Born in 1951, Radical Stroud’s Stuart Butler recounts how the events of May ’68 turned him from a mod into a Marxist.  Stuart shares his personal journey during the year that rocked the world through prose-poetry.

Prologue:

Sixteen years’ old in the spring of 1968: bored with school; bored with A levels; why on earth did I stay on? Skint.

Just got the sack from a Saturday job. No fags, no new records, no new clothes, no job, no money. Swindon have just had another rubbish season and now there’s just a long close season ahead with boring, boring, bloody cricket and athletics and tennis.

Cliff Richard number one with boring, bloody ‘Congratulations’ and now Louis bloody Armstrong with ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Cabaret’.

Christ alive.

The hollows of these spring afternoons are so long and deep – it’s that bad and boring that I’ll have to watch the news on the telly.

‘Blimey! What’s all this?’

‘Mum, can I have a cup of tea? I’m watching the news.

Join Stuart Butler for a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress, on a journey from a teenage Slough Despond to the Celestial City. Join him on his confiding, confessional journey from a Mod to a Marxist, for ‘Bliss it was that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven’.

Forget the 1967 Summer of Love. Celebrate the 1968 Spring of Politics.

***

More alliterative madeleine moments to follow a mod becoming a Marxist: a look at how May ’68 has been memorialized – from slogans on walls to Nicholas Sarkozy to a train driver’s billy can. 

In addition, a counter-factual rumination … a What If  …What if Paris 1968 had been successful … How different would history have been?

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