Manufacturers

The slow burning fuse

The slow burning fuse

The lost history of British anarchists
by John Quail
PM/Freedom Press 2019

More details


£17.50

Warning: Last items in stock!

In the accounts of the radical movements that have shaped our history, anarchism has received a raw deal. Its visions and aims have been distorted and misunderstood, its achievements forgotten. The British anarchist movement during the years 1880–1930, while borrowing from Europe, was self-actuated and independent, with a vibrant tale all its own.

In The Slow Burning Fuse, John Quail shows a history largely obscured and rewritten following 1919 and the triumph of Leninist communism. The time has arrived to resurrect the works of the early anarchist clubs, their unsung heroes, tumultuous political activities, and searing manifestos so that a truer image of radical dissent and history can be formed. Quail’s story of the anarchists is one of utopias created in imagination and half-realised in practice, of individual fights and movements for freedom and self-expression—a story still being written today.

Praise:
The Slow Burning Fuse is a meticulous, accessible and riveting account of the British anarchist movement. John Quail introduces us to the anarchists of the Socialist League, explores the early history of the Freedom group, describes the murky world of police spies and agents provocateurs, and shows how small groups of anarchists in London and Sheffield animated working-class movements at the turn of the twentieth century. Quail’s rich history is also an unflinching reflection on anarchist organising. Examining the personal feuds that plagued the movement and the political disagreements generated by the incidence of violence in France, Quail shows how internal divisions exacerbated the problems created by systematic police repression. Anarchist utopian aspirations are easily romanticised or mocked. Quail avoids both and instead invites us to weigh up the value of spectacular actions and consider the effectiveness of strategic initiatives. The result is a passionate but sober defence of anarchist politics and movement building.”
—Ruth Kinna, author of Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition

“The book is important and groundbreaking, though Quail was mainly interested in action rather than theory, describing the discussion of theory as ‘balls-achingly boring.’”
—Peter Ryley, author of Making Another World Possible

The Slow Burning Fuse remains the most readable book on the history of British anarchism. It’s also a wise book. Quail gives his opinion clearly and sensibly.” 
—Kate Sharpley Library

“Quail’s researches have led him to uncover a number of near-forgotten incidents and personalities… The book is informative and well worth reading.”
—Paul Bennett, Socialist Party of Great Britain

About the Contributors:
John Quail 
was a member of Solidarity, a libertarian socialist group active in the UK between 1960 and 1992. He is now a visiting fellow at the University of York.

Constance Bantman is a senior lecturer in French at the University of Surrey, who has published extensively on the history of transnational anarchism, and in particular Anglo-French connections.

Nick Heath is the author of multiple biographical articles about anarchists as well as articles on the Hungarian Revolution, the Makhnovists, and a pamphlet on peasant resistance in the Soviet Union.

Product Details:
Author: John Quail • Afterword: Constance Bantman • Biographical sketches: Nick Heath
Publisher: PM Press / Freedom Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-582-8
Published: 02/2019
Format: Paperback
Size: 6x9
Page count: 416

Cart  

No products

£0.00 Shipping
£0.00 Total

Cart Check out

New products

  • The counter-economy: Experiments of the anarchist movement
  • Wages for housework
The counter-economy: Experiments of the anarchist movement
Slovenia, SISA and Acerbic distribution 2019
Read more
Wages for housework
by Louise ToupinA history of an international feminist movement...
Read more
After Grenfell
Violence, resistance and responsePluto press 2019
Read more
Unlocking sustainable cities
A manifesto for real change by Paul ChattertonPluto Press 2019
Read more
To exist is to resist
Black Feminism in EuropeEd by Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca SobandePluto...
Read more
Staying Power
The history of black people in Britainby Peter FryerPluto Press 2018
Read more
Class Matters
Inequality and Exploitation in 21st Century Britain by Charles UmneyHow...
Read more
Fighting for spaces, fighting for our lives
Squatting movements todayEdited by the Squatting Everywhere Kollective
Read more
Gone to Croatan
Origins of North American drop out culture Ed by Ron Sakolsky and James...
Read more
Anarchist Speculations
Writing by John MooreArdent Press 2016
Read more
Second wave anarchy
Collection of essays in a pamphlet
Read more
Feral Iconoclasm
by Julian Langer2019
Read more
The Totality is Incomplete
by Alex Garrion Little Black Cart
Read more
Anarchist Cuba
Countercultural politics in the early 20th centuryby Kirwin Shaffer PM...
Read more
The slow burning fuse
The lost history of British anarchistsby John QuailPM/Freedom Press 2019
Read more
Libertarian Socialism
Politics in black and red by Alex Prichard, Ruth Kinna, Saku Pinta, and...
Read more
(H)afrocentric Comics
Volumes 1-4PM Press 2017
Read more
Birth strike
The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work by Jenny BrownPM Press 2019
Read more
Insurgent Supremacists
The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and EmpirePM Press 2018
Read more
Savage Messiah
by Laura Grace Ford  Introduction by Mark Fisher Preface by Greil Marcus
Read more

» All new products