My Top 25 Anarchist/Socialist Books

Labor Organizing

Zapatista Spring: Anatomy of a Rebel Water Project & the Lessons of International Solidarity by Ramor Ryan

Eight volunteers converge to help campesinos build a water system in Chiapas—a strategy to bolster the Zapatista insurgency by helping locals to assert their autonomy.

These outsiders come to question the movement they’ve traveled so far to support—and each other—when forced into a world so unlike the poetic communiqués of Subcomandante Marcos—a world of endemic rural poverty, parochialism, and shifting loyalties to the movement. The quiet dignity of the local compañeros and echoes of B. Traven, Conrad, and Camus, round out this epic yarn.

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics by Richard Seymour

In the 2017 general election, Jeremy Corbyn pulled off an historic upset, attracting the biggest increase in the Labour vote since 1945. It was another reversal of expectations for the mainstream media and his ‘soft-left’ detractors.

Demolishing the Blairite opposition in 2015, Corbyn had already seen off an attempted coup. Now, he had shattered the government’s authority, and even Corbyn’s most vitriolic critics have been forced into stunned mea culpas.

For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda—and for the first time in Labour’s history, it defines the leadership.

Richard Seymour tells the story of how Corbyn’s rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and by a deep crisis in British democracy. He shows how Corbyn began the task of rebuilding Labour as a grassroots party, with a coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, students and ‘Old Labour’ pugilists, who then became the biggest campaigning army in British politics. Utilizing social media, activists turned the media’s Project Fear on its head and broke the ideological monopoly of the tabloids. After the election, with all the artillery still ranged against Corbyn, and with all the weaknesses of the Left’s revival, Seymour asks what Corbyn can do with his newfound success.

– Verso Books

Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society by Andre Gorz

Over the last twenty-five years, Western societies have been reversing into the future. They are able neither to reproduce themselves in accordance with past norms, nor to exploit the unprecedented freedom offered by the savings in working time which new technology has generated.

In this major new book, Andre Gorz argues that the societies created by Fordism have been falling apart and have given way to ‘non-societies’, in which a tiny dominant stratum has grabbed most of the surplus wealth. In the absence of any alternative political project, social disintegration and individual despair have prevailed.

Mainstream economists seek solutions to this ‘crisis’, but Gorz argues that we are in fact in the grip of a new system which is abolishing work as we know it. The worst forms of exploitation are being restored, as each is forced to fight against all (both at the individual and the national level) in a desperate struggle to obtain the diminishing supply of work.In the face of these developments, Gorz argues that we should fight not against the destruction of work itself (in the sense of stable employment), but against the new system’s efforts to perpetuate the ideology of work as a source of rights.

We should welcome the reduction in the working hours required to meet our material needs and should realize the creative potential that this reduction could release. Through measures such as a sufficient unconditional basic income for all and new, co-operative economic structures, we can reclaim work and rebuild a future beyond the wage-based society.

Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America by Kenyon Zimmer

From the 1880s through the 1940s, tens of thousands of first- and second-generation immigrants embraced the anarchist cause after arriving on American shores. Kenyon Zimmer explores why these migrants turned to anarchism, and how their adoption of its ideology shaped their identities, experiences, and actions.

The book presents specific chapters outlining the early origins of social movement studies, and more recent theoretical and conceptual developments. It considers key ideas from resource mobilization theory, the political process model, and new social movement approaches. It provides an expansive commentary on the role of culture in social protest, and looks at substantive areas in chapters dedicated to religious movements, geography and struggles over space, media and movements, and global activism.Understanding Social Movements will be a useful resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students across disciplines wanting to be introduced to or extend their knowledge of the field. The book will also prove invaluable for lecturers and academic researchers interested in studying social movements


Social Organizing

Understanding Social Movements by Greg Martin

This book offers a new and fresh approach to understanding social movements. It provides interdisciplinary perspectives on social and cultural protest and contentious politics. It considers major theories and concepts, which are presented in an accessible and engaging format.

Historical and contemporary case studies and examples from a variety of different countries are provided throughout, including the American civil rights movement, Greenpeace, Pussy Riot, indigenous peoples movements, liberation theology, Occupy, Tea Party, and the Arab Spring.


Feminist

Feminist Identity Development and Activism in Revolutionary Movements by T. O’Keefe

This book examines the development of feminist identities among women active in revolutionary movements and how this identity simultaneously contributes to and conflicts with the struggle for women’s emancipation. It is based on groundbreaking interviews with women who were active in the contemporary Irish republican movement and activists in the broader women’s movement.

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf

In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife.

It’s the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of “the flawless beauty.”

Reclaiming the F Word: Feminism Today by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune

In today’s ‘post-feminist’ society, feminism is often portrayed as unfashionable and irrelevant. But since the turn of the millennium, a revitalised feminist movement has emerged to challenge these assumptions and assert a vibrant new agenda.

Reclaiming the F Word reveals the what, why and how of the new feminist movement and what it has to say about women’s lives today. From cosmetic surgery to celebrity culture and parenting to politics, from rape to religion and sex to singleness, this groundbreaking book reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today’s feminists, and calls a new generation back to action.


Anti-Racist

Black Girl Dangerous On Race, Queerness, Class and Gender by Mia McKenzie

Mia McKenzie, creator of the enormously popular website BGD, writes about race, queerness, class and gender in a concise, compelling voice filled at different times with humor, grief, rage, and joy. In this collection of her work from BGD, McKenzie’s nuanced analysis of intersecting systems of oppression goes deep to reveal the complicated truths of a multiply-marginalized experience.

McKenzie tackles the hardest questions of our time with clarity and courage, in language that is accessible to non-academics and academics alike. She is both fearless and vulnerable, demanding and accountable. Hers is a voice like no other.

Not Born a Refugee Woman: Contesting Identities, Rethinking Practices by Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed, Nazilla Khanlou and Helena Moussa

“The book as a whole offers an array of difficult topics: the way women’s identities are shaped and reshaped by the complicated experiences of refugeeism; global sex trade and sex trafficking of Eastern European women; connections between war and homelessness… a valuable text that is bound to challenge students and teachers alike, in both our methodologies and our personal desires for an easy consumption of knowledge about the world and ourselves.

Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition by Glen Sean Coulthard

While Red Skin, White Masks focuses on indigenous experiences in Canada, it is immediately applicable to understanding the false promise of recognition, liberal pluralism, and reconciliation at the heart of colonial relationships between indigenous peoples and nation-states elsewhere. Glen Sean Coulthard is able to bring a remarkably distinctive and provocative look at issues of power and opposition relevant to anyone concerned with what constitutes and perpetuates imperialist state formations and what indigenous alternatives offer in regards to freedom.”—Joanne Barker, San Francisco State University

Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood by Joseph Valente

Dracula’s Crypt unearths the Irish roots of Bram Stoker’s gothic masterpiece, offering a fresh interpretation of the author’s relationship to his novel and to the politics of blood that consumes its characters. An ingenious reappraisal of a classic text, Dracula’s Crypt presents Stoker’s novel as a subtly ironic commentary on England’s preoccupation with racial purity.

Probing psychobiographical, political, and cultural elements of Stoker’s background and milieu, Joseph Valente distinguishes Stoker’s viewpoint from that of his virulently racist, hypermasculine vampire hunters, showing how the author’s dual Anglo-Celtic heritage and uncertain status as an Irish parvenu among London’s theatrical elite led him to espouse a progressive racial ideology at odds with the dominant Anglo-Saxon supremacism.

In the light of Stoker’s experience, the shabby-genteel Count Dracula can be seen as a doppelganger, an ambiguous figure who is at once the blood-conscious landed aristocrat and the bloodthirsty foreign invader. Stoker also confronts gender ideals and their implications, exposing the “inner vampire” in men like Jonathan Harker who dominate and absorb the women who become their wives. Ultimately, Valente argues, the novel celebrates a feminine heroism, personified by Mina Harker, that upholds an ethos of social connectivity against the prevailing obsession with blood as a vehicle of identity. Revealing a profound and heretofore unrecognized ethical and political message, Dracula’s Crypt maintains that the real threat delineated in Dracula is not racial degeneration but the destructive force of racialized anxiety itself. Stoker’s novel emerges as a powerful critique of the very anxieties it has previously been taken to express: anxieties concerning the decline of the British empire, the deterioration of Anglo-Saxon culture, and the contamination of the Anglo-Saxon race.


Existential Virtue Ethics

Anarchism and Moral Philosophy by Benjamin Franks

This wide variety of approaches to moral theory and ethics should suggest that contemporary anarchist philosophy is full of potential. These scholars demonstrate that anarchism is flexible enough to encompass traditions ranging from deep ecology, to analytic philsosphy, to post-culturalism.

Most encouraging to me, however, is that these academics are willing to theorize about their own social position as academics. As more anarchists enter academia, honest dialogue about what means to be an anarchist in a university becomes more important… This book encourages anarchists to follow their tradition of direct action and direct engagement even as they continue to theorize – our future depends on our thoughts and our actions.’

– Tristan K. Husby, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies

Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully by Robert Nichols and Jakeet Singh

Freedom and Democracy in an Imperial Context: Dialogues with James Tully gathers leading thinkers from across the humanities and social sciences in a celebration of, and critical engagement with, the recent work of Canadian political philosopher James Tully.

