We’ve added five titles from the Anarchist History Nerd Brigade to our catalog that cover post-1970 anarchist history in the United States. In total, the zines provide a starting point for understanding more recent anarchist history, something that has often been neglected by the general tendency of anarchists to focus on the more distant past.
The titles all offer something a bit different, but all are worth checking out. “The A-Zone & A Decade Of Anarchy In Chicago” presents a series of reflections on the Autonomous Zone in Chicago, situating the infoshop in the larger context of 1990s anarchism. Similarly, “The Political Pre-History of Love & Rage” looks at the anarchist space in the years leading up to the founding of the Love and Rage anarchist federation, covering the series of convergences, events, confrontations, and publications that emerged in the 1980s. Instrumental in that context was the 1986 Haymarket Remembered conference, which is reflected on in the zine “Mob Action Against The State.” When talking about anarchism in the 1990s, it’s also worth considering the history of Anti-Racist Action, which is the topic of the zine “Claim No Easy Victories.” In addition to anti-racist action, another practice that spread through the era was prisoner support via the Anarchist Black Cross, which is explored in the zine “Yalensky’s Fable.”
We’re particularly interested in these titles because so much of recent anarchist history is relatively unknown. Anarchy tends to have a high turnover rate and there are few people around from previous generations from whom we can learn. In many cases, this has contributed to a series of repetitive struggles where anarchists make the same mistakes of the previous generation, generally unaware that others may have grappled with the same issues in the past. Another related problem is that oftentimes anarchists who do study history will think that the experiences, tactics, or strategies of the past can somehow be transposed onto the present, as if the past contains some kind of ahistorical magic formula.
The zines are:
- The A-Zone & A Decade Of Anarchy In Chicago
- Yalensky’s Fable: A History of the Anarchist Black Cross
- Claim No Easy Victories: A History and Analysis of Anti-Racist Action
- Mob Action Against The State: Haymarket Remembered …An Anarchist Convention
- The Political Pre-History of Love & Rage: Anarchist Struggle in the 1980s and 1990s
We will also be carrying additional titles from the Anarchist History Nerd Brigade as they become available.