Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties

Published by Verso, 2005

A new edition of Tariq Ali’s memoirs, featuring the John Lennon/Yoko Ono interview ‘Power to the People’ and an important new introduction.

In Street-Fighting Years Tariq Ali revisits his formative years as a young radical. It is a story that takes us from Paris and Prague to Hanoi and Bolivia, meeting such figures as Malcolm X, Bertrand Russell, Marlon Brando, Henry Kissinger, and Mick Jagger along the way. In vivid detail, Ali captures the mood and energy of those years as he tracks the growing significance of the nascent protest movement.

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From the archive

  • ‘Most Pakistanis Don’t Want The Army In Politics’

    April 23, 2012

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Bharat Bhushan for Outlook India, April 23, 2012

    When you look at your original homeland, Pakistan, what thoughts come to your mind?

    A congregation of pain – to quote from Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s great poem Aaj ke naam – in Urdu, “dard ki anjuman”. The country has gone from bad to worse. You feel sometimes that things can’t get worse and they do. We first had the effect of military dictatorships on social political life in the country and now we have got a civilian government which is probably the most corrupt government in the entire history of the country. What staggers me is that Zardari is so shameless. On his face you do not read any regret for what he has done and he will carry on doing it till the United States keep  …

  • ‘Pakistan Needs a Triple Bypass’

    July 23, 2009

    ‘Pakistan Needs a Triple Bypass’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books (Diary), July 23, 2009

    June is never a good month on the plains. It was 46ºC in Fortress Islamabad a fortnight ago. The hundreds of security guards manning roadblocks and barriers were wilting, sweat pouring down their faces as they waved cars and motorbikes through. The evening breeze brought no respite. It, too, was unpleasantly warm, and it was difficult not to sympathise with those who, defying the law, jumped into the Rawal Lake, the city’s main reservoir, in an attempt to cool down. Further south in Lahore it was even hotter, and there were demonstrations when the generator at Mangla that sporadically supplies the city with electricity collapsed completely.

    As far as the political temperature goes there is never a good month in  …