Libcom.org's reading guide on anarcho-syndicalism, a tradition of anarchist-inspired workers' unions.
Anarcho-syndicalism: reading guide
- Anarcho-syndicalism - an introduction - Short, accessible introduction written by the libcom.org group.
- Anarcho-syndicalism in the 20th Century - Vadim Damier - The best one-stop overview of anarcho-syndicalism currently available in English, covering the well-known and not-so-well-known organisations and ideas from the anarcho-syndicalist tradition.
- Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle - Solidarity Federation - Short book outlining the history, theory and practice of anarcho-syndicalism in relation to the mainstream workers' movement and other radical traditions, and setting out their own approach.
- Anarcho-syndicalism: theory and practice - Rudolf Rocker - Classic anarcho-syndicalist text, strong on the early history and ideas of anarcho-syndicalism up until the Spanish revolution of 1936.
- A history of anarcho-syndicalism - SelfEd - A 24-unit self-education course on the history of anarcho-syndicalism and the workers' movement, produced by the Solidarity Federation.
Key people and groups
- IWA - International Workers Association, international confederation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions, founded in 1922.
- CNT - Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1910, which took part in the 1936 Spanish civil war and revolution.
- FORA - Federación Obrera Regional Argentina, Argentinian anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1901 which played a leading role in the working class movement at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Friends of Durruti - Anarchist group founded during the civil war opposing the CNT's participation in the Republican government.
- Mujeres Libres - Anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation active within the Spanish CNT before and during the Spanish revolution.
- Emile Pouget - French anarchist and influential early advocate of syndicalism who was vice-secretary of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) from 1901-1908.
- Rudolf Rocker - Prominent German anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.
- Gregori Maximov - Russian anarcho-syndicalist and participant in the 1917 Russian revolution who wrote extensively both on anarchist involvement in the events as well as the Bolshevik counter-revolution.
- Buenaventura Durruti - Legendary anarcho-syndicalist rail worker, CNT member and military leader, killed during the Spanish civil war.
- Albert Meltzer - British anarcho-syndicalist who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and founded Black Flag magazine.
Other recommended texts
- Overview: the International Workers Association - Edited version of the article originally put together for the organisation's page on Wikipedia and includes some content not available on that site.
- Revolutionary syndicalist internationalism, 1913-1923: the origins of the International Working Men’s Association - Wayne Thorpe - A highly detailed 1979 PhD thesis about the origins of the anarcho-syndicalist international, the International Workers Association.
- What is the CNT? - English translation of ¿Qué es la CNT?, introduction to the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union the CNT-AIT.
- Free women of Spain - Martha Ackelsberg's book on the Mujeres Libres [Free Women], a group of anarcho-syndicalist women in the Spanish revolution.
- Durruti in the Spanish revolution - Abel Paz - Highly recommended book that is as much a social history as biography of the anarchist bank-robber turned-revolutionary unionist.
- Revolutionary unionism in Latin America - the FORA in Argentina - Excellent pamphlet outlining the origins and development of the Argentinian working class movement, focussing in particular on the anarcho-syndicalist FORA (Federación Obrera Regional Argentina).
- Syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism in Germany - Helge Döhring - Introduction to the development of German syndicalism from its beginnings in 1890 until the early 1960s.
- Anarcho-syndicalism in Peru, 1905-1930 - Steven Hirsch - Article about the Peruvian anarcho-syndicalist movement with details of its influential involvement in numerous strikes, its far-reaching network of cultural associations and its influences from other syndicalist movements in the region.
- Anarchosyndicalism in inter-war France: The vision of Pierre Besnard - Wayne Thorpe - Detailed look at the thought of anarcho-syndicalist Pierre Besnard (1886–1947), placing it in the context of inter-war French syndicalism.
- Syndicalists in the Russian Revolution - Gregori Maximov - Account of the effects Russian Revolution on the Russian syndicalists and anarchists, and vice-versa, by a leading Russian anarcho-syndicalist of the time.
- The union makes us strong? - Anarchist Federation - A three-part critical analysis of the theory and practice of syndicalism published in the Anarchist Federation's Organise! magazine.
- Spain 1936, the end of anarchist syndicalism? - Subversion - Criticism of anarcho-syndicalism during the Spanish Civil War.
- Spanish Civil War and Revolution photo gallery, 1936-39. Photo gallery of anarchists and other workers who attempted a social revolution after the military uprising of the right-wing General Francisco Franco in July 1936.
- Living utopia (documentary). A unique feature-length documentary (90 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles) which chronicles the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the Spanish revolution (1936-1939).