The battles between Michael Bakunin and Karl Marx in the First International (aka the International Working Men's Association, 1864–1876) began a pattern of polemics and rancor between anarchists and Marxists that still exists today. Outlining the profound similarities between Bakunin and Marx in their early lives and careers as activists, Mark Leier suggests that the differences have often been exaggerated and have prevented activists from learning useful lessons about creating vibrant movements.
About the author
Born in Ladner, BC, Mark Leier worked at several jobs, including dishwasher, bridge tender, printer, construction labourer, truck driver, cook, and busker before going to university. He received his PhD from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is currently in the History Department at Simon Fraser University. In addition to Rebel Life, he is the author of Bakunin: The Creative Passion (1996); Red Flags and Red Tape: The Making of a Labour Bureaucracy (1995); Where the Fraser River Flows: The IWW in BC (1990); and with M.C. Warrior, The Light at the End of the Tunnel: A History of the Tunnel and Rockworkers Union (1992). A regular media commentator on labour, left, and Canadian history, his work has appeared in daily newspapers as well as academic journals.
“The life of Bakunin (1814–1876), the Russian architect of the anarchist movement, provides a surprisingly enjoyable introduction to the tumult of 19th-century radicalism.… Leier brings welcome consideration to the real merits of the movement.”
—Publishers Weekly on Bakunin: The Creative Passion
“The time for Bakunin—the real one, not the caricature—has come again, and Mark Leier has given us just the history that we need. Wonderfully written, scholarly but also packed with fascinating tales and fresh revelations, Bakunin: The Creative Passion is passion with purpose.”
“Unfailingly informative and frequently exciting, Leier's biography reintroduces a fascinating revolutionary, knowledge of whose ideas helps one place such recent phenomena as the World Trade Organization protests in meaningful historical context.”
—Booklist on Bakunin: The Creative Passion