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#Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction by Colin Ward

Foreword

Anarchism is a social and political ideology which, despite a history of defeat, continually re-emerges in a new guise or in a new country, so that another chapter has to be added to its chronology, or another dimension to its scope.

In 1962 George Woodcock wrote a 470-page book, Anarchism, which, continually reprinted as a Penguin Book and translated into many languages, became probably the most widely read book on the subject in the world. Woodcock wrote a series of updating postscripts until his death in 1995.

In 1992 Peter Marshall wrote a book of more than 700 pages called Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (HarperCollins) which seems likely to overtake the earlier book in global sales. Woodcock was greatly relieved: ‘I now have a book,’ he wrote, ‘to which I can direct readers when they ask me how soon I intend to bring my Anarchism up to date.’ Like all his other readers, I have been very grateful for Peter Marshall’s capacity for summarizing complex ideas and for exploring the by-ways of anarchist history.

For decades, when in search of a fact or an opinion, I would telephone Nicolas Walter, who died in the year 2000. I greatly value his neat little pamphlet About Anarchism, which is part of the global treasury of anarchist literature stocked by the Freedom Press Bookshop in London.

My task has been one of selection: simply an attempt to introduce the reader to anarchist ideas in a very few words and to point to further sources. In this rich field the emphases are bound to be my own.

C. W. February 2004

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Announcing the 2019 #Toronto Anarchist Bookfair!

We are excited to announce the return of the Toronto Anarchist Bookfair! The 2019 Bookfair will take place September 28 at the Centre for Social Innovation – Annex, on the traditional territories of the Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat peoples.

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#Malatesta: Toward Anarchy (1899)

I concluded Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas with excerpts from Errico Malatesta’s inspiring piece, “Toward Anarchy.” Often mistranslated as “Toward Anarchism,” Malatesta’s article was originally published in La Questione Sociale, No. 14, in December 1899, which Malatesta was then editing from Paterson, New Jersey. It was first translated into English in Man!, published out of San Francisco, in April 1933. Here I present the complete article, with a corrected translation by Davide Turcato. This translation of “Toward Anarchy” is included in Volume IV of theComplete Works of Malatesta, edited and compiled by Davide Turcato, and published by AK Press. Here, Malatesta presents not only a succinct definition of “anarchy” as conceived by the anarchists, but also of his “experimental” method, a non-dogmatic approach to revolutionary change by which one always seeks to achieve as much freedom as possible, given the circumstances in which one must work.

Robert Graham

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#Netherlands: JaKra! squatting yearbook 2018 released

Netherlands: JaKra! is initiated by KSU Den Haag (The Hague Squatting Info Centre). In this book project we would like to look back on a number of developments and events in the past year, together with squatters and housing activists in different places.

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#Kropotkin: Words of a Rebel

Paroles d’un Revolte was Kropotkin’s first book, published in Paris in 1885, and this is its first complete English version. A very different work from the more familiar books of the mature Kropotkin, like Mutual AidFields, Factories and Workshops; and Memoirs of a Revolutionist, it is the product of an anarchist agitator rather than a libertarian savant. And it derives its interest as much from what it reveals about an important transitional phase in the development of anarchist doctrines as it does for what it shows us of Kropotkin himself during a transitional period for him as well, an activist interlude between his escape from Russian prisons and his long refuge in the productive exile of London suburbia.

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Voline: My Friend Trotsky – “The conflict between you and us is unavoidable”

Here is an extract from the new PM Press edition of Voline’s anarchist history of the Russian Revolution,The Unknown Revolution (with a new introduction by Iain McKay), describing Voline’s encounters with Leon Trotsky, before and during the Russian Revolution.It goes well with Emma Goldman’s “Trotsky Protests Too Much,” which I posted earlier. The excerpt can also be found in Daniel Guérin’s No Gods, No Masters (Ni Dieu Ni Maitre), published by AK Press.

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: The Federative Principle and the Need to Reconstitute the Party of Revolution

First part and the first chapter of the second part are translated by Richard Vernon, as these were what he considered to be “the theoretical core of the work”. Chapter IX of Part III and Conclusion translated by Ian Harvey. Primary footnotes are Proudhon’s, while secondary footnotes are the translators’.

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Anarchist prisoner Marius Mason: New Book Review

A review of Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time For Society’s Crimes by Ann Hansen. Between the Lines, 2018

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Support Anarchist Bookfair #Malmö

Swedish territory: Yesterday we reported about the upcoming anarchist bookfair in Stockholm. Today we ask you to support the anarchist bookfair in Malmö.

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