by Peter Kropotkin, Brian Morris (introduction), Iain McKay (contribution by)
Amid the political clashes, complexities, and personalities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Peter Kropotkin stands out. Born a prince in Tsarist Russia and sent to Siberia to learn a militaristic, aristocratic trade, he instead renounced his titles and took up the "beautiful idea" of anarchism. He would become known as a passionate advocate of a world without borders, kings, or bosses. From a Russian cell to France, to London and Brighton, he used his extraordinary mind to dissect the birth of State power and present a different vision, in which the human impulse to liberty can be found throughout history, undying even in times of defeat. In the three essays presented here, accompanied by bibliographic notes, Kropotkin distills his many insights into brief but brilliant pieces that resonate for contemporary audiences.
"In this collection of essays, Kropotkin excels in his grasp of the state, its dynamics, and the social relations out of which it emerges, dovetailed with his radical vision for libertarian egalitarian social change. Including an informative foreword by Brian Morris on the great anarchist's colourful life, and Kropotkin's own extended analysis of the origins of anarchism, the book goes to the core of what makes Kropotkin's work so stimulating: he is peculiarly capable, through detailed historical accounts and discussions of his own times, of somehow speaking to our own contemporary dilemmas and challenges." --Anthony Ince, coeditor of Historical Geographies of Anarchism
"This is one of the most excellent introductions to anarchism, putting paid to the usual objections to the system, synonymous as it has become, wrongly, with disorganisation and chaos." --Workers Solidarity
Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was a Russian revolutionary, a geographer, and the foremost theorist of the anarchist movement. His classic works include The Conquest of Bread; Fields, Factories and Workshops; Memoirs of a Revolutionist; and Mutual Aid. Some other titles available here.
Brian Morris, professor emeritus at Goldsmiths College, University of London, has written extensively in the fields of botany, ecology, ethnobiology, religion, history, philosophy, and anthropology.
Iain McKay is an independent anarchist writer and researcher. His publications include An Anarchist FAQ and Mutual Aid.