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The anarchist reading list: Summer 2019

The anarchist reading list: Summer 2019

Below is a brief run-down of a selection of books recently or soon to be published in the forthcoming months which we feel may be of interest to anarchists. Three main criteria are affordability, accessibility and availability.

AK Press have a bumper selection lined up including:

  • Down with the Law: Anarchist Individualist Writings from Early Twentieth-Century France edited and translated by Mitchell Abidor. Among the authors are Albert Libertad, Emile Armand, André Lorulot, and the young Victor Serge.
  • Insurrection: The Bloody Events of May 1937 in Barcelona by Agustin Guillamon, translated by Paul Sharkey. More than 500 pages aiming to shed light on previously unanswered questions about the conflict, especially on the way that Stalinist and Republican forces conspired through assassination, intrigue and violence, to suppress the uprising.
  • Luigi Galleani: The Most Dangerous Anarchist in America a biography by Antonio Senta.
  • May Picqueray was an activist for her entire life (1898-1983) and this autobiography My Eighty-one Years Of Anarchy: A Memoir is newly translated and published in English for the first time. Her story is closely entangled with those of Sébastien Faure, Nestor Makhno, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berckman, Marius Jacob, and Buenaventura Durruti, among others.
  • MPT Acharya was active in the anarchist movement for many years and this collection We Are Anarchists: Essays on Anarchism, Pacifism, and the Indian Independence Movement 1923-1953, has been brought together by Ole Birk Laursen.

Although an academic title, Bloomsbury Academic’s John Paul Sartre’s Anarchist Philosophy by William L. Remley has a paperback edition that may be worth investing some time in.

A publisher in SW England, Breviary Stuff, have two new titles of interest.

  • They are the UK publisher for Philip Ruff’s most excellent biography The Towering Flame — The Life and Times of the Elusive Latvian Anarchist Peter the Painter. No spoilers but the historical research in this is very well handled.
  • They also have David Worrall’s Radical Culture: Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance 1790-1820 showing that even 200 years ago the British State was spying on political radicals.

Freedom Press have three titles slated for this year.

  • The Press’s summer release is Iain McKay’s collection of essays by 1910s British anarchist firebrand George Barrett, Our Masters Are Helpless.
  • Later in the year they will be releasing Spanish anarchist veteran Tomas Ibanez’s reflections, Anarchism is Movement.
  • And Mark Hayes will be looking at lessons to be learned and the use of State power to curb a neonazi group in The Trouble with National Action.

Pelican Books are publishing, in hardback, but not too expensive, Ruth Kinna’s new book The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism. A substantial tome of 400 pages, this traces the tumultuous history of anarchism, starting with thinkers and activists such as Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman before going through key events like the Paris Commune and the Haymarket affair.

PM Press have several titles lined up.

  • Nicolas Walter’s short classic About Anarchism is having a new edition issued, with additional biographical material and an expanded introduction by his daughter Natasha.
  • Those seeking an examination of anarchist involvement in struggles in Cuba will welcome Kirwin Shaffer’s Anarchist Cuba. The anarchists’ efforts included schools, health institutes, vegetarian restaurants, theater and fiction writing groups, and serious preparations for social revolution.
  • As the ongoing ecological disaster continues, John P. Clarke’s Between Earth and Empire is a timely intervention. It argues that an effective response to global crisis requires attention to all major spheres of social determination, including the social institutional structure, the social ideology, the social imaginary, and the social ethos.
  • Making a welcome reappearance is a new edition of Marie Louise Berneri’s Journey Through Utopia — A Critical Assessment of Imagined Worlds in Western Literature which begins with Plato’s Republic and continues through to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
  • Shawn P. Wilbur has brought together a new selection of theoretical articles by Max Nettlau, including some newly translated, New Fields. Some of these first saw the light of day in Freedom and Mother Earth in the early 20th century, others come from French publications.
  • Max Nettlau is probably better-known for his work on the history of anarchism, and a new edition of A Short History of Anarchism is forthcoming.

Rutgers U P have a paperback reprint of Candace Falk’s biography of Emma Goldman Love, Anarchy and Emma Goldman.

See Sharp Press have a timely volume Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement by Rodolfo Montes de Oca.

University of Illinois Press have a collection entitled Writing Revolution: Hispanic Anarchism in the United States edited by Christopher J Casteneda and Montse Feu.

And finally, Verso are publishing McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead — Is This Something Worse? arguing that the all-pervasive presence of data in our networked society has given rise to a new mode of production, one not ruled over by capitalists and their factories but by those who own and control the flow of information.

Mal Function

This article first appeared in the Summer issue of Freedom Journal

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