How to Get Your History On


Fifth Estate # 368-369, Spring-Summer, 2005

The 40 year history of Fifth Estate is not the easiest thing to access for research purposes. The best source is the massive Underground Press Collection, a 500+ reel microfilm archive of periodicals from 1963 to 1985. Almost 100 libraries, mostly university-based, in the US have part or all of this series, and the FEs from these dates are contained within, although the image quality can be poor. Pro-Quest, an online journal service which some libraries subscribe to, contains electronic full-text FE articles from 1996 On. But if you don’t have a university affiliation, it may be difficult to use these resources, although some public libraries may have access to them. Talk to your local public library’s reference desk about what options you have; sometimes articles can be accessed by Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and occasionally special passes can be arranged to university collections. Of course, persuading local students to lend you an ID may be the easiest route!

Local political and fanzine archives also have FEs. Every back issue can be found at the Labadie Collection, housed at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, but open to the public. They have recently refilmed old underground press titles, and although not housed in the collection, these may be available through ILL requests. Labadie will copy specific articles on request for a 40 cent per page fee. Check your local collections first–for example, in New York City, incomplete runs can be found at the Tamiment archive (located inside NYU’s Bobst Library, but also open to the public) and at the fanzine library of the community center ABC No Rio. And don’t forget to Google. Some of the more well-known articles have been put online by others. If you’re still unable to access a particular article or issue, contact us and we’ll attempt to help you.

In the spirit of preserving our history, making that history available to others, and raising modest funds, we are now offering the following selection from the collection at the Barn. Anyone familiar with the art and etiquette of archival work would immediately recognize that the Barn is antithetical to such protocol. We’re likely to be keeping the back issues at least as moldy and musty as they were in their last two basement homes. Our current cataloguing system may be a bit less maddening than the previous ones, thanks to the diligent work of FE interns and volunteers. Thus thumbing through the old issues is easier and as exciting as ever. However, we’d prefer that these old collector’s items lived in your basement, barn, or backroom. With that in mind, we share this list with you.

All prices are suggested donations for single copies, include postage, and are based on age and availability. Bulk purchases of individual issues or runs of a particular set are available to teachers, libraries, reading rooms, infoshops, and the general reader. Please inquire for more information.

FE 367 Winter 2004-05 $2 “Economy and Community.” Ron Sakolsky refuses the marketplace. David Watson on Marx and Thoreau. Anu Bonobo and David Graeber on gift economies. A defense of utopia by Takver Shevek and utopian fiction by Peter Wilson.

FE 366 Fall 2004 $5 “Unschooling the World.” One of our most popular recent issues. Radical schooling inside and outside the building. Deschooling from many perspectives and from many parts of the world. Articles on Francisco Ferrer and Ivan Illich.

FE 365 Summer 2004 $3 “Reconsidering Primitivism.” An amazing array of views on the topic fill this 64-page collaboration that tackles the question of the “primitivist” perspective that was once synonymous with this publication. Articles by Derrick Jensen, Richard Heinberg, David Watson, and others.

FE 364 Spring 2004 $5 “The Conspiracy of Politics.” FE collective members sound off on the quadrennial quagmire of voting and anti-voting, plus articles on the strange history of the word “democracy,” fixed elections, California under Schwarzenegger, and the Left’s complicity with anti-conspiracy hype.

FE 363 Winter 2003-04 $2 “Deconstructing Race: Ending Racism.” FE collective members report from the barricades in Miami, rant against Israel’s apartheid wall, and we reprint a report on the uprising in Bolivia. The theme is a thick compendium of theories on culture, race, and ritual. Includes “Pencils Like Daggers” by Tomas; “One Journey…” by Ashanti Alston; “Anarchy is a Diasporic Key” by Ron Sakolsky; “Anything But White” by Sunfrog; “Potlatch: Ritual Resistance to Capitalism” by Don LaCoss; “Roses and Nightingales” by Peter Wilson; and much more.

FE 362 Fall 2003 $2 “Insubordination.” Understanding and chronicling all kinds of resistance by Sherinan Austin, dissident soldiers in Iraq, the ELF, wild animals, and graffiti painters.

FE 361 Summer 2003 $2 “Music and Dance.” This wild compilation of articles sparked delight with our friends and derision from our critics. Contents include an interview with Paul Garon on Peetie Wheatstraw and the blues; Peter Werbe introducing “The Decline of the Choral Dance”; Hakim Bey’s “Secret Theater;” Sunfrog on the “revolution as festival;” and a radical history of electronic dance music from a deejay who understands.

