Fifth Estate Books


Fifth Estate # 354, Spring, 2000

Fifth Estate Books is located at 4632 Second Avenue, just south of W. Forest, in Detroit, in the same space as the Fifth Estate newspaper. Hours vary, so please call before visiting.


1) List the title of the book, quantity, and the price of each;

2) add 10% for mailing costs—not less than $1.25 U.S. or $2.00 foreign (minimum for 4th class book rate postage);

3) total;

4) write check or money order to: Fifth Estate;

5) mail to: Fifth Estate, 4632 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201 USA.

Phone 313/831-6800 for hours or more information.

New Titles

I COULDN’T PAINT GOLDEN ANGELS: Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation by Albert Meltzer

We were privileged to meet Albert in Detroit near the end of his life. His enthusiasm for anarchy hadn’t dimmed a bit since he fought fascists in London in the 1930s, got bawled out by Emma Goldman for being a boxer, took part in innumerable strikes, participated in anti-Franco Angry Brigade actions, and the Anarchist Black Cross. Turning one of Goldman’s often quoted maxims on its head, Meltzer said, “If I can’t have revolution, what is there to dance about?” A wild ride through the lifetime of a man who knew Goldman, Orwell, Kenyatta and others.

AK PRESS 386 pp. $20

AVANT GARDENING: Ecological Struggle in the City & the World edited by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Bill Weinberg.

Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland want to control all the food, all the seeds, and all the DNA. Their goal is a world in which if the seed isn’t brand name, it doesn’t grow. The struggles against these monsters demand that we connect community gardens to struggles for peasant land across the globe, that we free our food from the corporate octopus. Essays by the editors plus Bernadette Cozart, Bernadette Mayer, Carmelo Ruiz, Sarah Ferguson, Joe Hollis (a reprinted FE article), and others.

Autonomedia 168 pp. $8

ROB THE RICH: Jailhouse Writings by Political Prisoner Robert Thaxton a.k.a. Rob los Ricos

Rob’s horrendous seven year sentence for throwing a rock at a cop during a June 18 [1999] demo presents a classic case of him being in there for us, so we should be out here for him. Rob became the scapegoat and poster boy for the state’s dismay about the militant activism of Eugene, Oregon’s anarchist community (see article in this issue). This pamphlet tells Rob’s story plus a sample of his engaged writing, the type of which has appeared in this paper and Anarchy over the years. All proceeds will go towards Rob’s legal defense and prison needs.

Self-Published 20 pp. $3

RED YEARS; BLACK YEARS : Anarchist Resistance to Fascism from Rivista Anarchica

Unlike Germany, where fascism triumphed quickly, Il Duce and his gang of thugs had to fight town-by-town battles throughout Italy to install their despotic rule. Rivista Anarchica, a long running anarchist publication, recounts how workers and peasants, often led by anarchists, fought for years against the Blackshirts. Despite a glaring front cover typo (“Fascism”), this translation tells the stories of communities fighting for their lives and freedom.

ASP 52 pp. $3.50

THE UNABOMBER & The Future of Industrial Society by T. Fulano

The FE’s David Watson, writing under the name T. Fulano, looks at the phenomena of the admiration by some anarchists for the bombing campaign of Ted Kaczynski and asks, is this part of the solution, or more of the problem? Reprinted from the Fall 1996 Fifth Estate.

Self-Published 16 pp. $1

ON THE POVERTY OF STUDENT LIFE by the Situationist International

This new translation of a classic Situationist text written in 1966, prefigured the general’ uprising which occurred in France two years later. It analyzes the conditions of the student in capitalist society and exposes university training as being nothing more than preparing docile individuals to manage commodity society.

The authors were hauled into court by the outraged authorities. Below is the statement of the sentencing judge in Strasbourg:

“The accused have never denied the charge of misusing the funds of the student union. Indeed, they openly admit to having made the union pay some $1,500 for the printing and distribution of 10,000 pamphlets, not to mention the cost of other literature inspired by ‘Internationale Situationniste.’ These publications express ideas and aspirations which, to put it mildly, have nothing to do with the aims of a student union. One has only to read what the accused have written, for it is obvious that these five students, scarcely more than adolescents, lacking all experience of real life, their minds confused by ill-digested philosophical, social, political and economic theories, and perplexed by the drab monotony of their everyday life, make the empty, arrogant, and pathetic claim to pass definitive judgments, sinking to outright abuse, on their fellow-students, their teachers, God, religion, the clergy, the governments and political systems of the whole world. Rejecting all morality and restraint, these cynics do not hesitate to commend theft, the destruction of scholarship, the abolition of work, total subversion, and a world-wide proletarian revolution with ‘unlicensed pleasure’ as its only goal.

“In view of their basically anarchist character, these theories and propaganda are eminently noxious. Their wide diffusion in both student circles and among the general public, by the local, national and foreign press, are a threat to the morality, the studies, the reputation and thus the very future of the students of University of Strasbourg.”

Black & Red 31 pp. $2

AGAINST CIVILIZATION Readings and Reflections by John Zerzan

You’ve Seen him on “60 Minutes!” He’s called “the anarchist guru” by the New York Tines! Read the book that sparked the trashing of Seattle! (Sorry, John; only teasing.)

Reforms be damned. They only extend the misery created by civilization’s institutions, this volume argues, be they the state, the division of labor, or representation of any type. Contrary to Hobbes, life is nasty, brutish and short since we left primitive life, not during it. Zerzan has collected 51 essays from a range of authors and scholars which challenge accepting the world as we know it as a starting point for rebellion. FE staffers, David Watson and Lynne Clive appear with Adorno, Rousseau,- Sahlins, Turner and the Unabomber.

Uncivilized Books 214 pp. $10


These essays, most of which appeared in this paper between 1981-96, cover mass technics, the ecological crisis, the critique of civilization, reason and spirit, war and empire, including “Stopping the Industrial Hydra,” “Civilization in Bulk,” “Looking Back on the Vietnam War,” “Homage to Fredy Perlman,” a revised “Against the Megamachine,” and many more.

Autonomedia 334 pp. $14

ALL-AMERICAN ANARCHIST: Joseph Labadie and the Labor Movement by Carlotta Anderson

In this account of the man dubbed “The Gentle Anarchist,” his granddaughter brings to life not only the person complete with foibles and misjudgments, but also the era. Labor radicals and anarchists of the last third of the 1800s are often ignored for those of the 1930s. Anderson sketches resistance to capital in the earlier era and those who filled the ranks of rebellion. Highly recommended. See review last issue.

Wayne State Univ. Press 328 pp. hb $26

PASSIONATE AND DANGEROUS: Conversations with Midwestern Anti-Authoritarians and Anarchists

Diverse interviews that affirm the first word of the title. It includes an activist/resident from Detroit’s Trumbullplex talking about the ups and downs of communal life, and the FE’s Peter Werbe and David Watson doing a little philosophizing. Also, interviews with folks from Chicago’s highly organized and active A-Zone, and with others doing art and revolution, “pleasure activism,” micro-radio projects, IWW, environmental and community organizing, and numerous other activities. There are others which reach into the personal and speak to how one exists in a capitalist world while organizing against it. Terrific art from Tony Doyle and Josh MacPhee.

Self-Published 70 pp. $4