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Mark Leier

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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.

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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

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What Others are Saying

More about Mark...

  •  https://www.sfu.ca/history/faculty-and-staff/faculty-by-name/mark-leier.html
  • 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)

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