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The Slow Burning Fuse : Secret History of the British Anarchists

John Quail
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Freedom Press
Published: October 28, 2017
ISBN: 9781904491279
404 pages, 11 black and white photos
Country of publication: United Kingdom


Long awaited reprint of John Quail’s classic history of British anarchism. Freedom’s new edition includes a foreword and biographies by Nick Heath. “In the account of the radical movements that have shaped our history, anarchism has had a raw deal. Its visions and aims have been distorted and misunderstood, its achievements forgotten. The British anarchist movement, while borrowing from European ideas, was self-actuated and independent, with a vibrant history all its own. John Quail, in this first major history, shows how it was largely the fact of the obvious triumph of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1919 that allowed the socialist communist stream to win the fight for the support of radicals from the anarchist/libertarian tradition. As a result, he argues, whole vital ares of working-class history have been rewritten and submerged. The time has now arrives to resurrect the works of the early anarchist clubs, their unsung heroes and their tumultuous political activities and searing manifestos so that a truer image of radical dissent and history can be formed. The story of the anarchists is one of utopias created in imagination and half-realised in practice, of individual fights and movements for freedom and self-determination. It is a story which is still being written today.”

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