Recovering Bookchin holds social ecologist Murray Bookchin's ideas and legacy alive.
Starting in the early 1960s, Murray Bookchin (1921–2006) shaped a political and ethical response to the emerging ecological crisis, which he called "social ecology." As Bookchin continued to publish and inspire the green movements of the 1980s and 1990s, he found himself embroiled in debates that increasingly had less to do with his ideas and became a pastime for detractors who devised a crude caricature of him as a hopeless sectarian. In Recovering Bookchin, Andy Price dives into these debates and walks readers through the coherent and consistent program of social ecology laid out by Bookchin. This engaging intellectual biography will inspire readers in our age of government and corporate inaction as new feminist, anticapitalist, and people-centered ecological movements are built.
1 • The Genesis of the Bookchin Caricature
2 • The Ecology of Bookchin
3 • Reassessing Bookchin’s Philosophy of Nature
4 • On Hierarchy and Domination
5 • Reassessing Bookchin’s Social History
6 • From Anarchism to Communalism
7 • Reassessing Bookchin’s Political Project
“Andy Price has produced a majestic work. In addressing Bookchin’s critics, Price has brilliantly rendered Bookchin’s incisive critiques of deep ecology and certain trends in anarchism, drawing powerful lessons for why his thought matters at a time of growing ecological crisis. An essential companion to the writings of Bookchin himself, this is the single most important volume written on him to date.” —Debbie Bookchin, journalist, editor, author, and daughter of Murray Bookchin
“For too long Murray Bookchin’s contributions to political theory have remained ignored and marginalized in academic circles. Andy Price’s book provides a much-needed corrective to this most unfortunate tendency. Price provides a very sophisticated account of the many strengths, as well as weaknesses, of Bookchin’s body of work. Indeed, Price’s critical perspective on Bookchin will undoubtedly help introduce the important debates within and around the paradigm of social ecology to a broader audience. To this extent, Price’s account could hardly be more timely. For if Bookchin’s diagnosis that the alternatives we face today are social ecology or catastrophe seems increasingly probable to more and more people, Price’s close and sharp analysis of the theoretical bases of social ecology is bound to help us navigate this perilous terrain.” —Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer of Political Sociology, Fellow of Darwin College, The University of Cambridge
"A trenchant and much-needed reassessment of this singular and all too often misrepresented anarcho-green theorist, and of his contribution to social theory. Price indeed 'recovers' Bookchin; he does so with admirable verve and analytical rigor, cutting through the myriad distortions surrounding him and providing us with a new framework for understanding social ecology today."
—Chris Ealham, author of Anarchism and the City and Living Anarchism
"This is a work of 'recovery' in the best sense, a lucid, sympathetic yet critical account of Bookchin, demonstrating his continuing relevance in the face of ecological catastrophe. Andy Price's insightful treatment goes beyond the polemics surrounding Bookchin to illustrate the richness and depth of his ecological philosophy, which should do much to revive interest in this bold thinker."
—Jules Townshend, Professor Emeritus, Manchester Metropolitan University