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Colin Ward

 

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Colin Ward (1924–2010) was Britain's foremost anarchist writer. Editor of Freedom newspaper and then Anarchy magazine from 1947 to 1970, he is the author or coauthor of over thirty books, including Anarchy in Action, Talking Green, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Cotters and Squatters, The Allotment, and Arcadia for All.

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Anarchy in Action
Author: Colin Ward
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-238-4
Published: 12/2017
Format: Paperback
Size: 8.5x5.5
Page count: 192
Subjects: Politics-Anarchism

$15.95

The argument of this book is that an anarchist society, a society which organizes itself without authority, is always in existence, like a seed beneath the snow, buried under the weight of the state and its bureaucracy, capitalism and its waste, privilege and its injustices, nationalism and its suicidal loyalties, religious differences and their superstitious separatism.

Anarchist ideas are so much at variance with ordinary political assumptions and the solutions anarchists offer so remote, that all too often people find it hard to take anarchism seriously. This classic text is an attempt to bridge the gap between the present reality and anarchist aspirations, “between what is and what, according to the anarchists, might be.”

Through a wide-ranging analysis—drawing on examples from education, urban planning, welfare, housing, the environment, the workplace, and the family, to name but a few—Colin Ward demonstrates that the roots of anarchist practice are not so alien or quixotic as they might at first seem but lie precisely in the ways that people have always tended to organize themselves when left alone to do so.

The result is both an accessible introduction for those new to anarchism and pause for thought for those who are too quick to dismiss it.

For more than thirty years, in over thirty books, Colin Ward patiently explained anarchist solutions to everything from vandalism to climate change—and celebrated unofficial uses of the landscape as commons, from holiday camps to squatter communities. Ward was an anarchist journalist and editor for almost sixty years, most famously editing the journal Anarchy. He was also a columnist for New Statesman, New Society, Freedom, and Town and Country Planning.

Praise:

“It is difficult to match the empirical strength, the lucidity of prose, and the integration of theory and practical insight in the magnificent body of work produced by the veteran anarchist Colin Ward.”
Prospect

“Colin Ward has never written a highly paid column for a national newspaper or been on the bestseller lists, but his fan club is distinguished, and his influence wider than he himself may know.”
Times Literary Supplement

“In Anarchy in Action, Colin Ward set out his belief that an anarchist society was not an end goal. . . . Ward saw all distant goals as a form of tyranny and believed that anarchist principles could be discerned in everyday human relations and impulses. Within this perspective, politics was about strengthening co-operative relations and supporting human ingenuity in its myriad vernacular and everyday forms.”
Guardian (UK)

“Anarchy, for Ward, was a system in which mutuality predominates; and in a series of books he explored ‘anarchist applications,’ championing such groups as allotment-holders, prefab dwellers, amateur music-makers, squatters, DIY housebuilders and others who operate in the penumbra of the bureaucratic state.”
Telegraph (UK)


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Talking Anarchy
Authors: Colin Ward and David Goodway
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-60486-812-8
Published: 12/2014
Format: Paperback
Size: 8x5
Page count: 176 Pages
Subjects: Philosophy-Anarchism

$14.95

Of all political views, anarchism is the most ill-represented. For more than thirty years, in over thirty books, Colin Ward patiently explained anarchist solutions to everything from vandalism to climate change—and celebrated unofficial uses of the landscape as commons, from holiday camps to squatter communities. Ward was an anarchist journalist and editor for almost sixty years, most famously editing the journal Anarchy. He was also a columnist for New Statesman, New Society, Freedom, and Town and Country Planning.

In Talking Anarchy, Colin Ward discusses with David Goodway the ups and downs of the anarchist movement during the last century, including the many famous characters who were anarchists, or associated with the movement, including Herbert Read, Alex Comfort, Marie Louise Berneri, Paul Goodman, Noam Chomsky, and George Orwell.

Praise:

“It is difficult to match the empirical strength, the lucidity of prose, and the integration of theory and practical insight in the magnificent body of work produced by the veteran anarchist Colin Ward.”
Prospect

“Colin Ward has never written a highly paid column for a national newspaper or been on the bestseller lists, but his fan club is distinguished, and his influence wider than he himself may know.”
Times Literary Supplement


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Talking Anarchy: A Review
By Kathy Labriola
https://sites.google.com/site/kathylabriolacom/talking-anarchy
November 2014

I rarely write book reviews, but this book got me so excited I just had to share my enthusiasm! This compact little PM Press book is essentially an extended conversation between two amazing British anarchist writers, editors, and activists. Weighing in at just 165 pages, it is jam-packed with anarchist history, events, and  ideas, and is the one book I would give to anyone who wants to understand what anarchism is all about.

Colin Ward was a working-class kid who dropped out of school at age 15 in 1939, and was quickly drafted by the British Army during World War II. During the war, he happened upon an anarchist bookshop and became a lifelong anarchist, editing the anarchist journal “Freedom” and eventually founding the journal “Anarchy” which he edited for decades. He was a tireless anarchist speaker and writer, eventually writing 30 books on the subject. David Goodway is a British social and cultural historian whose best-known book is “Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow.”  He had the opportunity to interview Colin Ward at length, over a period of months, just before Ward's death in 2010 at the age of 86.

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Talking Anarchy in Ojai Orange
By John Wilcock
Ojai Orange
December 21st, 2013

CAN THERE BE social organization without authority, without government? The anarchists claim that there can be, wrote Colin Ward, and they also claim that it is desirable that there should be. In most of his 30 books, Ward boosted the anarchist claim that, at the basis of our social problems is the principle of governments, which prepare for war and wage war, even though others are obliged to fight in them and pay for them. Ward died in 2010 at 86, but for decades he wrote columns for Freedom (originally called War Commentary) and now some of his wisdom has been republished in Talking Anarchy by the fledgling PM Press whose David Goodway contends that “once you begin to look at human society from an anarchist point of view you discover that the alternatives are already there, in the interstices of the dominant power structure. If you want to build a free society, the parts are all at hand”.

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