Anarchism: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on anarchism, anarchist theorists and their development through history.

Recommended introductions

Other recommended texts

Anarchist groups and organisations

Anarchist thinkers

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

French mutualist philosopher and first person to call themselves an ‘anarchist’.

Mikhail Bakunin

Russian revolutionary, considered the original theorist of collectivist anarchism.

Louise Michel

Legendary French anarchist who held a leading role in the Paris Commune and played an essential role in building the anarchist movement across Europe at the end of the 19th century.

Peter Kropotkin

Russian revolutionary (as well as scientist, zoologist, geographer and evolutionary theorist!) who was the first to advocate a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers - anarchist-communism.

Lucy Parsons

American anarchist-communist labour organiser and founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World of mixed African-American and Hispanic heritage. Known for her powerful public speaking, she was also the widow of Haymarket Martyr, Albert Parsons.

Errico Malatesta

Highly influential Italian anarchist-communist who wrote and spoke widely across Italy and spent many years either in jail or in exile.

Emma Goldman

Lithuanian-born Jewish anarchist who emigrated to the USA, where she became highly involved in radical unions, anti-war and feminist activism. Became known as "the most dangerous woman in America".

Alexander Berkman

Lithuanian-born anarchist-communist Alexander "Sasha" Berkman, who became a leading figure in the American anarchist movement and was sent to prison for attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, the steel boss responsible for the deaths of workers in the 1892 Homestead strike.

Rudolf Rocker

Prominent anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.

Ricardo Flores Magon

Mexican anarchist, friend of legendary revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and leading participant in the 1910 Mexican revolution.

Nestor Makhno

Ukrainian anarchist-communist who led a revolutionary army during the 1917 Russian revolution which fought against both the old Tsarist regime and the new Bolshevik one.

Daniel Guerin

French anarchist and revolutionary supporter of gay liberation.

Albert Meltzer

British anarcho-syndicalist print worker who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and was a major figure in the British anarchist movement.

Murray Bookchin

American libertarian socialist and founder of social ecology who severely criticised individualist and spiritual elements within radical politics.

Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

African-American class struggle anarchist, former Black Panther and participant in the civil rights and black power movements.

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