A magisterial study of the history and theory of one of the most controversial political movements. Anarchism routinely gets a bad press. It’s usually seen as meaning chaos and disorder — or even nothing at all. And yet, from Occupy Wall Street to Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky to David Graeber, this philosophical and political movement is as relevant as ever. Contrary to popular perception, different strands of anarchism — from individualism to collectivism — do follow certain structures and a shared sense of purpose: a belief in freedom and working towards collective good without the interference of the state.

In this masterful, sympathetic account, political theorist Ruth Kinna traces the tumultuous history of anarchism, starting with thinkers and activists … More

Born OTD in 1869, Lithuanian anarchist political activist & writer, Emma Goldman. Goldman was well known during her life, described as, among other things, “the most dangerous woman in America”. In essays like “The Hypocrisy of Puritanism” & a speech entitled “The Failure of Christianity”, Goldman made more than a few enemies among religious communities by attacking their moralistic attitudes & efforts to control human behavior. She blamed Christianity for “the perpetuation of a slave society”, arguing that it dictated individuals’ actions on Earth & offered poor people a false promise of a plentiful future in heaven. She was also critical of Zionism, which she saw as another failed experiment in state control.

A wonderful retelling of the famous anarchist and radical icon Emma Goldman’s extraordinary life, this graphic biography embodies the richness … More

Born OTD in 1830, teacher & important figure in the Paris Commune, Louise Michel. Following her penal transportation she embraced anarchism. When returning to France she emerged as an important French anarchist and went on speaking tours across Europe. Set against the background of violence & state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin & the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible & outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat.

Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous … More

Born OTD in 1809, French politician & the founder of mutualist philosophy, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. His best-known assertion is that ‘property is theft!’, contained in his first major work, What Is Property?, published in 1840. Proudhon favored workers’ associations or co-operatives as well as individual worker/peasant possession over private ownership or the nationalization of land and workplaces.

The first English translation of Guerin’s monumental anthology of anarchism, published here in one volume. It details a vast array … More

Born OTD in 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker, William Blake. His poetry consistently embodies an attitude of rebellion against the abuse of class power as documented in David Erdman’s large study Blake: Prophet Against Empire: A Poet’s Interpretation of the History of His Own Times. Blake was concerned about senseless wars & the blighting effects of the Industrial Revolution. Much of his poetry recounts in symbolic allegory the effects of the French and American revolutions. Erdman claims Blake was disillusioned with them, believing they had simply replaced monarchy with irresponsible mercantilism and notes Blake was deeply opposed to slavery, and believes some of his poems read primarily as championing “free love” have had their anti-slavery implications short-changed.

Peter Marshall’s study draws on Blake’s complete writings, his poetry and his prose. It offers a lively and perceptive account … More

Born OTD in 1806, Johann Kaspar , AKA Max Stirner. Max Stirner, was a German philosopher who is often seen as one of the forerunners of nihilism, existentialism, psychoanalytic theory, postmodernism, & individualist anarchism. “The Ego & His Own,” the seminal defence of individualism, coloured the thinking of Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Emst, Henrik Ibsen & Victor Serge, among many others, some of whom would vigorously deny any such influence in later years. Less reticent was Marcel Duchamp, who described Max Stimer as the philosopher most important to his work.

Challenging the religious, philosophical and political constraints on personal freedom, Stimer criticizes all doctrines and beliefs that place the interests … More

‘Butterfly’s Tongue’ tells of the friendship between a schoolboy and an anarchist schoolmaster, born of a shared interest in animal and insect life, which is destroyed by the eruption of the Spanish Civil War in the summer of 1936. Other stories are woven around characters who appear in this central story. In ‘A Saxophone in the Mist’, a young musician discovers the meaning of music and of love in the face of a girl he meets one foggy night at a fair.

In ‘Carmina’ a boy listen as a man relates how a dog frustrated him in his attempts to woo his … More

Born OTD in 1953, American political writer who is the author of numerous books and articles associated with social ecology, the body of ideas developed and publicized by Murray Bookchin, Janet Biehl. Best known for introducing the idea of ecology to the Left, and for first positing that a liberatory society would also have to be an ecological society, Murray Bookchin, over the course of several decades, developed the basic components of Libertarian Municipalism – how to create free cities. Written in short, to-the-point chapters, the book presents an introductory overview and sketches the historical and philosophical context in which these ideas are grounded. Substantial material on the practical question of creating and organizing a new municipal movement toward such democratic cities is included.

Available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1924, British anarchist writer and social historian, Colin Ward. Ten lectures. Endless variations on a few simple but neglected truths. From An Anarchist Approach To Urban Planning, to Do-It-Yourself New Towns. Colin Ward is one of the few internationally known libertarian writers in the field of housing and other social issues. In this series of talks given to various audiences worldwide, he reveals the history of housing and town planning as a series of conflicts between the top-down approach to local adminstration, which prefers effeciency to democracy, and the grassroots approach, with emphasis on fostering self-reliance in citizens.

Most of Ward’s works deal with the issue of rural housing and the problems of overpopulation and planning regulations in … More

Born OTD in 1814, one of the most influential figures of anarchism & one of the principal founders of the social anarchist tradition, Mikhail Bakunin. In 1868, Bakunin joined the Geneva section of the First International, in which he remained very active until he was expelled from the International by Karl Marx & his followers at the Hague Congress in 1872. Although Bakunin accepted elements of Marx’s class analysis & theories regarding capitalism, acknowledging “Marx’s genius”, he thought Marx’s analysis was one-sided, & that Marx’s methods would compromise the social revolution. More importantly, Bakunin criticized “authoritarian socialism” & the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat which he adamantly refused, saying: “If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself”

The spellbinding story of both the man and the theory, Bakunin chronicles one of the most notorious radicals in history, … More