Publisher: AK Press
Released: May 2, 2023
A new, in-depth look at the revolutionary strategy of anarchism in Europe and the United States between 1868 and 1939. Zoe Baker, creator of a popular Youtube series on radical history and political theory, brings her trademark clarity and accessibility to this debut book. Cutting through misperceptions and historical inaccuracies, she shows how the reasons anarchists gave for supporting or opposing particular strategies were grounded in a specific theoretical framework—a theory of practice. The consistent and coherent heart of anarchism, Baker shows, is the understanding that, as people engage in activity—political or otherwise—they simultaneously change the world and themselves. Put another way, the means that revolutionaries propose to achieve social change have to involve forms of activity through which people can become individuals capable of overthrowing capitalism and the state as well as building a better society. Behind this simple premise—that anarchist ends can only be achieved through anarchist means—lies a wealth of fascinating historical and theoretical detail that Baker presents clearly and engagingly.
Praise for Means and Ends:
"This informed attempt at systematizing the history of anarchism has the notable merit of focusing on practices, rather than distant utopias, and of probing into the overlooked sophistication of the theory that underpins those practices."
—Davide Turcato, editor of Malatesta’s Collected Works
"In Means and Ends: The Revolutionary Practice of Anarchism, Zoe Baker draws from well-known and lesser known anarchists to assemble a wide-ranging account of the strategies they have pursued to abolish capitalism and the state. Thoroughly researched, rich in detail, this book explores various ways in which anarchists have sought freedom within solidarity so that past experiences can inform present and future struggles."
—Kathy Ferguson, author of Emma Goldman: Political Thinking in the Streets
Zoe Baker is a libertarian socialist philosopher with a PhD on the history of anarchism. She is known for popularizing the theory and history of anarchism, feminism, and Marxism on her popular YouTube and Twitter platforms (@anarchopac).