Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!” as Want to Read:
Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  25 reviews
His major work, a vast study of the rise of totalitarian lifestyles and a profound affirmation of the struggle to reassert human values. One of the most significant and influential anarchic texts of the last few decades.
Paperback, 302 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Black & Red (first published 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le GuinAnarchism and Other Essays by Emma GoldmanOn Anarchism by Noam ChomskyV for Vendetta by Alan MooreHomage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Anarchist books
156th out of 223 books — 159 voters
Cybernetics by Norbert WienerApocalypse Culture by Adam ParfreyApocalypse Culture II by Adam ParfreyEsoteric Anatomy - Part One by Douglas M. BakerEccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions by John Michell
Apocalypse Culture
41st out of 99 books — 2 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 449)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bythedeed
I'd been told by a lot of close friends with good book tastes that I should definitely read this at some point, and had tried two or three times before but couldn't get past the first few pages (Perlman quotes yeats and blake and all these other poets, and try as I might throughout the years I've never really been able to understand most poetry). So I just skipped the first three pages worth of poems, and got into it pretty fast.

Perlman does get a little heavey into the-world-was-a-wonderful-uto
...more
Dylan
This is likely the only historical survey of western civilization that I'll ever read with genuine excitement and interest, and my most naive wish after reading it was that it could become a standard introductory text for students of world history.

It goes without saying that Perlman's essay is not "objective". In other words, it is no candidate for perpetuating the business of progress, which is the unspoken agenda of "objectivity". This account of His-Story is openly disparaging of the He's whi
...more
Jay
if you want to understand the "splinter in your mind"---this is the red pill.
Ryan Mishap
This anthropological/historical breakdown of Leviathan (power, control) is unique and amazing. Anarchist writing at its best.
wombat
It took me a year and a half but I finally finished Against His-Story!! Now I need to re-read it 3 times or so.
Ty
Holy hell. This is a fucking wild romp.
Lyle
The book unfolded for me in three distinct sections. First, the author examines concepts of wilderness, freedom, and existing in a "state of nature". He asserts definitions for these which gave me pause and made me examine my own notions about these concepts, and I arrived at different definitions than he did. So far so good; the best type of disagreement is the kind that prompts you to discover more about your own ideas. The book goes on to introduce the overriding metaphor which will frame the ...more
Shaun
Aug 11, 2011 Shaun added it
Most of the time I was reading this, I felt like I was just pulling myself through the text because I had told myself that I would finish it. By the time I did finish it, I didn't regret the time spent - but I put it down twice as I succumbed to the allure of books with more immediate intrigue (actually I put it down the first time almost nine years ago). Overall this was a haunting essay, but one that I at least appreciated for it's voice.

