Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow
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416 pages

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From William Morris to Oscar Wilde to George Orwell, left-libertarian thought has long been an important but neglected part of British cultural and political history. In Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow, David Goodway seeks to recover and revitalize that indigenous anarchist tradition. This book succeeds as simultaneously a cultural history of left-libertarian thought in Britain and a demonstration of the applicability of that history to current politics. Goodway argues that a recovered anarchist tradition could—and should—be a touchstone for contemporary political radicals. Moving seamlessly from Aldous Huxley and Colin Ward to the war in Iraq, this challenging volume will energize leftist movements throughout the world.



Publié par
Date de parution 12 décembre 2011
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781604866674
Langue English

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Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward David Goodway
First published 2006 by Liverpool University Press
This edition © 2012 PM Press
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-60486-221-8
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011927954
Cover: Josh MacPhee/
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
Printed in the USA on recycled paper, by the Employee Owners of Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan.
Preface to the new edition

1 Introduction
2 Anarchism and libertarian socialism in Britain: William Morris and the background, 1880 1920
3 Edward Carpenter
4 Oscar Wilde
5 John Cowper Powys I: His life-philosophy and individualist anarchism
6 The Spanish Revolution and Civil War – and the case of George Orwell
7 John Cowper Powys II: The impact of Emma Goldman and Spain
8 Herbert Read
9 War and pacifism
10 Aldous Huxley
11 Alex Comfort
12 Nuclear disarmament, the New Left – and the case of E.P. Thompson
13 Christopher Pallis
14 Colin Ward
15 Conclusion

