No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism

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Description The first English translation of Guerin's monumental anthology of anarchism, published here in one volume. It details a vast array of unpublished documents, letters, debates, manifestos, reports, impassioned calls-to-arms and reasoned analysis; the history, organization and practice of the movement--its theorists, advocates and activists; the great names and the obscure, towering legends and unsung heroes.


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This definitive anthology portrays anarchism as a sophisticated ideology whose nuances and complexities highlight the natural desire for freedom in all of us. The classical texts will re-establish anarchism as both an intellectual and practical force to be reckoned with. Daniel Guerin was the author of Anarchism: From Theory to Practice. Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn more about the fundraiser to help them and their neighbors. The Best Books of Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of When you look at where these technologies come from and the coordination and coercion required for so much industry and long distance trade it should be obvious that we can't get rid of hierarchies, inequalities and injustices without also getting rid of cellphones, the internet and chocolate mocha lattes in New York.

This is all more of a criticism of "anarchists" I've dealt with than of this book though. This isn't the type of book you should rate based on how much you agree with the contributors. As a collection of some early writings from the big names in the anarchist movement there's not really much to complain about.

No Gods No Masters : An Anthology of Anarchism

Nov 01, Ty rated it really liked it. Jul 29, Josiah Miller rated it really liked it. A great anthology of some unpublished and smaller pieces from early anarchism. This is not a good anthology for someone trying to start or get into anarchism as this is better as a companion guide through history and particular instances and feelings in anarchism at the early points in time of anarchism. A lot of focus on communism and communist ideas on anarchism as Guerin was an Anarcho-communist.

Again this is a great supplemental guide through some of the most important figures in anarchism.

Amebix No Gods No Masters

If you need a place to stay with anarchism, go straight to the main texts of anarchism such as Emma Goldman, The Conquest of Bread, Mutual Aid etc. Nov 27, Jan rated it liked it. A gratifyingly chunky tome containing some great stuff from Bakunin and Proudhon which was why I bought it , and introducing me to some writers that I really enjoyed: Voline, Goldman and Guillame. But the anthology isn't well put together- for example, very little from Voline's own pen, but stacks of stuff written about Voline's imprisonment by lesser lights.

Guerin's commentary is also a bit sloppily written, but I'm not sure if this is him or the translation. A useful pick'n'mix if you kn Oof! A useful pick'n'mix if you know what you're looking for, but patchy if you're looking to read a whole anthology. Jun 29, Broadsnark rated it liked it. It is an anthology, so the writing quality varies a lot between parts and some of it is a chore to get through. However, this is a really good intro the anarchist history and thought. And I learned about some things I knew nothing about before.

I also marked the hell out of the book, especially the Proudhoun and Bakunin parts.

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Jan 11, Mikey rated it liked it. I am setting this book aside for the moment because my brain is going to explode if i read anymore dry-ass anarchy essays. But it is pretty sweet. Jul 29, Lola rated it really liked it. Good selection of articles. But a bit strange. Some important Anarchist papers are missing while others are just not relevant Mar 27, Mohammed Khogir rated it really liked it. A prodigious work detailing the evolution of anarchism. I have always been interested in the question of social justice and felt a kindred spirit with Marxism but i could not bring myself to accept its authoritarian principle.

Then i fell upon some of Peter Kropotkin's books on anarchy and i was deeply enamoured by the spirit of comradery and fraternity explicit in anarchist thoughts. This book is not a historical record of anarchy but rather a record of anarchism as a school of moral, economical, political, and social philosophy as seen through the writings of its most prolific thinkers.

The book delineates the progression of anarchist thought and its different hues of collectivism, syndicalism and communism. Nov 08, Papilina Jefferson rated it it was amazing.

No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism by Daniel Guérin

I LOVE this book. A weird personal book. Somebody Guerin decided he likes anarchy so much that he needs to make a book about it. Inside there is a strange mix of biographies and excerpts of the most important books of certain authors. The text is not well referenced. And in the end you get a good inside into what Guerin feels of anarchy and almost nothing about the anarchist movement.

