The Raven: anarchist quarterly

A selection of covers from the Raven journal

Partial online archive of The Raven, a quarterly anarchist review published by Freedom Press for 43 issues from 1987-2003.

Editors included Heiner Becker, Sylvie Edwards, Vernon Richards, Donald Rooum and Nicolas Walter.

Author
Submitted by Steven. on January 14, 2013

Libcom note: some of the contents of this journal are of poor quality, and so we reproduce for reference only. However, there are some good articles which it published from time to time.

Published online with the kind permission of Freedom Press, from whom you can also purchase cheap hardcopies of The Raven, as well as many other far superior texts! http://www.freedompress.org.uk/

Libcom also hosts a gallery of Raven cover artwork here.

Missing: 35, 42.

Comments

Steven.

11 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on January 14, 2013

Right, so I have set up this archive and I have a full set. I scanned 17 as somebody asked for it. If anyone would like any particular issues let me know and I will scan them ASAP. Otherwise I will do this on and off over the next few years…

bpeter_101

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bpeter_101 on September 5, 2015

Hello Steven,

Thanks very much for posting these copies of Raven Anarchist Quarterly. I am currently researching into the 'Spies for Peace', and there is a definitive article about the activities of the Spies for Peace in Raven Anarchist Quarterly Number 5. I once had a paper copy of the volume which I bought at the end of the 1980s, but unfortunately it has long since been lost.

I wonder whether you might be willing to scan and post volume number 5 in the Raven series, please (it has a light blue cover). The Spies for Peace were very influential in the anti-war / pacifist / libertarian movement at the time (early 1960s), so you would be doing a big service to radical historians.

Please don't hesitate to PM me for more info.

Thank you for your help and keep up the good work.

Best wishes,

Peter

Steven.

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 5, 2015

Hey, no worries will do. Should be able to do it either at the end of this month or in early October if that's okay?

We have some other stuff on the Spies for Peace on libcom here: https://libcom.org/tags/spies-peace and here: https://libcom.org/history/rsgs-1919-1963-nicolas-walter

bpeter_101

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bpeter_101 on September 8, 2015

Thanks Steven - that's great, and very much appreciated. Will look forward to reading the article in due course. I'll read the links you've posted with great interest. The Spies for Peace story is really fascinating, and should be an inspiration to all.

Steven.

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on September 8, 2015

Cheers!

Steven.

8 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on October 29, 2015

Unfortunately I have now lost my full set of The Raven. It was sitting at my parents' house, but they threw it out! Sorry, I have scanned issue 1 which was the only one I had separately. I will have to try to get a set from Freedom directly to digitise the rest, unless anyone can donate some to us.

Steven.

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 14, 2018

lol, I had forgotten that there was a time when one of the world's biggest anarchist websites was called "spunk"

Fozzie

1 year 8 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 15, 2022

I've now scanned in the all the issues I was able to find for pence in London. They are mainly not that great but the early editions are worth a look and you're generally OK with pieces by Colin Ward. The historical stuff and reprints are good.

Overall there is a real problem with slightly academic middle aged white men wanging on self-indulgently about whatever the topic is. A couple of the articles by men writing about feminism are absolutely embarrassing. As are some of the pieces on class.

I didn't read The Raven much at the time and if the accounts of piles of unsold boxes of it at Freedom are true, I was far from unique in that. Black Flag, Subversion, Wildcat, Class War, Here & Now, Contraflow, Counter Information, etc all had more interesting things to say.

Nevertheless, there is value in having this archive available on Libcom, both to devalue the copies being sold for high prices on the second hand market, and as a warning to future generations, lol.

Steven.

1 year 8 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on October 16, 2022

Great, thanks. The rumours about the great unsold pile at Freedom are very true. The old editor Toby ended up getting some of us to help him throw out dozens of boxes to pulp them. I disagreed with this, so tried for a while to sell full sets for a fiver, or give them away, but nobody wanted them. So eventually they got pulped. I kept a full set for myself to digitise later but somehow lost it after several house moves unfortunately.

Fozzie

1 year 8 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 16, 2022

Thanks Steven, kind of a waste all round really.

Does anyone know what the print run was?

Steven.

1 year 8 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on October 16, 2022

I'm not completely sure, but vaguely rattling around inside my brain is the figure of 2000 per issue. But that seems way too high…

Fozzie

1 year 7 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 17, 2022

Wow, 2000 is certainly possible because it becomes super cheap to do a load more at a certain print run.

That is 86,000 individual copies of the total run though, which is mental.

Submitted by Steven. on October 17, 2022

Fozzie wrote: Wow, 2000 is certainly possible because it becomes super cheap to do a load more at a certain print run.

That is 86,000 individual copies of the total run though, which is mental.

hmmm maybe it was 500 per issue? Sorry, it's such a long time ago and I just picked up bits and pieces of info randomly. It's also possible that the Raven could have been printed for free by the printers as part of their arrangement with Freedom… But I was only aware of the arrangement to print Freedom. The production of the Raven was well before my time.

Fozzie

1 year 7 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 17, 2022

No worries Steven, just idle curiosity on my part. You’d imagine that the print run of later issues might have been drawn in a bit too, come to think of it.

Submitted by Steven. on October 17, 2022

Fozzie wrote: No worries Steven, just idle curiosity on my part. You’d imagine that the print run of later issues might have been drawn in a bit too, come to think of it.

that would make sense, however, I think the Raven was a big vanity project on behalf of the Freedom editors at the time, so I'm not really sure that rational choices like that figured into it that much…

Fozzie

1 year 7 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on November 14, 2022

So 35 and 42 are the only ones that can't be found online anywhere now.

Steven.

1 year 7 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on November 14, 2022

wow that's amazing. I mean apart from the 200 MB PDFs, that's just unnecessary, especially for the Raven…