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Your favorite anarchist literature.

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Redwood's picture
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Jan 26 2014 18:26
Your favorite anarchist literature.

Lucked out and came into a little bit of $ recently and I would like to add my library. What are your top 5 favorite anarchist/lib com books? I have trouble getting through a lot of the theory stuff, but really enjoy a mix of history/theory. The last two books I read were Reform or Revolution by Rosa and The Situationist International Anthology. I really enjoyed both, especially Reform or Revolution. The situationist writing just annoys me sometimes.

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Jan 26 2014 18:44

If you can tolerate pdf reading, you can pick up "I do mind dying" and "black flame" for no dollars on here. Just put them in the search bar.

Right now I'm reading "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" by Wilhelm Reich. Though not strictly and deliberately anarchist, most of his ideas are. It proposes quite an interesting context for sexual politics..and is at some points pretty weird but he always get round to explaining himself in the end.
It's a good book that furrows your brow in disagreement and from there is able to bring you back.

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Jan 26 2014 18:45

Today...
Bakunin. The Philosophy of Freedom.
by Brian Morris.
Published by Black Rose Books.

(This year it's 200 years since Bakunin's birth)

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Jan 26 2014 18:57

I haven't read these but I WANT to read them:

Anarchism and The City by Chris Ealham (Here is a link to an ealrier draft that's available for free on libcom: http://libcom.org/history/class-culture-conflict-barcelona-1898-1937-chris-ealham )

This is the first of the 3 volume history of the Spanish Revolution by Anarchist Youth member of the time, Jose Peirats https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=215

Nunzio Pernicone Biography of Tresca

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Jan 27 2014 10:18
Redwood wrote:
The last two books I read were Reform or Revolution by Rosa and The Situationist International Anthology. I really enjoyed both, especially Reform or Revolution. The situationist writing just annoys me sometimes.

If you liked the Situationist stuff, but found it difficult to read (it is), try out King Mob stuff, like King Mob Echo. They dubbed themselves the "English section of the Situationist International", and the writing is slightly more accessible to an English speaking audience. Also try UAW/MF (Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers) and Black Mask, both from New York, and loosely inspired by Dada and the Situationists. Not my cup of tea really, but a fun reads nonetheless.

https://andrewburgin.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=2193&osCsid=lcml...

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/isbn/1873176708/page-1/

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Jan 27 2014 10:37

Buy yourself a Kindle, then you can get all future books for free!

I think the best "anarchy" book I've read is Strike! By Jeremy Brecher

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Jan 27 2014 15:21

Gaston Leval's Collectives in the Spanish Revolution. Nearly impossible to get in hardcover (a republication is in the works), though there is a version in the libcom library.

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Jan 28 2014 00:36

Thank you to everyone for all of the suggestions so far. I have already ordered a few books from your suggestions, also Steven., I am defiantly thinking about making that leap. I've always liked having the hardcover's, but I know im really missing out on a lot of stuff.

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Jan 28 2014 00:26

About Kindle,

The old ones are nice for pdf reading. They have a display that sort of makes it look like newspaper print. Its like very soft light or something. Its good for lots of file types too, even .txts and stuff. Also, pdf's of newspaper type publications look good on the old ones too.

I think the "kindlefire" or whatever is some sort of half-shit tablet computer with an atypical tablet display that is as harsh as any comp monitor.

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Jan 28 2014 00:47

Yea, my buddy had one of the old kindle's, and I actually really liked it. I remember being amazed at how much the screen just looked like regular paper, no glare, ect.

Are you from Bozeman, Montana? I've been through that place tons of times during my travels and always really enjoyed it. Last time I was there a guy gave me a ride out to Butte (hell of a town) and the Evil Knievel Days happened to be going on. What a mess. Good times.

OneKlart
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Jan 28 2014 19:57

A post-Edward-Snowden note of caution about Kindle and other e-readers.

If you are not comfortable with any number of private businesses and government spy/cop agencies knowing what you are reading, or with the potential that your literature collection could be deliberately or accidentally deleted by third parties, it's best to avoid them.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Who's Tracking Your Reading Habits? An E-Book Buyer's Guide to Privacy, 2012 Edition

And here's a thing in the Guardian about e-readers being used as surveillance tools.

And a thing from Mother Jones.

I don't think I'll ever get one. But then again I'm the sort of neanderthal who keeps the same mobile phone for 8 years smile

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Jan 28 2014 21:26

As long as you don't purchase your books from the store, you should be fine, no? (I've read about a hundred books and countless articles on my Kindle and never paid for a book.)

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Jan 28 2014 21:38

Yea, im not really too worried about the tracking. I can get around that. It would suck if I had to redownload everything though. Not really worried about that either though, but thanks for the heads up OneKlart. That's some interesting and fucked up shit.

omen
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Jan 28 2014 21:57
jura wrote:
As long as you don't purchase your books from the store, you should be fine, no? (I've read about a hundred books and countless articles on my Kindle and never paid for a book.)

