Publisher: AK Press
Released: March 1, 2022
From the Spanish Civil War to the present day—the story of an exceptional life.
Octavio Alberola has spent over eighty years thinking, living, and formulating his life from an anarchist perspective. He belongs to a generation of protagonists in some of the twentieth century’s most notable events: the Spanish Revolution, the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the internal conflicts of the international anarchist movement, and the great social struggles around the world. He was exiled to Mexico as a youth, and knows the precariousness of a life lived underground. His acquaintances include García Oliver, Che Guevara, Cipriano Mera, Federica Montseny, Félix Guattari, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Régis Debray, Stuart Christie, Rigoberta Menchú, and Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.
In this remarkable, layered biography, Agustín Comotto sits you at the feet of a veteran militant, as content to recall dramatic exploits as to discuss art, physics, family life, or political history. Born in 1928 and active in social struggles since he was a teenager, Alberola conveys hard-earned lessons. Most important of all: never countenance pessimism.
Praise for The Weight of the Stars
"Octavio Alberola is the red thread that unites and gives meaning to the anarchist struggles of the [Spanish] Republic, the anti-Franco struggle, the revolts and armed actions of the seventies, and even the new reformulations of anarchism in a globalized world. The story and the reflection on his life and times that this book, by Argentine writer and illustrator Agustín Comotto, presents allows—through the skillful use of two voices embodying two generations—a balanced analysis of the facts.... In addition, the book immerses us in the contradictions and doubts, certainties and ethical commitments ... that have always guided Alberola’s life and his perpetual reformulation of anarchist ideas and the meaning of the struggle."
—Xavier Montanyà, journalist, filmmaker, and author of Pirates of Freedom
Agustín Comotto is an author and illustrator who was born in Argentina but moves around the world. He has drawn and/or written books in the U.S., France, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Winner of the A la Orilla del Viento award in Mexico, he is the author of, in English, Prisoner 155: Simón Radowitzky.
Paul Sharkey is one of the most well-known and highly respected translators of anarchist writings of the past thirty years. His other translations include Alexander Skirda’s Nestor Makhno: Anarchy's Cossack and Frank Mintz’s Anarchism and Workers' Self-Management in Revolutionary Spain.