You’ll probably never see The Man in Revolution Books. He’d be put off by its anti-establishment angle. Since 1979, the store has operated according to Lenin’s belief that “without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolution.” The folks here aim to change the world, and a volunteer staff ensures that the not-for-profit stays true to its communist roots.
While the selection leans heavily toward Marx and Mao, don’t fret if you look bad in red. Lefty heavyweights like Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore share shelves with notable novelists such as Toni Morrison and Isabel Allende. Browse history, science and sociology texts or grab a spoken-word cd. Fashion savvy comrades can even accessorize those olive drabs with socially conscious buttons and clever tees that say things like “The Empire Strikes First.” Besides, where else can you find a sale that unloads used books at a paltry $1.50 a pound?
The store’s salvaged chairs and handmade shelves are strictly utilitarian. The place could do with some music to help lighten the stuffy, serious vibe, but don’t be afraid to ask the friendly staff for help. Thanks to the shop’s small size, they know their stock better than any chain and will gladly guide you without pushing the hammer and sickle. Can’t find that manifesto you’ve been looking for at Borders? Well, viva la Revolution Books.
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Foreman