Try Anarchism for Life revolves around a thought experiment: What are some of the many beautiful dimensions of anarchism? In reply, it blends gorgeous circle A drawings by twenty-six artists with Milstein’s words, forming picture-prose that are at once inviting and playful, poignant and dreamy. The pieces encourage us to notice and expand on liberatory practices, especially in a time when so much feels impossible. In depicting how anarchism gifts us lives worth living, this book warms ailing hearts and offers tender succor.
Praise for Try Anarchism for Life
Try Anarchism for Life is part manifesto, part prayer, part devotional—a rousing collection of vignettes and micro essays that inspire and incite. Read it to be warmed, guided, and changed. Accompanied by a wildly diverse set of illustrations of the anarchist logo, each essay offers a thoughtful meditation on how to do and think about anarchism in our world today. Full of love for the possibilities of the world to come. Try Anarchism for Life is a refreshing and necessary addition to the repertoire of anarchist literature.
—Rivers Solomon, author of An Unkindness of Ghosts
Try Anarchism for Life puts beauty back at the heart of the “beautiful idea.” It is a gentle, warm reminder of the dreams that anarchism inspires and sustains. Utopian in the best sense of the word, it radiates hope and confidence, opens new vistas on familiar ideas, and affirms the value of mutual aid, solidarity, and creative collective endeavors.
—Ruth Kinna, author of The Government of No One
Try Anarchism for Life is both a beautiful homage to the countless fragments of ephemeral resistance that constitute everyday antiauthoritarianism and a principled call to commit to stitching together those fragments of daily autonomy-making into flourishing lives of resistance. Paired with unique renditions of the classic circle A, Milstein’s poetic phrases endow age-old concepts like mutual aid and solidarity with renewed vitality and urgency.
—Mark Bray, author of Translating Anarchy
Cindy Milstein teams up with some of the best and most active current anarchist artists to give us this collection of artful circle As, each accompanied by a textual meditation on anarchism and struggle that ranges from beautiful to cute to didactic to inspiring, and always with a core of wisdom. Milstein has a special touch.
—Peter Gelderloos, author of The Solutions Are Already Here
Freedom struggles produce care, love, art. These things in turn demand courage, transformation, consciousness, ideals, dreams. Above all, struggle. Struggle gives birth to autonomy. And autonomy enables life. This book affectionately defends these things, and all the other things that state, capitalism, and patriarchy systematically steal from individuals, communities, and society. It invites people to see the world of anarchism as an ethical, beautiful way of living. Anarchism not as a rigid, static identity or form. Rather, anarchisting as a quest for creativity against dogma, solidarity against hierarchy, justice against power. A beautiful piece of work, a companion for the many collective journeys for meaning and liberation beyond borders.
—Dilar Dirik, author of The Kurdish Women’s Movement: History, Theory, Practice
What a beautiful and playful collection of anarchist ruminations, like an imaginative picture book for adults (but not in the grown-up sense)! It’s a joyful contribution to anarchist literature as well as to Milstein’s own writing. You can read this poetic book in any order—an alphabet that goes from big A to little a and beyond—which makes it a perfect book to pick up to stimulate creativity and meditation. But after reading the whole thing, one gets the sense of the fullness of a life devoted to anarchism; that is, the mutual care and love for each other and the world that raises the stakes for freedom from domination. As we Jews says, “To life!”—that is, to a life worth living!
—Scott Branson, author of Practical Anarchism: A Guide for Daily Life
Cindy Barukh Milstein, a longtime anarchist organizer and maker of do-it-ourselves spaces, is author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations, coauthor of Paths toward Utopia, and editor of anthologies such as Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief and Deciding for Ourselves: The Promise of Direct Democracy.
- Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness (11/16/22)