Viva La Revolución!

Looking for your fellow comrades? You won’t find them at the Coop.

Adam D. Sidman

Revolution Books is a little farther out than Harvard Book Store—ideologically, that is.

Somewhere between the Kong and the Crêperie, a revolution may be stirring.

Revolution Books has inhabited various Cambridge locations since its founding in 1979. Today, it resides at 1156 Mass. Ave., where a black door and narrow set of stairs leads visitors up to a room crowded floor-to-ceiling with books.

The bookstore was founded by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), USA, an organization whose agenda is to overthrow the capitalist system, guide society through socialism, and implant communism.

“The mission of the store is to bring revolutionary politics to the people,” said Ben O’Leary, the middle-aged volunteer who was manning the bookstore Saturday evening. Wearing an anti-George Bush message on his t-shirt, O’Leary described the bookstore as a “place for people to come and struggle over issues of the day.”

Bookshelves, filled with everything from standard Communist manuals to pro-feminist texts, reflect this diversity. The store also distributes a weekly newspaper and hosts lectures and readings, according to the various advertisements adorning the store’s interior.

While O’Leary says that the traffic in the store varies drastically, Revolution was going slowly Saturday evening. A man in dreadlocks and a Che Guevara hat browsed the offerings, but exited before FM could speak to him, warning his fellow compatriots: “Watch out for the mainstream press!”

The other two customers in the store took his warning to heart, refusing to reveal their names to FM. But the couple was friendlier when it came to talking about (surprise!) the “revolution.” “[It’s] great to get off the capitalist chain of stores,” the woman said.

Indeed. Welcome, comrades.