Over the past thirty years, James Tully has made key contributions to some of the most pressing questions of our time, including: interventions in the history of moral and political thought, contemporary political philosophy, democracy, citizenship, imperialism, recognition and cultural diversity.

In 2008, he published Public Philosophy in a New Key, a two-volume work that promises to be one of the most influential and important statements of legal and political thought in recent history. This work, along with numerous other books and articles, is foundational to a distinctive school of political thought, influencing thinkers in fields as diverse as Anthropology, History, Indigenous Studies, Law, Philosophy and Political Science. Critically engaging with James Tully’s thought, the essays in this volume take up what is his central, and ever more pressing, question: how to enact democratic practices of freedom within and against historically sedimented and actually existing relationships of imperialism?

This work, along with numerous other books and articles, is foundational to a distinctive school of political thought, influencing thinkers in fields as diverse as Anthropology, History, Indigenous Studies, Law, Philosophy and Political Science. Critically engaging with James Tully’s thought, the essays in this volume take up what is his central, and ever more pressing, question: how to enact democratic practices of freedom within and against historically sedimented and actually existing relationships of imperialism?


Nihilist Ethics

The Politics of Postanarchism by Saul Newman

What is the relevance of anarchism for politics and political theory today? While many have in the past dismissed anarchism, the author contends that anarchism’s heretical critique of authority, and its insistence on full equality and liberty, places it at the forefront of the radical political imagination today.

With the unprecedented expansion of state power in the name of security, the current ‘crisis of capitalism’, and the terminal decline of Marxist and social democratic projects, it is time to reconsider anarchism as a form of politics.

This book seeks to renew anarchist thought through the concept of post-anarchism. This innovative theoretical approach, drawing upon classical anarchist theory, post-structuralism, post-Marxism, critical theory and psychoanalytic approaches, allows for a new engagement with contemporary debates about future directions in radical politics relating to political subjectivity and identity, political organisation, the State, globalisation, liberty and equality today, and the political ‘event’.

The Radicalism of Romantic Love by Renata Grossi and David West

Undoubtedly Romantic love has come to saturate our culture and is often considered to be a, or even the, major existential goal of our lives, capable of providing us with both our sense of worth and way of being in the world.

The Radicalism of Romantic Love interrogates the purported radicalism of Romantic love from philosophical, cultural and psychoanalytic perspectives, exploring whether it is a subversive force capable of breaking down entrenched social, political and cultural norms and structures, or whether, in spite of its role in the fight against certain barriers, it is in fact a highly conservative impulse.

Exploring both the grounds for the central place of Romantic love in contemporary lives and the meaning, extent and nature of its supposed radicalism, this volume considers love from a variety of theoretical perspectives, with attention to matters of gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity. With authors examining a range of questions, including the role of love in the same-sex marriage debate, polyamory and the notion of love as a political force, The Radicalism of Romantic Love illuminates a fundamental but perplexing aspect of our contemporary lives and will appeal to scholars across the social sciences and humanities with interests in the emotions and love as a social and political phenomenon.

Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

When it first appeared in France, Anti-Oedipus was hailed as a masterpiece by some and “a work of heretical madness” by others. In it, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari set forth the following theory: Western society’s innate herd instinct has allowed the government, the media, and even the principles of economics to take advantage of each person’s unwillingness to be cut off from the group.

What’s more, those who suffer from mental disorders may not be insane, but could be individuals in the purest sense, because they are by nature isolated from society. More than twenty-five years after its original publication, Anti-Oedipus still stands as a controversial contribution to a much-needed dialogue on the nature of free thinking.

Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction by Ray Brassier

Ray Brassier maintains that philosophy has avoided the traumatic idea of extinction, instead attempting to find meaning in a world conditioned by the very idea of its own annihilation. Thus Brassier critiques both the phenomenological and hermeneutic strands of Continental philosophy as well as the vitality of thinkers like Gilles Deleuze, who work to ingrain meaning in the world and stave off the “threat” of nihilism.

Instead, drawing on thinkers such as Alain Badiou, François Laruelle, Paul Churchland, and Thomas Metzinger, Brassier defends a view of the world as inherently devoid of meaning. That is, rather than avoiding nihilism, Brassier embraces it as the truth of reality.

Brassier concludes from his readings of Badiou and Laruelle that the universe is founded on the nothing, but also that philosophy is the “organon of extinction,” that it is only because life is conditioned by its own extinction that there is thought at all. Brassier then defends a radically anti-correlationist philosophy proposing that Thought is conjoined not with Being, but with Non-Being.

Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 by Nick Land

Fanged Noumena brings together the writings of Nick Land for the first time. During the 1990s Land’s unique philosophical work, variously described as ‘rabid nihilism’, ‘mad black deleuzianism’ and ‘cybergothic’, developed perhaps the only rigorous and culturally-engaged escape route out of the malaise of ‘continental philosophy’ – a route which was implacably blocked by the academy.

However, Land’s work has continued to exert an influence, both through the British ‘speculative realist’ philosophers who studied with him, and through the many cultural producers – artists, musicians, filmmakers, bloggers – who have been invigorated by his uncompromising and abrasive philosophical vision.

Beginning with Land’s early radical rereadings of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Kant and Bataille, the volume then collects together the papers, talks and articles of the mid-90s – long the subject of rumour and vague legend (including some work which has never previously appeared in print) – in which Land developed his futuristic theory-fiction of cybercapitalism gone amok; and ends with his enigmatic later writings in which Ballardian fictions, poetics, cryptography, anthropology, grammatology and the occult are smeared into unrecognisable hybrids. Fanged Noumena allows a dizzying perspective on the entire trajectory of this provocative and influential thinker’s work, and will introduce his unique voice to a new generation of readers.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Of all the writing that emerged from the existentialist movement, Simone de Beauvoir’s groundbreaking study of women will probably have the most extensive and enduring impact. It is at once a work of anthropology and sociology, of biology and psychoanalysis, from the pen of a writer and novelist of penetrating imaginative power.

The Second Sex stands, four decades after its first appearance, as the first landmark in the modern feminist upsurge that has transformed perceptions of the social relationship of man and womankind in our time.

The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979 by Michel Foucault

The Birth of Biopolitics continues to pursue the themes of Foucault’s lectures from Security, Territory, Population. Having shown how eighteenth-century political economy marks the birth of a new governmental rationality – seeking maximum effectiveness by governing less and in accordance with the naturalness of the phenomena to be governed – Michel Foucault undertakes a detailed analysis of the forms of this liberal governmentality.

In a direct and conversational tone, this book raises questions of political philosophy and social policy that are at the heart of current debates about the role and status of neo-liberalism in twentieth century politics.

Tiqqun 1: Conscious Organ of The Imaginary Party by Tiqqun

Everyone knows the terrible communities, having spent time in them or being within them still because they are always stronger than the others. And because of that one always stays, in part – and parts at the same time. Family, school, work, and prison are the classic faces of this form of contemporary hell.

But they are less interesting as they belong to an old form of market evolution and only presently survive. On the contrary, there are the terrible communities which struggle against the existing state of things that are at one and the same time attractive and better than “this world.” And at the same time their way of being closer to the truth – and therefore to joy – moves them away from freedom more than anything else.

The question we must answer in a final manner is of a more ethical than political nature because the classic political forms and their categories fit us like our childhood clothing. The question is to know if we prefer the possibility of an unknown danger to the certainty of a present pain. That is to say if we want to continue to live and speak in agreement (dissident perhaps, but always in agreement) with what has been done so far – and thus with the terrible communities – or, if we want to question that small portion of our desire that the culture has not already infested in its mess, to try – in the name of an original happiness – a different path.

This text was conceived as a contribution to that other voyage.


Imperialism

A People’s History of the Second World War: Resistance Versus Empire by Donny Gluckstein

A People’s History of the Second World War unearths the fascinating history of the war as fought ‘from below’. Until now, the vast majority of historical accounts have focussed on the conflict between the Allied and Axis powers for imperialist mastery. Donny Gluckstein shows that in fact between 1939 and 1945 two distinct wars were fought – one ‘from above’ and one ‘from below’.

Using examples from countries under the Nazi heel, in the colonies and within the Axis and Allied camps, Gluckstein brings to life the very different struggle of the people’s and resistance movements which proliferated during the war. He shows how they fought not just fascism, but colonialism and empire, and were betrayed by the Allies at the war’s end.

This book will fundamentally challenge our understanding of the Second World War – both about the people who fought it and the reasons for which it was fought.

Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, And Policy by Peter Bergen

Drones are the iconic military technology of many of today’s most pressing conflicts. Drones have captured the public imagination, partly because they project lethal force in a manner that challenges accepted norms and moral understandings.

Drone Wars presents a series of essays by legal scholars, journalists, government officials, military analysts, social scientists, and foreign policy experts. It addresses drones’ impact on the ground, how their use adheres to and challenges the laws of war, their relationship to complex policy challenges, and the ways they help us understand the future of war.

The book is a diverse and comprehensive interdisciplinary perspective on drones that covers important debates on targeted killing and civilian casualties, presents key data on drone deployment, and offers new ideas on their historical development, significance, and impact on law and policy.


