Farquhar McHarg, seventy-six-year-old anarchist from the Govan district of Glasgow, was prompted to write Pistoleros! by the murder of his lifelong friend, Laureano Cerrada Santos, in October 1976. Pistoleros! records McHarg's evolving beliefs and sense of mission, and the remarkable adventures he experienced from the day he sailed into the neutral port of Barcelona in the spring of 1918 as a naïve but idealistic eighteen-year-old, to 1976. Pistoleros! is folk history, bringing the changes that shook the political and social landscape of Spain (and the world) between 1918 and 1976 into the framework of adult lifetime. The chronicles make a vexatious but fascinating story that provides a deep insight into the spirit that moved the selfless, generous, occasionally naïve and recklessly idealistic people who were involved in the bitter social struggles that marked the hectic insurrectionary and utopian aftermath of the great imperialist war of 1914-1918. The transformation of the unworldly young Farquhar, in the climactic and rebellious years between 1918 and 1924, is fascinating to observe as he acquires consciousness and identity through his experiences in a world for which he is little prepared. The journey he embarks upon in these pages is not simply a personal memoir or an exploration of his own psyche; the many hitherto untold stories that unfold along his way provide profound understanding of the circumstances, thoughts and deeds of people who tried to rescue the Europe of the twentieth century from the cycle of disaster, war, and death. Barcelona, 1976: Hired gunmen brutally murder a lifelong friend and fellow anarchist, forcing Farquhar McHarg into a race to document an epic history before he too can be silenced. The first volume of his memoirs finds him a Glasgow boy, dropped by chance into Barcelona’s revolutionary underworld at the tail end of the great imperialist war of 1914–1918, recruited by Spanish anarchists to act as a go-between with Britain’s Secret Service Bureau. McHarg tells of a corrupt and brutal Spanish regime, bent on bringing a rebellious working class back under its heel, and the generous and recklessly idealistic men and women who struggled to transform it after rejecting traditional party politics. Pistoleros! is a thrilling tale of intrigue and romance, and a sweeping inside view of the saboteurs and spies, the capitalists and bold insurrectionaries of Spain’s bloody past.
In Farquhar McHarg's autobiography, a young boy from Glasgow finds himself in the middle of Barcelona's revolutionary underworld at the tail end of World War I. Volume One chronicles McHarg's liaisons between the British Secret Service Bureau and the Spanish anarchists. McHarg tells of a corrupt Spanish regime bent on crushing a rebellious working class and the generous and recklessly idealistic men and women who struggled to transform it after rejecting traditional party politics. When a lifelong friend and fellow anarchist was gunned down, McHarg raced to write this epic history before he too could be silenced. This unique, first-person account of revolutionary activities in 20th-century Europe gives rare perspective and insight into modern revolutionary history.