Perspectives on
Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 1 - No. 2
Fall 1997


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What's Happening: Books and Events

Colin Ward and Murray Bookchin, two of the most distinguished anarchist authors of the second half of this century, continue to enrich radical politics and critique. Ward, author of Anarchy in Action (Freedom Press, 1973) as well as numerous other works, has recently published Reflected in Water: A Crisis of Social Responsibility (12.99, Cassell Academic). This book provides an "account of the immense social issues raised locally and globally by our universal need for water, and of the various water crises now facing the world." The political dimensions of Bookchin’s social ecology are elaborated by Janet Biehl in The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (Black Rose Books, $19.99). This work focuses on the historical and philosophical context of libertarian municipalism and practical questions pertinent to building a libertarian municipalist movement. An extensive interview with Bookchin is also included. In addition, many of Bookchin’s essential writings are collected in the Murray Bookchin Reader. This work, edited and introduced by Janet Biehl, is soon-to-be released by Cassell Academic (15.99). Also, stay tuned for the second volume of Bookchin’s Third Revolution: Popular Movements in the Revolutionary Era.

Attempts to refine a contemporary anarchism continue. In Twenty-First Century Anarchism: Unorthodox Ideas for the New Millennium (Cassell Academic, 13.99) Jon Purkis and James Bowen have collected essays that explore issues such as human nature, technology, culture and power, identity, and consumerism. Also included is a glossary of anarchist figures, movements, and events. Sydney, Australia’s Visions of Freedom Collective is commemorating the Visions of Freedom Conference held there in 1995 with the production of an anthology of talks given at the conference. This includes Noam Chomsky’s "Goals and Visions" as well as essays addressing free speech, the relationship between feminism and anarchism, and other issues. They have also produced a magazine containing a variety of articles, reports, and photographs related the event. Both are available from the Visions of Freedom Collective.

The literature on the history of anarchism is already expansive and it grows with three new books examining fairly specialized dimensions of the movement. These are David Morland’s Demanding the Impossible: Human Nature and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Social Anarchism (13.99, Cassell), Michael Forman’s Nationalism and the International Labor Movement: The Idea of the Nation in Socialist and Anarchist Theory (Penn. State University Press), and Alexander Varias’ Paris and the Anarchists: Aesthetes and Subversives During Fin-de-Siecle (St. Martins Press). These will be complemented by AK Press’s new translation and publication of Daniel Guerin’s two volume, documentary history of Anarchism, Neither God Nor Master ($16.95 per volume).

The Kate Sharpley Library continues to produce work from their collection with the pamphlet "The CNT and the Russian Revolution" by Ignacio Llorens (available from AK Distribution and the KSL). Another pamphlet on the Russian Revolution has just been (re)released by E.G. Smith and AK Press: G.P. Maximov’s Bolshevism: Promises & Reality. This analysis of the Marxist dictatorship was originally published in 1935 by the Free Society Group of Chicago. Also available is Degrees of Freedom: Anarchist Essays By and About Jens Bjorneboe, a noted Norwegian anarchist author ($4.00 from Protocol Press).

Anarchist journals are still important forums for debating and developing anarchism. The Raven, an anarchist quarterly from London, has a new issue out (Number 33) on the arts. Copies are available from Freedom Press. The next issue of Anarchist Studies, due out in October, includes articles such as "Kropotkin and Spatial Social Theory: Unfolding an Anarchist Construction" by Shaun Huston and "Max Stirner: The Last Hegelian or the First Poststructuralist?" by Andrew M. Koch. Copies are available from The White Horse Press. The next issue of Social Anarchism will be dedicated to the memory of David Wieck and will include, among other things, an article on Ebonics, reading Godwin, and a special symposium on building an anarchist agenda.

Anyone interested in buying anarchist books and meeting anarchist book lovers will want to attend one of the upcoming book fairs. The Sixteenth Annual London Anarchist Bookfair will be held on October 18, 1997 at 10 am in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WCI (nearest tube is Holborn). For more information contact: New Anarchist Review, C/O 84b Whitechapel High St., London E1 7QX or send e-mail to m.peacock@unl.ac.uk. The Third Annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair will take place on March 14, 1998. More than 50 exhibitors from all over the U.S. will sell radical and anti-authoritarian books, records, posters and tee-shirts, with speakers to be announced. For more info contact: Bound Together Books, 1369 Haight Street, SF, CA 94117 or AK Press.

The 25th Annual Reunion of the Friends of the Ferrer Modern School will be a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. It will take place on Sept. 20, 1997 at Brower Commons of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Themes are labor unions and education and art and the Modern School, featuring talks by John Bekken, Allan Antliff, and James Wechsler. For more information and to reserve a buffet lunch ($11 per person) contact: Friends of the Ferrer Modern School, 200 Sumack Ridge Lane, Altamont, NY 12009; phone 518-861-5544; or email Jscott@atmos.albany.edu. Also, anarchism's influence on the arts from the turn of the century to the present will be the subject of "Anarchism and Visual Culture," a special session at the College Art Association's 86th Annual Conference to be held in Toronto, February 25-28, 1998.

Jura Books, an Australian Anarchist bookstore, is both celebrating its 20th year and relocating, with festivities being planned at the new location: 440 Parramatta Road, PO Box N32, Petersham North NSW 2049, Australia.

The Internet continues to grow as resource for discussion and scholarship on anarchism. The remarkable Anarchy Archives is always expanding, and new additions include various works by Godwin, Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Goldman. A completely new section of the site has been created entitled "Bright, But Lesser Lights" featuring material by and about figures such as Ricardo Flores Magon, Rosa Pesotta, and other less prominent anarchists. Anarchy Archives can be found at http://www.pitzer.edu/~dward/Anarchist_Archives/archivehome.html. Also, the Kate Sharpley Library now has a web site, where you’ll find a listing of KSL pamphlets and other publications. The address is http://members.aol.com/wellslake/Sharpley.htm. Finally, the Anarchist Archives Project of Cambridge, Massachusetts now has a small web site now at http://members.aol.com/wellslake/AAP.htm.

Harold Barclay, author of People Without Government: An Anthropology of Anarchism, recently published a collection of 14 essays and book reviews entitled Culture and Anarchism (Freedom Press, ,6.95).

Radical struggle is the focus of The Heart of Progress by Paul Klem. Composed of 60 "social expressionist, polemical etchings" and accompanied by prose poems, it addresses issues such as technology, pedagogy, race, class, gender, work, and culture. It is available for $13Can/$11US/6UK from Black Crow Books.

The Rabble Review is a new magazine pro-viding a voice for ideas and activities of activists, disgruntled workers, anti-authoritarians, corporate resisters, whistleblowers and other assorted malcontents. For a sample copy, send $4 to P.O. Box 471 VA 22204.

Temma Kaplan, author of Anarchists of Andalusia, has a new book out, Crazy for Democracy: Women in Grassroots Movements (Routledge), which focuses on women activists in Central and South America. Also, Dennis Sullivan, co-author of The Struggle to Be Human: Crime, Criminology, and Anarchism (Cienfuegos Press, 1980) recently helped establish the Institute for Economic and Restorative Justice. The Institute held a conference in June and will also publish a journal, The Contemporary Justice Review. For more information contact: The Institute for Economic and Restorative Justice at P.O. Box 262, Voorheesville, NY, 12186.