Art

Andrei Tarkovsky About His Film Art In His Own Words by Vadim Moroz

During seven days in March 1984, Andrei Tarkovsky laid out, day by day his film theory, his philosophy, opinions and principles. It was the first time that Tarkovsky had to talk about his philosophy and film theory over such long time period

The book is illustrated with the drawings created in March 1984 by Andrei Tarkovsky and photographs.

Top 25 Anarchist/Socialist Best Selling Books

Peter Kropotkin

The Conquest of Bread item image #1is Kropotkin’s most extensive study of human needs and his outline of the most rational and equitable means of satisfying them. The most important and widely read exposition of anarchist economic theory, its combination of detailed historical analysis and far-reaching utopian vision is a step-by-step guide to social revolution: the concrete means of achieving it, and the new world that humanity is capable of creating. Writing in a style that he describes as “moderate in tone, but revolutionary in substance,” Kropotkin adeptly translates complex ideas into common language, while rendering the often amorphous aspirations of social movements into coherent form. – AK Press

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/2redo.pngMutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution in which Kropotkin argues the principles of sociability and cooperation are the foundations upon which a free and ethical society are to be built, are found first in the natural world, where they function as principles of evolutionary survival among animal species. There is an implicit positivism here, in which political and social phenomena are seen as conditioned by natural principles and scientifically observable conditions. Here I think one should reject this view of a social order founded on deep rational principles.

In the words of Stirner, ‘The essence of the world, so attractive and splendid, is for him who looks to the bottom of it – emptiness.’ In other words, rather than there being a rational objectivity at the foundation of society, an immanent wholeness embodying the potential for human freedom, there is a certain void or emptiness, one that produces radical contingency and indeterminacy rather than scientific objectivity. – Saul Newman

Emma Goldman

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/3redo.pngAnarchism and Other Essays from Anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman is one of the towering figures in global radicalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An early advocate of birth control and women’s rights, as well as a dedicated anarchist, she was an important and influential figure in such far-flung events as the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War. In addition to her classic essay which lays out anarchist ideals, this volume contains six other essays on prisons to marriage, direct action, violence, and sexuality. – AK Press

item image #21Living My Life by Anarchist, journalist, drama critic, advocate of birth control and free love, Emma Goldman was the most famous—and notorious—woman in the early twentieth century. This abridged version of her two-volume autobiography takes her from her birthplace in czarist Russia to the socialist enclaves of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Against a dramatic backdrop of political argument, show trials, imprisonment, and tempestuous romances, Goldman chronicles the epoch that she helped shape: the reform movements of the Progressive Era, the early years of and later disillusionment with Lenin’s Bolshevik experiment, and more.

Sounding a call still heard today, Living My Life is a riveting account of political ferment and ideological turbulence.

– Penguin Classics

Noam Chomskyitem image #21

On Anarchism in which Chomsky eloquently refutes the notion of anarchism as a fixed idea, suggesting that it is part of a living, evolving tradition, and he disputes the traditional fault lines between anarchism and socialism, emphasizing the power of collective, rather than individualist, action. – The New Press

item image #22Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy in which over the course of 12 interviews, Chomsky examines the latest developments around the globe: the rise of ISIS, the reach of state surveillance, growing anger over economic inequality, conflicts in the Middle East, and the presidency of Donald Trump. In personal reflections on his Philadelphia childhood, Chomsky also describes his own intellectual journey and the development of his uncompromising stance as America’s premier dissident intellectual. – AK Press

James C. Scott

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/7redo.pngTwo Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play teaches us what’s wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing–one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions.

Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself.

– AK Press

item image #38The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia is an interesting read if anthropology-readers are used to embarrassment regarding the gaze on tribal peoples, then here is a license to guilt-free gawking: These weren’t tribals but rather freedom-seeking secessionists from the lowlands. There were no real ethnic others, the book suggests. Instead, linguistic and cultural diversity and the profusion of ethnic labels are just markers of state-evading strategies. In my view this is all rather problematic, in that clueless western readers (people ignorant of, say, particular histories, cultures, societies, languages, peoples, or politics in Southeast Asia) are invited to feast on the identities and politics of the Southeast Asian hinterlands without any involvement. – Hjorleifur Jonsson

Peter Marshall

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/9redo.pngWilliam Godwin: Philosopher, Novelist, Revolutionary is a comprehensive study of this flamboyant and fascinating figure based on extensive published and unpublished materials. The picture of Godwin that emerges is one of a complex man and a subtle and revolutionary thinker. In the final analysis, Godwin stands forth not only as a rare example of a man who excelled in both philosophy and literature but as one of the great humanists in the Western tradition.

