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+5 votes
I am only 16 and I just really like the general idea of anarchism (no rulers), but the thing is, where can i get an introduction into anarchism? I want to understand true anarchism. Thanks.

edited to fix tag
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welcome to the site. i look forward to other people's responses to your question.
because this is an anarchist site, the tag "anarchy" is useless here. perhaps you could change the tag to something more indicative of your interest, like - authentic, or historic, or introduction (or all of the above, depending on what you mean by "true anarchism")?

have you looked around on this site already?

also search for introduction or introductory on

and check out

introductory books are berkman's the abc of anarchism; peter gelderloos' anarchy works; colin ward's anarchy in action, but really there are enough of these kind of texts that having more information about what about anarchy interests you would be more helpful in giving you specific titles.
some ideas

read the wikipedia article on anarchism and click on all of the links in it and read those articles too. i'm not kidding

read a book that's designed as kind of an introduction to anarchist ideas. when I was 16 I really liked the book Days of War Nights of Love by CrimethInc. Almost any of their books would be good.

if you search for history books that are about anarchists, you might find some things interesting, but a lot will be boring in their approach, writing style, etc.

there's a website of "an anarchist faq" that is kind of like an exhaustive and at times interesting introduction to a very specific tradition of anarchist thinking/action. it has a lot of limitations but it gives you a good idea of what anarchists were and thought and did in europe and america in like the late 1800s and 1900s.

one of the first books to do with anarchism that I read was Letters of Insurgents by Fredy Perlman. He also wrote a really popular book called Against His-Story, Against Leviathan.

there's a really great pamphlet by the anarchist anthropologist david graeber called "fragments of an anarchist anthropology"

and also the anarchist anthropologist james c. scott has a book called two cheers for anarchism. i think it may be his worst book but it's not terrible.

there's a good essay by a man named bob black -- abolition of work.

hope that helps. and obviously feel free to ask more questions here and people will be able to recommend you stuff on more specific issues
asker, why is this not an answer?  (also, i don't think james scott identifies as an anarchist, although he is certainly sympathetic.)
oh, yeah, it could have been, i just didn't think I was going to write that much when I started.   hard to say about james scott... his politics are definitely way off for me sometimes. I think he often says things that make sense for an anarcho-liberal, and sometimes he says things that make me think he's more of an old school marxist-leninist.  I guess the thing about this type of question is that it elicits answers that have more to do with "what did you read in high school and develop a soft spot for." hard to think of an extremely solid and accessible intro book...

1 Answer

0 votes
I agree with dot. Take some time searching through this site on topics that interest you. Though sometimes the answers and comments people give can be confusing, especially to folks newer to anarchism.

In my opinion these two zines recently put out by Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness are the best 'introductions' to anarchy:

Propaganda of the Dead: funny anecdotal introduction to how anarchists organize themselves

Life Without Law: I have some issues with this but I think you'll find it enlightening on the principles anarchists tend to embrace

Crimethinc has been putting out an amazing podcast called the Ex-Worker, which usually deals with a separate current within anarchism every podcast, check it out: . I would definitely recommend starting from podcast #16: Back to Black, and then starting from the beginning #1: Haymarket and the History of May Day onward.
by (4.0k points)
i really liked crimethinc's "fighting for our lives" from over 10 years ago. one of the best intro's i've ever seen (not that i've seen all that many), even if sometimes a bit shallow (eg, when they describe to people cooking dinner together as anarchy - if i remember correctly).
also the old "back to basics" series from the green anarchy collective, although that was focused, obviously, on green anarchy.
I never really read that until recently. I got into anarchism like this:

Dead Kennedys (one of the only punk bands i liked as a teenager) --->> Jello Biafra spoken word --->> Chomsky/Zinn --->> ZMag/red&black stuff ---->> insurrecto stuff --->> whatever I am now?

I've only in the last few years stopped disliking Crimethinc. So when I read the 'primer' recently it didn't do much for me, probably because I wasn't its intended audience (teenage punks).