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A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement Paperback Edition Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1904859925
ISBN-10: 1904859925
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Editorial Reviews


"Any text that cogently highlights an alternative narrative at the heart of Israel's national ethos merits our critical attention. The fact that Horrox is able to accomplish this aim so spectacularly and vividly in so brief a treatment is testament not only to his evident mastery of the subject matter, but also to the indomitable spirit of anarchism - and in particular Jewish anarchism - that he chronicles ... An indispensable treatise on Israel's forgotten past"
- Randall Amster, Shofar: Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

"A brilliant book on a fascinating topic"
- Milan Rai, Peace News

From the Back Cover

"The defining influence of anarchist currents in the early kibbutz movement has been one of official Zionist historiography's best-kept secrets...It is against this background of induced collective amnesia that A Living Revolution makes its vital contribution. James Horrox has drawn on archival research, interviews and political analysis to thread together the story of a period all but gone from living memory, presenting it for the first time to an English-reading audience. These pages bring to life the most radical and passionate voices that shaped the second and third waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and also encounter those contemporary projects working to revive the spirit of the kibbutz as it was intended to be, despite, and because of, their predecessors' fate." --Uri Gordon (from the foreword)

"Zionism has always been an overly complex phenomenon. From its very inception, it sheltered a plurality of radical ideologies, many of which remain inherently opposed to the nationalist and market-driven values that it has become synonymous with. If Jews are ever going to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, and bring a just peace to the Middle East, we will need to reacquaint ourselves with these traditions, many of which remain alive and vital today. Moving back in time to the inception of Israel's kibbutz movement, ending up in the misery of the present, British journalist and scholar James Horrox does just that. Excavating Israel's anarchist ideological heritage, Horrox illuminates a progressive political history that Israelis can actually be proud of and look to as a source of renewal. At a time when most literature of this kind follows the familiar path of critique and denunciation, Horrox achieves the same results by going in the opposite direction. This is a deeply inspiring book that will make you think twice, and question the prevailing consensus that only right-wing politics work in Israel".
-- Joel Schalit, author Israel vs. Utopia

"A brilliant study of anarchism in the kibbutz movement...Assessing the actual kibbutz practice and seeing the kibbutzim as both a model way to live and a set of experiments to learn from, Horrox gives this history the meticulous attention it deserves. An exemplary undertaking." --Michael Albert, editor Znet and Z Magazine

"Interesting and informative...a refreshing reminder of the constructive possibilities of anarchist ideas." --Ruth Kinna, editor Anarchist Studies

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press; Paperback Edition edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904859925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904859925
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this fascinating study of the kibbutz movement, James Horrox shows how the communards of the early kibbutzim in Palestine, contrary to the mainstream mythology of right-wing Zionists, were not intent on colonizing the land, but rather on building a left libertarian society, a "commune of communes" based on workers' self-management, direct democracy, gender equality, and Jewish-Arab cooperation. Influenced by the writings of anarchists like Peter Kropotkin and Gustav Landauer, these early kibbutzniks saw their intentional communities as the seeds of a stateless socialism which would eventually liberate all of humankind. Though later on the kibbutzim would largely become pawns of imperialist politicians, the socio-economic example provided by these cooperative experiments remain an inspiration for activists interested in participatory economics, communal living, and workplace democracy. In addition to providing a detailed history of the early kibbutz movement, Horrox also explores present-day Israeli anarchism and the rebirth of communal experiments in Israel. For anyone studying Jewish history, cooperative living, or libertarian socialism, I would highly recommend this wonderful and informative book. As you can tell, I really loved it, and without exaggerating, I can honestly say that this is one of the very best books I ever read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Life is for reading on August 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book - not only is it obviously well-researched and impeccably written, but it offers far more than a dry academic study. The book provides a comprehensive history from the conception of the kibbutz through to its decline in recent years, before examining the tentative shoots of regrowth that are beginning to surface, lending hope to the future for this unique movement. A truly interesting and inspiring book that is equally relevant for both the expert and the newcomer to this fascinating subject.
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Format: Paperback
A slim, very well-focused study that addresses the anarchic spirit that still informs some of the more traditional kibbutzim, such as Samar in the Arava. Nicely written and thought provoking throughout! See also Ranen Omer-Sherman's recent "Imagining the Kibbutz: Visions of Utopia in Literature and Film."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meir on September 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While some people will find the book controversial, especially, the National, Antisemitic, Marxist, the story and origin of the Kibbutz as simultaneous story of Utopia in action from Spanish Revolution, where members actively seek an alternative, and with all their problems then, Zionism, economics and Arab, Islam conflict, a study how far communities can move forward with an ideal
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