Zerzan: "The least pessimistic book I can recall reading"

“The least pessimistic book I can recall reading. It brings anarchist resistance and the spirit together in a very wide-ranging and powerful contribution”.

This is the comment, in a recent article, from US anarchist writer John Zerzan on Paul Cudenec’s The Anarchist Revelation, published by Winter Oak Press.

Zerzan is the influential author of  Elements of Refusal, Future Primitive and Other Essays, Running on Emptiness, Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections and Twilight of the Machines.

This positive international feedback to Cudenec’s work follows on from anarchist author Gabriel Kuhn’s review on the Alpine Anarchist site, in which he refers to it as “a daring journey through the history of ideas”.

Kuhn, author of Life Under the Jolly Roger and Soccer vs the State, adds: “The book attempts no less than equipping contemporary anarchism with a footing that is often neglected: the transformation not only of society’s structures but also of people’s souls.

“Cudenec’s text is well-structured, consistent in its arguments, and manages to address poetry, mysticism, and spirituality without regressing into lofty gibberish.”

Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, has described Cudenec’s essay Antibodies as “very readable and profoundly thoughtful” and offering “many new insights on the destructive relationship between the greater part of humanity and the planet which tries to sustain them”.

Paul Cudenec will be talking on The Anarchist Revelation at the London Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday October 19, at 5pm in room 3.20.

Daring journey through the history of ideas

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“The book attempts no less than equipping contemporary anarchism with a footing that is often neglected: the transformation not only of society’s structures but also of people’s souls.

“In order to achieve his goal, Cudenec embarks on a daring journey through the history of ideas. Make no mistake, though: this is no hodgepodge of random notations, and no new age hocus-pocus disguised in anarchist colors.

“Cudenec’s text is well-structured, consistent in its arguments, and manages to address poetry, mysticism, and spirituality without regressing into lofty gibberish.

“It is never in doubt that the book is a serious attempt at helping us answer the ever relevant question of whether life can change with a rearrangement of social institutions alone, if we don’t change as human beings…

“Paul Cudenec’s work will mostly appeal to those who – in increasing numbers – explore the relations between anarchism and philosophy, psychology, and religion.

“People looking for in-depth analyses of governmental bodies, labor conditions, or gender and race relations might have to turn somewhere else. No single book has it all.

“The Anarchist Revelation has a clear purpose, however, that is, reflecting on the transformation of the self for the benefit of the community. Everyone interested in this mighty challenge will find the text to be an inspiring read.”

Above are a few key paragraphs from a review of Paul Cudenec’s The Anarchist Revelation, published by Winter Oak Press, by author Gabriel Kuhn. The original can be seen on the Alpine Anarchist Productions website.

Gabriel Kuhn is well known to English-speaking anarchists for the likes of Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy (2010), Soccer vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics (2011), and for editing and translating Gustav Landauer’sRevolution and Other Writings (2010) and Liberating Society from the State and Other Writings (2011) by Erich Mühsam.

His German-language works include Tier-Werden, Schwarz-Werden, Frau-Werden. Eine Einführung in die politische Philosophie des Poststrukturalismus(2005) and Neuer Anarchismus in den USA. Seattle und die Folgen (2008).