Start reading Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Colin Ward
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.36
Kindle Price: £4.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.24 (44%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £3.49 after you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.12  
Paperback £6.39  
Audio Download, Unabridged £7.00 or Free with 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Product Description


excellent introduction (The Guardian)

The Guardian

"excellent introduction"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 746 KB
  • Print Length: 126 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (21 Oct 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SFK75K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative, 21 Oct 2007
By calmly
Ward quotes Martin Buber: "All forms of government has this in common: each possesses more power than is required by the given conditions." Buber calls this this "political surplus". One only has to look around the world to see how such political surplus is spent.

I was surprised at the extent of anarchist influence. Ward devotes 4 pages to how anarchism functioned practically is Spain in the 1930's, where 3 million people were organized in anarchist communes.

Anarchists have been at the forefront of considering ecological sustainability. Ward cites authors who believe that anarchism is the only approach that can meet the ecological challenges we face.

Given the problems socialism has faced, Ward argues it is too soon to write off anarchism when looking for alternatives to present forms of government. We may have been taught little about anarchism except to be dismissive of it, but Ward's book is an excellent start to understanding what anarchism offers. There are many references to the works of anarchists.

If capitalism seems to work, albeit at a considerable ecological cost, the growing ecological crises may force us within our lifetimes to explore alternative ways of living. Socialism may not be a big enough change, retaining as it does a strong central government with its own political surplus. If you think you can manage more political participation that casting a vote every few years, anarchism may be worth studying.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ideology whose time has come ? 29 Jan 2009
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At university I studied a lot of "-isms" , but anarchism wasn't one of them.Clearly it was considered to be either of little consequence or too extreme to be taken seriously. This little pocket book is a reasonably good introduction to the topic. After reading it I got the impression that the classic anarchist position of desiring an absence of state power and voluntary co-operation are more ideals than anything else and that anarchists would have more realistic goals today such as the devolution of political and economic power and the support for minorities rights and various social liberation movements.They appear to have a lot in common with socialists apart from their attitude toward state power. Unfortunately anarchism seems to be associated with violence and terrorism, but at heart it appears to be a libertarian, peaceful ideology ;it's just that it's goals of removing the state are inevitably going to provoke confrontation. A lot of anarchist ideas are appealing but it has an optimistic, perhaps naive view of "human nature", thinking that people will co-operate peacefully in the absence of a state, rather than the more likely prospect of the greedy, violent and cunning having a field day.After reading this book I might investigate the topic in more depth.It is a good introduction.
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ideal for living 5 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Highly informative & well written. Bakukin could have written 1984. Clearly shows the core importance of individual freedom in all things & the all too well known failings of "the system".

Ideas on rehabilitation rather than impisonment make sense to a point, but what would solution be for murder?

A very good brief introduction & it has encouraged me to read more on the subject.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, easy read 6 April 2009
This book is a great addition to the bookshelf of both neophyte anarchists and those who have already read some anarchist classics. Easy to read, the book gives a light, nuanced insight into where anarchists come from. It isn't supposed to be comprehensive but is extremely insightful all the same.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly insightful. Insightfully brilliant. 22 Nov 2012
By M. Shaw
Ward has succeeded in presenting anarchist ideas in a short, digestible form that is quite simply brilliant.

I cannot recommend this book any more highly.

Anarchism is a commonly overlooked and derided philosophy, yet has played and will continue to play a significant part in world history. Arguable to a much greater degree, particularly when you consider the methods of some of the most significant contemporary social movements. This book is a great stepping stone in to the subtle and provocative world of anarchist thought.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category