A few reviews

A few new things, almost all reviews of books I consider important reading for anarchists. The one exception is a new review of Richard Dawkins Channel Four documentary on Darwin. Writing that introduction to Kropotkin's Mutual Aid has come in really handy!

First off is a review of Berkman's What is Anarchism?, which is a classic introduction to revolutionary anarchist ideas. ABC of Anarchism, the abridged version of this by Freedom Press, was the first anarchist book I bought and read from cover to cover. An extremely good introduction, if a wee bit dated.

Second review is Rocker's Anarcho-Syndicalism, another classic introduction. While I disagree with Rocker's linking of anarchism to classical liberalism, it is still essential reading to get the basic's of anarchism and syndicalism. Noam Chomsky likes it, too. Still, I would argue that anarchism flows from a critical evaluation of Rousseau rather than liberalism. Proudhon, for example, is obviously influenced by the French revolutionary tradition and critiques Rousseau for not being consistent (anarchism as a Rousseauean critique of Rousseau?). So if Proudhon is the father of anarchism, Rousseau is the grandfather. Having reading Rousseau key works, I quite like his work -- even if they are flawed.

Next is a classic of revolutionary syndicalism, How we shall bring about the revolution by Emile Pataud and Emile Pouget. Essential reading to refute many myths about syndicalism (such as them ignoring the state or seeking a planned general strike). Dated, but you cannot really understand pre-war French syndicalism without it.

While anarchists know of the Chicago Anarchists, their ideas are not that well know. Albert Parson's Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis is essential reading to get an idea of what they stood for and how they applied anarchist ideas.

Finally, a few books on Spanish Anarchism. No one can really understand the Spanish revolution unless they read The CNT in the Spanish Revolution by Jose Peirats (I've read volume 2, but not reviewed it -- mostly because it is a depressing read!). Much the same can be said of Stuart Christie and his essential study of the FAQ, We, the Anarchists. Finally, there is a classic of social anthrolopology, The Anarchists of Casas Viejas by Jerome R. Mintz. He debunks quite a few myths about the Spanish anarchists and gives a wonderful insight of a mass libertarian social movement.

Comments

Hi - I've added images from

Hi - I've added images from Flickr and added them to a couple of articles to improve the look of the site. I found these via the Flick search http://flickr.com/search/advanced/ and choose 'creative commons' towards the bottom of the search page to find images we could use.

  


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