Welcome to our 40th Anniversary Issue


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

Welcome to our Spring/Summer 2005 and 40th anniversary commemorative edition of the Fifth Estate (FE). The effort needed to publish the largest and most colorful paper in our history required numerous resources, both creative and financial, from our collective members and our readers. While none of it would have occurred without the incredible vision and demanding effort /expended by the people at our Pumpkin Hollow headquarters, others participated as well, especially our staff in Detroit and those scattered across North America who make up the current FE editorial collective.

Thanks to all those who made this issue possible

But even with all of our work, you would not be holding this publication if hundreds of readers hadn’t contributed the thousands of extra dollars necessary to pay our printing bill. Some of you gave an extra five dollars; other donations stretched into the hundreds and even more; people gave what they could. And, although we still need to do some supplementary fundraising to complete payment for the issue, readers contributed more funds than ever before in our history.

To everyone: our enormous gratitude. And, from the collective: an elated sigh of relief! Over the last two years since the resuscitation of this publication, the diligent efforts and amazing contributions of writers and artists are reaping rewards. Our new subscription and renewal rate are at a twenty year high along with brisk sales at newsstands and info shops across the world.

Reading this issue

It was a daunting task to figure out how to coherently present 40 years of publishing and the revolutionary activism it documented and inspired. By necessity, much more was left out than included. In the first fifty pages of this issue, readers will find histories/memoirs by four people who are current collective members or have a long-time association with the paper. Accompanying their accounts, on the outside columns, are excerpts from articles that appeared in past issues along with the dates they published. Most of these stand alone as examples of what we were printing in a given period, but are even clearer, when read within the context of the accounts in the center of the pages. In places, we’ve even included introductions to articles not reprinted, because these short pieces often provided an excellent summary of where the collective was at on a given issue. Throughout the first section and in some places later in the magazine, you will find reproductions of old covers, unique posters, and inspired poetry from past issues.

As noted above, this is a double issue which also encompasses our usual Summer edition. The next issue you receive will be Fall 2005 featuring the theme of “Wobblies and Work.” While commemorating the centenary of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), we will focus our characteristically critical eye on both the nature of work in industrial society and the function of unions. Please see the call for contributions on page 100.

We want old issues

Our intention was always to make history, not be history, but time has marched on and new generations, some of whom are currently producing this magazine, are often eager to see what transpired during a previous period of resistance. Unfortunately, none of our collections contain all 369 issues that were published. If you have editions of the paper prior to 2000, particularly those from the 1960s and ’70s, please consider sending them back to us where we will archive them. We will gladly pay postage.

About the cover

We’d like to thank our long-time collaborator James Koehnline for our full-color front-and-back cover. We encourage you to spend some time, as we have, studying the details of his art. Throughout the piece, Koehnline leaves clues, reiterates themes, and suggests visions connected to the featured, authors and articles that appear in this issue. To see more of his work, go to www.koehnline.com.

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The Fifth Estate (FE) is an unincorporated, anti-profit, cooperative magazine published since 1965. An anti-authoritarian publication produced by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades, we hold a range of views on all issues but share an anarchist orientation and a commitment to a nondogmatic and action-oriented radical politics.

As opposed to professionals who publish to secure wages or invest in the media information industry, we produce the magazine as an expression of resistance to an unjust and destructive society.

No copyright. No paid staff.

Northern Collective, Detroit
Subscription Office
PO Box 201016,
Ferndale, MI 48220

Southern Collective,
Tennessee Editorial Office
PO Box 6, Liberty TN 37095