The same way some have tried to make a coherent system of gods out of the anarchic pun intended set of cults and temples in an A weird personal book. The same way some have tried to make a coherent system of gods out of the anarchic pun intended set of cults and temples in ancient Rome or Greece, the same way Guerin tries to give a direction to a group of people that stood for extremely different goals and paths. And only the need for a short text makes this hagiographies look like biographies.

Guerin seems to be interesting because of a shortage of authors to cover this part of political theory. Otherwise he is unclear at places. And has the bad habit of using and abusing page notes. This way important information is delegated to the small text area. And that's not enough for him. Important references are given late in the text and only a see page XX before that.

Back in it might have been hard to gather all these books and biographies. In you are better off reading the originals and checking out the biographies that are online. I am also in the presence of a badly executed copy editions la decouverte with references that go to the wrong pages. Feb 11, g rated it really liked it Shelves: Reading this anthology together with Carl Schmitt's Political Theology dramatically changed my experience with anarchist authors of 19th and 20th century. Proudhon, very much like Schmitt, recognizes the legal paradoxes of liberalism and puts together a thorough criticism that reminds one of Schmitt's comments on democracy.

Given the opposing assumptions that Proudhon and Schmitt begin with in their understanding of human nature -Schmitt follows Hobbes and believes that human nature is evil, whe Reading this anthology together with Carl Schmitt's Political Theology dramatically changed my experience with anarchist authors of 19th and 20th century.

Given the opposing assumptions that Proudhon and Schmitt begin with in their understanding of human nature -Schmitt follows Hobbes and believes that human nature is evil, whereas Proudhon would like to believe that humans are naturally good, and would be able to cooperate- they reach two very different conclusions as to what the best method of governance would be - dictatorship or anarchy? While anarchy is strictly opposed to the transcendentalization of any figure, and calls for an immanent system of governance where everyone will be equal could be argued that equality becomes the transcendent value in this case Schmitt argues that what we should strive for is a new transcendental figure, a God with human qualities.

Jul 01, Jeremy rated it really liked it. Really good, but hard to recommend unless you have at least a passing interest in anarchism and the patience to read political philosophy. However, it's not all just philosophy and propaganda - most of these authors were also actors in the revolutions and social movements of the and s. The historical context of all of these essays is really interesting, and I think it gets especially good when it comes to addressing anarchism during and after the Russian revolution. It's hard to tell if Really good, but hard to recommend unless you have at least a passing interest in anarchism and the patience to read political philosophy.

It's hard to tell if that's because of the mythological power of the revolution, which is always extremely engrossing to me, but, regardless, it's fascinating to see how contemporaries of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, viewed Communism and its effects. Oct 20, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. A nice compilation of excerpts from a number of libertarian thinkers.

No Gods No Masters

All in all, a fairly detailed introduction to th A nice compilation of excerpts from a number of libertarian thinkers. All in all, a fairly detailed introduction to the literature. As you might expect from an anthology of anarchism, the organization of essays, squibs, etc. You need to have the main texts such as they are to make sense of No Gods, No Masters, although there is some difficult to find stuff in here too. In short, a hodge-podge, but good and nourishing nevertheless. Dry as toast, and the translations are sometimes really weird, but overall, I think it is an important collection of writing by anarchists.

In general, you can't go wrong with Bakunin and also Kropotkin.


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  • I particularly enjoyed the short selection from Emma Goldman's recollections of Kropotkin, upon his death. Aug 22, Corvus rated it it was ok Shelves: Don't judge a book by it's cool cover. Over pages and Guerin didn't even think to feature any anarchist women in his book despite a few essays being included , but devoted around pages to the misogynistic and anti-semitic Proudhon. There are some good things in here, but if you use it as a primer for well-rounded anarchist thought, you will be sorely missing out.

    Feb 22, Mehdi rated it liked it Shelves: