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Titles By Colin Ward
In this Very Short Introduction, Colin Ward considers anarchism from a variety of perspectives: theoretical, historical, and international, and by exploring key anarchist thinkers from Kropotkin to Chomsky. He looks critically at anarchism by evaluating key ideas within it, such as its blanket opposition to incarceration, and policy of 'no compromise' with the apparatus of political decision-making. Among the questions he ponders are: can anarchy ever function effectively as a political force?
Is it more 'organized' and 'reasonable' than is currently perceived? Whatever the politics of the reader, Ward's argument ensures that anarchism will be much better understood after reading this book.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The argument of this book is that an anarchist society, a society which organizes itself without authority, is always in existence, like a seed beneath the snow, buried under the weight of the state and its bureaucracy, capitalism and its waste, privilege and its injustices, nationalism and its suicidal loyalties, religious differences and their superstitious separatism.
Anarchist ideas are so much at variance with ordinary political assumptions and the solutions anarchists offer so remote, that all too often people find it hard to take anarchism seriously. This classic text is an attempt to bridge the gap between the present reality and anarchist aspirations, “between what is and what, according to the anarchists, might be.”
Through a wide-ranging analysis—drawing on examples from education, urban planning, welfare, housing, the environment, the workplace, and the family, to name but a few—Colin Ward demonstrates that the roots of anarchist practice are not so alien or quixotic as they might at first seem but lie precisely in the ways that people have always tended to organize themselves when left alone to do so.
The result is both an accessible introduction for those new to anarchism and pause for thought for those who are too quick to dismiss it.
For more than thirty years, in over thirty books, Colin Ward patiently explained anarchist solutions to everything from vandalism to climate change—and celebrated unofficial uses of the landscape as commons, from holiday camps to squatter communities. Ward was an anarchist journalist and editor for almost sixty years, most famously editing the journal Anarchy. He was also a columnist for New Statesman, New Society, Freedom, and Town and Country Planning.
Of all political views, anarchism is the most ill-represented. For more than thirty years, in over thirty books, Colin Ward patiently explained anarchist solutions to everything from vandalism to climate change—and celebrated unofficial uses of the landscape as commons, from holiday camps to squatter communities. Ward was an anarchist journalist and editor for almost sixty years, most famously editing the journal Anarchy. He was also a columnist for New Statesman, New Society, Freedom, and Town and Country Planning.
In Talking Anarchy, Colin Ward discusses with David Goodway the ups and downs of the anarchist movement during the last century, including the many famous characters who were anarchists, or associated with the movement, including Herbert Read, Alex Comfort, Marie Louise Berneri, Paul Goodman, Noam Chomsky, and George Orwell.
Peter Hall and Colin Ward wrote Sociable Cities to celebrate the centenary of publication of Ebenezer Howard’s To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform in 1998 – an event they then marked by co-editing (with Dennis Hardy) the magnificent annotated facsimile edition of Howard’s original, long lost and very scarce, in 2003. In this revised edition of Sociable Cities, sadly now without Colin Ward, Peter Hall writes: ‘the sixteen years separating the two editions of this book seem almost like geological time. Revisiting the 1998 edition is like going back deep into ancient history’. The glad confident morning following Tony Blair’s election has been followed by political disillusionment, the fiscal crash, widespread austerity and a marked anti-planning stance on the part of the Coalition government.
But – closely following the argument of Good Cities, Better Lives: How Europe discovered the Lost Art of Urbanism (Routledge 2013), to which this book is designed as a companion – Hall argues that the central message is now even stronger: we need more planning, not less. And this planning needs to be driven by broad, high-level strategic visions – national, regional – of the kind of country we want to see.
Above all, Hall shows in the concluding chapters, Britain’s escalating housing crisis can be resolved only by a massive programme of planned decentralization from London, at least equal in scale to the great Abercrombie plan seventy years ago. He sets out a picture of great new city clusters at the periphery of South East England, sustainably self-sufficient in their daily patterns of living and working, but linked to the capital by new high-speed rail services.
This is a book that every planner, and every serious student of policy-making, will want to read. Published at a time when the political parties are preparing their policy manifestos, it is designed to make a major contribution to a major national debate.
All Quiet on the Hooligan Front is a compelling exploration into the changing face of football. Covering the years just prior to the Hillsborough disaster up to the present day, it shows how the mood of English football has changed dramatically since the era of hooliganism described in its predecessor, the hugely successful Steaming In.
The book revolves around the author’s travels and gives a vivid portrayal of the fun that fans have when supporting their team. It looks at how football has changed now that the terraces have gone, and gives an insight into how members of the press often distort the truth about the game in order to sell more papers. The book emphasises the importance now assigned to marketing within football and, on a darker note, looks at the advent of the drugs culture amongst fans.
All Quiet on the Hooligan Front chronicles all of the changes which have occurred in the game post-Hillsborough, and leaves it for the reader to decide whether these have been good or bad for the beautiful game.