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No 75. The Well Dressed Revolutionary: The Odyssey of Michel Pablo in the Age of Uprisings

By: Hall Greenland
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The Well Dressed Revolutionary

Michael Pablo was a twentieth century revolutionary whose life and ideas remain relevant and inspirational in the 21st. He spent his life involved in revolutions around the globe – in Greece, France, Algeria, Chile, Palestine and Portugal, to name the most important – everywhere pursuing a genuinely democratic socialism. He was a hands-on participant and advocated and worked for what he called ‘generalised self-management or direct democracy’ – on a local, regional, national and planetary scale. For Pablo, this was utopian but realisable. He had his faults – he was reluctant to admit to error and could be blindly loyal. But his strengths – his insistence on full and direct democracy, pluralism, a principled life, his sympathy for the ‘wretched of the Earth’, an early recognition of the ecological crisis, the need for planetary solutions, the shape of the new revolutionary ‘subject’, the continued relevance of an open and creative Marxism, the value of an imaginative utopianism – make him vitally relevant in this new century. The Well-Dressed Revolutionary is a meticulously researched biography of an important international figure – and a cracking good read.


About the author

Hall Greenland is an award-winning Australian journalist, historian and political activist. He is a founding member of the Greens in Australia. He is the author of Red Hot: the life and times of Nick Origlass.  He met Pablo in Paris in 1968.


An independent-minded and marvellous observer, Hall Greenland provides a candidly judicious picture of a complex and vivid personality embroiled in a tumultuous political career. Peeling back layers of myth to reveal Michel Pablo as a sympathetic, multi-dimensional figure of real depth, Greenland evocatively narrates a good deal of overlooked and underwritten history of the Far Left. For too long, Pablo has been known mainly as the pariah of orthodox Trotskyism, a mix of legend, speculation, and gossip. This humanizing biography brings to light a rich tapestry of unusual information that is deeply researched, adroitly formulated, captivating, and at times disarming.
Alan Wald, H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, author of The New York Intellectuals:  The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s.

A man of ideas, of courage and of action, Pablo’s role during the Algerian war for independence was beyond remarkable. It was legendary, not only for what he contributed but also for his ability to avoid the pitfalls. How much we admired, how much we learned!
Elaine Mokhtefi, author of Algiers, Third World Capital: Freedom fighters, revolutionaries & Black Panthers

Hall Greenland has written an empathetic and fascinating biography of a great revolutionary of our time. This book is both rigorous historical research and a political essay. It offers a complete picture of Michel Raptis’ actions and life. All those interested in the revolutionary movements of the 20th century will learn a lot in reading it.
Yves Sintomer, Professor of Political Science, Paris 8 University

Pablo was the product of a time when idealism, convictions and generosity forged the destiny of men.
Mohammed Harbi, Historian and Algerian revolutionary

Pablo always struck me as a biblical personage.
Mikis Theodorakis, Greek composer

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