Making another world possible

Making another world possible

Anarchism, anti-capitalism and ecology in late 19th and early 20th century Britain, by Peter Ryley, Blooomsbury Contemporary anarchist studies 2013

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Making Another World Possible identifies the British contribution to the genealogy of modern green and anti-capitalist thinking by examining left libertarian ideologies in the late 19th and early 20th century Britain and highlighting their influence on present day radical thought.

As capitalism heralded the triumph of technology, greater production, and a new urban industrial society, some imagined alternatives to this notion of progress based on endless economic growth. The book examines the development of ideas from these dissidents who included communists, class warriors, free thinkers, secularists, and Christian communitarians. All shared the same beliefs that the benefits of industrialism could only be realized through equality and that urban culture depended on a healthy agriculture and harmony with the natural world - concerns that are still of great importance today.

This distinctive history of anarchist ideas reappraises the work of thinkers and revises the historical picture of the radical milieu in 19th and 20th century Britain. It will be an essential resource to anyone researching the history of ideas and studying anarchism.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Property and Progress: The Emergence of Anarchist Political Economy
Chapter 2 Kropotkin and the Rise of Anarchist Communism
Chapter 3 The English Individualists
Chapter 4 Individualist Anarchism in Late Victorian Britain
Chapter 5 Anarchist Communism in the Era of Outrage
Chapter 6 The Rise of Ecological Anarchism: Elisée Reclus and Patrick Geddes
Chapter 7 Conclusion


“An ambitious, lively and detailed examination of a tradition of political thinking that was an under-appreciated presence in British intellectual life. Its major contribution is the recovery of individualist thinking as an aspect of this history” –  Matthew S. Adams, University of Victoria, Australia, History: The Journal of the Historical Association

“Peter Ryley's book recovers the history of a badly neglected, valuable tradition of anarchist thinking that is richly inventive, refreshingly irreverent and fiercely defiant. His carefully documented defence is affectionate yet critical; and breathing life into an extraordinary set of activists, Ryley not only shows why historical engagement is relevant to contemporary politics he also challenges some radical orthodoxies in the process.” –  Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University, UK, editor of the Continuum Companion to Anarchism (2012),


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