Revolution and Other Writings in CHOICE

Revolution and Other Writings: A Political Reader

By S. Bailey, emeritus, Knox College
April 2011

Today, Gustav Landauer is best remembered as a radical leader of the short-lived Bavarian Council Republic who was killed by reactionary soldiers in 1919. During his lifetime, this now half-forgotten figure was the leading voice of anarchism in Germany. Unlike most anarchists, however, Landauer was unusual in his distaste for violence and his distrust of the masses. This is not to say that he was not an opponent of the state (in general) or the German Empire (in particular). In this, he resembled Friedrich Nietzsche. In his belief in the importance of small communities based on individual cooperation, he drew on Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Although Landauer made considerable demands on his readers (his anarchism was accompanied by metaphysical speculation and at times, polemical exaggeration), he reads well today. But for many readers, the best portions of this thoroughly edited, well-translated anthology will be his attacks on the Social Democratic Party from the time of the Erfurt Program to the creation of the provisional government of Germany at the end of WWI. Kabdayer saw the party as hopelessly bureaucratic and timid. This work merits the attention of all students of Germany in the age of William II. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries

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