Paul Avrich

Today is the first anniversary of the passing of the historian of anarchism Paul Avrich. He wrote numerous books about the history of anarchism in Russia and the United States, and combined careful scholarship with a personal emphasis on the people involved.

I met Avrich twice: at Bluestockings in summer 2003, and at the 2004 Modern School Reunion. In the former, he did a presentation about anarchist women, to match the bookstore's feminist theme -- but to make it more specific, he narrowed it down to those he had personally known, which turned out to be quite a lot! Also, I had on me a handwritten list of books about alternative education that were mentioned in Ron Miller's Free Schools, Free People, when I realized that Avrich's modern school book was included on the list! Both organizations paid tribute to Avrich in 2006 (the former memorial including Stanley Aronowitz as speaker).


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