The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  14 reviews
“The very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human.” With this succinct formulation, Murray Bookchin launches his most ambitious work, The Ecology of Freedom. An engaging and extremely readable book of breathtaking scope, its inspired synthesis of ecology, anthropology and political theory traces our conflicting legaci...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by AK Press (first published 1982)
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 The Ecology of Freedom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ecology of Freedom

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le GuinAnarchism and Other Essays by Emma GoldmanChomsky On Anarchism by Noam ChomskyV for Vendetta by Alan MooreHomage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Anarchist books
161st out of 196 books — 147 voters
Anarcho-Syndicalism by Rudolf RockerAnarchism and Its Aspirations by Cindy MilsteinThe Accumulation of Freedom by Deric ShannonChomsky On Anarchism by Noam ChomskyHow Nonviolence Protects the State by Peter Gelderloos
AK Press Books
14th out of 47 books — 12 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 567)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Javier
Besides Edward Said's Orientalism, The Ecology of Freedom is the most exciting and fascinating book I've read in a long time.

Bookchin here promotes his idea of social ecology and his vision of an ecological society (and world). He takes issue with so-called environmentalist movements, which, like the psychotherapist that Herbert Marcuse roundly criticizes, seek merely to have society adapt to the madness of extant structures rather than promote radical change, as social ecology advocates. He...more
Alex
Murray Bookchin (R.I.P., 2006) was one of the most important American theorists of the 20th century. He is most known for pioneering and promoting 'social ecology,' which holds that "the domination of nature by [hu:]man stems from the domination of human by human." In other words, the only way to resolve the ecological crisis is to create a free and democratic society.

The Ecology of Freedom is one of Bookchin's classic works, in which he not only outlines social ecology, but exposes hierarchy, "...more
Dylan
This was a challenge for me to complete, but I'm glad I did. In retrospect, it seems largely composed of long, detailed tangents strung together thematically as historical evidence for Bookchin's ideas about the history of civilization. That's what I mean when I say I found it difficult. In the same way, Mumford's Technics and Human Development became a bog of historical detail. That should probably be attributed more to my preferences than the authors' deficiencies, however.

Bookchin sees two cu...more
Benjamin J.
This book is IT. A modern classic. Bookchin answers so many questions, specifically, how did our society get to be the way it is.
James
I know everyone loves this book, but I've tried to read it several times now and I can't make it through because of the thick academic language. The chapters I've read though makes a good argument that a lot of how humans view nature comes from the cultures we come from, like in ants where people think of the Queen Ant as the ruler, when in fact ants act more communally and on instinct rather than through orders or anything like that (the queen produces the babies.)
Nicole
i really wanted to like this book. it has some interesting themes and a general ideology i'm down with. but it's actually way too long and the writing style is quite dense. a lot of the material seems somewhat tangential to the overall topic as well (there's a lot of religious history in this book). there are some good points made throughout this book, but i can't say i'd recommend reading it.
Chuck
This is the most comprehensive and developed attempt to theorize an anarchist perspective since Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. Although particular chapters or passages may seem dated or problemtic in various ways, its important to stay focused on Bookchin's overall project, which was deeply radical and utopian.

RIP, Murray.
Hafidha
Apr 30, 2009 Hafidha marked it as to-read
This book is not an easy read, but I'd like to get through some of the chapters, namely: the concept of social ecology, the emergence of hierarchy, epistemologies of rule, legacy of domination, two images of technology, and the ambiguities of freedom.
Peter
Ett av de få försöken att empiriskt, det vill säga med stöd av exempelvis etnografiskt material, beskriva statens uppkomst. Kanske inte helt lyckat, men en eloge för ambitionen!
Josh
It gives a perspective of humanity that is essential for our day to day understanding. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Thanks Murray.
Brandon
A powerful exploration of more than just social and political theory, but of the philosophies of nature, technology and consciousness as well.
Matthew
Two years after starting, I finally finished this! Geez...
Thomas
Bookchin is like the green Chomsky. Amazing book!
Graham
This sits much better with me than deep ecology.
Julian Patton
Julian Patton marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2014
John Deever
John Deever marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Leonardo
Leonardo marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Timmy
Timmy marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Nik Bramblett
Nik Bramblett is currently reading it
Sep 04, 2014
bopity bop
bopity bop marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Alex
Alex marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Carl-johan Enström
Carl-johan Enström marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Kythe
Kythe marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Pierre-André  Gagnon
Pierre-André Gagnon marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Tymotka Zołnierz
Tymotka Zołnierz marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Judy Minx
Judy Minx marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism
  • Mutual Aid
  • On Anarchism
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • Reflections on Violence
  • Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism (Counter-Power vol 1)
  • Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice
  • What Is Property?
  • Revolution of Everyday Life
  • Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
  • Myth of the Machine : Technics and Human Development
  • Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism
  • Red Emma Speaks
  • Chomsky On Anarchism
  • Parecon: Life After Capitalism
  • Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution (Updated Edition)
  • Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes
  • Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections
34299
Murray Bookchin was an American libertarian socialist author, orator, and philosopher. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin was the founder of the social ecology movement within anarchist, libertarian socialist and ecological thought. He was the author of two dozen books on politics, philosophy, history, and urban affairs as well as ecology. In the late 1990s he became disenchanted with the...more
More about Murray Bookchin...
Post-Scarcity Anarchism The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism Social Ecology and Communalism Anarchism, Marxism and the Future of the Left: Interviews and Essays, 1993-1998

Share This Book