Paul Avrich, RIP


Paul Avrich, one of the leading historians of Russian and American anarchism, has died. (This actually happened last month, but I only just learned the news from the Liberty & Power blog.) Anyone interested in anarchy should look for Avrich's books; he was a clear writer and a careful scholar with a thorough knowledge of his field. I'm particularly fond of his oral history of the American movement, which is filled with odd, resonant, or otherwise intriguing details. Peter Kropotkin's daughter, for example, manages to jump directly from "Did you know that an anarchist named Rubinchik organized the Kronstadt rebellion? I hid him out after it was over" to "The Goldwater defeat made me sick. I haven't yet gotten over it." Makes sense to me.