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Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow

Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward

Moving seamlessly from Aldous Huxley and Colin Ward to the war in Iraq, this challenging volume will energize leftist movements throughout the world.

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.

“Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow is an impressive achievement for its rigorous scholarship across a wide range of sources, for collating this diverse material in a cogent and systematic narrative-cum-argument, and for elucidating it with clarity and flair… It is a book that needed to be written and now deserves to be read.” —The Journal of William Morris Studies

“Goodway outlines with admirable clarity the many variations in anarchist thought. By extending outwards to left-libertarians he takes on even greater diversity.” —Sheila Rowbotham, Red Pepper

“A splendid survey of ‘left-libertarian thought’ in this country, it has given me hours of delight and interest. Though it is very learned, it isn’t dry. Goodway’s friends in the awkward squad (especially William Blake) are both stimulating and comforting companions in today’s political climate.” —A.N. Wilson, Daily Telegraph

“The history of the British anarchist movement has been little studied or appreciated outside of the movement itself. Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow, should go a long way towards rectifying this blind spot in established labour and political history. His broad ranging erudition combined with a penetrating understanding of the subject matter has produced a fascinating, highly readable history.” —Joey Cain, edwardcarpenterforum.org

David Goodway is a British social and cultural historian who for twenty years has written principally on anarchism and libertarian socialism. He is the editor of Damed Fools in Utopia: And Other Writings on Anarchism and War Resistance, The Letters of John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman and collections of the writings of Alex Comfort, Herbert Read, and Maurice Brinton. His conversations with Colin Ward have been published as Talking Anarchy.

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