Monthly Archives: April 2014

Book Reviews

My thanks to Keith Flett, Hilary Kitchin and Rachel Taylor for their kind reviews about my book, Sadism, Songs and Stolen Liberty. If you have read the book and wish to send me your review please email it to me at: and/or post on twitter and let me know at: @stephenmann12


“There are numbers of memoirs written about the radical politics of the 1960s but Stephen Mann offers an important new perspective to the historical record. While still serving in the Navy he went on anti-Vietnam war demonstrations and attracted the attentions of Whitehall and the Special Branch. The book is both highly readable and an important addition to our knowledge of the history of the 1960s from someone who played a part in them.” Dr Keith Flett, Convenor, Socialist History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.


“Having worked with the National Council for Civil Liberties I enjoyed reading Stephen Mann’s personal experiences of the NCCL campaign for justice for boy servicemen. Although the subject matter is serious Stephen manages to make his book an entertaining and amusing read, taking us through his adventures in the Navy. This is a story of despair but then hope for a reluctant serviceman who made the mistake of joining the armed forces at the age of fifteen without realising that he had signed away the next twelve years of his life. I thoroughly recommend you to read this book.” Hilary Kitchin, former Lawyer NCCL.


“Stephen’s story should be required reading for all those, whatever their political persuasion, who claim that enlisting at 16 is a “good thing” for young people. He reveals how easily a child is manipulated by exciting recruitment materials, how little they understand or consider the legal implications of their terms of service until it’s too late, and how desperate many are to get out once the boredom and bullying begins. Half a century since the NCCL campaign, Stephen’s cautionary tale is still all too familiar among child recruits today.”  Rachel Taylor, Research and Advocacy, Child Soldiers International