Facing the enemy: A history of anarchist organisation - Alexandre Skirda

The finest single volume history of European anarchism is finally available in English in Paul Sharkey's elegant translation. Drawing on decades of research, Alexandre Skirda traces anarchism as a major political movement and ideology across the 19th and 20th centuries.

Submitted by working class … on December 27, 2012

Critical and engaged, he offers biting and incisive portraits of the major thinkers and, more crucially, the organizations they inspired, influenced, came out of, and were spurned by. Opinionated and witty, he is equally at home skewering the actions of the early anarchist Victor Serge as he is the Paris chief of police who organized undercover “anarchist bombers” in an attempt to infiltrate and discredit the movement. Skirda argues that the core problem for anarchists has been to create a revolutionary movement and envision a future society in which the autonomy of the individual is not compromised by the need to take collective action. How anarchists have grappled with that question in theory and practice make up the core of the book.

Comments

NannerNannerNa…

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by NannerNannerNa… on March 21, 2013

This is a book that features the words "mass state" in its earliest chapter, i think the one before the chapter slathering all over stirner

terrible, terrible goddam book.

syndicalist

6 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on October 31, 2017

I know that in the past I have mixed mind about this book. I still do, mostly due to some rough translations, which can happen in all translated books. More so on the core platformist oriented stuff. Not being a platformist I don't share the enthusiasm, but can appreciate, as a student of history, some of the nuances and events surrounding some of the early platformist stuff.

That said, I dusted off the book to read again some of the earlier chapters. Stuff aimed at the early periods, which actually have interestingly caught my attention. Well making the book worth a complete read again.

Well, still skimming earlier chapters on my morning and evening reads on the throne. In spite of my own anarcho-syndicalist views and criticism of elements of platformism, the on-line book is worth a looksee/read.