The Anarchists
The men who shocked an era

Kedward, Roderick
Publisher:  MacDonald: The Library of the Twentieth Century, United Kingdom
Year Published:  1971
Pages:  128pp   ISBN:  356-03721-5
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6173

The history and ideology of anarchism.

The Anarchists is a book about the history and ideology of anarchism. Various aspects of anarchism are explored, and various techniques of bringing about the ideal society are described.

According to Keward, anarchists seek equality and justice which they believe can only be achieved in a society without government. While anarchists have gained their reputation from those who use terrorism to spread the message, most are not involved in the assassinations and bombings. Kedward looks at other ways of spreading the message and does so himself by describing the benefits of a society without rulers. The volume contains many photographs, paintings and cartoons.

The book is divided into five parts. The Making of an Anarchist is the first section. It covers the history of anarchist thinking between 1889 and 1914 and the main players involved. Part 2 is called Individual Terror and recounts many terrorist actions, or "propaganda by the deed", that were part of the anarchist revolt. Part 3, Collective Revolt, is about the anarchists who spread their message not through desperate violence, but through media and organizing. This was an early example of non-violent resistance, but is not often remembered next to the riots and bombings that occurred. In Part 4 the benefits of anarchy are described as freedoms, such as the freedom to alternative methods of education, to a secular approach to society and to individual moral decisions. This section includes the expression of the desire for anarchy in the arts. The conclusion is called Myth and Reality. It looks at the future of anarchist movements and the possibility of turning their ideal world into a reality.

[Abstract by Mia Manns]

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