AK Press

AK Press is a worker-managed, independent publisher and book distributor that specialises in radical left and anarchist literature. Operated out of Chico, California, the company is collectively owned.

AK Press
AK Press
FounderRamsey Kanaan
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationChico, California
DistributionConsortium Book Sales & Distribution (US)[1]
Turnaround Publisher Services (UK)[2]
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsradical left and anarchist literature
Official websitewww.akpress.org


AK was founded in Stirling, Scotland by Ramsey Kanaan in 1987 as a small mail order outlet, named after his mother Ann Kanaan.[3] The project soon expanded, venturing into independent book publishing, and AK Press also now has a branch in Oakland, California. Kanaan and several other members of AK Press left in 2007 to form a new radical publishing company PM Press.[4] AK Press is organised as a workers' co-operative; the Press is owned by all members of the collective and works without bosses, with every member partaking in each function of the organisation.[5] It operates online through akpress.org[6] in the United States, and through akuk.com in Europe.[7] In the US, it manages a "Bookmobile" (which is not a physical automobile, but "an announcement, an opportunity") that sells books at various gatherings around the country (to protests, activist conferences, etc.).[8] In the United Kingdom, AK Press manages stalls at similar events. Works published by AK Press include reprints of radical classics as well as original works; its book topics include anarchism,[9] globalisation,[10] and animal rights,[11] and are often difficult to find through mainstream outlets.[5]

AK Press has released spoken word albums by figures such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Jello Biafra, Arundhati Roy and Mumia Abu-Jamal and music by artists including David Rovics and Utah Phillips.[12]

The business also sells clothing, buttons, stickers, and various "anarchist props" like an upside down map of the world and the red and black flag of anarcho-communism.

See also


  1. ^ "Consortium Book Sales & Distribution | Our Publishers". Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Publishers Representatives | Publishers Distributors". Turnaround Publisher Services. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. ^ Kanaan, Ramsey. "Part 1: What's Wrong With the American Anarchist Movement?". Melbourne Indymedia. Archived from the original on 27 April 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  4. ^ Carroll, Tobias (26 August 2008). "I've Got a Name: Music, Radical Politics, and AK Press". yourbestguess.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "About – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Home page – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the AKUK Website – AKUK the European home of AK Press and Distribution". akuk.com. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Anarchsim – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Animal Rights – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Animal Rights – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Audio – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

Further reading

  • Biel, Joe (2012). "AK Press". Beyond the Music: How Punks Are Saving the World with DIY Ethics, Skills, and Values. Portland, Oregon: Cantankerous Titles. pp. 129–133. ISBN 978-1-62106-472-5. OCLC 793573868.
  • Shaw, Megan. Interview with Craig Gilmore, Ramsey Kanaan, and Craig O'Hara of AK Press. Punk Planet March/April 2000, 59.
  • Swan, Rachel. "Beyond Anarchy at PM Press". East Bay Express. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

External links

1936, The Spanish Revolution

1936, The Spanish Revolution is an album of songs and archival photographs related to the Spanish Civil War, recorded and assembled by Dutch anarchist punk band The Ex. The band released it in 1986, the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution, on their own label as a square 7" (17.5cm) soft-cover book with two 45 rpm records. A 5" (12.5cm) hardcover edition was republished by AK press in 1997, replacing the records with a pair of 3" CDs.

Addicted to War

Addicted to War: Why The US Can't Kick Militarism, is a 77 letter-sized page "illustrated exposé" by Joel Andreas published by Frank Dorrel with AK Press in 2002 (ISBN 1-904859-02-X). Originally published in 1991, the book was out of print until Dorrel convinced Andreas to create an updated, post-9/11 version.

The book tells the history of U.S. foreign wars — from the Indian Wars to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — in a comic book format. Including 161 reference notes, the book aims to demonstrate why the U.S. has been involved in more wars in recent years than any other country, and to explain who benefits from these military adventures, who pays and who dies.

Albert Meltzer

Albert Isidore Meltzer (7 January 1920 – 7 May 1996) was an English anarcho-communist activist and writer.

