Gustav Landauer and Oscar Wilde

For reasons I don’t fully understand, this old paper of mine seems to have been getting a lot of attention recently. When Gustav Landauer first appeared on my radar back in 2005 he was a pretty obscure character, but becoming less so thanks to Richard Day’s Gramsci is Dead (2005) and later Gabriel Kuhn’s Revolution and Other Writings (2010), which led to a resurgence of interest in his ideas, and in Kuhn’s case made available the largest collection of his writings ever published in English. But much of the material being written Read more ›

The Battle for the Tongass

Sprawling across 16.7 million acres of southeastern Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is known to many as the “crown jewel” of America’s National Forest System. The largest of the country’s national forests, this spectacular landscape is home to some of the last surviving old-growth temperate rainforest on the continent, as well as numerous species of rare and imperiled wildlife. The Washington Post reported last week that President Trump has instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to open it up to industrial-scale logging. Read more ›

The Science of Hiking

Harvard physician Paul Dudley White, the ‘father of American cardiology’, believed that a brisk, five mile walk every day is as good a remedy for a restless mind as anything the worlds of medicine and psychology have to offer. Many literary notables, from Charles Dickens to Will Self, have written at length on the restorative effects of their peregrinations through the urban jungle, but as Dr. White well understood, there is something unique about walking in natural surroundings that no amount of urban wandering Read more ›

Murphy Ranch

Tangled in the undergrowth of Rustic Canyon, a couple of miles’ walk up the Sullivan Ridge fire road from the manicured absurdity of Pacific Palisades, lie the ruins of one of L.A.’s more unusual landmarks. Not much remains of Murphy Ranch these days – just a series of crumbling concrete foundations, twisted, burnt-out skeletons of abandoned buildings, and a weird atmosphere. For while the graffiti-tagged wreckage of yesterday’s industry is no rarity in the hills around Los Angeles, cradle to so many wacko cults and Read more ›

Pavey Ark

From a distance, Pavey Ark doesn’t have an immediately obvious place in the battlements of Great Langdale. In the jagged arrangement of peaks and crags cutting out into the sky it sits back, a sullen wall of black stone sunk obliquely in the mountainside high above the dale. From below it’s more a presence than a peak, standing over its neighbourhood with a quietly menacing air of dignity and calm. Up close, when it slides into view over the crest of the hike from the valley floor, its effect is breathtaking. Read more ›

A Living Revolution Shofar review

Randall Amster (2011) Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 175-7

It would be hard to overstate the importance of James Horrox’s slim 2009 volume A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement. Given the centrality of Israel’s role in the geopolitical landscape, as well as its obvious imbrications within the larger workings of the American military-industrial complex, 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 Read more ›