Radical Reading Group

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Radical Reading Group

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Editado: Nov 28, 2012, 5:22am

What books would you suggest for a radical reading group? Consideration should be given to a group meet about once a month with individuals who read at varying speeds. So no books that are very long or heavy going. Also, they should be books that are readily available via a library or can be bought cheaply.

Nov 28, 2012, 6:42pm

What is your purpose as a group? Do you want to educate yourselves about radical thought? Do you want to talk about your own political thought? Do you want to prepare yourselves for some action? I can think of a lot of stuff to read, but it would help to know where you're coming from.

(I will say that it's pretty hard to get very far in terms of anarchist theory without some heavy going. Bookchin and Chomsky can be fairly unforgiving to people who haven't read the same books they have and the 19th century anarchists often sound dated.)

Editado: Nov 29, 2012, 1:10pm

Thanks Aulsmith

Q: Do you want to educate yourselves about radical thought?
A: Most definitely! Q: Do you want to talk about your own political thought? A:That would come out in discussion surrounding chosen books wouldn't it?
Q: Do you want to prepare yourselves for some action? A: Not the immediate purpose but useful.

Nov 29, 2012, 9:51pm

Actually I thought it might be easier to talk about one's own political thought in relationship to fiction. There are a number of good science fiction stories that propose interesting solutions to social problems that give some scope for discussion of radical politics. But if your main goal is education, then the fiction isn't going to help.

I haven't been keeping up with current radical political thinking except as it applies to queer people, but here are some books I found interesting when I was:

Stephen Duncombe's Cultural Resistance Reader -- This is too long. You'd have to just read selections

The Essential Works of Anarchism edited by Marshall Shatz

Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements by George Woodcock

Hope this helps.

Editado: Dic 8, 2012, 6:24am

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman should be a fun read for people of any political stripe. I should think it would be available at most libraries. It's one of those pop-sociology books kind of like the ones Malcolm Gladwell tends to write. Good introductory book to spontaneous order and how groups of people can accomplish things without a strict hierarchy. Probably harder to find but worth mentioning is A History of Force by James L. Payne which goes with the thesis that despite popular thought, the propensity for violence has had a downward trend throughout history. You may have heard of a similar book by Stephen Pinker along the same lines, but Pinker's book is much longer and since he's an evolutionary psychologist (e.g. a psychologist who imagines they understand evolution) I don't trust Pinker to refrain from making unfounded claims about human nature.

Mar 5, 2013, 6:18am

Hi, Thanks for the input and suggestions. I've been in touch with an active radical book group to find out what they have been reading. Some of their choices seem a bit tame I have to say.

Sep 26, 2013, 4:13pm

Hi People, i just joined the group and am also new to anarchism, i ve found it very appealing that anarchists talk more about practical solutions rather then theories as i.e. marxists. Anyway, there is of course a lot to learn since mainstream is full of misleading concepts in regard of human nature and potentials for human society (Pinker comes to mind).
I discovered a website, which is very inspiring and holds some very good books (audiobooks) for free download.


Check it out