Friday, 26 August 2016

Left Field - £13 with p&p

Left Field is available at all Waterstones and good radical bookshops such as Liverpool's News From Nowhere

Best offer is from Public Reading Rooms. Their price is £13 which includes p&p


excellent and inspiring - Brian Eno  

the personal entwined with activism and woven into a poetic multi-coloured tapestry - Haifa Zangana 

a thoughtful and gentle memoir - Socialist Review 

'They say life is stranger than fiction and when it comes to David Wilson's life, that's definitely the case. 'Left Field' is an inspiring account of a man who never gave up on his principles and refused to settle, even when turning a blind eye would've saved him much hardship. I picked up the book for its insight into the Bosnian war, in which I was very emotionally involved as a Greek sixteen year old, influenced by my country's biased coverage of events. The book exposes both the realities of war and the often unpleasant truth in the dealings of international NGOs operating at a time of humanitarian disasters. It is full of incredible anecdotes about the lives of bigger-than-life personalities such as Pavarotti and Mandela and it is in equal terms insightful, philosophical and funny. 'Left Field', however, is more than the political account of a lifelong activist; it is also a deeply moving and personal account of a man's struggles, loves and losses.'  Hekate Papadaki
 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

"a thoughtful & gentle memoir"



Brian Eno: This is an excellent and inspiring book. David is an adventurer and a freethinker, who, despite the best efforts of an education designed to equip him for obedient anonymity, somehow did something truly useful with his life. His stubborn and yet self-effacing commitment to his ideals carried him through many daunting situations, and his sense of humour kept him able to see the funny side.

Haifa Zangana: a memoir where the personal is entwined with activism and woven into a poetic multi-coloured tapestry.

 " Left Field is a thoughtful and gentle memoir. David’s obvious good nature and ability to connect with people is demonstrated over and over, from the influential individuals whose support he enlisted in the early days of War Child to the character sketches that he draws regularly throughout the book… I enjoyed his relaxed writing style and the chapters that veered from the chronology to reflect or add narrative detail... His is an enjoyable memoir, reflecting on a compassionate and varied life, and an important reminder of how destructive war is both on individuals and communities, and the important role we can all play in fighting for a better world."   Socialist Review (July/August 2016)


Left Field - the film


                                     Buy from Public Reading Rooms, only £13 with p&p

Also on sale at Amazon,   Amazon Kindle,   WH Smith,   WH Smith e-Books,   Waterstones,   Foyles.  
                                                         Kindle in USA

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Left Field - 'Really Impressive'




