Publisher: AK Press
Released: May 29, 2018
The definitive edition of Peter Kropotkin's final book, Modern Science and Anarchy is the summation of his forty years in the anarchist movement. It represents his theory that the doctrines of anarchism were a necessary consequence of “the great general wakening” in the natural and social sciences of the nineteenth century. He employs that awakening to explore the development of capitalism and the modern state and uses it to imagine new paths to freedom that might release working people from the institutions that enslave them. First published in 1913 in France, some sections of this book have been translated and published as pamphlets or articles, but other portions have never appeared in English, nor has the whole appeared as the single volume that Kropotkin intended. Introduced and annotated by Iain McKay.
“Finally...the definitive edition of Kropotkin’s Modern Science and Anarchy.... Iain McKay is to be commended for so carefully editing and annotating one of Kropotkin’s most important books.”
—Robert Graham, author of 'We Do Not Fear Anarchy—We Invoke it': The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement
“Iain McKay’s definitive version of Modern Science and Anarchy is another welcome product of his continuing effort to broaden our understanding of Kropotkin’s ideas, recovering texts scattered and forgotten in the course of Kropotkin’s transnational activism.... [T]his work offers Kropotkin’s most concise exposition of the ideas that defined his life, focusing on anarchism’s interactions with the defining scientific and political currents of modern European history, and staking a claim for anarchism as a vital, and intellectually sophisticated, component of this story.”
—Matthew Adams, author of Kropotkin, Read, and the Intellectual History of British Anarchism
“Iain McKay’s introduction is a model of scholarship and succeeds not only in contextualising and explaining Kropotkin’s ideas, but also in addressing a number of misunderstandings and misrepresentations along the way. He also makes a convincing case for the book’s continuing relevance for present-day radicals.”
—David Berry, author of A History of the French Anarchist Movement, 1917 to 1945
“This is a welcome new translation of a long neglected text by Peter Kropotkin.... This book will not only be of keen interest to specialists in science studies, political epistemology, and the history of political ideas, but also to contemporary libertarian activists who will still find plenty of relevant, clearly explained material to engage with.”
—Benjamin Franks, author of Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms
Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was one of anarchism's most famous thinkers. His classic works include The Conquest of Bread; Fields, Factories and Workshops; Memoirs of a Revolutionist; and Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.
Iain McKay is editor of An Anarchist FAQ (Vols. I and II), Direct Struggle against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology, and Property is Theft!: A Pierre Joseph-Proudhon Anthology.