titles that acts as an ethical alternative to Amazon.

Housmans’ roots go back to the great upsurge of the British pacifist movement in the 1930s, marked particularly by the founding of the Peace Pledge Union (PPU). The PPU had its own bookshop as far back as 1936, where people would congregate for talks by founder Dick Sheppard among others, but it wasn’t until the playwright Laurence Housman suggested that there should be a permanent bookshop that promoted ideas of peace and human rights that Housmans was born.
Housmans Bookshop continues to see its role as it has since its foundation. While acknowledging its roots in the peace movement it aims to be a broad-based, non-sectarian shop, encouraging the dissemination of a wide range of progressive and alternative ideas. As the shop's founders recognised, opposing injustice and oppression and the degradation of our planet are prerequisites of a more peaceful society.
See for more information on the company, the full story of its fascinating history and its upcoming fiftieth birthday celebrations on 14th November.


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