The three years covered by this anthology represent the only time in Mikhail Bakunin’s life when he was able to concentrate on his work and sustain a consistent output of speeches and writings. Only one of these texts has appeared before in an unabridged English translation. All dating from the period of Bakunin’s propaganda on behalf of the First International, they thus belong to a period central to Bakunin’s anarchism and mark the height of his influence during his lifetime.
Robert M. Cutler’s introduction traces the development of selected themes in Bakunin’s pre-anarchist thought–beginning with his acquaintanceship with German idealist philosophy– through his anarchist period. In this way it reconstructs Bakunin’s concept of the role of the International in the revolutionary movement and provides a new interpretation of his theory and practice of revolutionary organization. The chronology and annotated bibliography make this collection an ideal introduction to Bakunin and a useful reference work for specialists.