Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (updated edition)
by Peter Marshall - £16.99 Fontana Press (2008)
ISBN 13: 9780006862451 | ISBN 10: 0006862454
'To be governed means that at every move, operation or transaction one is noted, registered, entered in a census, taxed, stamped, priced, assessed, patented, licensed authorised, recommended, admonished, reformed ... exploited, monopolised, extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the name of public utility and the general good.'
So said Proudhon in 1851, and from the Ancient Chinese to today's rebel youth many have agreed.
Navigating the broad 'river of anarchy', from Taoism to Situationism, from Ranters to Punk rockers, from individualists to communists, from anarcho-syndicalism to anarcha-feminists, Demanding the Impossible
is an authoritative and lively study of a widely misunderstood subject. It explores the key anarchist concepts of freedom and equality, authority and power, society and the state and investigates the successes and failures of anarchist movements throughout the world. It covers not only the classic anarchist thinkers, such as Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Reclus and Emma Goldman, but also other libertarian figures, such as Niezsche, Camus, Gandhi, Foucault and Chomsky. No other book on anarchism covers so much so incisively.
In this updated edition, a new epilogue examines the most recent developments in theory and in practice, including 'post=anarchism' and 'anarcho-primitivism' as well as the anarchist contribution to the peace, green and Global Justice movements.
'Massive, scholarly, genuinely internationalist and highly enjoyable ... this is the book Johnny Rotten ought to have read'
(David Widgery, The Observer)
(Price & availability last checked: February 2020)