Left Field quotes




ABCTALES: "Through his involvement in the charity he began, War Child, he met movers and world shakers such as Luciano Pavarotti and included a walk-on cameo of meeting Nelson Mandela. The latter asking for his advice and support. You don’t get much bigger than Pavarotti, but Mandela dwarves him. This is an autobiography worth reading not for any of these reasons, but for its humanity."
MUNDHER ADHAMI: A brilliant achievement. The cover, the quotes, the dedication, the arrangement and titles of chapters. The language of novels. Really impressive.
AMIR AMIRANI, Director of We are Many: When I met David I was astonished not just by his warmth and friendliness and knowledge, but also by his contacts, and he was very generous sharing them with me. I will be speaking with David at South Bank literary festival and at WOMAD, discussing his book and the film that I made and where we can find interesting parallels.
SEBASTIAN BALFOUR: A vivid account of a life fought for justice, full of indignation and tenderness.
MANUELA BESTE: This is surely going to be your core readership - the 1960's generation who grew up with you, agitated like you, still hold true to these struggles like you and today's new generation of angry, frustrated, hopeful young people who are organising for a better and fairer world ...I found the book interesting, moving, thought-provoking, instructive. It thoroughly held my attention .. I wish I could think in visual metaphors like you.
NORMAN BOYER: You write very sensitively and lovingly about your parents. It must have been very hard for you and your Dad to cope with your mother’s accident. And secondly to cope with his slow death for your father and for you with - pardon the cliché - the long goodbye.
DOROTHY BYRNE, head of Channel 4 News and Documentaries: What a life this man has led.
STEVE DAY: Whatever your political currency or preferred methodology toward life, we can all agree on the absolute necessity for honesty, humanity and love, wherever possible, and on all fronts. Wilson's lively and challenging memoir keeps the reader in the grip of this, his frontline message. You weave through the rough and tumble of a life being shaped by events, then of a man intent on reshaping events, and helping rebuild the lives of others - particularly children - who were less fortunate. He held his line even when his own much beloved charity War Child was found to contain corrupt elements - whistleblowing on those he knew were threatening what had been built, and suffering the isolation that comes with this sort of honesty. History, celebrity, scandal, war and humour - Left Field is a personal report worth reading.
TIFFANY DRAKE, music therapist: David's courage and passion enabled those moments of reconciliation through music which was incredibly powerful to be a part of and a very real privilege for us to witness ... David's book can show us what can be hopeful and healing.
BRIAN ENO: This is an excellent and inspiring book. David is an adventurer and a freethinker, who, despite the best efforts of an education designed to equip him for obedient anonymity, somehow did something truly useful with his life. His stubborn and yet self-effacing commitment to his ideals carried him through many daunting situations, and his sense of humour kept him able to see the funny side.
DAVID HENCKE, former Guardian Westminster correspondent: This is the work of a determined guy who is prepared to expose fraud and injustice wherever he finds it.
RICHARD HORTON, Editor of The Lancet: You write absolutely beautifully. Thank you for your wonderful book.
MANDLA LANGA, author of The Lost Colours of the Chameleon and winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize: David Wilson is a national treasure.
SHADE MAKEKODUNMI: Have finally started reading THE book. It's fantastic. Love it. The early childhood stories remind me so much of my own childhood. Despite the fact that I was brought up in Lagos. Shows you the reach and influence of the British Empire. My parents also gave sherry parties!! And of course I too became an activist, perhaps not as young as you but by age 18, at uni, I had joined a Maoist type group and was marching against the Vietnam war.
ORHAN MASLO (OHA): One of the key people of my life has finished his book. There is a chapter that describes the times we spent together. What good times we had while giving spirit to the Pavarotti Music Centre. This was after my orphanage times and steered me to who I am and what I do today. Thank you David.
RUSSELL MILLS: You’ve done so much, achieved so much, that is for the good, the right, the just, that to be asked to undertake the cover design for you, which may be considered a minor thing in the great scheme of things, is for me a bloody major thing.
CRAIG MURRAY, ex-Ambassador and whistleblower, David's entire life has been dedicated to trying to make the world a better place ... He was at War Child where he did a tremendous job and then he had the soul-destroying experience of finding the institution he had started being perverted and having to become himself a whistleblower and tell the truth ... As is always the case the whistleblower ends up being the person suffering damage. It is very much to David's credit he was willing to take that on.
ELVEDIN NEZIROVIC, Director Pavarotti Music Centre: I have to say I'm impressed by your book. I'm still reading it, but after I finished the chapter associated with Mostar and Pavarotti Center, I feel deeply touched. I don't know why. I don't know if it is because of hard times of war I passed through or it is because of the local significance of your humanitarian engagement in my city or it is maybe because of sincerity of the book. Thank you for everything you've done for my city and for my generation of people here.
GRAINNE PALMER: A fascinating and authentic account of political activism from someone who has walked the talk. This book is a 'must read' for anyone concerned with fighting injustice and violence in our world. It's an illuminating window into the social history of political activism over the last few decades. I couldn't put it down. It's also a page-turner peppered with passion, wit and human interest. Elegantly written too.
HEKATE PAPADAKI: They say life is stranger than fiction and when it comes to David Wilson's life, that's definitely the case. Left Field is an inspiring account of a man who never gave up on his principles and refused to settle, even when turning a blind eye would've saved him much hardship. I picked up the book for its insight into the Bosnian war, in which I was very emotionally involved in as a Greek sixteen year old, influenced by my country's biased coverage of events. The book exposes both the realities of war and the often unpleasant truth in the dealings of international NGOs operating at a time of humanitarian disasters. It is full of incredible anecdotes about the lives of bigger-than-life personalities such as Pavarotti and Mandela and it is in equal terms insightful, philosophical and funny. Left Field, however, is more than the political account of a lifelong activist; it is also a deeply moving and personal account of a man's struggles, loves and losses. Highly recommended.
DEBBI READ: I write this as I sit in the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar. It's obvious that David's tireless work before, during and after his time as Director of War Child still sits deep within those whose hearts have been touched by him in Bosnia Herzegovina. My time here confirms all that Left Field records, and only increases my admiration for the writer, his courage, wit, determination and politics. This memoir is a compelling read: the history of one man, lost battles and one war. If this doesn't inspire you nothing will.
REALTA FILMS: War Child was the biggest music charity since Live Aid. It raised millions of pounds to support children and families in conflict zones across the world. David Wilson, the co-founder has just published his memoir 'Left Field' in conjunction with Unbound Publishing and Penguin Books. This is a wonderful account of the life of a man who has dedicated himself to the causes of peace and social justice, and been very active in using the power of art and music to restore societies after warfare. A very inspiring read. 
UNBOUND'S FIRST READER of Left Field: There’s a fascinating range of subject matter in this writing sample. As the author confronts the prospect of his elderly father’s immanent death, he reflects on his father’s successful career as editor of The Lancet and how that influenced his own career choices and life. This blend of childhood anecdote and adult memory makes powerful reading – not least because of the author’s ability to distil character and dramatise moments from his own past. In addition to this, he also gives us clear explanations of social, political, psychological and neurological theories that directly inform the anecdotes he tells. These two elements combine to create a personal and philosophical study of humanity – taking both the microcosm of family relationships and the bigger picture of wars between nations.
EUGENE SKEEF: I am so elated to have read Left Field. I feel like a child at the fountain of narratives. David Wilson is truly one of the greatest storytellers I have ever met or read. For me he is right up there with Alice Walker, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Mandla Langa and Ariel Dorfman (Writing The Deep South) in his ability to enchant the reader while telling about harrowing and politically charged life experiences.
SIR TOM STOPPARD: David Wilson has lived a life and a half. I was proud to play a minor role in War Child, an organisation in which David was inspirational. The broken world needed people like David then; it still does and it always will.
ED VICTOR LITERARY AGENCY: Your relationship with your elderly father is described in such beautiful style that it would not be out of place from a literary novel by an established and seasoned author. The same goes for your childhood years at boarding school ... The 'Balkan years', including the bits where you fall in love with a Croat and the adventures of the mobile bakery could be from a historical thriller. The whole 'War Child' section could be an expose about the problems and hidden lives of charities, especially when they become powerful.
MICHAEL WALLING, Artistic Director, Border Crossings: Left Field is fantastic. So much I don’t know about someone I know well… and so much vivid colour around the bits I did know well. The Mostar sections are incredible - and salutary. Loving it
HAIIFA ZANGANA: Left Field is a memoir where the personal is entwined with activism and  woven into a  poetic multi-coloured tapestry .