Che Mah
whose love, companionship, enjoyment of life and sense of fun it is improbable this book would ever have been written
First I must thank the following institutions and their staff for access to various collections: International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam (Goldman Archive); University of Leeds (Central Records); Special Collections, Brotherton Library, University of Leeds (Mattison Collection and Read Library); University College London (Alex Comfort Papers); William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles; Museum of People’s History, Manchester (Communist Party Archive); University of Reading (Routledge Archive); Sheffield Archives (Carpenter Collection); University of Victoria, Victoria, BC (Read Archive). I have also made great use of not only the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, but also the J.B. Priestley Library, University of Bradford (and its too little utilized Commonweal Collection); the British Library; and the British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics (much appreciated for its open access to the shelves).
I have had the privilege of knowing reasonably well two of my principal subjects, Alex Comfort and Chris Pallis, and a third, Colin Ward, extremely well, and I am indebted to them for answering my questions and providing me with access to their records. I should thank too Jane Comfort, Nicholas Comfort, Jeanne Pallis, Michael Pallis, Ken Weller and Harriet Ward. It is appropriate to mention here also Ben Read, Herbert Read’s youngest son and literary executor, the keeper of his father’s flame and an energetic support for all who write about him.
I have also enjoyed the friendship over many years of Carole Pateman, Nicolas Walter, Peter Marshall, Alan Carter and Vernon Richards. I also knew, but much less well, Albert Meltzer, Norman Potter, Geoffrey Ostergaard and Ronald Sampson (whose daughter, Elizabeth Sampson, I also need to thank). I only met Edward Thompson on two or three occasions and so have had had to rely almost exclusively on his marvellous writings as well as the assistance of Dorothy Thompson. Ivan Avakumovi once bought me lunch in Vancouver; I had some correspondence with George Woodcock and a very little with Tony Gibson; and I have met Stuart Christie once or twice.
I am indebted for information, material, stimulation and advice to very many others, who include Cathy Adeane, Alan Anderson, Paul Anderson, John Barnes, Heiner Becker, Mark Beeson, Dave Berry, Janet Biehl, David Bradshaw, E.E. Bissell (whose extraordinary Powys collection is now to be found at the Dorset County Museum), Raymond Carr, Glen Cavaliero, Hugh Cecil, Ted Crawford, Andy Croft, Louise de Bruin, Francis Ellingham, Martyn Everett, Sharif Gemie, Paul Gibbard, Karen Goaman, Paul Gordon, Dorothy Greenald, Judy Greenway, Peter Powys Grey, Steven Halliwell, Julian Harber, Cecily Hill, Peter Hirschmann, Christian Høgsbjerg, Belinda Humfrey, James Joll, Ian Jones (for the loan of many of Edward Carpenter’s books), W.J. (Bill) Keith, Ruth Kinna, Robin Kinross, Jeff Kwintner, Morine Krissdóttir, Carl Levy, Paul Lewis, Charles Lock, Jo McGhee (the current owner of Carpenter’s house at Millthorpe), Stuart Macdonald, Roger Martlew, Sue Powell, Isobel Powys Marks, Stephen Powys Marks, Richard Maxwell, Mervyn Miller, Michael Paraskos, S.E. Parker, Bob Potter, Jon Purkis, John Quail, Susan Rands, Tom and Celia Read (for their hospitality and conversation at Stonegrave), Virginia Rowan (Louis Adeane’s widow), Alan Smith, John Sloan, Luke Spencer, Tom Steele, John Toft, Ruth Walter, Alice Wexler, Andy Whitehead, George Williamson and Mary Young.
Many readers – or more probably non-readers – will be astonished to learn of the support I have received over the years from Eric Hobsbawm and John Saville (including unrestricted access to the latter’s personal papers and the loan of several files), right down to encouragement for this book and assistance in trying to place it for publication. My intellectual and political outlook has been shaped by the Marxism of their remarkable generation of historians, to which of course Edward Thompson belonged, as much as by anarchism. A younger member of this group, Raphael Samuel, was another dear (and much missed) friend of long standing. But I have also been greatly influenced by the writings, which I continue to esteem, of Murray Bookchin, the warmth and generosity of whose friendship I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
This work was written in the School of Continuing Education, University of Leeds, lamentably closed on 31 July 2005 after fifty-nine distinguished years – for seventeen of which Edward Thompson was a member of the staff – yet another indication of the sad, bad times in which we live. I am enormously indebted to the tolerant but wholehearted support of three of its chairs: Miriam Zukas, Dick Taylor who has always believed in the importance and relevance of libertarian theory, and Malcolm Chase, a fellow historian of Chartism whose comradeship has in general meant much to me.
Ultimately, though, I have been dependent on a small group of intimate friends who have always been involved in whatever I have been writing. I have known for many years Tim Hyman – we first met as members of the Powys Society and our mutual admiration of the novels of John Cowper Powys continues to be a major bond – and Richard Schofield (the final editor of Solidarity), as also John Doheny in Vancouver, but whose death in January 2005 was a sorry blow. Much more recently Alastair Reid has joined this group. Having read sample chapters for another publisher, he established contact and has commented most empathetically, yet also critically, on each section of the book as it was completed. I only hope that the totality will not prove a disappointment.
Various portions of this book have been previously published, as follows, and I am exceptionally grateful to the respective editors and publishers for their encouragement and comments and enabling the present work to emerge. Chapter 5 is a revised version of ‘A Cult of Sensations: John Cowper Powys’s Life-Philosophy and Individualist Anarchism’, Powys Journal, XIV (2004). Parts of chapters 6 and 7 first appeared in ‘The Politics of John Cowper Powys’, Powys Review, no. 15 (1984-5). Chapter 8 is a revision of ‘Introduction’, Herbert Read, A One-Man Manifesto and Other Writings for Freedom Press (London: Freedom Press, 1994), which later appeared as part of ‘Introduction’ and as ‘The Politics of Herbert Read’ in David Goodway (ed.), Herbert Read Reassessed (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1998). The second half of chapter 10 was published as ‘Aldous Huxley as Anarchist’, in Ian Angus (ed.), Anarcho-Modernism: Toward a New Critical Theory: In Honour of Jerry Zaslove (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2001). Chapter 11 is a revised version of ‘Introduction’, David Goodway (ed.), Against Power and Death: The Anarchist Articles and Pamphlets of Alex Comfort (London: Freedom Press, 1994). Parts of chapters 10 and 11 also appeared in ‘Aldous Huxley and Alex Comfort: A Comparison’, in H. Gustav Klaus and Stephen Knight (eds.), ‘To Hell with Culture’: Anarchism and Twentieth-Century English Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005). Some of chapter 12 appeared as parts of ‘E.P. Thompson and the Making of The Making of the English Working Class’, in Richard Taylor (ed.), Beyond the Walls: 50 Years of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Leeds, 1946 1996 (Leeds: The University of Leeds, 1996) and of ‘Muggletonian Marxism’, Anarchist Studies, VI (1998) and as ‘E.P. Thompson and William Morris’, in Peter Faulkner and Peter Preston (eds.), William Morris: Centenary Essays (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1999). Chapter 13 is a revision of ‘Introduction’, David Goodway (ed.), For Workers’ Power: The Selected Writings of Maurice Brinton (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2004). Chapter 14 is an extended version of ‘The Anarchism of Colin Ward’, in Ken Worpole (ed.), Richer Futures: Fashioning a New Politics (London: Earthscan, 1999), which later served as ‘Introduzione’, David Goodway, Conversazioni con Colin Ward (Milan: Elèuthera, 2003) and in English as ‘Introduction’, Colin Ward and David Goodway, Talking Anarchy (Nottingham: Five Leaves, 2003).
My final debt,

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