Libcom.org’s reading guide on anarchism, anarchist theorists and their development through history.
- An Anarchist FAQ– Absolutely massive archive of frequently asked questions, with clear and highly detailed responses drawing on the theory and practice of the anarchist tradition.
- What is anarchism? – Alexander Berkman– Absolutely indispensable classic introduction to anarchism.
- Introduction to anarchist communism – Anarchist Federation– Clearly written pamphlet from the Anarchist Federation (UK) explaining their tradition of anarchist-communism.
- Anarchist communism – an introduction– libcom.org’s short introduction to anarchist-communism.
- Anarcho-syndicalism – an introduction– libcom.org’s short introduction to anarchist-syndicalism.
French mutualist philosopher and first person to call themselves an ‘anarchist’.
- What is Property? – Influential work on the concept of property in which Proudhon declared «property is theft!».
- The Philosophy of Poverty
- The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century
- The Principle of Federation
Russian revolutionary, considered the original theorist of collectivist anarchism.
- Mikhail Bakunin, 1814-1876– biography.
- Basic Bakunin – Anarchist Federation – Pamphlet outlining the key features of Bakunin’s ideas.
- Marxism, freedom and the state– Collection writings touching on his controversy with Marx over the nature of the state and its role in the liberation of the international working class.
- God and State– Classic and highly influential atheist text setting out the anarchist critique of religion as bound up in legitimising the state.
- The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State– A critique of the state and analysis of the events surrounding the 1871 Paris Commune.
- A Critique of the German Social Democratic Program– An early and powerful critique of the statist, reformist, class-collaborationist and counter-revolutionary tendencies of emerging social democracy.
Russian revolutionary (as well as scientist, zoologist, geographer and evolutionary theorist!) who was the first to advocate a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers – anachist-communism.
- The Conquest of Bread– Classic work explaining the defects of feudal and capitalist economic systems and how they can be replaced by a decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation.
- Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution– Kropotkin’s response to Social Darwinism in which he explains the phenomenon of co-operation in evolution.
- Fields, Factories and Workshops – Hugely influential work outlining how a society based on mutual aid and voluntary association could work.
- Anarchism; & Anarchist communism – Two excellent essays explaining the history of anarchism and the inseparable relationship between anarchism and communism.
- Memoirs of a Revolutionist – Autobiography recounting his aristocratic beginnings to his transformation into the revolutionary he would be for the rest of his life.
- The State–Its Historic Role– Classic work on the state and its function in society.
- Act for Yourselves: Articles from Freedom 1886-1907 – Collection of articles written for Freedom newspaper.
Highly influential Italian anarchist-communist who wrote and spoke widely across Italy and spent many years either in jail or in exile.
- Errico Malatesta, 1853-1932– biography.
- Anarchy– Malatesta’s best known work, a pamphlet on what anarchism means.
- Anarchism and organisation– Essay on the importance of organisation to anarchism.
- Syndicalism and anarchism– Essay on the relationship of anarchists to the labour movement.
- At the cafe– A primer on the fundamentals of anarcho-communism, described through conversations.
Lithuanian-born anarchist who emigrated to the USA, where she became highly involved in radical unions, anti-war and feminist activism. Became known as «the most dangerous woman in America».
- Emma Goldman, 1869-1940– biography.
- Anarchism and Other Essays– collection of Goldman’s classic essays on anarchism and other subjects.
- Living My Life, 2 Vols.– Two volume autobiography taking her from her birthplace in Tsarist Russia to the socialist enclaves of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
- My Disillusionment in Russia– excellent book on the degeneration of the Russian revolution.
- Red Emma – play written by Carol Bolt.
Lithuanian-born anarchist-communist Alexander «Sasha» Berkman, who became a leading figure in the American anarchist movement and was sent to prison for attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, the steel boss responsible for the deaths of workers in the 1892 Homestead strike.
- Alexander Berkman, 1870-1936– Biography.
- What is anarchism?– Absolutely indispensable classic introduction to anarchism.
- Prison memoirs of an anarchist– Autobiographical account of his experience in prison after being sentenced to 22 years for the attempted assassination of an industrialist.
- The Russian Tragedy– Berkman’s anaylsis the failure of the Russian Revolution, written 1922.
- The Bolshevik Myth – Book describing his experiences in post-revolution Russia from 1920 to 1922
- The Kronstadt Rebellion – Berkman’s analysis of the crushing of the Kronstadt uprisingby the Bolshevik government.
Prominent anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.
- Rudolf Rocker, 1873-1958– biography.
- Anarcho-syndicalism– Definitive extended work on anarcho-syndicalism.
- Anarchism and Anarcho-syndicalism– Two essays introducing first the concept of anarchist politics and then its manifestation in anarcho-syndicalism.
- Nationalism and Culture– Classic text on nationalism and culture.
- The Tragedy of Spain– Rocker’s history of the Spanish Civil War.
- The Truth About Spain – Analysis of the situation in Spain, with much on the Spanish anarchist organizations the CNT (Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo) and FAI (Federacion Anarquista Iberica).
- Nesto Makhno, 1889-1934– biography.
- The struggle against the state and other essays– Collection of essays dealing with both Makhno’s experiences during the Russian Revolution and wider questions of organisation.
- Organisational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft)– Written by the Dielo Truda group, a group of exiled anarchists who had taken part in the Russian revolution (and of which Makhno was a member), ‘The Platform’ would become a highly debated and influential text on anarchist organisation.
French anarchist and revolutionary supporter of gay liberation.
- Daniel Guerin, 1904-1988– biography.
- No Gods, No Masters: an anthology of anarchism– Classic anthology of anarchism bringing together unpublished documents, letters, debates and more, showing the history, organisation and practice of the movement.
- Anarchism: from theory to practice– Book about the theoretical basis of anarchism, and its practical application to the real world in selected historical examples.
British anarcho-syndicalist print worker who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and was a major figure in the British anarchist movement.
- Albert Meltzer, 1920-1996– Biography.
- I couldn’t paint golden angels: Sixty years of commonplace life and anarchist agitation– A lively and witty account of a working class boy who went on to put in 60 years of activism, Meltzer’s autobiography doubles as a first-person history of the British and European anarchist movements.
- Anarchism: arguments for and against– Short book answering some common criticisms of anarchism while offering a critical view of the anarchist movement itself.
- The floodgates of anarchy– Book co-written with Stuart Christie, it presents an argument against class-based society and hierarchy and advocates for a free and equal society based on individual dignity and merit.
American libertarian socialist and founder of social ecology who severely criticised individualist and spiritual elements within radical politics.
- Bookchin remembered– Obituary written by Iain Mackay.
- Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism– Essay against the increasingly individualist, misanthropic, mystical and anti-organisational trends in US anarchism.
- Listen, Marxist!– An anarchist criticism of Marxism, aimed predominantly at the Maoist Progressive Labor Party in America.
- Post-Scarcity Anarchism– Collection of essays envisioning an anarchist society without scarce resources, if we rely on technology.
- Anarchism, Marxism and The Future of The Left – Collection of texts including accounts of his years as a teenage Communist during the Great Depression, his experiences and reflections on the 1960s and his vision of a libertarian communist society, libertarian politics and the future of anarchism.
- The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 – History of the day-to-day activism of Spanish anarchists in the decades leading up to the famous civil war and revolution of 1936.
- Noam Chomsky on anarchism – interview by Barry Pateman– Video of an interview by Barry Pateman with Noam Chomsky about anarchism.
- Living utopia– Unique feature-length documentary which chronicles the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution. In Spanish with English subtitles.