Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz

March 29, 2013

Ecosocialist Horizons is proud to have helped to publish a new book by US political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. Co-published by PM Press, “Maroon the Implacable” is currently being launched on a national book tour across the United States, with 24 events in 18 cities throughout April 2013.

Edited and with introductions by Fred Ho and Quincy Saul, the book also includes a foreword by Chuck D of Public Enemy, and an afterword by Matt Meyer and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.

From the foreword by Chuck D:
“As a writer and activist, Russell Maroon Shoatz has worked for all of us to bear witness. This book, written while being imprisoned for more than forty years, with over twenty consecutive years in solitary confinement in a Pennsylvania prison, makes it a high document of true freedom for the masses. This is the first collection of his writings and it will be studied and referred to in the years to come by all serious activists. He is an inspiration to all those who propel themselves toward greater self-transformation — to seek to fortify their spirit and intellect by continuing to develop, to never cling to old formulations when they become outmoded — and is the embodiment of a contemporary maroon: escaping from the captivity of Empire and the Matrix, forever fighting for self-determined independence and self sufficiency. This is the kind of transformation we all need to make in order to fundamentally change this society.”

From the back cover:
“This first-ever collection of the iconic writings of former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz spans a historical and theoretical spectrum unparalleled in contemporary literature. Shoatz is a political prisoner currently held in solitary confinement — a condition he has been in for two torturous decades — yet his words ring out with the clarity and insight of the keenest of political analysts. Unjustly imprisoned for over thirty years, Maroon was an active leader of the 1970′s Black liberation movement in Pennsylvania. His daring escapes from prison earned him the moniker “Maroon.” In these explosive pages, he carries on the ancient tradition of escaped slaves and rebels who have created forms of struggle that foreshadow the world we need to build. Maroon’s implacable spirit and intense vision give everyone new tools to challenge empire, patriarchy and ‘the Matrix.’”

Praise for “Maroon the Implacable”:

“This book is that very funky instruction manual on how to make revolution.” – Amiri Baraka, beloved poet, essayist and activist; former poet laureate of New Jersey

“Many people will be astonished to discover the perspective of Russell Maroon Shoatz when they finally read his work. He asks not why we struggle — we should know that by now! — but how we organize to struggle.” – Selma James, coordinator of Global Women’s Strike

“If more young men emulated Maroon’s lifestyle, the liberation of Black people would be very near at hand.” – Herman Ferguson, friend of Malcolm X and founding member of the Organization for Afro-American Unity

“This exciting collection of writings explores paths of action for all of us: feminists, revolutionaries, community activists, ecosocialists, human rights campaigners. Not only should we support the call to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz — we should be proud to associate with his ideals and activism, and we should take up the challenge he is setting us from his prison cell.” – Janet Cherry, former political detainee and researcher for the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“His writings are a beacon for a new, revolutionary age. What a treasure has here been uncovered!” – Joel Kovel, author of The Enemy of Nature, and co-founder of Ecosocialist Horizons

“In the common struggle for ‘a world where many worlds fit,’ one of our fundamental tasks is to struggle in ever more widespread ways for the freedom of Maroon.” – Hugo Blanco, leader of the Campesino Confederation of Peru and editor of the journal Lucha Indigena

“The message of the Maroons lives on and Russell Maroon Shoatz is today its untamed voice. Free Maroon the Implacable!” – Hakim Bey, author of TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone

“At the core of this book is the theme of marronage — the will to escape from conditions of enslavement at any cost. This is what Russell Maroon Shoatz has done, not only physically, but in the world of ideas by escaping from the rigid patriarchal framework he inherited and revaluing and promoting the role of women in the history of liberation. This book is a document of this transformation carried out against tremendous odds and told with searing honesty.” – Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation

“If I had to describe Russell Maroon Shoatz he — without a doubt — would be a thermostat: Possessing the ability to not only reflect but control temperatures as well. A compelling read!” – Robert Hillary King, author of From the Bottom of the Heap, and former prisoner in solitary confinement in the Angola prison in Louisiana

“The message of Russell Maroon Shoatz, the message of the revolutionary maroon, is a message that we ignore only at our own peril and that of our world… As Maroon shows, the awakened prisoner understands the contradictions of the state, capitalism, and patriarchy in a way that most of us, living in our larger and more comfortable prisons, can hardly begin to understand. We are living in Babylon and Babylon must be destroyed.” John Clark, author of The Impossible Community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism

“Maroon never lost his faith in the people. He trusted the truth of ‘power to the people,’ and it kept him focused and hopeful. His body was incarcerated but his mind soared. My mentor!” – Frances Goldin, published of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Barbara Kingsolver and Adrienne Rich

“Shoatz, combining George Jackson and W.E.B. Du Bois, is a fine historian behind bars who writes like a novelist. Whether the maroon were real (which they were) or superheroes (which they also were), the tale of free Blacks, runaway slaves, Amerindians, and working-class whites building a revolutionary army int he swamps is exciting stuff — and just the level of imagery and imagination we need to rebuild the revolution today.” – Eric Mann, author of Comrade George: An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought, and Assassination of George Jackson

To order a copy of the book, visit the website of PM Press: www.pmpress.org

For more information about the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, visit:

http://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/

and/or write to: “freemaroonshoatz@gmail.com”