Reading the Spanish Anarchists - the Heroic Years 1868 - 1936 is like watching a fire. The history of the Spanish Anarchist Movement in pre-revolutionary Spain parallels the fate of a fire. Initially it begins with a spark, the spark evolves into a brilliant flame, the flame dies, the embers smoulder, re-igniting into an inferno when they are fed and fanned.
Murray Bookchin's book examines the various stages of the Spanish Anarchist Movement from the spark that Fenelli brought to Spain from Italy in 1868 to the blazing inferno that followed the CNT National Congress in Saragossa in 1936.
Murray Bookchin has provided a new preface to the 1998 edition, which I don't believe adds anything new to the thoughts that were expressed in the 1977 edition. The rest of this 315 page book is divided into ten distinct chronological chapters, that examine the development of the Spanish Anarchist Movement. One of Bookchin's concluding remarks makes what I believe is the most important contribution to anarchist thought I have seen for some time.
"Their movements "heroic years" 1868 to 1936 were marked by a fascinating process of experimentation in organisational forms, decision making techniques, personal values, educational goals, and methods of struggles."
This book is not a mere historical catalogue of figures and events, it's much much more. This book can and does open windows into the way an anarchist movement can develop. Interestingly, the same rapid changes that catapulted anarchism into the 20th Century are now stirring the social pot as we enter the 21st Century.
Thanks to Anarres Books for providing the review copy of The Spanish Anarchists - The Heroic Years 1868-1936. The book is available from Anarres Books for $26.00. Write or Email Anarres Books if you want a copy of the book or their 1998 catalogue. Anarres Books, P.O. Box 150, East Brunswick. 3057, Melbourne Australia. Email Mailorder@anarres.org.au http://www.anarres.org.au
Anarchist Age Weekly Review 26.8.98
Phil McCrory <firstname.lastname@example.org>