In this two-part episode, Working Class Literature speak to DD Johnston about his new novel, Disnaeland, about a working-class Scottish community’s response to societal collapse. We also discuss his previous novels and his participation in McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance, a radical collective of angry employees at the world’s biggest fast food chain.

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  • Part 1: Darren talks to us about working-class writing; his involvement in McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance and the broader anti-capitalist movement; his first novel, Peace, Love and Petrol Bombs, and his new novel, Disnaeland (including readings from both). He also discusses depictions of societal collapse in popular culture, and how his new novel is different.

WCL05: DD Johnston's proletarian apocalypse, part 1 Working Class History

  • Part 1 bonus: We go into more detail about McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance, including Darren’s invitation to the Canadian Labour Congress and the 2002 International McStrike – available now, exclusively for our supporters on patreon.
  • Part 2: Darren discusses his new novel’s relationship to the Scots language, the apocalyptic prophecies of radical, pre-Enlightenment Christianity, and its focus on mutual aid as a response to disaster. Darren also performs two further readings from his new novel – available now for early listening on patreon.
  • Part 2 bonus: Darren talks about his novels’ relationship to older forms of working-class writing, and how they relate to changing ideas about class and possibilities for transforming society – available now, exclusively for our supporters on patreon.

More information

For more information on DD Johnston, check out his website.

Click here to buy a copy of Disnaeland from an independent bookshop.

See also the links below to buy his previous novels.

Further reading

McDonald’s Workers’ Resistance

DD Johnston essays


  • Bregman, Rutger. ‘The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months,’ The Guardian, May 9 2020. Available here (accessed: November 9 2022).
  • Gould, Steven Jay. ‘Kropotkin Was No Crackpot.’ Available here (accessed: November 9 2022).
  • Hilliard, Christopher (2006). The Exercise Our Talents: The Democratisation of Writing in Britain. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Kropotkin, Peter. Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution. Available here (accessed: November 9 2022).
  • Lawrence, DH (1992). Sons and Lovers. Ware: Wordsworth Classics.
  • Lawrence, DH (2007). Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Ware: Wordsworth Classics.
  • Out of the Woods, ‘Disaster Communism,’, May 8, 2014. Available here (accessed September 30, 2022).
  • Sartre, Jean Paul (2010) ‘Why Write?’ from ‘What is Literature?’ in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: Norton, pp. 1199-1213.
  • Solnit, Rebecca (2010). A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. New York: Penguin.


  • As always, huge thanks to our patreon supporters who make this podcast possible. A special thanks to Stone Lawson and Jazz Hands.
  • Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here. Or stream it here.
  • This episode was edited by Jesse French.


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