What Michael is Reading #3

Over the last few months I have begun writing the background chapters for my doctoral dissertation.  The way I write is that I read a ton, think for a few weeks, and then write WAY more than I should, removing the excess in editing.  Right now and I in that writing sweet spot where every day is another few pages at least.  Because of these manic moments, I thought I would pause and share what I am reading in yet another installment of…..’What Michael is reading!’

My faculty library card is nearly maxed out and I’m cycling books in and out of the library like a fiend.  After it all, a few titles stand out which should not be missed


Active Anarchy (Jeff Shantz)

…thought I can’t find a cover image, this is a brilliant book.  It’s part political analysis, part movement sociology, part philosophical exploration all focused on contemporary anarchist movements and networks.  It cover such a wide range of areas in such depth it’s a surprise this isn’t a life’s work.  By Jeff is a writing machine.


Anatomy of the Red Brigades (Alessandro Orsini)


…simply one of the most comprehensive, well written, carefully referenced scholarly discussions of a non-state actor I have ever read.  It draws heavily from the Red Brigades’ own texts and this approach is phenomenal   The writing is clean with thick descriptions, and the analysis is dead on.  Its a dense beast to read but highly suggested.


At Daggers Drawn with the existent, its defenders and its false critics (Anonymous)


…while not found in the library, but from the great folks at Little Black Cart, this is quite a read.  Though I’ve gone through it before, I’ve never done a line by line close read…until now.  The author/s of this short text are masters of words, even after they made their translations from Italian. If you want a thoughtful, metaphorically-laced discussion of insurrectionary strategy, armed struggle and a society of dead time, loom no further


Liberator (vol. 1)


..also not found in the library.  What can I say?  An ALF themed comic?  Yes please!  Chock full of references to security culture, intersectionality and anarcho-punk song lyrics this can’t be missed by any fans of revolution.  This comic dosen’s recuperate and co-opt dissent like some other products (I’m looking at you Forever 21 and your Black Panther t-shirts as well as the producers of The East) but rather serves to cheer them on, to energize their base and to explain their process.  I got the first bound volume last night and nearly finished it.  Amazing.


…..and some other titles I’m working through more slowly


The Dynamics of Armed Struggle (J. Bowyer Bell)


….the introduction makes me want to be this guy…I guess I’m actually on that track already.  Buddy, I can relate to much of what you say.


Protest Camps


…just started this one a few days ago.  Looks promising but we’ll have to see


Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity (Dan Berger)


…by far the best modern exploration of the Weather Underground out there.  It’s well paired with the “Red Army Faction A Documentary History” series on PM Press.  Neither should be missed for students of revolutionary history and armed revolt.


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