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The Anarchist Cookbook, first published in 1970, is a book that contains instructions for the manufacture of explosives, rudimentary telecommunications phreaking devices as well as some dangerous, and in many places illegal, items; while some have merit, other 'recipes' have been shown to be flawed or dangerous or both. It was written by William Powell to protest the United States involvement in the Vietnam War.

Interest in the book continues, in 2009 the magazine Vice published a brief history of the book as well as excerpted recipes. The magazine's sister network, VBS.tv, also broadcast a documentary on the subject.

Relationship to anarchism

Advocates of anarchism dispute the association of the book with anarchist political philosophy. The anarchist collective CrimethInc., which published the book Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook in response, denounces the earlier book, saying it was "not composed or released by anarchists, not derived from anarchist practice, not intended to promote freedom and autonomy or challenge repressive power – and was barely a cookbook, as the recipes in it are notoriously unreliable."

Endorsement rescinded

Since writing the book, Powell has converted to Christianity and attempted to have the book removed from circulation in 2000. However, Powell noted that when the book was published, the copyright was taken out in the publisher's name, not his, and the current publisher has no desire to remove the book from print. Powell has since written many websites devoted to the book, explaining his desire to see it removed from circulation as he no longer advocates what he had written, saying:

"The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnammarker to fight in a war that I did not believe in."


References

  1. Amazon.com: The Anarchist Cookbook (C-066): William Powell: Books
  2. TECH-ARCHY- Beyond the Pages of the Anarchist Cookbook Vice. April 2009
  3. http://www.guardian.co.uk , September 2004, as quoted at http://www.crimethinc.com/books/rfd.html Retrieved on November 22 2007
  4. Blowing up "The Anarchist Cookbook" - Salon.com



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