red and black star
sabot Wooden Shoe Books: anarchist and radical literature
red and black star


Our Hours: Noon to 10pm
6 days a week.

We are often (but not always) closed on Mondays and, these days, irregularly on other days because we're short on volunteers. If you're making a special trip to the Shoe it's a good idea to call ahead to make sure we're open: 215 413 0999

See our Calendar page for many more upcoming events !!!

Clearance Book Sale!!!

See our wishlist or Make an online donation:

We are a 501c3 non-proft organization and donations are tax deductible.

Visit the Store (directions)

Book Reviews ...

Book: The Huey P. Newton Reader edited by David Hilliard and Donald Weise
Review by: Ben Straub
Posted: 10.15.2006

Alright...the Black Panthers Party for Self Defense. Before starting off on this adventure, I would brush up on your histories of the late 1960s, particularly the black liberation, wimmins liberation and 3rd world struggles. The Huey P. Newton Reader is not a history of the Black Panther Party, but a gathering of Huey P. Newton's writings for the party, himself and the revolution in general, so things can be a little out of context.

The book begins with Huey's writings on his growing up on the streets of Oakland, which segues into him attending Oakland Community College where he plugs into various civil rights movements groups and you experience the awakening of his political consciousness. Newton, like many others, becomes frustrated with the civil rights movements and begins to explore other options. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was established in 1966 in Oakland, California. Newton was the co-founder, with Bobby Seale, of the BPP and he was the head of the BPP's Ministry of Defense. The Reader provides you with an excellent description of the BPP's Ten Point Program and Huey's take on their use of guns to visibly intimidate police. People often associate the BPP with shotguns and ammo belts, but there is so much more to them!!

All too fast, the BPP faces its first real crisis, when Huey is shot by police during a routine traffic stop and accused of murdering a police officer. Huey gives you a first hand account of what he remembers of the shooting, the trial and his time served in prison. The writing of the trial is very intense, you get to feel and see how racist the judicial system really is during the 1960s!

The Huey Newton Reader has a large chunk of Newton's writing that appear in the BPP's newsletter. It gives you a great understanding of why the BPP embraced self-defense, their take on the peace, wimmins and the gay and lesbian movements and issues with the burgeoning prison industrial complex. By far this is the best part of the book. Huey's wirting style is very down to earth and simple but contains so much power and is quite thought-provoking. Definitely grab a cup of coffee and sit back for a good hour!!

Now we approach the end of the Huey P Newton Reader and the end of this review. In the mid-70s, Huey and the Black Panther Party begin to question the limits of Marxist-Leninist Theory and 3rd world struggles and start to develop more of a world systems theory (read up on Wallerstein, Hardt and Negri), which they call intercommunalism. Being someone of more of an anti-authoritarian slant, I could really see why the anarchist/anti-capitalist movement has taken such an interest in the BPP. Besides the awesome section on intercommunalism, the end of the book ends with a bit of a wimper. Huey's writing becomes more academic and his topics much more obscure, e.g. rationalism, Cartesian logic, and dialectics.

Overall, this was quite a fantastic read and highly recommended to those interested in black liberation struggles then and now, armed struggle, and just good reading!


Wooden Shoe Books • 704 South Street • Philadelphia, PA 19147 • • (215) 413-0999