Anarcho-Syndicalism (book)

Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice. An Introduction to a Subject Which the Spanish War Has Brought into Overwhelming Prominence is a book written by the German anarchist Rudolf Rocker. Its first edition (158 pages) was published by Secker and Warburg, London in 1938 and was translated from Ray E. Chase. Rocker penned this political and philosophical work in 1937, at the behest of Emma Goldman, as an introduction to the ideals fueling the Spanish social revolution and resistance to capitalism and fascism the world over. Within, Rocker offers an introduction to anarchist ideas, a history of the international workers' movement, and an outline of the syndicalist strategies and tactics embraced at the time (direct action, sabotage and the general strike). The Pluto Press and the newest AK Press editions including a lengthy introduction by Nicolas Walter and a preface by Noam Chomsky.


Autonomism (also authonomous Marxism or autonomist Marxism) is a set of anti-authoritarian left-wing political and social movements and theories. As a theoretical system, it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist (operaismo) communism. Later, post-Marxist and anarchist tendencies became significant after influence from the Situationists, the failure of Italian far-left movements in the 1970s, and the emergence of a number of important theorists including Antonio Negri, who had contributed to the 1969 founding of Potere Operaio, as well as Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and Franco "Bifo" Berardi.

Georgy Katsiaficas summarizes the forms of autonomous movements saying that "In contrast to the centralized decisions and hierarchical authority structures of modern institutions, autonomous social movements involve people directly in decisions affecting their everyday lives. They seek to expand democracy and to help individuals break free of political structures and behavior patterns imposed from the outside." As such this has involved a call for the independence of social movements from political parties in a revolutionary perspective which seeks to create a practical political alternative to both authoritarian socialism and contemporary representative democracy.Autonomism influenced the German and Dutch Autonomen, the worldwide social centre movement, and today is influential in Italy, France, and to a lesser extent the English-speaking countries. Those who describe themselves as autonomists now vary from Marxists to anarchists.

Brian MacKenzie Infoshop

The Brian MacKenzie Infoshop, named for an American University student active in the radical community who died of a heart condition in 1999, was a radical book and record shop located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. It served as a bookstore, as well as a community center, hangout, and meeting place for area radicals. The infoshop was entirely volunteer run and brought together works from various anarchist collectives such as AK Press, The Beehive Collective and CrimethInc. Events such as vegan barbecues and book swaps were also hosted frequently.

The Brian MacKenzie Infoshop collective was first established in 1999. The Infoshop opened its doors in May 2003, and closed at the end of December 2008.

Chuck W. Morse

Chuck W. Morse (born 1969) is an American anarchist, academic, translator, editor, and writer. He founded the Institute for Anarchist Studies and The New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian Review of Books. Morse was the editor of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory and taught at the Institute for Social Ecology.

In 2006, Morse completed a translation of the classic biography of the revolutionary Buenaventura Durruti by Abel Paz, titled Durruti in the Spanish Revolution, published by AK Press. In 2007, he published "Being a Bookchinite", a controversial account of the years he spent working with American anarchist, Murray Bookchin. In 2010, he completed a translation of Juan Suriano's Paradoxes of Utopia: Anarchist Culture and Politics in Buenos Aires, 1890–1910, also published by AK Press. He has published widely in leftwing journals and blogs.

Free Territory

The Free Territory (Ukrainian: Вільна територія vilna terytoriya; Russian: Вольная территория volnaya territoriya) or Makhnovia (Махновщина Makhnovshchyna) resulted from an attempt to form a stateless anarchist society during the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917 to 1921. It existed from 1918 to 1921, during which time "free soviets" and libertarian communes operated under the protection of Nestor Makhno's Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army. The area had a population of around seven million.The Territory was established with the capture of Huliaipole by Makhno's forces on 27 November 1918. An Insurrectionary Staff was set up in the city, becoming the Territory's de facto capital. Russian forces of the White movement under Anton Denikin occupied part of the Territory and formed a temporary government of Southern Russia in March 1920, resulting in the de facto capital being momentarily moved to Katerynoslav (modern-day Dnipro). In late March 1920 Denikin's forces retreated from the area, being driven out by the Red Army in cooperation with Makhno's forces, whose units conducted guerrilla warfare behind Denikin's lines. The Territory was disestablished on 28 August 1921 when a badly-wounded Makhno and 77 of his men escaped through Romania after several high-ranking officials were executed by Bolshevik forces. Remnants of the Black Army would continue to fight until late 1922.

