No Quarter: an Anarchist Zine about Pirates

Monday, January 01, 2007

some books i've recently obtained

I’ve recently picked up a number of very exciting used books which are relevant to this project:

John Humphrey Noyes – Strange Cults & Utopias of 19th Century America
First published in 1870 as History of American Socialisms, this is the lovely Dover edition first reprinted in 1966. Noyes was the founder of the Oneida community, and offers a sympathetic look at the history of 48 utopian socialist communities in the U.S.
Pretty cool stuff.

Mark Poster (ed) – Harmonian Man: Selected Writings of Charles Fourier.
Almost all the communities examined in Noyes’ book were influenced by the work of Robert Owen or Charles Fourier, often both. This is a nice paperback collection published by Doubleday Anchor in 1971. Its amazing how many radical books were published by mainstream publishers in the mid sixties to mid seventies. This seems like a pretty good selection of Fourier’s writings on knowledge, society, work, sex, and education, although missing much of his weirder stuff on evolution, aesthetics, food etc. Books like this are why I haunt used bookstores.

Abeizer Coppe – Selected Writings
Many thanks to Andrew Hopton (ed) and Aporia Press for publishing this handsome edition in 1987. Coppe was perhaps the best know of the Ranters, proto-anarchist religious radicals in the English Revolution. Coppe is best known (by the few who know him) for A Fiery Flying Roll (late 1649 or Jan 1650), a wonderfully scurrilous, vulgar, and poetic pamphlet which was burned by parliament shortly after its publication and lead to Coppe’s arrest. Luckily a few copies escaped the fire and made it to us. Excerpts were first re -published in the appendix to Norman Cohn’s wonderful The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (1956). Here Andrew Hopton gives us (I believe) all of Abeizer Coppe’s extant writings. I’m so very excited to get this book!!!

Norman Cohn – Europe’s Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom.
I happened upon this book in a used bookstore the day after I finished Pursuit of the Millennium. I was very excited to note that Cohn considers this book to be a sort of companion to Pursuit of the Millennium. This is also one of the most important books criticizing Margaret Murray’s theories about Witchcraft and her Witch Cult in Western Europe.

Raoul Vaneigem – The Movement of the Free Spirit
Vaneigem was of course the author of The Revolution of Everyday Life, and with Guy Debord the most important theorist of the Situationists. Here he writes about the Movement of the Free Spirit, a radical antinomian sect which existed from the middle ages until the 1500s and which Norman Cohn considers to be precursors of the Ranters. This book looks awesome.

Andrew Bradstock & Christopher Rowland – Radical Christian Writings: A Reader
This book covers a lot of ground but we are particularly interested with excerpts of writers including John Ball, one of the leaders of the peasant uprising in England in 1381, the early Anabaptist including Thomas Muntzer, Anna Jansz and others, members of the Family of Love, Early Baptists, Levelers, Diggers, Ranters, Fifth Monarchist, Early Quakers and other radicals around the English Revolution. As I said this book covers a lot of ground and the excerpts are generally quite short, but this is a great collection none the less.

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