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Working Classics Series #1: What Is Anarchism?by Alexander Berkman
Synopses & Reviews
Cultural Writing. Writing in everyday language, using examples from everyday life, this book examines political events to create an interlocking and comprehensive assessment of what Anarchism is and how me might get there. It's a mixture of moral and practical argument that, despite its pedantic style at times, and some archaic language, has not been surpassed. It was the first attempt of an Anarchist to present his ideas in a thorough and cohesive way, ideas distilled from nearly forty years of activism. Berkman examines how change comes about — and, just as importantly for him, why it doesn't. Perhaps in a book filled with thoughtful and contentious points, the most salient discussion is why people continue to accept capitalism and all its institutions that oppress and repress individual freedom.
For those who have questions about Anarchism, or seek a better world, Berkman has the answers.
The author discusses the major details of Anarchist thought and how to prepare for the equitable future.
In a clear conversation with the reader, Berkman discusses society as it now exists, the need for Anarchism and the methods for bringing it about. Often mentioned in conjunction with his lover Emma Goldman, Berkman was a leading writer and participant in the 20th-Century Anarchist movement.
The young, idealistic Berkman practiced "propaganda by the deed," attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick during the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. While imprisoned, he wrote the classic tale of prison life, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. After his release, Berkman edited The Blast! and Goldman’s Mother Earth. Deported to Russia in 1919, he saw firsthand the failure of the Bolshevik revolution and dedicated himself to writing this classic primer on Anarchism.
About the Author
Alexander Berkman was a writer and participant in the American Anarchist movement in the first half of the 20th century. As a young idealist Berkman attempted to assassinate Henry Clay Frick during the Homestead Steel strike of 1892. While imprisoned for this crime, he wrote Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. After his release he edited the newspaper of his close friend/lover Emma Goldman, Mother Earth, and his own periodical, The Blast!. He was deported to Russia in 1919 where he saw first hand the failure of the Russian Communist revolution and dedicated himself to writing this classic primer on anarchism.
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