A Living Revolution

“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, author, Anarchy Alive!

“A brilliant study of anarchism in the kibbutz movement, particularly regarding economy and polity. Revealing the roots and processes of the influx of anarchist ideas and practices into the early Jewish labour movement, assessing the actual kibbutz practice and seeing the kibbutzim as both a model way to live and a set of experiments to learn from, Horrox gives this history the meticulous attention it deserves. A Living Revolution is comprehensive, caring and even passionate, but also critical. Horrox’s study is an exemplary undertaking we can learn much from.”

Michael Albert, editor Znet and Z Magazine

“Any text that cogently highlights an alternative narrative at the heart of Israel’s national ethos merits our critical attention. The fact that Horrox is able to accomplish this aim so spectacularly and vividly in so brief a treatment is testament not only to his evident mastery of the subject matter, but also to the indomitable spirit of anarchism – and in particular Jewish anarchism – that he chronicles … If the axiom holds true that those who fail to learn the harsh lessons of history are doomed to repeat them, then perhaps we can surmise that reclaiming history’s positive aspects might enable more beneficent applications. If so, Horrox has given us an indispensable treatise on Israel’s forgotten past.”

Randall Amster, editor Contemporary Anarchist Studies

“Zionism has always been an overly complex phenomenon. From its very inception, it sheltered a plurality of radical ideologies, many of which remain inherently opposed to the nationalist and market-driven values that it has become synonymous with. If Jews are ever going to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, and bring a just peace to the Middle East, we will need to reacquaint ourselves with these traditions, many of which remain alive and vital today. Moving back in time to the inception of Israel’s kibbutz movement, ending up in the misery of the present, British journalist and scholar James Horrox does just that. Excavating Israel’s anarchist ideological heritage, Horrox illuminates a progressive political history that Israelis can actually be proud of and look to as a source of renewal. At a time when most literature of this kind follows the familiar path of critique and denunciation, James Horrox achieves the same results by going in the opposite direction. This is a deeply inspiring book that will make you think twice, and question the prevailing consensus that only right-wing politics work in Israel.”

Joel Schalit, author Israel vs. Utopia

“A very good introduction to the history and early development of this unique community movement, which, in contrast to the mostly short-lived early socialist commune projects of the followers of Cabet, Saint-Simon and Fourier, can look back on more than 100 years of history. James Horrox fills a research gap in the otherwise rich literature on this movement by providing a foundation for the postulate of a closeness between anarchist thought and the early kibbutzim that often appears in secondary literature.”

— Dr. Maurice Schuhmann, University of Hagen

“An essential book describing the sociopolitical characteristics of what remains, in terms of its workability and longevity, one of the most viable experiments in anarchism: the Israeli kibbutz. Horrox looks at the genesis and development of the movement, and its betrayal on the altar of Zionism. While acknowledging the political controversy surrounding the movement’s subjection to the State, it is interesting to take note and learn from the workings of these federated communes and their practical achievements.”

— Resistance71

“This exciting book offers a wealth of valuable new information and perspectives, which in some cases can be provocative, raise questions, and will certainly lead to interesting discussions.”

— Horst Blume – Macht von unten

“Interesting and informative … a refreshing reminder of the constructive possibilities of anarchist ideas.”

Ruth Kinna, editor Anarchist Studies

“A compelling new perspective on the subject. Highly recommended.”

— Anarchist Radio Berlin

“A brilliant book on a fascinating topic.”

— Milan Rai, Peace News

“A remarkable book.”

— Gabriel Kuhn, editor Revolution & Other Writings

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