Reading list

A collection of recommended reading on anarchism, news, the law and more. Note: a text being recommended here does not necessarily mean we agree with its contents in full, only that we consider it worthwhile for discussion.

General information on anarchism:

  • Anarchist FAQ. Answers a lot of the most common questions people have about anarchism in a clear and accessible way.
  • Libcom. Enormous online resource with a library, news service, blogs, forums and more.
  • What is anarchism?, by Alexander Berkman. Introduction to anarchism written by Alexander Berkman giving anarchist perspectives on a range of issues from the state and religion to the role of violence and revolution.
  • Work.Community.Politics.War. Introduction to class, capitalism and anarchy from prole.info.

Organising:

  • Untying the Knot. A pair of essays looking at different ways of organising radical groups, with commentary from the Anarchst Federation.
  • The Platform. A (draft) document written by anarchists in exile following the Russian Revolution. Often described as controversial but makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

The law:

News:

  • Freedom. Anarchist newspaper and publisher based in London, around (in one form or another) since 1886.
  • Anarkismo. Specifically anarchist news source with reports from a number of countries in multiple languages.
  • Be The Media. Activist open publishing site with feeds from other sources.
  • LabourStart. News on workers struggles.

Fiction:

  • The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. Science Fiction novel which raises and discusses anarchist ideas. Really good exploration of how an anarchist society might function. In addition it refutes the concept of utopia and encourages the idea of perpetual revolution.

Books on anarchism in York Library:

  • Anarchism, by Colin Ward. Introduction to anarchist ideas.
  • Anarchism: A Beginner’s Guide, by Ruth Kinna. Good overview of anarchist ideas and movements. Kinna is a lecturer at Loughbrough University and editor of the academic journal Anarchist Studies.
  • The World That Never Was, by Alex Butterworth. Charts the activities of anarchist radicals – and the police who followed them – through Europe in the late 19th/early 20th century.
  • An Anarchist’s Story, by Chris Dolan. Biography of Ethel Macdonald, a Scottish anarchist who went to Spain to report on the civil war. Helped prisoners escape only to get locked up herself by the Soviets.

York Library also has a number of books on the Spanish Civil War, though not focused specifically on anarchism.

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