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The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 Paperback – July 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Bookchin traces the growth of the movement, explaining the various forms through which the anarchistic "Idea" developed. He briefly explores the influences of Proudhon, Kropotkin, and Bakunin, and contrasts them with the bleak realities of the Spanish political situation. The Spanish anarchists were not an unruly mob of bomb hurling terrorists, they were "freedom fighters" in the best sense of the term. Many exemplified self-discipline:
"The more dedicated men, once having decided to embrace the "Idea," abjured smoking and drinking, avoided brothels, and purged their talk of "foul" language. They believed these traits to be "vices"--demeaning to free people and fostered deliberately by ruling classes to corrupt and enslave the workers spiritually." (p. 48)
"Anarchist-influenced unions gave higher priority to leisure and free time for self-development than to high wages and economic gains." (p.Read more ›
Since you arent going to be taught any of all this in school the burden falls on your shoulders to discover it (amongst most other meaningful things that you will not be told about).
Murray Bookchin, is a great historian, and does an awesome job of documenting the most recent and most convincing attempt at anarchy in pre-war Spain.
Bookchin descibes a movement that found roots in the "lumpen proletariat", that part of the working class with almost zero education that marxists looked upon with contempt considering them incapable of ever starting a revolution.
Yet, exactly that part of the working class was the one that through appaling living and social conditions embraced the concept of anarchy, namely, no masters, equality, work as creation and not braindead toil, education that promotes free thinking and not unquestioned swallowing of dogma and above all liberty.
This is a fascinating story, perhaps overly fascinating compared with modern times where most the people take social conditions as self-understood. A movement, that, through a massive network of action that ranged from strikes against brutally oppressing regimes that inevitably and repeatedly resulted in massive bloodbaths, direct action, informing people about their present future and past while actually opening up to them a whole new world of possibilities that would drive them out of their every day misery and into a new situation where through thriving freedom the society would transform.Read more ›
Bookchin began this study with the suprising reception that Bakunin (1814-1876)received when he visited Spain in 1868. What was suprising is that Bakunin did not know the Spanish language, but his political concepts were well received among the Spanish working classes or what some may refer to as the Spanish proletariat. Another foreigner(an Italian) whose ideas were popular was Fanelli (1827-1877). These two men articulated the frustrations of the Spanish working classes when the latter could not effectively do so.
Bookchin gave readers some insight into the plight of working classes. They faced the usual problems of low wages, unsafe working conditions, and exceedinly long hours which were sometimes 18 hours a day. The Spanish poor workers faced the additional problems when technology replace manual labor. While the industrial workers were not originally a large section of the Spanish population, the problems of economic dislocation eventually affected the agricultural population.
Historians are often perplexed by the anti-Catholicism of the eventual Spanish Anarchists and other Spanish revolutionary groups. Bookchin gave a good explanation of this resentmeent. For over a thousand years, the Spanish Catholic bishops, priests, monks, friars, etc. stood between the Spanish agricultural population and greedy landlords and Spanish royalty.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thorough exploration of the strengths AND vulnerabilities of the heroic Anarchist movement in Spain leading up to and including the Social Revolution. Read morePublished on July 8, 2012 by Z.A. Mrefu
I barely got through this book; it is an extremely dry, chronological account of the evolution of spanish anarchism. Read morePublished on April 17, 2009 by Valter Cvijic
The first point to mention: One's understanding of what happened in Spain is almost certainly indicated by the answer to one question. Read morePublished on December 15, 2007 by Steven Peterson
This book is a first rate historical work chronicling the most magnificent working class struggle in history. Read morePublished on June 29, 2007 by socialecologist85
Bookchin established himself among the foremost anarchist theorists of the late 20th century with his sparkling collection "Post-Scarcity Anarchism". Read morePublished on February 22, 2007 by Phil Myers
The other guy said it better than me, but Bookchin's book is one of the few that really get's down deep into the process by which anti-authoritarian ideas and movements get... Read morePublished on March 10, 2003 by J.S.M.
Bookchin does an excillent job of presenting the often chaotic history of pre-Civil War Spain in a clear and organized manner. Read morePublished on July 30, 1999
A meticulously resaerched historical account of Spanish anarchism. Very well written.Published on December 13, 1998 by ChuckGyver@aol.com