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James Guillaume, Bakunin’s friend and comrade-in-arms, edited the last five volumes of the six-volume French edition of his collected works. Guillaume’s biographical sketch of Bakunin, originally appeared in his introduction to Volume II of that edition.
This sketch is a primary source not only on the life of Bakunin, but also on the most significant events in the socialist movement of that period. It incidentally contributes valuable background information for many of the other selections in the present volume. Guillaume, who did not limit himself to recording events but also took part in shaping them, had been inclined toward anarchism even before he met Bakunin in 1869. Earlier, he had been one of the founders of the First International in Switzerland, where it held its first congress, in Geneva, in 1866. He attended all its congresses, and eventually published a four-volume history of the International. Guillaume also wrote widely on libertarian theory and practice and edited a number of periodicals. His extensive writings on cultural subjects included substantial contributions to the theory of progressive education as represented particularly by the early-nineteenth-century Swiss educator Johann Pestalozzi.
Cover illustration by Agustín Comotto
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Based primarily on the works of Bakunin himself, and particularly on the French edition of his writings by James Guillaume, his ‘intimate friend and collaborator. Covering considerably more ground than his title implies this is an invigorating introduction to the life, ideas and philosophy of Bakunin and his relationship with Marx and Marxist ideas, as well as those of Hegel, Fichte, and Comte. An anarchist activist himself, Kenafick argues that Bakunin and Marx had much in common and offers a significant counter to E. H. Carr’s ‘psychohistory’ interpretation of the man. He explores the relationship between Bakunin, Marx and Proudhon; the 1848 Revolution and its aftermath; the League for Peace and Freedom, and the First International; the Basle Congress and its aftermath; the relationship with Nechaev; The Franco-German War and the ‘Knouto-Germanic Alliance’; The Paris Commune; Mazzini; Working Class organisation; Bakunin, Marx and Lenin; Bakunin and Anarchism; Bakunin’s last years; Bakunin’s philosophy and the Marxian dialectic; Bakunin, Comte and Marx.
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