I've been trying to wrap my head around Perlman's text f
...more
Sarkastodon
Mar 04, 2008 Sarkastodon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: most intelligent people
Perlman retells history in terms of Hobbesian "leviathan," beginning in acient Sumer, going into serious detail about the various forms of assimilation of cultures into these Leviathans (e.g. nearly every ancient civilization you can think of, from the Hittites, Phoenecians, Assyrians, etc. through the Scythians, Romans, Arabs, etc.). Particular focus is on various outcast, maroon and pirate utopia societies which existed outside the domain of certain leviathans and governmental orders (e.g. the ...more
Chris
Arduous...satisfying. Dense, but textured and sensual...beautifully written, a vibrant panoptic account of civilization. Although centered in Eurasia, Perlman remembers to check in with how the east evolves. His heavily-researched story-line--which features constant demonstrations of historical counter-attacks to Leviathan,woven in with the mournful drama of gods, spirituality, art, and mythology--has creates a tangible story...one that has recalibrated my sense of where I stand in the history o ...more
Abby
So it's got no bibliography, and I can't say much for the layout. Get over it. This book was pretty rad. It's definately been awhile since I read it, so reviewing it is a tad hard. I don't think that necessarily any one person let alone group of peoples experiences can be compared, in fact I think that is a bit of a dangerous thing to do, but we can definately access similarities and patterns throughout. We can see the points at which this monster has accelerated and we can see the many and dive ...more
Steve Welzer
It's a mytho-poetic explication of what freedom is and is not. Life here in 1491 was free. Then Leviathan culture started to encroach.
Jeffrey Bumiller
My only problem with this book is that it contains no references. What's up with that? It's a difficult book, unless you are an expert on ancient civilizations, and more importantly, those who resisted against them.
Graham
Maybe I am not familiar enough with ancient civilizations to 'get' this book, but as far as i can tell, an argument against agriculture can be made in much less space. I found this to be poorly written and at times extremely dull. Anyone can go on and on about the problems that plague civilization and the modern world, but people who do it well do it with wit, something that this author seems incapable of. I never liked a guru and this guy is one of the worst.
Burkey
i enjoyed this book, kind of. i think the imagery and style of writing, writing a stylized history in the vein of oral traditions, is an interesting idea. it is at times extremely laborious, but does include a blake lithograph at the beginning of each chapter, which at least proves good taste. if you arent already interested with this whole anti-civ argument, this probably is not the place to start. if you are, you may want to add it to your list.
Artnoose Noose
I can see why a lot of people I know couldn't get through this book. There are a lot of references to ancient history, and if you for example don't remember from high school history who the Etruscan were, or why there were at one time two Popes, or where the Byzantium Empire was, you might get lost.

If you've tried to read this and haven't finished, try again.
Josh
The only history book you will ever need. A comprehensive look at the meaning behind human history as told by Leviathan's priests and prognosticators. Finally, an honest appraisal of the threads that bind this story together and connect its events.
Jason
Fucking splendid.
A long chronology of a 10,000 year string of failed civilizations up to our current Civilization which like all, flawed too, will ultimately be doomed like the rest. Read it!
Kerie
This was absolutely brilliant and amazing. It is by far the best history and critique of civilization I've read to date. If I could give this more stars I would.
Raleigh
This poetic critique of civilization is truly spectacular. I recommend this to anyone who wants to understand history from a birds-eye perspective.
Colin
this and "letters of insurgents" are my favorites by fredy.

incredible. it's a shame he has only four fuckin' "fans" on this site. shame.
Christina (Boupie)
Apr 14, 2009 Christina (Boupie) marked it as to-read
Published year I was born (the publish date above does not match the original publishing date)
Sean
The book and the theory espoused are interesting, but it is filled with historical inaccuracies.
Matt
Nov 04, 2009 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Absolutely one of my top 5 books of all time. This should be used as a supplement in high school or college-level world history courses, to give a different (often more accurate) interpretation of how the world developed. While I don't agree with every jot and tittle of Perlman's manifesto (particularly his Leviathanic interpretation of the Old Testament), he puts much of global his-storical development into a simple framework that allows the true reasons for it to "shine through" - that is, for ...more
Alan Twiddy
essential reading!
Sherry
Sherry marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
Nicholas
Nicholas marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
Ursulawink
Ursulawink marked it as to-read
Feb 18, 2015
E.Y.E.-D
E.Y.E.-D marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections
  • The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life
  • Myth of the Machine : Technics and Human Development
  • Letters of Insurgents
  • Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance
  • Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerrilla
  • How Nonviolence Protects the State
  • Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction
  • The Russian Anarchists
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • Society Against the State: Essays in Political Anthropology
  • Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
  • This is Not a Program
  • Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America
  • Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
146771
Fredy Perlman (August 20, 1934 – July 26, 1985) was an author and publisher. His most popular work, the book Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!, is a major source of inspiration for anti-civilisation perspectives in contemporary anarchism.

Childhood and youth

Perlman was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He emigrated with parents to Cochabamba, Bolivia in 1938 just ahead of the Nazi takeover. The Pe
...more
More about Fredy Perlman...
Reproduction of Daily Life The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism Worker-Student Action Committees: France, May '68 The Strait Anything Can Happen

Share This Book