Publisher: AK Press
Released: June 23, 2015
From 1864 to 1880, socialists, communists, trade unionists, and anarchists synthesized a growing body of anticapitalist thought through participation in the First International—a body devoted to uniting left-wing radical tendencies of the time. Often remembered for the historic fights between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the debates and experimentation during the International helped to refine and focus anarchist ideas into a doctrine of international working class self-liberation. An unprecedented analysis of an often misunderstood history.
"This book is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room. At long last, anarchists enter the history of socialism by the main door!" —Davide Turcato, author of Making Sense of Anarchism: The Experiments with Revolution of Errico Malatesta, Italian Exile in London, 1889–1900
"Brimming with thought and feeling, richly textured, and not shy of judgment, Graham’s book marshals a compelling argument and issues a provocative invitation to revisit—or perhaps to explore anew—the story, the struggles, and the persisting ramifications of this pioneering International." —Wayne Thorpe, author of The Workers Themselves: Revolutionary Syndicalism and International Labour, 1913–1923
"With impressive and careful scholarship, Robert Graham guides us on a complex journey that reflects his command of the material and his ability to express it in a clear and straightforward way. If you were to think this is some dry history book, you couldn’t be more wrong." —Barry Pateman, historian and archivist with the Kate Sharpley Library
“For leading anarchist thinker Peter Kropotkin, modern Anarchism arose in the International Working Men’s Association, yet for too long it has been overlooked. At long last, here is a book that shows the crucial role the International played in the development of anarchism and, correcting Marxist myths, the crucial role libertarians played in the organization."—Iain McKay, editor of Direct Action against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology
“Robert Graham is noted for his path-breaking anthology of the history of anarchist thought and social action. His new book has the same virtues: lucidity, scrupulous attention to the record, and a fast paced narrative. This account of the rise and fall of the First International and the dawn of a self-conscious anarchist movement will be of immense help to students, academics, and the general public.”—Carl Levy, author of Gramsci and the Anarchists
"For anyone who wants to know about the history of anarchism this is an excellent account. I highly recommend it.”—Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A HIstory of Anarchism
Robert Graham has been writing about anarchism for thirty years. He recently edited the three-volume collection Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.
Robert Graham is the editor of the three-volume anthology of anarchist writings from ancient China to the present day,Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. He has been writing about anarchism for over thirty years, beginning with his work on the anarchist newsjournal, Open Road, which was the largest circulation English language anarchist paper of the late 1970s and early 1980s. He has published numerous articles on the development of anarchist theory, including the introduction to Proudhon's General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century, and essays on the role of contract in anarchist ideology, Marxism and anarchism, social ecology, Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, and Colin Ward.