As the Free Territory self-organized along anarchist principles, references to "control" and "government" are highly contentious. For example, the Makhnovists, often cited as a form of government (with Nestor Makhno as their "leader"), played a purely military role, with Makhno himself functioning as little more than a military strategist and advisor.

Glossary of anarchism

The following is a list of terms specific to anarchists. Anarchism is a political and social movement which advocates voluntary association in opposition to authoritarianism and hierarchy.

Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union

The Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU) was a trade union and mass based popular political movement in southern Africa. It was influenced by the syndicalist politics of the Industrial Workers of the World (adopting the IWW Preamble in 1925), as well as by Garveyism, Christianity, communism and liberalism.

Institute for Anarchist Studies

The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) is a non-profit organization founded by Chuck W. Morse in 1996, following the anarchist-communist school of thought, to assist anarchist writers and further develop the theoretical aspects of the anarchist movement. It has given grants to over 40 writers, including to Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Murray Bookchin and Saul Newman.

Projects the institute has assisted in the past include the Latin American Archives Project, a multilingual online database of works by Latin American anarchists, and the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conferences, which were open talks and discussions on aspects of the anarchist movement.

Current projects include the Anarchist Interventions book series, developed in collaboration with AK Press; the Lexicon pamphlet series, developed as definitional starting points for key terminology used in movement building and organizing; the Mutual Aid Speakers Bureau, which books anarchist thinkers for speaking events; Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the house journal of the IAS; and the ongoing grant program.

James Kelman

James Kelman (born 9 June 1946) is a Scottish novelist, short story writer, playwright and essayist. His novel A Disaffection was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 1989. Kelman won the 1994 Booker Prize with How Late It Was, How Late. In 1998 Kelman was awarded the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. His 2008 novel Kieron Smith, Boy won both of Scotland's principal literary awards: the Saltire Society's Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year.

Left anarchism

The terms left anarchism and left-wing anarchism distinguish collectivist anarchism from laissez-faire anarchism and right-libertarian philosophies.Left anarchists refer to philosophies which posit a future society in which private property is replaced by reciprocity and non-hierarchical society.The term "left anarchism" is sometimes used synonymously with libertarian socialism, left-libertarianism or social anarchism. More traditional anarchists typically discourage the concept of "left-wing" theories of anarchism on grounds of redundancy and that it lends legitimacy to the notion that anarchism is compatible with capitalism or nationalism.Ulrike Heider, a syndicalist, categorized anarchism into left anarchism, right anarchism (anarcho-capitalism) and green anarchism.

On the Justice of Roosting Chickens

On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality is a 2003 book written by Ward Churchill and published by AK Press. The "Roosting Chickens" of the title comes from a 1963 Malcolm X speech about the John F. Kennedy assassination, which the rights activist called "merely a case of 'chickens coming home to roost.'"Churchill used the term "Roosting Chickens" in a short essay, "'Some People Push Back': On the Justice of Roosting Chickens", first published on September 12, 2001. In that article, Churchill claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States were "acts of war" by the "Islamic East" in defense against the "crusades" waged by the "Christian West" (e.g., Arab–Israeli conflict and The First Gulf War) throughout the late 20th century.

PM Press

PM Press is an independent publisher that specializes in radical, Marxist and anarchist literature, as well as crime fiction, graphic novels, music CDs, and political documentaries. It has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and West Virginia.

Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism

Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm is a polemical essay by Murray Bookchin published as a book in 1995. It is a critique of deep ecology, bio-centrism and lifestyle anarchism. Bookchin sets his social anarchism in opposition to individualist, primitivist and post-modern forms of anarchism (represented, he maintains, by such anarchist philosophers as John Zerzan and Hakim Bey).

The Modern School Movement (book)

The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States is a history book about Ferrer Schools by Paul Avrich.

The Politics of Anti-Semitism

The Politics of Anti-Semitism is a book edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press in 2003.

Contributors include former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, British foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, former senior CIA analysts Bill and Kathy Christison, professor of philosophy Michael Neumann, Capitol Hill staffer George Sutherland, assistant professor of political science and author Norman Finkelstein, Israeli Uri Avnery, Shaheed Alam and Israeli journalists Neve Gordon and Yigal Bronner as well as Will Yeoman, Kurt Nimmo and Anne Pettifer. The editors Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair allege "false accusations of antisemitism are used to silence Israel's critics", and write about the USS Liberty incident.

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