From 1864 to 1876, socialists, communists, trade unionists, and anarchists synthesized a growing body of anticapitalist thought through participation in the First International--a body devoted to uniting left-wing radical tendencies of the time. Often remembered for the historic fights between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the debates and experimentation during the International helped to refine and focus anarchist ideas into a doctrine of international working class self-liberation.
This book is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room. At long last, anarchists enter the history of socialism by the main door!
--Davide Turcato, author of Making Sense of Anarchism: The Experiments with Revolution of Errico Malatesta, Italian Exile in London, 1889-1900
Brimming with thought and feeling, richly textured, and not shy of judgment, Graham's book marshals a compelling argument and issues a provocative invitation to revisit--or perhaps to explore anew--the story, the struggles, and the persisting ramifications of this pioneering International.
--Wayne Thorpe, author of The Workers Themselves: Revolutionary Syndicalism and International Labour, 1913-1923
With impressive and careful scholarship, Robert Graham guides us on a complex journey that reflects his command of the material and his ability to express it in a clear and straightforward way. If you were to think this is some dry history book, you couldn't be more wrong.
--Barry Pateman, historian and archivist with the Kate Sharpley Library
Robert Graham has been writing about anarchism for thirty years. He recently edited the three-volume collection Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.