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About Anarchism [Paperback]

Nicolas Walter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Freedom Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0900384905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0900384905
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 12.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,057,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

A new edition of the classic essay putting the case for anarchism as a pragmatic political philosophy. Contains excellent explanations of the anarchist (as opposed to the media) definitions of propaganda by deed, civil disobedience and direct action. Introduction by Natasha Walter.

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First Sentence
The first anarchists were people in the English and French revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who were given the name as an insult to suggest that they wanted anarchy in the sense of chaos or confusion. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A lot of people take the view that anarchism is primarily a destructive force that rebelliously calls out for unrestrained freedom out of some teenage hormonal imbalance; not understanding the necessity of authority in an ordered, efficient life. Of all the enlightenment philosophies and ideologies - like liberalism and socialism - anarchism is probably the most overlooked and subsequently misunderstood theory.
This short description by the late Nicolas Walter, editor of New Humanist for ten years, is possibly one of the most comprehensive and understandable introductions to what a more modern version of anarchism actually is, written in a most warm, mature and honest style. It's incredibly easy to read, with as little or as much prior political knowledge needed to begin with. Along with the introduction by Natasha Walter, Nicolas' daughter, this little book can be read in a single evening, and as it proved for me, can change your view of the world for the rest of your life.
Topics discussed (in bite sized chapters):
What anarchists believe:
Theories of human nature, comparisons to liberalism and socialism, state and class, organisation, property, religion, war, the individual, the collective. "Anarchists have always opposed every form of national, social, racial or sexual oppression, and have always supported every movement for national, social, racial or sexual emancipation. But they tend to differ from their allies in the movement by seeing all forms of oppression as being political by nature, and in seeing all victims of oppression as individual human beings rather than as members of a nationality, class, race or sex."
How anarchists divide themselves:
In theory there are many different types of anarchists, but Nicolas refreshingly finds a method to unite them all.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best little intro to anarchism i've seen yet 5 July 2003
By Thomas Grant - Published on Amazon.com
walters' book is just a little bit dated at this point, but he is still able to summarize and nutshell the core reasoning on most of the anarchist positions with a level of clarity and directness that one rarely encounters in discussions this abstract. i found myself copying out whole paragraphs, and then whole pages, and then whole sections because he just puts everything so damn well. i wouldn't expect that every anarchist would agree with everything he says (hell, i don't), but he sticks to a lot of basics that a lot of anarchists can agree on. its a really easy real rewarding read that i would recommend to everyone--people just curious about anarchism and veterans looking for a good primer to hand out. but even very well read anarchist might find some new stuff in hear. i've been reading the literature for a couple years now and there was a lot in here that i hadn't heard anywhere else.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Book on Anarchism 16 Dec 2003
By Dana Garrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Readers should not come to this book expecting the depths of anarchist theory, but they can reasonably expect to get a taste for it. The book surveys what all anarchists generally believe, how they differ on the arrangement and organizational wellsprings of an anarchist society, what values anarchists want instantiated in an anarchistic society, and how anarchists try to effect reform and/or revolution in society.
This book is perfect for the reader who is curious about anarchism but knows little or nothing about it. I see it as a good springboard for readers who find anarchism a real and just human possibility and want to study it further.
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