Born OTD in 1819, American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period, Herman Melville. Moby Dick is the story of Captain Ahab’s quest to avenge the whale that `reaped’ his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab’s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader.

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The other side of Notting Hill – this is a historical analysis of housing in the North Kensington area of London, from the middle of the Twentieth Century to the present day. The establishment and development of a Housing Co-operative was central to a radical new form of local social housing.

The past four decades of the Co-op’s experience is examined alongside a description of vibrant community legal campaigns to improve … More

Born OTD in 1921, American social theorist, author, orator, historian, and political philosopher, Murray Bookchin. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin formulated and developed the theory of social ecology and urban planning, within anarchist, libertarian socialist, and ecological thought.

In the essays that make up this book, Murray Bookchin calls for a critical social standpoint that transcends both “biocentrism” … More

Born OTD in 1842. Russian Zoologist, economist, geographer, and philosopher, Peter Kropotkin. Writing partly in response to Social Darwinism, Kropotkin draws on his scientific knowledge to illustrate the phenomenon of cooperation. After examining the evidence of cooperation in nonhuman animals, pre-feudal societies, medieval cities, and in modern times, he concludes that cooperation and mutual aid are the most important factors in the evolution of the species and the ability to survive.

“In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find … More

First published OTD in 1851, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Moby Dick is the story of Captain Ahab’s quest to avenge the whale that `reaped’ his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab’s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader.

Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all an education:in the practice of whaling, in the art … More