FE 360 Spring 2003 $5 (cover says Spring 2002) “Food and Sustainability.” Some our newest southern editors collaborated on this very popular issue. Excellent essays include “Against agriculture and in defense of cultivation” by Witch Hazel, “Grange Appeal” by Peter Wilson, “Biophilia” by William Manson, and a rant against alcohol by our friends at CrimethInc.

FE 359 Winter 2002-03 $5 “The Spirit of Anarchy.” Gary Snyder, Max Cafard, Peter Wilson, Sunfrog, Maxzine Weinstein, and Don LaCoss approach anarchist spirituality from a variety of perspectives, from Buddhist to Daoist to pagan to atheist. Plus a report on the rebellion in Argentina, an excellent interview with David Rovics, and much more.

FE 358 Fall 2002 $5 “Surrealism, Poetry, and Anarchy.” This hefty and popular edition reflects the hope and energy of a recently revived collective. The centerpiece essays check in with the North American surrealist movement and welcome Ron Sakolsky’s amazing anthology Surrealist Subversions. Regular FE writer David Watson–who has been researching and writing a book on the Balkans for the last decade–deals a blow to the editors of the Alternative Press Review on the question of their printing an article by Slobadan Milosevic. Pono Bonobo weighs in with his controversial and creative counter-primer “on isms, schisms, and anarchisms,” and Ellen Carryout questions the radical credibility of Green Anarchy.

FE 357 Summer 2002 $5 This is the FE’s first issue in a magazine format published by the Tennessee group; it also coincides with the beginning of a new period of resistance to empire. A friend and frequent collaborator reports on her travels in Palestine. As the movement recovers from post-9/11 hysteria, we can consider what Afghanistan might have been like without Soviet imperialism and the US-led bombing campaign by reading Peter Wilson’s reflections in “My Summer Vacation in Afghanistan.”

FE 356 Spring 2002 $5 The final issue edited exclusively by the Detroit staff contains an eclectic mix of articles. Of particular note are Bob Myers essay on Yugoslavia with an introduction by David Watson and Watson’s reflections on 9/11: “Catastrophe as a way of life: an anti-imperialism for the twenty-first century.”

FE 355 Winter 2000-01 $5 This beautiful issue could be considered the last really good tabloid-format FE. Provocative pieces consist of Walker Lane’s “Saying No to Nader,” Max Cafard’s “Tao of Capitalism,” and Sunfrog’s “Group Sex.”

FE 354 Spring 2000 $5 “Seattle! We Win! What Next?” In addition to action-packed pages of report and analysis from the Battle in Seattle, David Watson puts forth his “Humble Call to Subvert Human Empire” and Walker Lane comments on “The Unabomber’s Unending 15 Minutes of Fame.”

FE 353 Summer 1999 $5 “The State: A Space Alien Experiment Gone Wrong?” From UFOs to Y2K, we end the century with one of our wackiest issues ever.

FE 352 Winter 1999 $5 A wide variety of articles, including pieces on Palestine, an anarchist gathering in Toronto, and the life of Guy Debord.

FE 351 Summer 1998 $5 Articles on Chumbawamba, Recycling, the Tao of Anarchy, and more.

FE 350 Fall 1997 $5 David Watson cranks out his in-depth response to the Green Anarchists of the UK with “Swamp Fever: Primitivism and the Ideological Vortex,” plus notes on the “new nomadism,” tributes to Allen Ginsberg, Allan Antliff on artistic anarchism, and more.

FE 349 Summer 1997 $5 “Mother Russia Now,” the life of Judi Bari, the history of the black flag, and more.

FE 347 Spring 1996 $10 “30th Anniversary Issue” includes the History of the FE, the Battle of Detroit (the newspaper strikers against the cops and corporations), Paradise Gardening, the mudpeople, and much more. This issue is essential to any reader beginning a collection of FE back issues.

FE 346 Summer 1995 $5 “Looking Back on the Vietnam War” chronicles the history of resistance and mutiny to US imperialism, plus a tribute to Attilio Bortolotti, a Zerzan commentary on PBS and post-modernism, and more.

FE 345 Winter 1995 $5 Watson’s “Catching Fish in Chaotic Waters” frames the issue, plus a note on the death of Debord, a tribute to a deceased FE collaborator, a special anti-nuclear center section, Sunfrog’s treatise against electronic anarchy, Hakim Bey’s “Permanent Autonomous Zone,” and more.

FE 342 Summer 1993 $5 “Dope, Queer Sex, and Anarchy.” A colorful and controversial must-have issue for any FE collection.

FE 341 Spring 1993 $5 This issue contains “Was it Anarchy in Somalia?” plus “The (Last) Rights of Malice Green,” Watching the Dogs Salivate” (George Bradford on the US elections), Fran Shor on “Love and Anarchy,” Max Cafard’s “Surre(gion)alist Manifesto,” the life of Alexander Berkman, and more.

FE 340 Fall 1992 $5 David Watson on Columbus and “the 500-Year Reich,” commentaries on the Los Angeles rebellion, Sunfrog’s utopian take on “Pornography and Pleasure,” Marxism and Eco-feminism, readers debate the AIDS crisis, and more.

FE 339 Spring 1992 $5 “The Fall of Communism, The Triumph of Capital” combines analysis, history, and reflection on the end of the eastern bloc. Plus pieces on Leonard Peltier, Anarchy in Action at 404 Willis, JFK, Anarchism and the AIDS crisis, and more.

FE 338 Winter 1992 $5 “Plenitude and Penury in Detroit: The War on the Poor.” The rest of the issue consists of commentaries on patriarchy and progress, prisons and rebellions against them, the Fifth Estate Red Squad Files, People’s Park, and more.

FE 337 Summer 1991 $5 “Post-War Postemortem: How the US Got Away With It,” “The War and the Spectacle,” “Eat the Rich at the Detroit Festival Against Wealth and Waste,” Graham Purchase on “Kropotkin’s Metaphysics of Nature,” and more.

FE 336 Spring 1991 $5 “Resist the New World Order.” This issue is a thick, quick, and thorough denunciation of “Operation Desert Storm” and also includes Sunfrog’s “Operation Gender Blur” and Bookchin’s ” Myth of the Party.” George Bradford’s definitive essays “These Are Not Our Troops; This is Not Our Country” and “Civilization in Bulk” are also included in Against the Megamachine.

FE 333 Winter 1990 $5 Bradford against the Megamachine, three commentaries on the Without Borders anarchist gathering in San Francisco, another take on Earth First!, discussions on the democracy movement in China, David Porter on distorting Emma Goldman, and much more.

FE 332 Summer 1989 $5 Reports of resistance from the Nevada Test Site to the Detroit Trash Incinerator. Debates on Anarchy and the Sacred. Countering the Myth of the Proletariat. One of our most memorable poetry centerfolds.

FE 331 Spring 1989 $5 This special issue is an essay by George Bradford called “Return of the Son Of Deep Ecology.”

FE 330 Winter 1988-89 $5 “Meet the New Boss.” Articles on Palestine, Korea, Earth First!, the anti-incinerator movement, German autonome, a response to Zerzan, and more.

FE 329 Summer 1988 $5 “Anarchy in Toronto.” Twentieth anniversary reflections on the May ’68 rebellion in France, more Earth First debates, Zerzan on Agriculture, and an amazing back page poster by Clifford Harper: “Life Can Be Magic When We Start to Break Free.”

FE 328 Spring 1988 $5 Delving deeper into deep ecology, anarchy and the sacred, women’s reproductive freedom, and more.

FE 326 Summer 1987 $5 “Anarchy in Minneapolis,” “Race, Class, and Crime in the US,” “The Annunciation of the Papal Visit to Detroit,” and more.

FE 325 Spring 1987 $5 “The Auto Plague” plus “Anarchy and the Left” and “No Compromise with Nationalism,” and Clifford Harper’s famous “I Didn’t Go to Work Today” poster. This edition was printed on white paper instead of regular newsprint and is in surprisingly good shape. Order yours today.

FE 324 Fall 1986 $5 “Kids Say No to Government,” Lynne Clive critiques “fashionable feminism,” bringing Reagan our piss, “The Case Against Art,” and much more.

FE 322 Winter/ Spring 1986 $10 “20 Years of the Fifth Estate” is a must-have for anyone hoping to understand the evolution of this publication. Includes “Anarchism in the Age of the Reagan,” a friendly review of the Layabouts classic “No Masters” album, poems by Gustafson and Mikolowski, plans for the Haymarket Centennial in Chicago, and much more.

FE 318 Fall 1984 $5 “Election Over: Government Rule Wins,” George Bradford on “Media: Capital’s Global Village,” Emma Goldman in Spain, “Love and Anarchy” poster, and more.

FE 312 Spring 1983 $10 “The Sledgehammer: Fifth Estate Tool of the Year.” Classic, beautifully produced, oversized tabloid.

FE 308 January 1982 $10 “Nuclear War Erupts.” Oversized and amazing poster for the Grinning Duck Club anti-nuclear conference, Lewis Hyde on gift economies, and more.

FE 303 October 1980 $10 Report on Detroit resistance to the RNC, “Poland: Triumphs and Defeats,” draft refusal, and more.

Send requests with your name, address, and payment to Fifth Estate Books, PO Box 6 Liberty, Tn 37095