Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Ontario platformist organization Common Cause, along with other allies are sponsoring an Ontario book tour by the South African author of the new and acclaimed book 'Black Flame'. Here are the details from their website, supplemented with further information from the Ontario section of the Anarchist Black Cat discussion board. There is also a Facebook page for the tour which has a link to a short video and also an excerpt from the book.

Black Flame attempts to place the history and theory of anarchism squarely in the mass movements of class struggle and also gives a wealth of detail about non-European movements that have achieved perhaps as great success as the more commonly known European ones have. Well worth the read. If you live in Ontario try and see this fascinating author.
Common Cause organizes "Black Flame" Ontario book tour:

South African writer and activist Michael Schmidt, co-author of “Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism” will be in several Ontario cities between March 15 and March 21 to promote and discuss this important new book on the global history of anarchist movements and ideas. The tour, organized by Common Cause with support from AK Press and several local sponsors, is scheduled to pass through the following cities listed below. To promote the tour Common Cause has also produced a short video which can be seen here

March 15 - Waterloo,
4PM to 6PM
School of Business and Economics, Room 2260
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West
Sponsored the Communication Studies and Global Studies departments.
March 16 - London
March 17 - Hamilton
1)McMaster University,
MUSC Rooms 311 and 313
1280 Main St. West
Limited seating.
2)Sky Dragon Centre,
27 King William Street
Hamilton, ON
Organized by Common Cause Hamilton
March 18 - Montreal
March 19 - Ottawa
March 20, 21 - Toronto
Full details to follow soon.
Organized by Common Cause Ontario with support from AK Press.
For more information contact
and check
About the book from AK Press:
“Black Flame (Counter-Power, Volume 1) is the first of a two-volume set examining the democratic class politics of the worldwide anarchist movement, its vision of a decentralized planned economy, and its impact on popular struggles on five continents over the course of the past 150 years. From anarchism's first glimmers as a nineteenth-century ideology to today's anticapitalist struggles, Black Flame traces anarchism's lineage and contemporary relevance, outlining the movement's insights into questions of race, gender, class, and imperialism. With Black Flame, Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, both writers and activists in South Africa, have begun what promises to be the definitive synthetic account of the international anarchist tradition. Nearly exhaustive in scope, and rigorous in its scholarly detail, this first volume significantly reframes the work of previous historians and, especially, examines coherent alternatives to Marxist and nationalist approaches to revolutionary theory and practice. An indispensable conceptual roadmap to the history and continuing relevance of anarchist praxis
“In recent years, there has been an upsurge in class struggle anarchism or social anarchism. In these circumstances, there is a need for a clear and more forceful theoretical statement of principles, and Black Flame serves as an excellent opening statement of the relevance of class struggles anarchism in a twenty-first century context...this book is an impressive introduction to the history of anarchist theory and anarchist movements.”
-Sean Benjamin,
Upping the Anti no. 9,
November 2009.
"This highly worthwhile book represents the fruit of considerable scholarship and deep reflection. The authors have done a remarkable job in drawing together a vast international body of literature. They show convincingly that anarchism and syndicalism were far more significant political forces in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century world than historians have generally given them credit for. They provide excellent accounts of the movement's global political reach, supported by an impressive knowledge of disparate literatures. Schmidt and van der Walt also make a powerful and lucidly written case for anarchism as a serious and coherent political philosophy."
—Jonathan Hyslop,
University of the Witwatersrand,
"This book fulfills a daunting task. Covering anarchism in all parts of the world and emphatically tying it to class struggle, the authors present a highly original and challenging account of the movement, its actions and ideas. This work is a must for everybody interested in non-authoritarian social movements."
—Bert Altena,
Rotterdam University
"A well-thought out and nuanced study of the intellectual, political, and social history of anarchism."
—Steven Hirsch,
University of Pittsburgh
About the authors:
Michael Schmidt is a Johannesburg-based investigative journalist and journalism trainer, with more than twenty years experience in the field as a reporter for South Africa's leading newspapers including the Sunday Times and ThisDay, and as a co-editor of the anarchist news and analysis website A seasoned activist, his work has taken him to Chiapas, to Guatemala during the civil war, to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Darfur, Lebanon, and beyond.
Lucien van der Walt is based at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he teaches in development, economic sociology, and labor studies. His recently completed PhD on the history of anarchism and syndicalism in early twentieth-century South Africa was awarded the prestigious Labor History international prize for the best doctoral thesis of 2007. He has written and lectured widely on contemporary working-class struggles and the relationship between race and class, and, together with Steven Hirsch, he is the editor of the forthcoming volume, Anarchism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940 (Brill 2009).

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