Steve Izma
Cazzarola! [don’t say it in polite Italian company!] traces generations of resistance to fascism and bourgeois society in Italy

a review of

Cazzarola!: Anarchy, Romani, Love, Italy (A Novel) by Norman Nawrocki. PM Press, 2013, 300pp pmpress.org

Italian and Spanish anarchism have long inspired anti-authoritarian movements in the Americas.

Anarchists fleeing fascist governments in Mussolini’s Italy and Franco’s Spain during the 1920s and 30s sped up a process already underway through normal emigration to not just Spanish speaking countries in the West, but to Canada and the United States as well.

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Steve Izma
Foreign Anarchists as Boogyman Monsters Under the Bed

a review of

Transnational Radicals: Italian Anarchists in Canada and the U.S., 1915–1940 by Travis Tomchuk. University of Manitoba Press, 2015, 260 pp.

An illustration early in Travis Tomchuk’s Transnational Radicals demonstrates the popular press’s view of anarchists immediately following the 1886 Haymarket Square Police Riot in Chicago: Johann Most, a radical anarchist, is presented by Harper’s Weekly as a maniacal figure waving a sword and a flag, threatening the reader with “Socialistic War,” while several other well-armed anarchists dive under beds in fear.

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Steve Izma
Tramp Printers Freedom within wage work

a review of

The Tramp Printers: Forgotten Trails of the Travelling Typographers by Charles Overbeck. Eberhart Press, 2017

This handsomely and mostly hand-produced book is a tribute to the craft of printing and of historical insight, both of which verge on extinction in the modern world.

Tramp printers, like journeymen in a guild, learned skills as apprentices and then took to the road. Travel and work under different conditions and with a variety of other craftspeople enhanced their skills, but also meant the freedom to leave a workplace whenever they got tired of it.

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Steve Izma
Explaining Anarchism to a Parent Can Be Tough! Review

a review of

Anarchy Explained to My Father by Francis Dupuis-Deri and Thomas Deri; Translated from the French by John Gilmore. New Star Books, Vancouver, 2017

Any set of ideas whose name defines it in terms of negativity has a lot of explaining to do when it speaks about the future. Proponents of anarchism—in plain English, “against authority”—tend to be adamantly against formulae or against determinism and quite legitimately refuse to describe the perfect, future anarchist society. Nonetheless, anarchism’s critique of oppression leads logically to a set of ideas that explicitly lay down principles for moving forward.

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