Best 'Left Field' buy is from Public Reading Rooms at £13 with p&p or buy from Amazon

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Left Field on Film

                                                                                     
further films to follow shortly (with Amir Amirani and music from Eugene Skeef, Deicola Neves, Vanessa Lucas-Smith, Peter Wilson)

To buy Left Field - The memoir of a lifelong Activist, by David Wilson go to Waterstones, Amazon, WH Smith, Penguin Books and most good retailers. Best offer to date is from Public Reading Rooms at £13 including p&p

Monday, 22 August 2016

Left Field: The Musical

Left Field: The music. I was in love with the girl in the record shop. She persuaded me to buy Johnny Tillotson's 'Poetry in Motion'. Being in CND in South London, meant live Blues artists at the Bromley Court Hotel. These three got my mojo working. Howlin Wolf's 'Smoketsack Ligtnin' ', John Lee Hooker's 'Jack of Diamonds' & Muddy Waters, 'Got my Mojo Working'. Jimmy Kennedy was getting ready to go to Bosnia to run the War Child Mostar bakery. I remember his endless cups of tea, his smokes and his obsession with Van Morrison's 'Queen of the Slipstream'. Brian Eno invited me to his studio to listen to an early recording of 'Miss Sarajevo'. Bono composed it and Brian was producing it. He needed to double check how to pronounce Miljacka. In 1995 the Help album was released with contributions from more than 20 artists, It was recorded on Monday, September 4th, 1995, in studios across Europe and released, on target, five days later. It raised more than £1.5 million for aid to Bosnia Herzegovina. I was in charge of deciding where the money went. Here are two tracks from the album: Sinéad O'Connor's 'Ode to Billy Joe' had arrived too late for inclusion in the album, but Brian Eno and his team were so impressed with her haunting rendition that they felt they had to include the song. 'Fade Away' was recorded by Oasis with contributions from Kate Moss and Johnny Depp. 'Pavarotto and Friends' for War Child in Modena raised millions for the charity. The music Centre in Mostar was the result. Of course Pavarotti, Bono and Eno sang 'Miss Sarajevo' and Liza Minnelli joined Pavarotti for 'New York, New York'. Bruce Cockburn's 'Somebody Touched Me' is for Anne Aylor whose touch saved my life. watch & listen to Left Field: The Musical

Then check out Left Field, published by Unbound & distributed by Penguin Books



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Ships at Sea

 I spent a lot of time at WOMAD with Amir Amirani, director of 'We are Many'. A great man who has devoted years to getting this film made. It can now be bought on DVD and soon on Netflix and has been bought by Universal Pictures. All this on his own and without any support from the 'media'. I doubt you are going to see this film on your TV screens. Why? I think it's because he is an outsider – he's not working inside the box, inside the acceptable paradigm. It's the same with Jeremy Corbyn. 10,000 can fill the streets of Liverpool but he remains 'unelectable'. What is meant by this is that he remains 'unacceptable'. He is not playing by their rules. I wrote about this in 'Left Field'. “A police inspector turned up at our house. He wanted to question me about a march I was helping to co-ordinate as secretary of South London Youth CND. ‘Are you the organiser?’ he asked. ‘I’m one of them.’ ‘What is your role?’ I was being introduced to page one of the police training manual: locate the leader. I said nothing, but my mother tapped him on the arm. ‘He’ll get over this,’ she said. ‘He’s still growing up.’ As the front door closed, she pleaded with me. ‘David, why can’t you be normal?’ ‘What is normal, Mum?’ ‘Why don’t you go into politics?’ ‘I am into politics.’ ‘Banning the bomb isn’t politics. Why don’t you join a party? You could end up in Parliament.’ Ambrose Bierce, the American wit, said that politics is ‘a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.’ Politics that you ‘go into’, takes place in a box with shared rules of engagement. If, like me, you believe there is nothing ‘shared’ about our world, the only place for politics is on the streets, not in a debating chamber full of Right Honourables who barrack and ridicule each other, then go off to have cosy lunches together. For my mother, my extra-parliamentary activities made me an extremist. But it’s like ships at sea. If a fleet of them are sailing together, a lone ship on the horizon is viewed as one which occupies an extreme position. However, from the point of view of the lone ship, you have to be a damn good sailor.” Amir is a damn good sailor and so is Jeremy Corbyn. They are our only hope, and in my case, now aged over 70, my last one!.www.davidwilson.org.uk