Iain Boal

Iain Boal


Iain Boal is an Irish social historian of science and technics, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley and Birkbeck College, London. He is associated with the Retort group, and is one of the co-authors of Retort’s Afflicted Power: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso). He co-edited with James Brook Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information (City Lights), and is author of The Green Machine (Notting Hill Editions), a brief  planetary history of the bicycle.







Praise

West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California

West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California

SKU: 9781604864274
Editors: Iain Boal, Janferie Stone, Michael Watts, and Cal Winslow
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781604864274
Published: 3/2012
Format: Paperback, ePub, mobi, PDF
Size: 6 x 9
Page count: 304
Subjects: History-California, Politics

Praise

“As a gray army of undertakers gather in Sacramento to bury California’s great dreams of equality and justice, this wonderful book, with its faith in the continuity of our state’s radical-communitarian ethic, replants the seedbeds of defiant imagination and hopeful resistance.” —Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz and Magical Urbanism

“Utopias—we can’t live without them, nor within them, for long. In West of Eden we see California, an earthly utopia, and the Sixties, a utopian moment, in full flower. Brave souls creating a heavenly host of communal spaces on the edge of America, hoping to break free of a world of capital, sexism, oligarchy, race. An amazing place and time that, for all its failures, changed the world—and which finally gets its due in this marvelous collection.”  —Richard Walker, UC Berkeley, author of The Country in The City

“There are a lot of versions of the sixties, and this is one that isn’t stale or familiar, a book by a lot of good writers and original thinkers about how some much older ideas about the commons and the community were tinkered with, enlarged upon, turned into experiments that sometimes succeeded, sometimes failed, but left legacies that mattered. It’s also a book about California’s tendency to go experimental, idealistic, and eclectic, a fit successor to the classic California’s Utopian Colonies that looked at some of the great nineteenth-century experiments.”  —Rebecca Solnit, author of Storming the Gates of Paradise

“The counterculture—from the North Beach Parnassus to the underground press—and ‘the Movement’—from Marxists to anarchists—all of it depended on a magnificent base, and here it is described, magnificently: the Oakland breakfast program, the Alcatraz occupation, the Mime troupe, and pot farms, the communes, the collectives, the co-ops of California during the 1960s. On the lam? A bad trip? Burnt out? Cracking up? AWOL? Dropping out? Requiring metamorphosis? These could provide rural and urban alternatives to Cold War, patriarchy, speed-up, or death in the jungle. With roots in previous decades of struggle by trade unions, ethnic enclaves, religious breakaways, and nineteenth-century dreams, and with branches in the lore of our own contemporary foodways, child-rearing practices, decision-making and meeting protocols, sexual politics, and DIY culture, the California communards cleared the path. Both veterans and young folk, grey hairs and newbies will find beautiful memoire, authentic experience, and brilliant analysis in these pages West of Eden.”  —Peter Linebaugh, author of The Magna Carta Manifesto



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