Fifth Estate Books


Fifth Estate # 355, Fall-Winter, 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 $1.13 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.


“Long before the amorphous genre of ‘world music’ had its own section at your local Tower Records, the Layabouts were cooking up a sizzling hybrid stew of musical styles that drew from Detroit’s own gritty urban guitar sound, English ska like the English Beat, political punk, reggae, salsa, and African jive, to name a few.”—from the FE review; p.20. These folks only do a recording every 15 years, so grab this new one.

DIY 10 songs $10


In the tradition of Wobbly and Earth First! troubadours, Marie Mason, long time FE collaborator, sings lyrically, sweetly and powerfully about the fight for a just and natural world in her debut CD, Not For Profit. The songs include Using You, Take It Down, The RCP Song, Tiananmen Square, and the title cut. EF!er Darryl Cherney shares some of the song writing and guitar picking.

DIY 8 songs $10


Internationally renowned linocut illustrator Richard Mock’s works have been featured for years in the pages and on the covers of the Fifth Estate (oh, yeah, and in the New York Times and other publications around the world.) In Summer 2000, Richard taught a class in cartoon art at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. The results are featured in Hardlines, 95 social commentary linocut prints including 67 from children.

Plains Art Museum 95 prints list / $15 $10

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 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 Lamgborn 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

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 (“Facism”), this translation tells the stories of communities fighting for their lives and freedom.

ASP 52 pp. $3.50

ALL-AMERICAN ANARCHIST: Joseph Labidie 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. $26

AGAINST CIVILIZATION Readings and Reflections by John Zerzan

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 and 1996, 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

LIVE FROM DEATH ROW by Mumia Abu-Jamal

These essays would be moving and informative even if they didn’t come from Mumia’s current residence (see p. 2). His writings include the suppressed commentaries squelched by NPR radio after they buckled to pressure from cops and politicians. Introduction by John Edgar Wideman

Addison-Wesley 217 pp. orig. $20/ $10

A DAY MOURNFUL AND OVERCAST by an “Uncontrollable” of the Iron Column during the Spanish Civil War

Rarely is the difference between the “People in Arms” and the bureaucratic “People’s Army” seen more starkly than in this portrayal of the militarization of the anarchist brigades during the Spanish Civil War. This “uncontrollable” describes his miserable life, including prison, before being set free to fight for the anarchist revolution. He angrily denounces plans to turn Durruti’s fiercest fighting unit into a battalion with traditional rank and external discipline. He correctly sees this process as prefiguring the defeat of the revolution. Beautifully produced, with moving prose.

Everybody is born one Publishing 15 pp. $3

MUTUAL AID: A Factor of Evolution by Peter Kropotkin

An anarchist classic which profoundly influenced theories of human biology. A counterblast to the social conclusions drawn from the Darwinian “struggle for existence.”

Freedom Press 278 pp., $11