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Anarchism and Anarchists

Anarchism and Anarchists

The noted academic and intellectual covers a broad range of topics in his book, from the revolutions of 1848 to the prospects for anarchism.

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THE YEAR 1992 saw a lot of changes. There was the dissappearance of Czechoslovakia into two separate countries, the infamous Maastricht treaty, the war in Yugoslavia, the limited victory for women's rights in Ireland and our gold medal for boxing in the Olympics. However an event which you may have missed was the eightieth birthday of George Woodcock. To celebrate this, a book was published of Mr Woodcock's collected essays, entitled "Anarchism and Anarchists".  The noted academic and intellectual covers a broad range of topics in his book, from the revolutions of 1848 to the prospects for anarchism. One surprise for me was the mention of Ireland in the first paragraph of the initial essay. However the author is only referring to the unrest which spread through Europe in 1848. "Anarchism Revisited" is by far the most interesting essay in the first half of the book. In this Woodcock tries to defend the position which he adopted in his book "Anarchism" which was first published in 1961. His position was that the Anarchist movement was effectively dead. He wrote "nor is there any reasonable likelihood of a renaissance of anarchism...". Yet within seven years of these lines being typed by Woodcock, Europe erupted in a social revolt in which many of the participants identified with Anarchist politics. By Dermot Sreenan