I've not bought any for my kindle either, but if you connect to wifi with it at all, Amazon will be uploading all sorts of data from your kindle. I installed the kindle app recently on my phone and when I signed in it already knew all the categories I had created on my kindle. It probably harvests a list of what books you have installed and possibly notes and bookmarks etc.

I dread to think what the kindle app is harvesting (I noticed that the app was using large amounts of battery power and using wifi when I hadn't even opened the app since starting the phone that day).

It's a good job that the NSA and GCHQ can't access all that data...

Oh.

Redwood's picture
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Jan 28 2014 22:04

Connect to random wifi spots and never use your real info when signing up. Who cares what they access at that point?

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Jan 29 2014 00:31

If your really cheap, you could get the discontinued Nook HD+ (see here). I purchased the 16 GB version for a $150. Works fine. I guess its comparable to the Kindle Fire HD, although with the Nook HD+, your getting a 9 inch screen, whereas the cheapest Kindle Fire HD is only 7 inches, which makes it worse for PDFs.

Silent_Wage_Slave
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Jan 30 2014 17:24
Quote:

Buy yourself a Kindle, then you can get all future books for free!

I think the best "anarchy" book I've read is Strike! By Jeremy Brecher

Is Kindle the best ebook reader among them all?

Assuming that most books here are in pdf... I had read somewhere that Kindle does not support that format. Is that true? I have been using my dad's iPad and it can run both pdf and mobi format? Is Kindle better than iPad when it comes to reading ebooks?

radicalgraffiti
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Jan 30 2014 18:35

Kindle is the most well known brand of ebook reader, so soem people use kindle to refer to all ebook readers.

Ipads use computer lcd displays, these are generally considered harder to read on than paper, many ebook readers use Epaper/E-ink which is much more like paper in reading experience, it also has the advantage that it only uses power when changing the image displayed ie when turning a page, on the other hand its will only be black and white and isn't any good for moving images.

When choosing and ebook reader i would suggest basing it on screen size and resolution and whether it supports the formant you want to read, i'm currently thinking of getting a kobo since they apparently support comic book formats as well as everything else.

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Jan 30 2014 18:37

iPad is the most well known brand of tablet, so some people use iPad to refer to all tablets grin

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Jan 30 2014 23:44

Redwood,

About Bozeman, sort of, lived there a long time. Lovely place. I'm from Wyoming originally.

Butte though, best town out there by far. Wild.

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Jan 30 2014 23:51
Silent_Wage_Slave wrote:
Quote:

Buy yourself a Kindle, then you can get all future books for free!

I think the best "anarchy" book I've read is Strike! By Jeremy Brecher

Is Kindle the best ebook reader among them all?

Assuming that most books here are in pdf... I had read somewhere that Kindle does not support that format. Is that true? I have been using my dad's iPad and it can run both pdf and mobi format? Is Kindle better than iPad when it comes to reading ebooks?

SWS, Old kindles definately support .pdfs.

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Jan 31 2014 09:24

I thought that it was the new kindles that used a proprietary format.
And if you don't think that theyn are tracking your data then you are plain wrong. Even if you don't think they're doing anything sinister with it, and they can scan the books you read so they know what they are (if you have changed the title for example) and if they are paid editions or not.

Quote:
Also, the Paperwhite has only 1.25GB of free memory (out of the 2GB total). Amazon reckons this "holds up to 1,100 books", but it doesn't leave much room for your own PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, unprotected books etc, which you can load onto the Kindle by emailing them to a special Amazon address.

The space problem could be solved if the Paperwhite had an SD memory card slot, but it doesn't

So they can record and store everything.

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Jan 31 2014 09:53

Kindle uses a proprietary format for the commercially available books, but it can natively read MOBI (Calibre can convert just about anything to this format) and PDFs. PDFs are quite complicated to handle (if it's a scan, forget about it; if it's machine-readable text, then depending on the layout, the width of the paragraphs etc., you might be able to read it in the original PDF format – I've read a few.). You can get a lot of stuff in EPUB or MOBI, though.

About the tracking, it's probably better not to use the wifi/3g at all. I usually just manually copy my e-books from the computer (this works on my Kindle 4 and my girlfriend's Kindle 5). BTW, I never had any problems with available space. Unless you load the device full of stuff you'll never read, 1 GB should be plenty.

backspace
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Jan 31 2014 11:35

You can also use an open source ebook library manager program + a browser service plugin like Instapaper or Pocket. You configure the manager to convert to your device format, and then just click and save articles in browser whilst reading libcom. I've saved lots of articles this way.

