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A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement


4.0 average, based on 1 reviews

Manufacturer: AK Press

Product Information

Against the backdrop of the early development of Palestinian-Jewish and Israeli society, James Horrox explores the history of the kibbutz movement: intentional communities based on cooperative social principles, deeply egalitarian and anarchist in their organisation.

"The defining influence of anarchist currents in the early kibbutz movement has been one of official Zionist historiography's best-kept secrets...It is against this background of induced collective amnesia that A Living Revolution makes its vital contribution. James Horrox has drawn on archival research, interviews and political analysis to thread together the story of a period all but gone from living memory, presenting it for the first time to an English-reading audience. These pages bring to life the most radical and passionate voices that shaped the second and third waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and also encounter those contemporary projects working to revive the spirit of the kibbutz as it was intended to be, despite, and because of, their predecessors' fate." —Uri Gordon, from the foreword


James Horrox. AK Press, 2009.

Product Code: 9781904859925

Customer Reviews

Average Rating: 4

Anarchism in practice?

The Kibbutz movement has received some varied coverage within anarchism, I can remember Chomsky talking about it as an example of anarchism in practice, but as Horrox shows it has been limited. ‘A Living Revolution’ demonstrates that some Kibbutz were basically anarchist in structure and theory and were inclusive of all, being particularly influenced by Kropotkin. However, as Horrox demonstrates it has not always been an easy relationship given the Israeli states role in the Middle East and anarchists being in the forefront of opposing it. Not to mention the perceived link between settling in Palestine (in a Kibbutz or not) and the theft of land and resources from the Palestinians by the Israeli state (and prior to the setting up of said state by the population who moved there). It appears that this has led, even in Israel, to many anarchists rejecting the radical aspects of the Kibbutz movement and thus leaving it to the claws of the religious nut jobs. As such this is a really interesting analysis of the Kibbutz movement that rightfully reclaims much of the past and present of the movement for anarchism. In the text Horrox charts the development of the Israeli Kibbutz movement, the challenges it has faced, its theoretical influences, practical realisation in numerous forms and clearly demonstrates the impact of anarchist thought. He also demonstrates the diversity within the Kibbutz movement and the chapter on contemporary Israeli anarchism is particularly interesting. Having said that it would have benefited from further analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of communes in bringing about social change. In all though this is a great book that fills what seems to be a rather gaping hole in anarchist literature. Highly recommended.

Anonymous :: May 23 2010, 08:35 AM

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