Publisher: AK Press
Released: March 5, 2024
Now available for preorder! Order your copy now and we'll ship as soon as the book is released in March.
Visionary essays from a founder of the modern ecology movement.
In this collection of essays, Murray Bookchin's vision for an ecological society remains central as he addresses questions of urbanism and city planning, technology, self-management, energy, utopianism, and more. Throughout, he opposes efforts to reduce ecology to a toothless “environmentalism,” a task as vital today as when these essays were first published. Written between 1969 and 1979, the essays in this collection represent a fascinating and fertile period in Bookchin’s life. Coming out of the unfulfilled promise of the sixties and trying to develop a revolutionary critique of social life that avoided the pitfalls of Marxism, he was entering his creative intellectual peak. He was laying the foundations of a truly social ecology: a society based on decentralization, interdependence, democratic self-management, mutual aid, and solidarity. Presented with clarity and fervor, these key works contain the kernels of concerns that would occupy him until his death in 2006. This edition also includes a new foreword by Dan Chodorkoff, someone who was with Bookchin at the founding of his Institute for Social Ecology and who understand his work better than anyone.
Praise for Toward an Ecological Society:
"As a Social Ecologist still rooted in spaces limited by 'Left' tradition, it has never felt more important to me that all self-described 'revolutionaries' wrestle with Murray Bookchin’s ideas. His challenge for those pursuing freedom—to expand their critique into social domination and hierarchy more broadly—carries insights for humanity’s future that are too crucial to ignore. These essays serve as an amazing introduction to Bookchin’s ideas, and speak to the challenges of this moment."
—Z, cofounder of Black Socialists in America
"Bookchin is capable of penetrating, finely indignant historical analysis. Another stimulating collection."
—In These Times
Murray Bookchin (1921–2006) was a leading voice in the ecology, anarchist, and communalist movements for more than fifty years. His groundbreaking essay “Ecology and Revolutionary Thought” (1964) was one of the first to assert that capitalism’s grow-or-die ethos was on a dangerous collision course with the natural world that would include the devastation of the planet by global warming. Bookchin is the author of The Ecology of Freedom, among two dozen other books. He was born in New York, NY.
Dan Chodorkoff is a writer and educator who cofounded The Institute for Social Ecology with Murray Bookchin. He received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the New School for Social Research, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Anthropology of Utopia: Essays on Social Ecology and Community Development and the 2022 novel Sugaring Down. He received a Wenner-Gren Foundation Grant for anthropological research, and in 2015 was awarded the Goddard College Presidential Award for Activism.