Average Rating: 5
At times the anarchist movement in France had exceptional levels of influence and dominated the Labour movement. This book does an exceptional job of charting the history of this movement between 1917 to 1945 and, as such, charts some of the pivotal events affecting the movement such as the Russian Revolution, the Spanish revolution and Fascism/anti-Fascism. Not only that it does this masterfully. Whilst focusing on the organised aspects of the movement including anarchist Communist and anarcho-syndicalist groups it also makes some exceptionally pertinent points on French ‘individualist anarchism’ with reference to some of them supporting Bolshevik dictatorship and showing outright disdain for the working class. It was particularly refreshing reading a text that did not refer to Sorel as an important figure in French anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism like many academic ‘specialists’ tend to do. I also found the identification of the internal conflicts within French anarchism at the time and how they were resolved really useful. Furthermore reading about anarchist resistance was great after reading so much about self congratulating Communists claiming a monopoly of the resistance to Fascist occupation. In sum an outright stonker of a book that, alongside many other high quality publications, shows AK to be a publisher of outstanding quality.
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