Towards Collective Liberation: A Publishers Weekly Review

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy

Publishers Weekly
August 2013

Veteran radical Left activist and anarchist writer Crass draws primarily from his own experiences in grassroots organizing to form this collection of case studies and strategic maps. Crass is a white male activist with years of experience in groups such as Catalyst Project, the Heads Up Collective, and the seminal anarchist organization Food Not Bombs. Focusing squarely on anti-racist and feminist concerns within activist communities, Crass regularly directs his conversation to other white people and men, offering suggestions for how those activists of gender and race privilege can better contribute to movements that dismantle rather than exacerbate racism and misogyny. By nature of this focus, the text is clearly of most use to those who identify as either male or white. For that audience, however, the attention to praxis, the autobiographical narratives of grassroots organizing, and the interviews with diverse anarchist collectives provide some clear and practical advice. At the same time, Crass maintains a heartfelt and honest desire to see the world made better through radical organizing, and his sincerity emerges as one of the book’s strengths. While the organization of the text leads to some unnecessary repetition, activists operating in a similar milieu as Crass will benefit from his hard-learned lessons, while those first encountering the modern anarchist tradition will find a forthright portrait of its aspirations and frailties from the mind of an engaged and persistently optimistic movement veteran.

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