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Kropotkin and the Anarchist Intellectual Tradition

Kropotkin and the Anarchist Intellectual Tradition

Jim Mac Laughlin

Rescuing Kropotkin's anarchist philosophy from the neglect and misrepresentation it has suffered.

Peter Kropotkin's philosophy of anarchism suffers from neglect in mainstream histories; misrepresented as a utopian creed or a recipe for social chaos and political disorder, the intellectual strengths and philosophical integrity is overlooked.

Moving beyond most previous accounts of Kropotkin's anarchism, Mac Laughlin focuses less on the man and his political career, instead providing a sustained and critical reading of his extensive writings on the social, historical and scientific basis of modern anarchism. The result is a thorough examination of a number of key themes in Kropotkin's philosophy of anarchism, including his concerted efforts to provide anarchism with an historical and scientific basis; the role of mutualism and mutual aid in social evolution and natural history; the ethics of anarchism, and the anarchist critique of state-centred nationalism and other expressions of power politics.

Jim Mac Laughlin is a political geographer and social scientist who has published widely on state formation, nation separatism, political regionalism, emigration, racism and the ideology of the social sciences. He is the author of Reimagining the Nation State: The Contested Terrains of Nation-building (Pluto, 2001).

'I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a lively introduction to the man's writing and its implications' - John Agnew, Distinguished Professor of Geography, UCLA

'A deeply intellectual, yet readable account of Kropotkin's life and thought, set in the context of a stellar account of the development of scientific anarchism. Essential for all critical thinkers and political activists desperately in need of a dose of optimism in these sorry times' - Richard Peet, Professor, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University

'An excellent contribution to this 'anarchist Renaissance' and should be read and referenced by all those who hope to heed the call to revolutionary praxis' - LSE Review of Books

'[A] wonderful introduction to Kropotkin’s thought' - Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

'An excellent introduction to Kropotkin’s life and theory' - Science & Society

1. Anarchism Before Kropotkin
2. Kropotkin: The Education of an Anarchist
3. Kropotkin and the Legitimization of Anarchism
4. 'Scientific Anarchism’ and Evolutionary Theory: Towards an Ontology of Anarchist Ethics and Altruism
5. Kropotkin’s Anarchism and the Nineteenth-Century Geographical Imagination: Towards an Anarchist Political Geography
Epilogue
Notes
Index
Published by Pluto Press in Feb 2016
Paperback ISBN: 9780745335124
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745335131
eBook ISBN: 9781783717385

288 pages

135mm x 215mm