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Umiraiushchee obshchestvo i Anarkhiia [The Dying Society and Anarchy].

[New York]: Izd. A.K.G.S.Sh., 1921. Octavo (20 × 14.5 cm). Original printed wrappers; 178, [2] pp. Cover lightly worn; cancelled library stamps from the University of London; still about very good.

This text by the French anarchist Jean Grave was published in Russian in the United States (most likely in New York) by an association of Russian anarcho-communists living in immigration and exile. Jean Grave wrote this important anarchist text in Paris in 1893, while working with the Russian anarcho-communist Pyotor Krapotkin. Grave was sentenced to two years in prison for “The Dying Society” but his trial only drew more attention to the text which was immediately translated into other European languages. The first Russian translation of the text appeared in 1901 in Geneva, and the first published in the Russian Empire in 1906 in Odessa was confiscated and burned by the Czarist government.

The Russian anarchist movement goes back to the 1850s when it developed in a pan-European context. By the turn of the century it consisted mostly of the working class and intelligentsia committed to bringing down the monarchy, although some branches tried to appeal to the peasants and soldiers as well. A parallel movement of Russian anarchists living in immigration or exile was active in Europe and North America, producing many short-lived semi-clandestine publications and significantly influencing the development of anarchism in Russia. After the revolution of 1917 the anarchist groups in Russia initially sided with the Bolsheviks, however their relations quickly soured and anarchists were actively persecuted starting in the Spring of 1918. Subsequently the US and European branches of Russian anarchists became the main strongholds of the movement. This publication of the Jean Grave text was no doubt intended for distribution in North America as well as Russia. The 1921 edition is scarce in the trade.

Book ID: P5563

Price: $175.00