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About the Author
Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was the foremost theorist of the anarchist movement. Born a Russian Prince, he rejected his title to become a revolutionary, seeking a society based on freedom, equality, and solidarity. Imprisoned for his activism in Russia and France, his writings include The Conquest of Bread; Fields, Factories, and Workshops; Anarchism, Anarchist-Communism, and the State; Memoirs of a Revolutionist; and Modern Science and Anarchism. New editions of his classic works Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution; Words of a Rebel; and The Great French Revolution, 1789-1793 will be published by PM Press to commemorate his life and work on the centennial of his death.
Elisée Reclus (1830-1905) was a renowned French geographer, writer, and anarchist. He produced his nineteen-volume masterwork La Nouvelle Géographie universelle, la terre et les hommes ("Universal Geography"), over a period of nearly twenty years (1875-1894), which was coedited by John P. Clark and Camille Martin into Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: Selected Writings of Elisée Reclus (PM Press, 2013). 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.
Iain McKay is an independent anarchist writer and researcher. He was the main author of An Anarchist FAQ as well as numerous other works, including Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation. In addition, he has edited and introduced Property Is Theft! A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Anthology; Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology; and Kropotkin's 1913 book, Modern Science and Anarchy.
"Peter Kropotkin was a giant of socialist history whose tireless scientific, historical, and political scholarship and agitational writing united and fueled the transnational anarchist movement of the turn of the twentieth century. But this aristocrat turned revolutionary didn't start there. Words of a Rebel sheds light on the young Kropotkin's political transformation in the wake of the destruction of the First International. By including articles from Le Revolté, this volume traces Kropotkin's political journey farther as he sewed the early seeds of anarchist communism and set an agenda for anti-authoritarian rebellion for years to come."
--Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook and coeditor of Anarchist Education and the Modern School
"Words of a Rebel, Kropotkin's first book, is significant not only for its place in the development of the thought of that towering figure, but also for the many insights it gives into the nature of the European revolutionary movement of his time. Most of the texts, which include several of his most famous essays, appeared originally in Le Révolté (1879-1882), the most important anarchist publication of the period, and other historically valuable documents are appended. These writings reveal Kropotkin as a deeply engaged revolutionary, and show him emerging as a major visionary social thinker."
--John P. Clark, author of The Impossible Community and Between Earth and Empire
"Kropotkin's Words of a Rebel is still one of the best introductions to anti-parliamentary socialism, communalism, revolutionary action, state repression, and the illusions of representative government."
--Ruth Kinna, author of The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism
"Peter Kropotkin was one of the most important and underrated thinkers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who influenced mass movements all over the world from Russia to Switzerland to Japan, Spain, China, and beyond. This new edition of Words of a Rebel will undoubtedly bring his ideas to a new audience. And there is no one better placed than Iain McKay, with his encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of anarchism, to translate and put these ideas in context for modern movements."
--Working Class History
"One hundred years ago, Peter Kropotkin's death occasioned the last public gathering of anarchists in Russia for over six decades. Today his revolutionary yet commonsense ethics have come to life again, resurrected by the widespread embrace of mutual aid during the pandemic. But Kropotkin also still has much to say, always with gentle care and strong principles, about the twin disasters of capitalism and the state, and in contrast, the promise of liberatory transformation via confederal forms of self-organization. So don't just mourn this dead anarchist; use the words of a rebel as inspiration to fight like hell for the living!"
--Cindy Milstein, author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations