Anarchy, Geography and Modernity: Selected Writings of Elisee Reclus

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Edited and translated by John Clark and Camille Martin

PM Press

2013

SKU: 9781604864298

 

Anarchy, Geography, Modernity is the first comprehensive introduction to the thought of Elisee Reclus, the great anarchist geographer and political theorist. It shows him to be an extraordinary figure for his age. Not only an anarchist but also a radical feminist, anti-racist, ecologist, animal rights advocate, cultural radical, nudist, and vegetarian. Not only a major social thinker but also a dedicated revolutionary.

The work analyzes Reclus' greatest achievement, a sweeping historical and theoretical synthesis recounting the story of the earth and humanity as an epochal struggle between freedom and domination. It presents his groundbreaking critique of all forms of domination: not only capitalism, the state, and authoritarian religion, but also patriarchy, racism, technological domination, and the domination of nature. His crucial insights on the interrelation between personal and small-group transformation, broader cultural change, and large-scale social organization are explored. Reclus' ideas are presented both through detailed exposition and analysis, and in extensive translations of key texts, most appearing in English for the first time.

Praise:

"For far too long Elisee Reclus has stood in the shadow of Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Emma Goldman. Now John Clark has pulled Reclus forward to stand shoulder to shoulder with Anarchism's cynosures. Reclus' light brought into anarchism's compass not only a focus on ecology, but a struggle against both patriarchy and racism, contributions which can now be fully appreciated thanks to John Clark's exegesis and [his and Camille Martin's] translations of works previously unavailable in English. No serious reader can afford to neglect this book." -Dana Ward, Pitzer College

"Finally! A century after his death, the great French geographer and anarchist Elisee Reclus has been honored by a vibrant selection of his writings expertly translated into English." -Kent Mathewson, Louisiana State University

"Maintaining an appropriately scholarly style, marked by deep background knowledge, nuanced argument, and careful qualifications, Clark and Martin nevertheless reveal a passionate love for their subject and adopt a stance of political engagement that they hope does justice to Reclus' own commitments." -Historical Geography

"Clark and Martin have opened the door, through their deep introduction and selected reprints, to one of the great thinkers of 19th century anarchist thought." -Anarchy

"This inspiring analysis and anthology does an excellent job of placing Reclus in his anarchist and social context." -Anarchist Studies

About Elisee Reclus:

Elisee Reclus (1830-1905) was a renowned French geographer, writer, and anarchist. He produced his 19-volume masterwork La Nouvelle Geographie universelle, la terre et les hommes ("Universal Geography"), over a period of nearly 20 years (1875-1894). In 1892 he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the Paris Geographical Society for this work, despite having been banished from France because of his political activism.

John P. Clark, editor, is an eco-communitarian anarchist theorist and activist. He lives and works in New Orleans, where his family has been for twelve generations. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, most recently The Impossible Community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism (Continuum Books). He is co-moderator of Research on Anarchism, an international multilingual discussion list and research archives, writes a column, "Imagined Ecologies," for the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism, and edits the cyberjournal Psychic Swamp: The Surregional Review. He teaches at Loyola University, where he is Curtin Distinguished Professor of Humane Letters and the Professions, professor of philosophy, and a member of the environmental studies faculty. His work can be found at www.johnpclark.info and www.maxcafard.info.

Camille Martin, editor, is a poet and collage artist living in Toronto. She is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Looms and Sonnets. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University. She is the founder of Rogue Embryo, a literary blog. Her work may be viewed at her website: http://www.camillemartin.ca.