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The Basic Bakunin (Great Books in Philosophy) Paperback – May 1, 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Baird is chair of the Philosophy Department at Baylor University.

Rosenbaum is an associate professor of Philosophy at Baylor.
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Product Details

  • Series: Great Books in Philosophy
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (May 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879757450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879757458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a great book. The editor obviously loved doing this job. You can see how much time he spent and the translations are fabulous. Even the footnotes are fun to read. I liked the introduction too, and the index is really comprehensive and useful. Since the only two other Bakunin anthologies in English are rare or out of print, and seem to list at $40 and up, this paperback is a steal at this price. Buy this book! :-)
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Format: Paperback
The Basic Bakunin has works that Bakunin did over a short period of time, mostly speaking of the International, but after reading this I can see why it is called the "Basic" Bakunin: all you need to know about Bakunin's views of the State, education, knowledge, work, equality, democracy, freedom, etc, is contained in this 250 page book.
Bakunin is the socialist willing to speak for a truly classless society, with full political, social, and economic equality, where freedom is maximized only through these conditions. He believes the State only exists in oppressive societies, and reforms within the State will only continue class oppression. Hence his many criticisms of Bourgeois Socialists, who he believes aren't true socialists at all. I disagree on a few points Bakunin makes, but everything he says is essential for anyone who is into political philosophy or socialism to consider.
I especially found Bakunin's views of education and equality interesting, as I share many insights with him. He goes a bit into psychology and nature vs. nurture arguments in these viewpoints, and also in his viewpoints on patriotism.
The editor's introduction gives insights into how Bakunin is different than Marx, the words the editor adds in Bakunin's writings make things more clear, the notes serve the same purpose, and the Glossary of terms at the end are a great bonus.
Buy this now.
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Format: Paperback
Bakunin is a complicated and thoroughly un-systematic thinker, so any compilation of his work will inevitably encounter associated difficulties. However, the selection of texts within Cutler's anthology leaves much to be desired. Cutler limits his translations to a narrow window of time, which is troublesome. I have personally found Sam Dolgoff's translations more useful. Still, Cutler includes important works and some fascinating peripheral material, such as editorial cartoons of French newspapers of the 19th century.
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