In reply to the original post, probably my favourite recent anarchist article was this. In terms of other communist stuff, I haven't had much time recently so i've been doing back to back readings of short easy texts. Communist Manifesto + Politics and the English Language (Orwell) + History as Creation (Castoriadis). They are all easy to understand, but it makes for a fairly politically challenging read if that sort of thing interests you. In fact i'd definitely recommend reading History as Creation if you enjoyed the uber-hegelian situ marxism, whilst I still have nostalgia for that, Castoriadis's text to me seemed to supercede it but still from a communist perspective. I think it was also important in the UK to permit the active remnants of Solidarity (UK) that weren't part of the two left communist splits, to after two groups eventually unite with anarchists they shared positions with.

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Feb 1 2014 12:33
jura wrote:
Kindle uses a proprietary format for the commercially available books, but it can natively read MOBI (Calibre can convert just about anything to this format) and PDFs. PDFs are quite complicated to handle (if it's a scan, forget about it; if it's machine-readable text, then depending on the layout, the width of the paragraphs etc., you might be able to read it in the original PDF format – I've read a few.). You can get a lot of stuff in EPUB or MOBI, though.

About the tracking, it's probably better not to use the wifi/3g at all. I usually just manually copy my e-books from the computer (this works on my Kindle 4 and my girlfriend's Kindle 5). BTW, I never had any problems with available space. Unless you load the device full of stuff you'll never read, 1 GB should be plenty.

this is exactly right. I mean, I couldn't care less about Amazon knowing what I read, but I never use the Wi-Fi/3G. Like you I just manually copy stuff from my laptop, so it can't be remotely deleted (even if it could, everything is on my laptop anyway) or tracked. I've never had problems with space either.

With a Kindle e-reader (i.e. not a tablet, I hate reading long articles off a screen), you can read some PDFs, but basically the page PDF has to be small enough. A4 PDFs, the text becomes too small and you can't realistically manipulate pages by zooming in etc like you can with a tablet. However as others have said you can convert many files easily, and the comfort for reading massively outweighs any downside compared to tablets.

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Feb 1 2014 14:26

Not to sound too flippant, but is there any evidence that any of this stored info has been used against libcom types?

jolasmo
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Feb 1 2014 15:25

I can highly recommend getting a kindle if you have the dough, I got a new Kindle PaperWhite for xmas and I'm loving it so far. As people have pointed out, if you're worried about Amazon looking through your ebook library then just don't connect it to the internet, simples. There are other ebook readers out there, I've never used one but I imagine they're pretty similar in most respects.

~J.

omen
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Feb 1 2014 18:04

There is a small free Java program called briss (Google for it) that allows you to crop pdfs easily with a simple GUI (cropping whole swathes of pages at a time, odd and even separately, etc). You can use it to remove headers and footers (including page numbers) from PDFs, which means the text appears larger on the kindle's small screen. Also, rotate the pages on the kindle and use it sideways if the text is still too small (the page buttons scroll the screen and flip pages when at the top or bottom of a page).

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Feb 2 2014 03:02

I really enjoyed Free Women of Spain by Martha A. Acklesberg, At the Cafe by Errico Malatesta, and What is Communist Anarchism? by Alexander Berkman.

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Feb 5 2014 22:06
Quote:
top 5 favorite anarchist/lib com books?

It's hard to pick favorites, but here are the ones that probably influenced me the most:

5. The Russian Revolution in Ukraine, Under the Blows of the Counterrevolution, and The Ukrainian revolution by Nestor Makhno
Awesome firsthand accounts that get very detailed about collectivizations in Gulai-Polye. There's also this one hilarious part in the first one where he visits the anarcho-communist club in Petrograd and he's like "I came expecting to meet revolutionaries, but when I entered the building, my heart sank. What did I find but men and women asleep all over the floor, stale bread and fish heads strewn across the table, and the dishes had not been done in weeks!" Fucking oogles.

4. Obsolete Communism by Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Another great firsthand account, about May '68. Second anarchist book I read at age 14. (thanks, Red Emma's). Made me hate Leninists.

3. How Nonviolence Protects the State by Peter Gelderloos
First anarchist book I ever read, blew my young mind. I was raised Quaker, and before picking up this text I don't think I'd ever questioned my parents' pacifism.

2. City of Quartz by Mike Davis
Okay, not anarchist per se, but still a magnificent history of how capitalism turned Los Angeles into the dystopian Babylon it is today. Read it the week before I moved there, scared the shit out of me.

1. The Many and the Few by Henry Kraus
Also not anarchist, but maybe the best firsthand story of class struggle I've ever read. Kraus was a salt for the Communist Party in a GM plant during the Flint Sit-Down Strike.

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Feb 6 2014 05:55

God and the State by Bakunin