Best Anthologies?

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Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
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Sep 4 2019 13:40
Best Anthologies?

Robert Graham's Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas and Daniel Guerin's No Gods, No Masters are often cited as the best or most recommended anthologies of anarchist writings. But are there alternatives to these that are worth reading? Were there other anthologies that introduced you to anarchism?

What about anthologies or compilations of a writer's work (e.g. Life of an Anarchist: The Alexander Berkman Reader or on a specific theme? What are the must haves?

All political traditions are welcome not just anarchism.

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R Totale
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Sep 4 2019 20:49

Uh, I don't know that these are the "best", but a few memorable themed anthologies I've read are: Revolt and Crisis in Greece, Lines of Work: Stories of Jobs and Resistance by Recomposition, Dancin' in the Streets: Anarchists, IWWs Surrealists, Situationists & Provos in the 1960s, White Riot: Punk and the Politics of Race, Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief, Autowork. As far as specific thinkers go, the Marx-Engels Reader's probably a decent starting place for them, the Penguin George Orwell omnibus is a good Orwell collection, Revolution at Point Zero is a good Federici anthology, there's that big Mark Fisher collection that's just been published if you're into him. If you like that kind of psychogeography stuff, there's the Savage Messiah book, which I like but suppose may not be to everyone's tastes. Haven't read the Malatesta reader but that's probably worthwhile as well. Oh, and For Workers' Power: The Selected Writings of Maurice Brinton.
Got Ours to Master and to Own: Workers' Control From the Commune to the Present sat around waiting to be read at some point.
Others on my to-read long-list include New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism, Life During Wartime: Resisting Counter-Insurgency, Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, Midnight Oil: Work, Energy, War 1973-1992.

Are Decade of Disorder, Schnews at Ten, and the Do or Die anthology the main anthologies to have come from contemporary-ish UK anarchism, or are there any others?
The Situationist International Anthology's probably worth a read as well.

EDIT: A few more that might be of interest: Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader, Queer ultraviolence: Bash Back! anthology, Why Work?, After the Fall: communiqués from occupied California, the libcom "websites" tag has anthologies of a few great blogs including DSG and the void, The Playtime omnibus: A miscellany for young people and Printers' Playtime, Like a Summer with a Thousand Julys: Collected Writings from Dave + Stuart Wise, 1978-2008. Oh, and depending on how you feel about A*fh*b*n, there's their greatest hits, and the "Stop the clock! Critiques of the new social workhouse" collection they edited. Guess there's a few communisation anthologies like Communization and its discontents: Contestation, critique, and contemporary struggles as well.
Working: people talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do is great imo.

zugzwang
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Sep 4 2019 20:40

there's this from Woodcock

https://libcom.org/library/anarchist-reader-george-woodcock

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Sep 5 2019 04:32

Sam Dolgoff's anthology of Michael Bakunin's writings is a good introduction to Bakunin's ideas. The 1971 version on Libcom is titled Bakunin on Anarchy while my reprint from 1990 is titled Bakunin on Anarchism.

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Sep 5 2019 05:01

For Bakunin, Lehning's 1973 anthology is excellent as well. As for other political traditions, I never got the chance to read Camatte's Bordiga et la passion du communisme as an actual book (it seems to be really hard to obtain these days), but the individual texts of which it is comprised can all be found online, with most of them also available in English translation.

sherbu-kteer
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Sep 11 2019 13:20

Anyone read AW Zurbrugg's recent anthology of Bakunin? I've heard good things about the others like Lehning's and Maximov's but this one is more recent and apparently includes some untranslated stuff.

Of the anthologies I've read, I liked Gabriel Kuhn's anthologies of Gustav Landauer and Erich Mühsam, but I don't actually know the authors' original works well enough to judge whether they're properly good or not. I can confirm that Turcato's anthology of Malatesta is excellent and pairs very well with his book "Making Sense of Anarchism", which is a very interesting analysis of Malatesta's ideas and actions.

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Sep 17 2019 15:47
sherbu-kteer wrote:
Anyone read AW Zurbrugg's recent anthology of Bakunin? I've heard good things about the others like Lehning's and Maximov's but this one is more recent and apparently includes some untranslated stuff.

I have heard that the person behind libertarian-labyrinth.org is preparing a multi-volume 'complete works' of Bakunin's writings, which will offer fresh translations. I am not aware of any release date for the first volume. It seems this project has been in development for quite a long time.

sherbu-kteer
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Sep 18 2019 06:09

Yep, that's Shawn Wilbur, he's been working on that for a while but I don't think he's close to finishing it. He is a very good translator and writer in general though so I'm confident whatever he produces will be great quality. He's also preparing a Ricardo Mella collection too that sounds great, and has already published collections of Max Nettlau and Emma Goldman.

I ordered the Zurbrugg anthology anyway so will post my thoughts once I've got it and read it. Zurbrugg put out the English language version of René Berthier's history of the First International so I have a hunch he's chosen the Bakunin texts most relevant to Berthier's particular theses.

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Sep 21 2019 23:48

I have the anthology but have not read it has various text from his first international period including 8 letters the editor is also writing 4 volume history of anarchism in the 20th century