A gifted writer for the anarchist movement, Alexander Berkman left Russia for the United States in 1888 when he was eighteen. Thirty-one years later, after serving a prison term for an attempted assassination, he was expelled to the Soviet Union, a country which he eventually renounced. But before his repudiation of the Soviet system, Berkman attempted to answer some of the charges made against anarchism and to present its case clearly and intelligently. This book, first published in 1929, is the result of those efforts.
Thorough and well stated, The ABC of Anarchism is today widely regarded as a classic declaration of the movement’s goals and methods. For those who have questions about anarchism, Berkman provides lucid answers. In conversational tones, he discusses society as it existed in the early twentieth century; why in his opinion, anarchy was necessary; the myths surrounding it; and necessary preparations for its successful implementation.
Of the book, Emma Goldman said: “People need a primer of Anarchism—an ABC, as it were, that would teach them the rudimentary principles of Anarchism and whet their appetites for something more profound. [The book] was intended to serve this purpose. That it has fulfilled its purpose no one who has read [it] will deny.”