Monday, November 16, 2009

Reviewers' praise for 'Black Flame'

What people say:

Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism, has scored good reviews from academics and activists (and academic activists) alike:

* "A book with a deeply impressive quality of research, analysis and writing, this very important and much-needed work is an unexpected delight and an excellent piece of work". - Mark Leier, Simon Fraser University, author of Bakunin: the creative passion

* "... one of its distinctive contributions is its global scope. Further, the book's intellectual exploration goes deep, and, "An enjoyable read, from which I have learnt a great deal - fascinating, revealing and often startling. Thanks to both and each of you". - Alan Lipman, anti-apartheid activist and exile, winner of South African Institute of Architecture's 'Award for Excellence' for the Workers Library and Museum (Johannesburg), author of On the Outside Looking In: colliding with apartheid and other authorities

* "A useful and insightful treatment of one of the most fascinating alternatives to industrial capitalism and the modern nation state. At the heart of their scholarship is an effort to provide clarity to a much maligned and misunderstood movement and also to examine it as a social history of ideas that percolated from below as well as directed from above by intellectual giants. The authors are careful to present their analysis in a jargon-free language. Readers will be introduced to influential historical actors from across the globe. A grand work of synthesis. An excellent starting point". - Greg Hall, Western Illinois University, author of Harvest Wobblies: The Industrial Workers of the World and Agricultural Laborers in the American West, 1905-1930, in WorkingUSA

* "Brilliant, a really wonderful book and an outstanding contribution to anarchist theory and history. What does Black Flame get right? Well, almost everything! It is comprehensive, discussing all important issues, people and movements, and the authors do a great job in discussing the ins and outs of our movement and theory, using history to illuminate the ideas and show how they were applied in practice. Do yourself a favour and buy it now! You won't be disappointed".- Iain McKay, author of The Anarchist FAQ, volume 1

* "This highly worthwhile book represents the fruit of considerable scholarship and deep reflection. The authors have done a remarkable job in drawing together a vast international body of literature, showing convincingly that anarchism and syndicalism were far more significant political forces than historians have generally given them credit for, and providing excellent accounts of the movement's global political reach. Van der Walt and Schmidt also make a powerful and lucidly written case for anarchism as a serious and coherent political philosophy".- Jonathan Hyslop, University of the Witwatersrand, author of The Notorious Syndicalist : JT Bain, a Scottish rebel in colonial South Africa

* "Black Flame is an outstanding contribution to a modern anarchist perspective. Its view is focused on the working class but also supportive of every struggle against oppression. Besides covering the major controversies within historical anarchism in a fair way, it is particularly unique in examining anarchism from a worldwide perspective instead of looking at it only from a west European angle. I learned a good deal from reading it, and think others will also".- Wayne Price, author of The Abolition of the State: anarchist and Marxist perspectives

* "This book fulfils a daunting task. Covering anarchism in all parts of the world and emphatically tying it to class struggle, the authors present a highly original and challenging account of the movement, its actions and ideas. This work is a must for everybody interested in nonauthoritarian social movements".- Bert Altena, Rotterdam University, author of Piet Honig, Herinneringen van een Rotterdamse revolutionair

* "A well-thought out and nuanced study of the intellectual, political, and social history of anarchism".- Steven J. Hirsch, University of Pittsburgh, contributing editor, Handbook of Latin American Studies

* "The first in a two-volume mega-work called Counterpower ... the authors ... use their conceptual rubric to demonstrate conclusively the coherent international character of the Anarchist movement, a welcome antidote to Eurocentric accounts of the movement and its history. We can't wait for volume 2!" - Red Emma's Bookstore Coffee House, Baltimore

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