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Subversion of Politics (Revolutionary Studies) Paperback – August 5, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Revolutionary Studies S.
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Humanities P.,U.S. (August 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0391040456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0391040458
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,472,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phil Myers on May 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Katsiaficas follows up on his book on the New Left and 1968 with this fascinating history that connects the dots between the upheavals of the late 60s and the anti-corporate globalization movements of the turn of the millenium. If you thought the 70s and 80s were a dead period for radical social movements, and if you thought revolution in the belly of the capitalist beast was impossible, check this book out and be inspired. The Autonomists waged a new struggle not to seize power from the state, but to check its influence and create free spaces.

The book looks first at the wave of militancy that swept Italy in the 70s after the "Hot Autumn" of 1969, in which workers and students organized outside the bounds of party politics and bureaucratic trade unions and fought for freedom and justice on their own terms. Though the movement ultimately lost its way in the adventurism of the underground guerrilla tactics of the Red Brigades, the Autonomista rocked the roots of the system in new and unexpected ways, with a militant popular presence in the streets.

Kstsiaficas continues his account with developments in Germany, where activists were inspired by the anarchistic organizing and militancy of the Italians. In Germany, a vibrant movement of squatters, feminists, anti-nuke, and anti-[...] grew up and mobilized tens of thousands for militant actions against nuclear power, gentrification, neo-[...] violence, and government repression. Even as they were combatting the worst ills of the system, the German autonomen were building up a thriving network of "dual power" alternative institutions: women's centers, housing and food coops, bars and cafes, alternative media, and financial institutions-- living proof that society based on cooperation, freedom and equality was possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Valter Cvijic on April 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Katsiaficas's book is a great read for anyone interested in anti-authoritarian movements both from the past and those we are witnessing in the present. Katsiaficas's focus is on the German Autonomen and the Italian autonomous movements, but he doesn't fall short on other currents either (armed struggle, etc.).

Throughout the book, Katsiaficas narrates these huge movements that built themselves spontaneously without dictates from organizations of any kind. The book is highly sympathetic to the passionate, intuitive capabilities of egalitarian organizing, coming to decisions through consensus and desirable ways of coexisting without the outmoded dogma of profound theory and iconoclasm.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in horizontal, autonomous and anarchist movements as it holds great significance for the present. The book is written in a clear manner and Katsiaficas is excellent both in his ability as a historian and a theoretician of social movements and the postmodern "condition" (of capitalism).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Widely overlooked but important account of the autonomous movements in Europe in the 70's and 80's. Also a nice discussion of political (direct) action and it's consequences. Examples of when direct action succeeded and when it failed to achieve it's intended aims and why.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
this is a major book, by a progressive thinker of long standing
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