Different Anarchy magazines?

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Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Nov 24 2012 20:07
Different Anarchy magazines?

Hi, so I just put a scanned copy of Anarchy magazine in the library here: http://libcom.org/library/anarchy-magazine

however, this is from the 1980s, and looks like it had involvement from Stuart Christie.

Whereas there was an older Anarchy magazine, published by freedom/Colin Ward. Which was in the 60s/70s as far as I know.

Does anyone know about the history of these? Are they definitely two separate magazines, or did the latter claim to be the continuation of the former? (They were both based at Freedom, for example) What years did they both run to?

Thanks for any info

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Nov 25 2012 22:27

I will tell you what I remember of Anarchy Magazine.

Colin Ward started it in 1960/1. There were ten issues a year with each issue having a theme, though the last few pages often covered other topics or feedback on previous issues. He would sometimes include contributions from people who were not avowed anarchists (A.S. Neil, Charlie Gillett, etc.). The readership was not confined to the anarchist movement and attracted attention from unexpected quarters. For example the terrific illustrations on the covers won ‘arty’ awards.

At the end of 1970 Colin stopped editing the magazine. He had held back a number of copies of each issue, which were then bound with handsome red boards and gold lettering on the spine (unfortunately without their splendid covers). At first these were sold as complete sets of ten, as it was hoped universities and similar institutions would purchase them for their libraries. They were expensive. Some years later this policy relented and I could afford to buy two ‘spare’ copies from Freedom bookshop. These books – ‘Anarchy VII 1967’ and ‘Anarchy VIII 1968’, should be available from the Edinburgh Radical Library.

Over the years I gave away all my single issues mainly in the Birmingham area. I thought they were a good intro into the labyrinth of anarchist ideas.

After 1970 the magazine continued (with new numbering) and I remember the issues were very variable in the quality of content – both in presentation and politics. Whatever the criticisms of the ‘Anarchy’ Colin Ward edited in terms of its politics - I felt it was sometimes reformist and liberal, the quality of the writing as always good. This degeneration was the product, I think, of different people editing the issues. For example the new number three ‘The Acid Issue’ was pathetic, virtually unreadable and embarrassing to try and sell (I didn’t).

I may be wrong in some details above though the substance is correct.

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Nov 25 2012 23:10

Thanks for that info. So basically are you saying that there was just one Anarchy magazine, which later continued with different editors?

And yeah, the 60s Anarchy magazine had absolutely amazing covers. I wish that I had bought some when I was working at Freedom, because we used to have loads but now they are much harder to come by!

Jared
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Nov 26 2012 09:15

http://www.justseeds.org/blog/2012/11/jbbtc_123_anarchy_2nd_series.html and http://www.justseeds.org/blog/2012/11/jbbtc_124_anarchy_2nd_series_p.html. Heaps of covers and info here comrade.

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Nov 26 2012 10:55

Great, thanks for that! So the one I posted was the second series of Anarchy, and was in fact the final issue

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Nov 26 2012 11:34

Jared #4
Those links are excellent and largely correspond with my recollections though articulated in a superior way. I believe Colin Ward was pleased that people wished to carry on the Anarchy title, though what he thought of the fluctuating results is unknown to me.

Battlescarred
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Nov 27 2012 16:46

Some of the early issues of the "second series" were well produced with fine covers but then they took a nose dive with badly produced issues andmore and more articles lauding armed struggle a la RAF. Chis Broad was one of the editors of the second series. I was told a few weeks ago that he had died, but I don't know when

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Nov 30 2012 23:23

I bought 30 + issues at the bookfair. Seems to be a mixture of both versions. Not had chance to read them yet. Also, I cant find the link at the moment, but there is a book due out early in the new year that is priced around £30 and is full of large reproductions of all the covers from the original run. When I find the link again I will post it

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Nov 30 2012 23:26

found it - http://www.hyphenpress.co.uk/

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Dec 2 2012 20:07

Josh at Justseeds is going through the lot from a design perspective — here's the latest post: http://www.justseeds.org/blog/2012/11/jbbtc_125_anarchy_2nd_series_p.html, and more next week.

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Dec 22 2012 16:06

in the paperback version of Christie's - Stefano Delle Chialle: Portrait of a black terrorist (page 180-181) there is an advert for 'Anarchy', and a full side written by Christie, in which he gives a brief history of 'Anarchy'. He describes there the original 1960's version (Freedom / Colin Ward) in not very flattering terms. He then says that a new editorial collective took over (although still part of the origonal run / numbers), that were 'hippyish' and supported Irish Republicanism. Then a third editorial collective, (that is not part of the original run, and started again from issue 0) took oover, that appears to be closely linked to Black Flag (talks about sending articles to black flag, that they cannot publish themselves.)

So from what I can gather - There was the original 60's run editied by Colin Ward, which then carried on into the 70's edited by someone else, and was then editied by a third collective in the early 80's, but who started the issue numbers from scratch....

satawal
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Dec 22 2012 17:41

Any folk in the Brighton area (British South Coast) who are interested in reading the Anarchy edited by Colin Ward we have a near complete series in The Cowley Club Library - open to the public Wed-Fri 12-6pm and late on Thursday.

On-line catalogue and locations details: http://www.cowleyclub.org.uk/?Library

Steven.'s picture
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Dec 23 2012 00:30
satawal wrote:
Any folk in the Brighton area (British South Coast) who are interested in reading the Anarchy edited by Colin Ward we have a near complete series in The Cowley Club Library - open to the public Wed-Fri 12-6pm and late on Thursday.

On-line catalogue and locations details: http://www.cowleyclub.org.uk/?Library

that's cool. Do you think you might be able to scan some of them? Because we would love to have them online. We could even buy you a scanner if you didn't have one…

satawal
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Dec 23 2012 12:19

It would be lovely to see all the old Anarchy issues on line. We have a scanner, computers etc in the Library and I'll mention the idea to other collective members. Our priority as a collective is maintaining a publicly open real world anarchist archive and library but the idea of scanning in our increasing archive collection has been discussed, it’s just a question of volunteer time. As I say I'll mention it next meeting...

Another possibility is if someone on this forum wants a weekend in Brighton we could open up the library for them and they could scan Anarchy in a block. I could arrange a guestroom at either the housing coop I live in or one of the others connected to the club. Other inducements... well we also have sunshine and a beach! (ok the sunshine bits a lie at the moment).

lurdan
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Dec 23 2012 22:45

The differences between the two series of Anarchy were down to the second being produced during, and shaped by, the 'long 1968'. This expressed itself in lots of ways - one was the profound difference in attitudes towards activity, struggle and particularly armed struggle pre and post the Stoke Newington 8 trial. (Key members of the collective that produced series II had been in the SN8 Defence Group. The hostility between the Anarchy II collective and Freedom, rooted in attitudes to the SN8 trial, was an obvious difference between series I and II).

The collective which produced Anarchy went through a lot of changes. By the mid '70s it was centered on a communal household in Grosvenor Avenue, Stoke Newington, which was the locus for a lot of activities. By '76 the magazine collective included founder members of both the London Workers Group and the Monday Group. Rising Free Bookshop having moved to Upper Street these four groups became focal points of an active scene in Islington, in turn part of a broader upturn in activity in London '76-77. That network of activity, not just political but also social and communal, was all reflected in the magazine.

The experience of police raiding printers, in order to seize SN8 Defence Group material and intimidate them into refusing to do further work, led Chris Broad to the view that it was necessary to control printing facilities. (This wasn't unique - the Red Notes printing press was another product of that experience). He first started a garage press and this developed into Little @ printers based in Wapping. It printed a lot of stuff including Black Flag, but crucially its existence was what made producing Anarchy possible.

The Islington scene disintegrated as the 'long '68' came to an end at the start of the 1980s (though the Persons Unknown trial didn't help). By '81 CB had stepped away from both Anarchy and Little @. Both carried on - by '83 Little @ was being run by a small group of ex-Rising Free and LWG members (and Apostles) and was more the home of Workers Playtime than Anarchy (the last of the mid-70s collective members having left both press and journal). After an issue or two produced 'in-house' Anarchy was handed over to Phil Ruff, whose idea was to produce something politically closer to Black Flag or the Cienfeugos Press Review. However it still depended to a significant extent on the existence of Little @ and when that was 'washed away' in 1984, Anarchy didn't long survive.

The piece by Stuart Christie quoted above was written about this last phase. It's a little ungracious about the mid-70s collective in my opinion - as is his characterization of Grosvenor Avenue in the revised version of his autobiography - but there you go.

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Dec 23 2012 22:58

Very interesting, thanks for that.

syndicalist
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Dec 23 2012 23:24

I know that I have a whole slew of the first batch of "Anarchy". A few round two of "Anarchy". Pysically, they both looked very different.

I never really paid attention to who published it. I guess I just thought it was the go-around of various "Freedom" editors/collective.

On the whole armed struggle aspect. There was really a trend on this from the late 1960s-1980s. "Black Flag" was clearly in this camp. As was so many other anarchist publications.
Some held some interesting positions and held it closer it to the anarchist vest ("BF"). others supported all who engaged.

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Dec 24 2012 01:09

Yes, thanks for that info lurdan, very interesting.

Satawal, thanks very much for that response. I will send you a private message about this at some point when I get a chance, probably after Christmas

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Dec 24 2012 09:38

A couple of issues that I scanned and uploaded a while ago.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58284228/Anarchy-Issue-17

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58287382/Anarchy-Issue-37

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Dec 26 2012 13:31
welshboy wrote:
A couple of issues that I scanned and uploaded a while ago.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58284228/Anarchy-Issue-17

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58287382/Anarchy-Issue-37

mate, that's brilliant. Would you be able to add them to our library here? As you have to pay to download those ones. To add them just click "add child page" on the anarchy magazine main page then add the PDFs in the "file attachments" section.

Alternatively if you don't have the time you can e-mail us the PDFs and we will put them up

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Dec 26 2012 18:21

I've uploaded issue 17 here but issue 37 is too large for me to upload.
I also have a couple of old copies of Black Flag Quarterly (Vol. 7 No.s 4,5 + 6) from the early 80's but they are all slightly too big as well. Would you like me to email them to you via one of those "send gurt big files" type services?

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Dec 26 2012 18:33

Hi, I have increased your permissions so hopefully you can now? Let me know if not still and I will have a look