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/10redo.pngDemanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism navigates the broad “river of anarchy,” from Taoism to Situationism, from Ranters to Punk rockers, from individualists to communists, from anarcho-syndicalists to anarcha-feminists, Demanding the Impossible is an authoritative and lively study of a widely misunderstood subject. It explores the key anarchist concepts of society and the state, freedom and equality, authority and power and investigates the successes and failure of the anarchist movements throughout the world.

While remaining sympathetic to anarchism, it presents a balanced and critical account. It covers not only the classic anarchist thinkers, such as Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Reclus and Emma Goldman, but also other libertarian figures, such as Nietzsche, Camus, Gandhi, Foucault and Chomsky. No other book on anarchism covers so much so incisively. – AK Press

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/11redo.pngAnarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice by Rudolf Rocker

In 1937, at the behest of Emma Goldman, Rocker penned this political and philosophical masterpiece as an introduction to the ideals fueling the Spanish social revolution and resistance to capitalism the world over. Within, Rocker offers an introduction to anarchist ideas, a history of the international workers’ movement, and an outline of the syndicalist strategies and tactics embraced at the time (direct action, sabotage and the general strike). Includes a lengthy introduction by Nicholas Walter and a Preface by Noam Chomsky.

item image #4No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs by Naomi Klein

In the last decade, No Logo has become a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide. As the world faces a second economic depression, No Logo’s analysis of our corporate and branded world is as timely and powerful as ever.

Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, No Logo is the first book to put the new resistance into pop-historical and clear economic perspective. It tells a story of rebellion and self-determination in the face of our new branded world.

Tiqqun

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/13redo.pngIntroduction to Civil War is a strong anti-humanist position on the concept of Man and the related notion of identity. As they write: ‘Ultimately, our age is fanatical about the question of MAN’. Related to this is what they call the ‘desire for a positive anthropology’ which, in their view, leads to an ‘irenic, slightly vacuous and gently pious conception of human nature’. For Tiqqun, the comforting sense of this positive anthropology – even in its most pessimistic forms – leads to political and subjective stasis, with all that we can say about Man and the coexistence of men acting as a ‘tranquilizer’.

What is needed, in their view, is a ‘radically negative anthropology’ that eschews a sense of comfort, with ‘a few abstractions that are just empty enough, just transparent enough to prevent our usual prejudices’. One of these abstractions is the concept of ‘Civil War’: a tactical reappropriation that emphasises both the ‘free play of forms-of-life’ as the ethical principle of the coexistence of singularities, and the idea that ‘in each singular play between forms-of-life, the possibility of a fierce confrontation – the possibility of violence – can never be discounted’. As they highlight, in today’s biopolitical climate, this ‘society has forged a negative concept of violence in order to reject anything within it that might still carry a certain intensity or charge’, intensity being, for Tiqqun (and many others) a highly important concept for the politics of emancipation. Civil War, then, is a tactical act of reappropriation because to think it in this way is to think of it as a foundational and singular ethical consideration–as with Alain Badiou, for Tiqqun, it seems there is no ethics in general, only singular ethics of situation Contra the modern State (or Empire), which employs the term to ‘better control the masses of those who will give anything to avert it’, the sense in which Tiqqun uses the term Civil War then is to highlight the notion that ‘all differences among forms-of-life are ethical differences’.

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/25redo.pngTo Our Friends – In 2007 we published The Coming Insurrection in France. It must be acknowledged that a number of assertions by the Invisible Committee have since been confirmed, starting with the first and most essential: the sensational return of the insurrectionary phenomenon. Who would have bet a kopeck, seven years ago, on the overthrow of Ben Ali or Mubarak through street action, on the revolt of young people in Quebec, on the political awakening of Brazil, on the fires set French-style in the English or Swedish banlieues, on the creation of an insurrectionary commune in the very heart of Istanbul, on a movement of plaza occupations in the United States, or on the rebellion that spread throughout Greece in December of 2008?

During the seven years that separate The Coming Insurrection from To Our Friends, the agents of the Invisible Committee have continued to fight, to organize, to transport themselves to the four corners of the world, to wherever the fires were lit, and to debate with comrades of every tendency and every country. Thus To Our Friends is written at the experiential level, in connection with that general movement. Its words issue from the turmoil and are addressed to those who still believe sufficiently in life to fight as a consequence.

To Our Friends is a report on the state of the world and of the movement, a piece of writing that’s essentially strategic and openly partisan. Its political ambition is immodest: to produce a shared understanding of the epoch, in spite of the extreme confusion of the present.

