Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Black Flame" Review, in German, Gabriel Kuhn for "Direkte Aktion"

The January/ February 2010 issue of Direkte Aktion (no. 196) includes a review of Black Flame. Direkte Aktion is published by the German anarcho-syndicalist group, the Free Workers Union (Freien ArbeiterInnen-Union, FAU). The reviewer, Gabriel Kuhn, is editor of the forthcoming Gustav Landauer, Revolution and Other Writings: a political reader (PM Press, 2010).

Here are some translated quotes:
"With its more than 400 pages, Black Flame is a remarkable study of (social) anarchism's international history, and a reflection on key issues of organization, strategy, and tactics ...

"Considering the range and scope of the collected material, the book must count as a milestone, and it will without doubt claim its place in the canon of anarchist historiography. This is certainly well deserved. The book's international reach ... is exceptional and can only be compared to Max Nettlau's notes, with two main differences: van der Walt and Schmidt were able to collect much more material on Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and they had the time to work their data into an immaculately structured and highly readable narrative...

"In conclusion, the virtues of Black Flame are without question: it is an outstanding study, and highly recommended to all anarchists! Those who agree with the authors' definition of anarchism will rejoice. Those who don't will be challenged to assess their understanding of anarchism in relation to the syndicalist, anarcho-communist, and platformist traditions."

Another glowing review

"... a corrective to the previous histories of anarchism by the likes of Peter Marshall and George Woodcock ... clearly written and well-presented and the arguments well put ... AK Press have done an excellent job with the book, there's enough illustrations to show the human face of anarchism and the international coverage is exemplary. The price should be within range of most libraries ... and even many comrades should be able to afford a copy ... I look forward to seeing the second volume!" - Richard Alexander, in Black Flag no. 230, 2009.

Monday, January 11, 2010

KDVS Interview with Lucien van der Walt, co-author of "Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism"

Richard Estes and Ron Glick interviewed Lucien van der Walt, co-author of Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, on their show “Speaking In Tongues,” KDVS, 90.3 FM, University Of California, Davis. The interview took place on September 25, 2009.

The transcript (which I’ve edited slightly for clarity- Charles Wiegl) is below. If you’d like an audio recording of the interview, go here or here. For a higher quality recording of the entire show, go here.

And thanks to Richard and Ron, who have interviewed several AK authors and collective members on their show.

The interview is wide-ranging, covering issues like anarchism and trade unionism today, globalisation, immigration, race, and of course, Black Flame.

The full interview is here.