Book recommendations for a newbie

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Book recommendations for a newbie

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1charliemarie
Mar 5, 2011, 6:19pm

I've recently become interested in anarchism in a round-about way. I stopped in my local infoshop since they have the best zine library around, and happened upon Expect Resistance by CrimethInc. I devoured it in a day, and have since read several other Crimethinc releases. I'm at a loss as to where to go next. I'm looking for more accessible reads, as some of the works I've poked through at bookstores seem so dense that I tune out a page in. Always into people's experiences of a subject or lifestyle, and love memoirs or nonfiction sprinkled with anecdotes, but books on anarchist theory would be great too. Generally, I'm quite interested in sustainability, intentional communities, feminism, and anything DIY. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

2FrancoisTremblay
Mar 6, 2011, 1:07am

Some accessible recommendations on Anarchism:

The Dispossessed
Homage to Catalonia
Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology
The Conquest of Bread

I have no interest in your topics, so I can't really help you on those. I'm sure someone else can, though.

3Lunar
Editado: Mar 6, 2011, 5:29am

I'd recommend steering clear of books on "theory." It's a rabbit hole with no bottom. In fact, before recommending any books I'd find it better to recommend the podcast for the radio show Free Talk Live. With 90+ radio affiliates and rising they're the only brand of anarchism that's actually going anywhere. They even have a female-hosts-only episode every now and then if you want to get an occassional fix of individualist feminism (most recent one found here). Books are great for when you're learning a fact-based subject like history or economics. But learning political theory is something that can only be done when anchored to real people discussing real events in real time.

4charliemarie
Mar 6, 2011, 3:45pm

Thanks!

5FrancoisTremblay
Mar 6, 2011, 3:55pm

Don't listen too much to Lunar here. Free Talk Live is a right-wing show (I know because I've been on it). Anarchism has nothing to do with that.

6Lunar
Mar 7, 2011, 12:59am

#5: Actually, they more often get accused of being a left-wing show, which is about as credible as your statement. Try to play nice.

7FrancoisTremblay
Editado: Mar 7, 2011, 2:19pm

What do you mean? I am being nice. I am simply informing charliemarie that it's a right-wing show.

People would accuse it of being left-wing, because the standards of being a leftie in the US are so out of whack. In essence, all political discourse in the US is about capital-democracy and ideologies define themselves in the way they support capital-democracy.

So they would call people like FTL, who are partially out of that sphere, lefties. In fact, FTL, and most people, are actually way out of that very small, very corrupt sphere of thought. But they are not left-wing by any balanced standard.

8Lunar
Mar 7, 2011, 3:23pm

#7: Not that the "Everyone to the right of me is right-wing" is any kind of substantive argument. If you think the folks at Free Talk Live are "right-wing," I'd hate to think what you'd say about an "ordinary anarchist" like the producer of Antiwar Radio, Angela Keaton.

9FrancoisTremblay
Mar 8, 2011, 5:44pm

Straw man. I never said "everyone to the right of me is right-wing." There are actual Anarchists who are to the right of me (like baseline mutualists), and I don't call them right-wing. Before you insult me, at least make the insult accurate, mmkay?

10Lunar
Mar 9, 2011, 12:40am

#9: I think I came close enough to characterizing what you meant. Which really begs the question of what you objectively mean by "right-wing." I mean, I could talk all day about the Free Talk Live host's stances, like allowing for completely unregulated immigration, gay marriage, legalization of all drugs, ending all wars and disbanding the military. But I think you'd still call them right-wing anyway.

11FrancoisTremblay
Mar 9, 2011, 6:27am

Mmyes, because positions on drugs and gay marriage are what makes the difference between right-wing and left-wing people. The Libertarian Party must be a den of raging lefties then. Mmkay, you're an imbecile.

12Lunar
Editado: Mar 9, 2011, 4:12pm

#11: Like I said before, try to play nice. Unlike yourself, I don't go around telling others not to listen to you (much less calling you an "imbecile"). Your lack of substance shows the more you speak.

13metamariposa
Abr 16, 2011, 5:51pm

Well, A People's History of the United States gives a great overview of U.S. history from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective. I agree that Homage to Catalonia is informative as well. Erik Olin Wright's recent release Envisioning Real Utopias is a bit dense but is fabulous and informative and inspiring. (He is not strictly speaking anarchist but still useful for a revolutionary perspective)
I've enjoyed the CrimethInc books quite a bit myself, but I've found the journal "Social Anarchy" to be a great, well-reasoned mix of theory and personal experience. You can find most of their back issues online.
I, too, have just started getting into anarchy via some research into North Dakota history--let me know if you find any good memoirs, etc. I would be interested!
~metamariposa

14FrancoisTremblay
Abr 17, 2011, 1:53pm

I don't play nice with people who pretend to know what they're talking about and don't, Lunar, and you repeatedly do this very thing. Just stop saying stupid things and I'll stop contradicting you. It's as simple as that. Now stop posting off-topic posts.

15FrancoisTremblay
Abr 21, 2011, 4:50pm

New book recommendation:

The Fifth Sacred Thing

16Lunar
Abr 26, 2011, 4:00am

#14: I'm not one of the people who flagged your post, if that's what you think. Don't know why you're going on about how I don't know what I'm talking about. So you phoned Free Talk Live sometime and they didn't agree 100% with you on some random topic. Get over it.

17FrancoisTremblay
Editado: Abr 26, 2011, 6:18am

Get a life. You are the one who started this nonsense, not me. Why don't you post book suggestions for Charliemarie instead of hassling me?

18Lunar
Mayo 2, 2011, 3:16am

#17: Oh certainly.

Healing Our World
For Good and Evil
Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls
The Starfish and the Spider
A History of Force: Exploring the worldwide movement against habits of coercion...

But let's not pretend I'm the one who got us off topic. The op asked for books on anarchist "theory" whereas the real life anecdotes heard on Free Talk Live I find to be much more elucidating.

19JMPorup
Sep 25, 2012, 12:10pm

An often overlooked author, and well worth the read, IMHO, is Franz Fanon and his classic The Wretched of the Earth