– The Invisible Committee

item image #7Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty by Gary Chartier

A new collection of left-wing pro-market, anticapitalist anarchist writings. Individualist anarchists believe in mutual exchange, not economic privilege. They believe in freed markets, not capitalism. They defend a distinctive response to the challenges of ending global capitalism and achieving social justice: eliminate the political privileges that prop up capitalists.

Massive concentrations of wealth, rigid economic hierarchies, and unsustainable modes of production are not the results of the market form, but of markets deformed and rigged by a network of state-secured controls and privileges to the business class. Markets Not Capitalism explores the gap between radically freed markets and the capitalist-controlled markets that prevail today. It explains how liberating market exchange from state capitalist privilege can abolish structural poverty, help working people take control over the conditions of their labor, and redistribute wealth and social power. Featuring discussions of socialism, capitalism, markets, ownership, labor struggle, grassroots privatization, intellectual property, health care, racism, sexism, and environmental issues, this unique collection brings together classic essays by leading figures in the anarchist tradition, including Proudhon and Voltairine de Cleyre, and such contemporary innovators as Kevin Carson and Roderick Long. It introduces an eye-opening approach to radical social thought, rooted equally in libertarian socialism and market anarchism.

– AK Press

item image #8Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire by Deric Shannon

What does it mean to “queer” the world around us? How does the radical refusal of the mainstream codification of GLBT identity as a new gender norm come into focus in the context of anarchist theory and practice? How do our notions of orientation inform our politics—and vice versa?

Queering Anarchism brings together a diverse set of writings, ranging from the deeply theoretical to the playfully personal, that explore the possibilities of the concept of “queering,” turning the dominant, and largely heteronormative, structures of belief and identity entirely inside out.

Ranging in topic from the economy to disability, politics, social structures, sexual practice, interpersonal relationships, and beyond, the authors here suggest that queering might be more than a set of personal preferences—pointing toward the possibility of an entirely new way of viewing the world.

– AK Press

item image #9Property Is Theft! by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

More influential than Karl Marx during his lifetime, Pierre-Joseph Proudon’s work has long been out of print or unavailable in English. Weighing in at over 700 pages, Iain McKay’s comprehensive collection is a much-needed and timely historical corrective, and includes a number of new translations of Proudhon’s work for an English-speaking audience, as well as an exhaustive historical introduction to Proudhon’s life and works.

item image #10No Wall They Can Build: A Guide to Borders and Immigration Across North America by CrimethInc

Why do people cross the border without documents? How do they make the journey? Whose interests does the border serve and what has it done to North America?

Every year, thousands of people risk their lives to cross the desert between Mexico and the United States. Drawing on nearly a decade of solidarity work along the border, this book uncovers the true goals and costs of US border policy and what to do about it.

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/19redoredo.pngBlack Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism by Lucien van der Walt

Black Flame (Counter-Power, Volume 1) is the first of a two-volume set examining the democratic class politics of the worldwide anarchist movement, its vision of a decentralized planned economy, and its impact on popular struggles on five continents over the course of the past 150 years. From anarchism’s first glimmers as a nineteenth-century ideology to today’s anticapitalist struggles, Black Flame traces anarchism’s lineage and contemporary relevance, outlining the movement’s insights into questions of race, gender, class, and imperialism.

With Black Flame, Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, both writers and activists in South Africa, have begun what promises to be the definitive synthetic account of the international anarchist tradition. Nearly exhaustive in scope, and rigorous in its scholarly detail, this first volume significantly reframes the work of previous historians and, especially, examines coherent alternatives to Marxist and nationalist approaches to revolutionary theory and practice. An indispensable conceptual roadmap to the history and continuing relevance of anarchist praxis.

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/19originalredo.pngThe Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy by Murray Bookchin

If we examine, for instance, Bookchin’s idea of municipalism as the basis for a new politics of citizenship and democratic decision making, we find many interesting and appealing ideas for libertarian institutions and practices, including forms of council democracy and decentralisation. However, there is little acknowledgement of the possibility of new forms of power and exclusion emerging with such institutions.

For instance, the category of citizenship, which often perpetuates such pervasive practices of exclusion and securitisation, is never really questioned or deconstructed in his account. Instead, we are presented with an image of the political structure of a rational ecological society of the future. As part of this confederalist vision, Bookchin invokes as examples of an ‘authentic politics’ models of political participation from Athenian democracy and New England town meetings, as well as the Arendtian and Aristotelian motifs of the properly political life.

While an anarchist politics can certainly draw upon the democratic forms and practices of the past, the problem lies more in the way that this confederalist vision of Bookchin’s is imagined as part of a dialectical totality of social and political interdependencies that unfolds towards its own selfrealisation.

This confederalist model is thus confirmed as the only political form a liberated society can take. However, if we are to understand anarchism not only as a way of thinking about future forms of a free society, but also as an anarchic disturbance of all political forms, then we would have to insist on a certain constitutive openness and a space of contestation and disagreement. – Saul Newman

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/20redo.pngPossibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire by David Graeber

In this collection, David Graeber revisits questions raised in his popular book, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. Employing an unpretentious style to convey complex ideas, these twelve essays cover a lot of ground: the origins of capitalism, the history of European table manners, love potions and gender in rural Madagascar, the phenomenology of giant puppets at street protests, and much more. But they’re linked by a clear purpose: to explore the nature of social power and the forms that resistance to it have taken—or might take in the future.

In the best anthropological tradition, Graeber uses rich ethnographic and historical detail to support and illuminate broad insights into human nature and society. In the process, he shows how scholarly concerns can be of use to radical social movements, and how the perspectives of such movements shed new light on debates within the academy.

– AK Press

item image #14Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective by Scott Crow

Tracing a life of radical activism and the emergence of a grassroots organization in the face of disaster, this chronicle describes Scott Crow’s headlong rush into the political storm surrounding the catastrophic failure of the levee in New Orleans in 2005 and the subsequent failure of state and local government agencies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

It recounts crow’s efforts with others in the community to found Common Ground Collective, a grassroots relief organization that built medical clinics, set up food and water distribution, and created community gardens when local government agencies, FEMA, and the Red Cross were absent or ineffective. The members also stood alongside the beleaguered residents of New Orleans in resisting home demolitions, white militias, police brutality, and FEMA incompetence. This vivid, personal account maps the intersection of radical ideology with pragmatic action and chronicles a community’s efforts to translate ideals into tangible results. Resisting indifference, rebuilding hope amidst collapse, and independence from government entities emerge as persistent themes in this call to activism, demonstrating what can be done by determined individuals in extreme circumstances.

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/22redo.pngThe Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation by Simon Springer

The Anarchist Roots of Geography sets the stage for a radical politics of possibility and freedom through a discussion of the insurrectionary geographies that suffuse our daily experiences. By embracing anarchist geographies as kaleidoscopic spatialities that allow for nonhierarchical connections between autonomous entities, Simon Springer configures a new political imagination.

Experimentation in and through space is the story of humanity’s place on the planet, and the stasis and control that now supersede ongoing organizing experiments are an affront to our survival. Singular ontological modes that favor one particular way of doing things disavow geography by failing to understand the spatial as a mutable assemblage intimately bound to temporality. Even worse, such stagnant ideas often align to the parochial interests of an elite minority and thereby threaten to be our collective undoing. What is needed is the development of new relationships with our world and, crucially, with each other.

By infusing our geographies with anarchism we unleash a spirit of rebellion that foregoes a politics of waiting for change to come at the behest of elected leaders and instead engages new possibilities of mutual aid through direct action now. We can no longer accept the decaying, archaic geographies of hierarchy that chain us to statism, capitalism, gender domination, racial oppression, and imperialism. We must reorient geographical thinking towards anarchist horizons of possibility. Geography must become beautiful, wherein the entirety of its embrace is aligned to emancipation.

– AK Press

https://ia601408.us.archive.org/13/items/Top25AnarchistSocialistBestSellingBooks/23redo.pngJoyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Carla Bergman

Why do radical movements and spaces sometimes feel laden with fear, anxiety, suspicion, self-righteousness, and competition? Montgomery and bergman call this phenomenon rigid radicalism: congealed and toxic ways of relating that have seeped into social movements, posing as the “correct” way of being radical. In conversation with organizers and intellectuals from a wide variety of political currents, the authors explore how rigid radicalism smuggles itself into radical spaces, and how it is being undone. – AK Press

item image #17Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements by Richard J. F. Day

Gramsci and the concept of hegemony cast a long shadow over radical political theory. Yet how far has this theory got us? Is it still central to feminism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, anarchism, and other radical social movements today?

Unlike previous revolutionary movements, Day argues, most contemporary radical social movements do not strive to take control of the state. Instead, they attempt to develop new forms of self-organisation that can run in parallel with — or as alternatives to — existing forms of social, political, and economic organization. This is to say that they follow a logic of affinity rather than one of hegemony.

This book draws together a variety of different strands in political theory to weave together an innovative new approach to politics today. Rigorous and wide-ranging, Day introduces and interrogates key concepts. From Hegel’s concept of recognition, through theories of hegemony and affinity to Hardt and Negri’s reflections on Empire, Day maps academia’s theoretical and philosophical concerns onto today’s politics of the street.

Ideal for all students of political theory, Day’s fresh approach combines Marxist, Anarchist and Post-structuralist theory to shed new light on the politics and practice of contemporary social movements.

– Pluto Books