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best books/essays on the paris commune?

+5 votes
its always referenced in anarchist critique. I want to know more details about it.

edited for tags
asked Sep 26, 2013 by anonymous
edited Jul 15, 2014 by dot

2 Answers

+4 votes
The Communards of Paris issued by Cornell University Press (probably out of print) is a collection of contemporary documents. The editor of that volume Stewart Edwards, also wrote a good study on his own, called (strangely enough) The Paris Commune of 1871.

http://libcom.org/history/1871-the-paris-commune
is sparse but has a decent anarchic overview.

http://anarchism.pageabode.com/anarcho/the-paris-commune-marxism-and-anarchism
is Iain McKay's stodgy (and lengthy) left-anarchist perspective, but he's always good for insults and digs at Marxists

Wikipedia might not be too bad either.
answered Sep 26, 2013 by lawrence (18,050 points)
no one is better at answering this kind of question than lawrence.
just sayin'.
How about Redblood Blackflag? lol
Ha Ha. Now that's my type of humor, ALC.
I'm fairly sure Redblood Blackflag is try to start a Murray Rothbard University somewhere. Getting their PhD in Ron Paul Studies.
+2 votes

This book -- THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL SPACE: RIMABUD AND THE PARIS COMMUNE -- is one of my all time favorite books. It contains really lovely readings of his poems in relation to the commune, as well as some good analyses of the spatial politics of barricades, busting through the walls of houses, etc. it's excellent scholarship on one of my personal favorite subjects.

Another book by Kristin Ross, called Communal Luxury, is all about the commune. I just got it from Ver$o (for 2 dollars and 40 cents) and so haven't read it yet, but I am sure it will be good.

also there's a really dull movie on the paris commune by peter watkins -- LA COMMUNE (PARIS, 1871). I fell asleep while watching this movie, and I LOVE boring movies. It is five hours long, but very informative.

Some others might be: the writing on the commune by Prosper Lissagaray (he was there). https://www.marxists.org/history/france/archive/lissagaray/

as well as, the terrible Parnassian poet, (mentioned a fair amt in the Kristin Ross book) Catulle Mendes, wrote something called Les 73 Journees de la Commune.

Some of Auguste Blanqui's (president of the commune in absentia-- a kind of insane non-marxist socialist) writing, for example <<Esquisse de la marche à suivre dans une prise d’arme à Paris>>  This might seem like a weird suggestion since it was written before the commune and is not a history of the commune, is very interesting context regarding the tactics that he believed would be involved.

One of Karl Marx's finest pieces of writing is "The Civil War in France" -- it's also very short and definitely worth reading.

answered May 26, 2015 by asker (9,280 points)
edited Jun 19, 2015 by asker
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