Anarchism : A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements

Anarchism : A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements

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By George Woodcock

A classic study of anarchism, its political philosophies and movements.

Fluent and authoritative, George Woodcock discusses the six great proponents of anarchism and the movement that sprang from them.

Beginning with the libertarian ideas of William Godwin (and his disciple Shelley) and the German egotist Max Stirner he moves on to Proudhon, the first man willingly to claim the title of anarchist. Woodcock then continues with an analysis of the philosophies of the Russian aristocratic thinkers Bakunin and Kropotkin, and the great Tolstoy, by whom Gandhi was so much influenced.

Anarchism as a movement is constantly fluctuating, and since the first edition of this book appeared in the early 1960s anarchism has changed and re-formed. This second edition incorporates the changes that have taken place within the anarchist tradition itself. In particular, Woodcock observes the ephemeral nature of the anarchist movement while pointing to its continuing tradition as it seizes upon current issues.