Join Our Mailing List

Bookmark and Share


Mark Leier

Indulge in a book
Book events
Get the latest news
What others are saying
For more from Mark

After several years working as a bridge tender, short order cook, busker, construction laborer, and printer, among other jobs, Mark Leier went to university, receiving a PhD in history from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He now works in the history department of Simon Fraser University. His many books include Bakunin: The Creative Passion.

Purchasing Links

Divide and Conquer or Divide and Subdivide?: How Not to Refight the First International
Author: Mark Leier
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-383-1
Published: 08/2017
Format: Pamphlet
Size: 8.5x5.5
Page count: 32 pages
Subjects: Politics-Anarchism/History-Europe

The battles between Michael Bakunin and Karl Marx in the First International (aka the International Working Men's Association, 1864–1876) began a pattern of polemics and rancor between anarchists and Marxists that still exists today. Outlining the profound similarities between Bakunin and Marx in their early lives and careers as activists, Mark Leier suggests that the differences have often been exaggerated and have prevented activists from learning useful lessons about creating vibrant movements.


“The life of Bakunin (1814–1876), the Russian architect of the anarchist movement, provides a surprisingly enjoyable introduction to the tumult of 19th-century radicalism. . . . Leier brings welcome consideration to the real merits of the movement.”
Publishers Weekly on Bakunin: The Creative Passion

“The time for Bakunin—the real one, not the caricature—has come again, and Mark Leier has given us just the history that we need. Wonderfully written, scholarly but also packed with fascinating tales and fresh revelations, Bakunin: The Creative Passion is passion with purpose.”
—Paul Buhle

“Unfailingly informative and frequently exciting, Leier's biography reintroduces a fascinating revolutionary, knowledge of whose ideas helps one place such recent phenomena as the World Trade Organization protests in meaningful historical context.”
Booklist on Bakunin: The Creative Passion

Buy the book now | Buy the e-Book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top


For a calendar of speaking events, please click here


  • Karl Marx reflects on the Subject of Confederation
    Deep in the archives of the Society for the History of Anarchism and Marxism, (SHAM) I discovered a hitherto unknown letter from Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels. Dated 21 July 1867, the bulk of the letter is a reaction to the confederation of Canada...
  • To Praise Ginger Goodwin Is to Revere a Radical
    Albert "Ginger" Goodwin was active in the coal mining unions of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island. Blacklisted from the Island mines after the strike of 1912-14, Goodwin went to Trail to organize smelter workers at Cominco i...
  • To Praise Ginger Goodwin Is to Revere a Radical
    Feisty miner reminds that comfortable compromisers are easily forgotten.The broad outline of Ginger Goodwin's story is well known to many of The Tyee's readers. Albert "Ginger" Goodwin was active in the coal mining unions of Glace Bay,...


What Others are Saying

dacWere Bakunin and Marx So Different?: An Interview with Mark Leier
By CS Song
Against the Grain
July 5th, 2017

Why didn’t Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin get along? What accounts for the conflict between the two thinkers that led to the momentous breakup of the First International in 1872? Mark Leier discusses and compares the backgrounds and ideas of Bakunin and Marx; he argues that they were more similar than most believe. He also examines the temperaments of the two men for clues into why they disliked and distrusted each so much.

Listen HERE | Buy book nowDownload e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top

More about Mark...

  • Burnaby North High School Recruitment Event: Professors Mark Leier and Emily O'Brien deliver a hilariously entertaining history lecture to Burnaby North high school students. (August 11, 2016
  • Rebel Lives: How a mild-manered historian fell in with a motley crew of anarchist, revolutionaries and reformers.
    SFU History professor Mark Leier was interviewed by SFU Surrey‘s head librarian, Baharak Yousefi, in the November iteration of the IRMACS Centre’s Research Masterclass series. (December 9th, 2015)

Story Options


Quick Access to:



New Releases

Featured Releases

Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women

On the Fly! Hobo Literature and Songs, 18791941