Anarchism Bibliography

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Anarchism Bibliography—Audre Lorde to Howard Zinn Library at Occupy Boston

Created by Brian S.  - feel free to add others!

Acklesberg, Martha A.. Free women of Spain: Anarchism and the struggle for the emancipation of women. Albany: AK Press, 2005.

Acklesberg describes the Mujeres Libres women’s movement leading up to and during the Spanish Civil War. They fought against both fascism and patriarchy in the anti-fascist movement.

Arshinov, Peter. History of the Makhnovist movement (1918-1921). London: Freedom Press, 1987.

Nestor Makhno was a poor peasant who organized an anarchist army in the Russian Revolution. Eventually driven into exile by the Bolsheviks, Makhno’s army defended an attempt to create an anarchist society in the Ukraine organized by workers’ and people’s councils.

Avrich, Paul. Anarchist voices: An oral history of anarchism in America. Albany: AK Press, 2005.

Paul Avrich presents interviews with anarchists active in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The interviews include portraits of prominent anarchists as well as descriptions of life in libertarian schools and colonies.

Avrich, Paul. The modern school movement: Anarchism and education in the United States. Albany: AK Press, 2006.

In the twentieth century anarchists and others who objected to hierarchy established dozens of schools across the United States which were run according to the principles of freedom of association. Children were not coerced into learning and had influence over the organization and practice of the school. If you are interested in this topic, you may be interested in A.S. Neil’s
Summerhill School: A new view of childhood, and you may also be interested in the contemporary “unschooling” movement.
Berkman, Alexander. Prison memoirs of an anarchist. New York: Schocken Books, 1970.
American industrialist Henry Clay Frick hired Pinkertons to break the Homestead Strike. In clashes between the Pinkertons and the workers, many workers (and Pinkertons) were shot and killed. In revenge, Berkman tried to kill Frick and failed. He served fourteen years in prison. This is his memoir.
Bookchin, Murray. Post-scarcity anarchism. New York City: Ramparts Press, 1971.

Murray Bookchin writes about ecology in the anarchist tradition. This collection of essays includes comments on ecology, a critique of Marxism, and an analysis of the French May 1968 movement.

Cleyre, Voltairine, Sharon Presley, and Crispin Sartwell. Exquisite rebel: The essays of Voltairine de Cleyre: Feminist, anarchist, genius. Albany, New York: State University Of New York Press, 2005.

Emma Goldman called de Cleyre
"the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced." In these essays, De Cleyre offers a radical critique of patriarchy.

Goldman, Emma. Living my life. London: Penguin Group, 2006.
The penguin version, although still quite long, is an abridged version of Goldman’s full memoir. Goldman was a popular writer, lecturer, and revolutionary in the United States. She also traveled to Russia and wrote about her disappointment with the Bolshevik government. He life is an adventure, and her autobiography is riveting.  This book is available free online at
Guérin, Daniel. Anarchism: From theory to practice. London: Monthly Review Press, 1970.

Guérin’s book is the best modern introduction to anarchism. In this short book he discusses both the theoretical underpinnings of anarchist thought and sketches out several moments in twentieth century politics when anarchist practice was prominent.

Marshall, Peter H.. Demanding the impossible: A history of anarchism : be realistic! Demand the impossible!. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008.

Marshall surveys anarchism from hints in Taoism to the present day. It is a survey, so it is necessarily superficial in many respects, but it is the broadest historical book on anarchism available.

McKay, Iain. An anarchist FAQ, vol. 1. Albany: AK Press, 2008.

Initially developed as a rebuttal to free market capitalists who called themselves “anarcho-capitalists” and “libertarians” and claimed they were part of the anarchist tradition, the FAQ blossomed into a giant document covering a tremendous variety of anarchist topics—critiques of capitalism and state socialism, an examination of direct action, discussions of anarchist history, and more. The FAQ tries to answer its own questions with extensive quotes, so it is a great resource to find books to read. Volume 1 of the FAQ has been published by AK Press. The full FAQ is available online at
Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia. Harcourt Brace & Co., 1980.

Orwell went to Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War. Anarchists, communists, and other leftists fought the fascists and eventually lost. Orwell is amazed by his experiences in cities where contemporary ideas of power and  hierarchy, although not absent, have been overturned. He also critiques the choices of the various leftist organizations and speculates about the causes of their eventual loss to Franco.

Stallman, Richard. Free software, free society: Selected essays of Richard M. Stallman. Boston, MA: Free Software Foundation, 2002.

This book is a little bit out of place in a list of anarchist books because Stallman is not an anarchist. However, freedom of information in an important aspect of the freedom of the individual, and few people have contributed more, practically or theoretically, to the question of freedom of information. In this collection of essays, Stallman discusses the GNU project and software freedom. This book is available free online at
Starhawk. The fifth sacred thing. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.

This is an unusual choice for this bibliography. It is the only work of fiction on this list, and it is the only religious book. Religious anarchism has a long history: Leo Tolstoy, for example, was a Christian anarchist. Starhawk is a neopagan. In this novel she describes the conflict between an anarchist commune and a capitalist power. The plot is uneven and full of magic and fantasy, so this novel may not be for every anarchist, but the descriptions of consensus decision-making, for which Starhawk drew on her own experience in political movements, is wonderful.