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Letterpress Revolution : The Politics of Anarchist Print Culture - Kathy E. Ferguson

Letterpress Revolution

The Politics of Anarchist Print Culture

By: Kathy E. Ferguson

Paperback | 24 February 2023

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While the stock image of the anarchist as a masked bomber or brick thrower prevails in the public eye, a more representative figure should be a printer at a printing press. In Letterpress Revolution, Kathy E. Ferguson explores the importance of printers, whose materials galvanized anarchist movements across the United States and Great Britain from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. Ferguson shows how printers-whether working at presses in homes, offices, or community centers-arranged text, ink, images, graphic markers, and blank space within the architecture of the page. Printers' extensive correspondence with fellow anarchists and the radical ideas they published created dynamic and entangled networks that brought the decentralized anarchist movements together. Printers and presses did more than report on the movement; they were constitutive of it, and their vitality in anarchist communities helps explain anarchism's remarkable persistence in the face of continuous harassment, arrest, assault, deportation, and exile. By inquiring into the political, material, and aesthetic practices of anarchist print culture, Ferguson points to possible methods for cultivating contemporary political resistance.

Industry Reviews
"By focusing on letterpress Ferguson presents a novel way of looking at the history of Anarchism. Letterpress as a way of working generates an active hands-on ambition to build and embody new and creative ideas. . . . Ferguson's history promotes the message that meaningful radical development builds from face-to-face, hand-to-hand, cooperative endeavour." -- Peter Good * Kate Sharpley Library *
"Ferguson's half-century of involvement in radical politics and her painstaking research in anarchist collections (many of them ill organized) qualifies her to write this dense but compelling history. . . . Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty." -- T. S. Martin * Choice *
"In fluid prose, Ferguson offers a fresh historical look at the anarchist movement through a focus on lesser-known figures and their lesser-known labours, including printing and letter-writing." -- Layla Saleh * LSE Review of Books *

"Letterpress Revolution is essential reading. It is a result of exhaustive and detailed research that clarifies instead of obscures. ... It enriches anarchist history allowing us to appreciate the nuances and bravery of people as well as their complexities."

-- Barry Pateman * KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library *

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