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Making Sense of Anarchism
 
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Making Sense of Anarchism
Errico Malatesta’s Experiments with Revolution, 1889-1900
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
17 Oct 2012
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£63.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230301795
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

Many historians consider naIvety, absurdity and stupidity as anarchism's obvious attributes. They emphasize the abysmal gap between the anarchists' aims and means, their ideal and reality. Yet could the gap be between reality and the observer's understanding, instead? Or is 'making sense of anarchism' a hopeless oxymoron? Davide Turcato addresses these questions as he investigates the ideas and action of one of the most prominent and underrated anarchists, the Italian, Errico Malatesta, during the central years of his life. The methodological presumption of rationality is the book's driving principle in attempting a coherent interpretation of Malatesta's intentions, beliefs and actions. Between the two paths of liberal democracy and state socialism, anarchism has been unanimously regarded as a dead end; Malatesta regarded it as an open road. Reassessed in the light of a 'principle of rational accommodation' his revolutionary attempts surprisingly appear as sound and rational experiments in the pursuit of the collective good.


Description

Many historians consider naIvety, absurdity and stupidity as anarchism's obvious attributes. They emphasize the abysmal gap between the anarchists' aims and means, their ideal and reality. Yet could the gap be between reality and the observer's understanding, instead? Or is 'making sense of anarchism' a hopeless oxymoron? Davide Turcato addresses these questions as he investigates the ideas and action of one of the most prominent and underrated anarchists, the Italian, Errico Malatesta, during the central years of his life. The methodological presumption of rationality is the book's driving principle in attempting a coherent interpretation of Malatesta's intentions, beliefs and actions. Between the two paths of liberal democracy and state socialism, anarchism has been unanimously regarded as a dead end; Malatesta regarded it as an open road. Reassessed in the light of a 'principle of rational accommodation' his revolutionary attempts surprisingly appear as sound and rational experiments in the pursuit of the collective good.


Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction: Anarchism, a Simple and Odd Business?
The First International: A Lasting Heritage
An 'Anarchist Rarity' Reappears, 1889
A Short-Lived, Momentous Periodical, 1889–90
Opaque Insurrectionary Trials, 1890–92
Open-Ended Popular Movements, 1892–94
Patient Work in the Light of Day, 1894–98
From the Other Side of the Atlantic Ocean, 1899–1900
Malatesta's Anarchism: A Charitable Interpretation
Conclusion: A Complex, Rational Business
References


Authors

DAVIDE TURCATO is Italian and lives in Vancouver, Canada. He is a computational linguist with an interest in history. He has published several articles on Errico Malatesta and Italian anarchism, and he is the editor of Malatesta's collected works, a ten-volume project currently under way in Italy.