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GOODWIN, James. Confronting Dostoevsky’s Demons Anarchism and the Specter of Bakunin in Twentieth-Century Russia
Article published on 1 March 2013
last modification on 28 February 2013

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Middlebury Studies in Russian Language and Literature - volume 33

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2010. X, 251 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0883-9 hardback (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4539-0072-7 (eBook)

Review (Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 73, February 2013)

Goodwin examines different responses to Bakunin after the Russian revolution: celebration as revolutionary precursor; demonisation as the Anti-Marx; studied as the only way to even mention anarchist ideas. Chapter four (In defense of Bakunin: Aleksei Borovoi and the anarchist conception of Demons) covers the manoeuvres of anarchists in 1920s Russia. It disproves the idea that they simply disappeared, and provides information on exactly what they did do.

‘Arguably the highest point in the anarchists’ transition from anti-Soviet agitation to more subtle propaganda , Voice of Labor [Golos Truda] became the most significant and enduring producer of anarchist literature in the 1920s, publishing more than sixty titles between 1919 and 1926. One of its first and most important achievements was a five-volume publication of Bakunin’s works from 1919 to 1922 that featured some of Bakunin’s sharpest criticism of “state socialism,” most of which were not printed in Russia again before the perestroika period of the late 1980s.’ (p103)

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