Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century

Andrew Cornell (Author)

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
January 13, 2016
5.9 X 1.0 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

Andrew Cornell is an educator and organizer who has taught at Williams College, Haverford College, and Universitรฉ Stendhal-Grenoble 3. He is the author of Oppose and Propose! Lessons from Movement for a New Society (AK Press).


"Points to a growing interest in the study of American anarchist history for readers of political and social history."--Jessica Moran"Library Journal" (02/01/2016)
"Cornell's book is a perfect fit for a broad array of social and political leaders and thinkers, from young activists who grew up scrawling anarchy symbols on their lockers, to academics who study the means and motives of social change."--Melissa Wuske"Foreword" (03/01/2016)
"No matter how one feels about it, the current state of anarchism has represented something of a mystery: What was once a mass movement based mainly in working class immigrant communities is now an archipelago of subcultural scenes inhabited largely by disaffected young people from the white middle class. Andrew Cornell's Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century supplies the first convincing account of that transition. . . . Cornell's analysis serves as a much-needed check against the kinds of fairy tales that anarchists too often tell themselves about themselves. With its historical backing and its determined even-handedness, Unruly Equality simultaneously delivers a well-researched account of the 'transformation of the economic Left into the cultural Left' and offers an honest and nonsectarian assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each. . . . Unruly Equality makes a real contribution to the history of American anarchism and may - if it is widely read and carefully considered - make a contribution to anarchism's future as well."-- (05/03/2016)
"Andrew Cornell's Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century comes as a precious gift. It is a sweeping, enthralling history of anarchism's march--really, more of a shuffle--across the mid-twentieth century in the United States. Throughout eight chapters and 300 pages of storytelling and analysis--all backed by another 70 pages of notes--Cornell explicitly attempts to demystify how the classical anarchism of Bakunin and Kropotkin morphed into the contemporary anarchisms we now know--from today's class strugglers and insurrectionists, to the anarcho-primitivists, and especially to the more intersectional anti-authoritarian current."-- (04/25/2016)
"Unruly Equality makes a real contribution to the history of American anarchism... Cornell's book is... strong on the facts... [and] tells a forgotten story."-- (05/09/2016)
The book is scholarly and highly readable... Highly recommended."-- (08/16/2016)
Andrew Cornell's impressive volume is a major contribution. The heroic era of anarchism had, sadly, already passed when Cornell takes up his main focus, 1915-72, and the fine points of that earlier period remain locked into a variety of ethnic language sources - Russian to Hungarian and Finnish - that have yet to be tapped. Still, the smaller milieu of mostly English-language egalitarians, which experienced several prominent bursts after World War II, in the late 1960s, and again around the most recent turn of centuries, have a unique story to be told, and no one has told it better than Cornell.--Socialism and Democracy