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Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink for Beginners
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Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink for Beginners

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,534 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Beautifully designed A-Z of the totality of revolutionary youth politics. Sort of a Situ-inspired Steal This Book for everyday life, love, and how to live it. Heavily illustrated with photos, cartoons, posters, and other useful accoutrements for the new millenium. Believe the hype, and check out why this is already an underground bestseller.
Paperback, 281 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Crimethinc (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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i havent read it in a while, its funny to me, the folks who foam at the mouth, hating on the crimethinc. kids, and the fan club who take this book as gospel. the funniest thing about the whole thing is that i doubt the authors even give this book the creedence that either of those groups do. i gave 5 stars for what this book was for me years ago, its supposed to be over the top. they forget that this is art. this is poetry. this is supposed to be extreme, it is suposed to oppose the status quo, ...more
Nov 09, 2007 Five rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: use for t.p.
Shelves: read-parts
oh god. is there negative stars? i wish. these are the same people who made a map of portland dumpsters and soon every secret riche was stealing food out of the mouths of homeless people who relied on those dumpsters for survival instead of credibility. i watched people starve as a social worker downtown. i HATE this book and this collective. it's underdeveloped, life-stylist, thinly-veiled individualism of the most destructive kind. i cannot say enough bad things about it.
I hate this book. Sure it's easy and fun to be homeless and eat out of dumpsters when you always have your mom to fall back on, visit, and store your hardcore records for you. fuck you crimethink.
Cary Aurand
Sep 30, 2007 Cary Aurand rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
you have to read this book like you're reading nietzsche, for it follows that same aphoristic tradition. they purposely goad you and say things that are over the top in order to get you to question what they're saying. nietzsche didn't literally intend for you to tie women to wagons and whip them. this book is beautiful and poetic and ironic and inspiring. but you can't just read it as a bible for anarchists. it demands that you engage it at every turn, not just read it. like nietzsche said, "an ...more
The first time I read this book was years and years ago. It passed me in the library and I was curious to see how I might think of it now. Far less now than before.

First, I will say that I like the book for it's sense of purpose and it's energy. The authors, by all means, seem very serious about practical (well, so to speak) changes both personal and beyond.

However, this is truly a very hypocritical book. Morals, they say, don't exist and individuals should create their own ethical systems (prov
In the Spring of 2001, all the college age anarchists acted like this was THE book that was going to herald anarchism into the 21st Century. By the time I got around to reading it- about 6 months later- all of those same anarchists HATED it!
It thought it was cute. I mean, I thought it was juvenile in that it was written as though it was intended to show high school kids that there were better ways to rebel against society than to emulate Marilyn Manson.
It is ironic that many of the people th
Say what you will about this book but some years ago, after I finished it at 3 AM, it made me bicycle for 7 hours, deep into the high-end suburbs of Atlanta, to the "order more copies" address on the back where I was invited in to have an awkward conversation with the anonymous author's mother: It is urgent and contagious and charismatic. It is grandiose. Yes. It is smart, and maybe too easy and too harsh, yes, maybe a little narrow, but it is raging and it exults in the inevitability of hypocri ...more
Nat Smith
borrow your mother's suv to go shoplifting, and/or use your cellphone as an excuse if you get caught walking out the door! umm, so anarchism is only accessible for those who afford it? dumpster diving is hott, steal food from folks who have been "dumpster diving" before it was a term, before it was in and a great lifestyle choice!
I'm confused...
Crimethinc isn't crimethinc without classism, racism and exploitation.
Let me also clarify that this review refers to Days of War AND Recipes for Disaster
Josephine Mcculley
This book, will ruin your life. Seriously. Did Fight Club or 1984 get under your skin, make you feel longing or rebelious? This book, will push you over. It will make you uncomfortable. It will make you question your direction, your motives, your purpose, & your happiness. And, with any luck, you'll argue with this book. Don't just take what it says as gospel. Take what you want from it, what you need. Take some parts seriously & take others as a joke. Take the ideas in it as far as you ...more
I gave this five stars even though I think it could only get three in reality. There are five of 'em up there because I think that it's good that someone put all of these articles in one spot for the kids. I'm glad that the resource is available. But at the same time, I hope the kids go out and find the full-length texts that much of this book came from. Despite having already read and/or owned most of what's in the book, I bought it anyway because the pleasing format reminded me a lot of McLuha ...more
Agreed with most of the criticisms of this book presented here, boiling down to the idea that voluntary temporary homelessness as fulfilling rebellion is only realistic for suburban white boys, and otherwise immensely politically problematic.

5 stars, regardless, because when I was 17, this book did more to my life than any other book ever. Explosion after explosion in my head put everything I took for granted into question, made me ask questions about capitalism, work, relationships, beauty stan
A lot of people I respect are baggin' on this, but I think at the time this was important for me to read. If you're not really used to thinking about radical alternatives to our way of life, then this is kind of a kick in the face of your previously held normative beliefs. When they have a chapter telling you to forget about history, that it doesn't help anything, or that watching a movie is a bourgeois distraction, it at least makes you consider those things as possibilities, even if they turn ...more
Read this book as hyperbole. While reading, try not to think about rich kids trying to slum it in dumpsters. Ignore the crimethinc haters. Form your own opinion.
Tom Darrow
This book is crazy, extreme, idealist and off the wall. It proposes ideas like eating food out of grocery store dumpsters rather than buying food and, therefore, buying into "the system". Another good one is taking a receipt for a CD out of a trash can outside of a record store, going in, finding that CD and "returning it" for money.

No sane person could ever expect to take these anarchist ideas seriously. There are two reasons I rate the book so highly, however,... 1) it's not written like any o
Homelessness and dumpster-diving as a movement, served up from the upper-class. Those who have a rich family to fall back on. This book claims that: "if you're not having fun being homeless, you're not doing it right." That attitude pervades in this book, and leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

To be fair, this book, and it's predecessor which was a zine, make a lot of valid and interesting points. However, the reality of the glorification of living outside of society leaves one very important s
Marcus K
I had mixed feelings about this book. I agree that crimethinc operates with little to no class analysis, and their political view in general is fairly short sighted. The other books the collective put out are pretty painful, both in terms of editing and political content. This one, however, is pretty damn inspirational. Its written in a way thats accessible to their target audience (which, I assume, is young punk rockers who need political direction). It presents an easy to read situationist per ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Sam added it
I don't really know how to rate this...I didn't hate it like I hated Evasion, but it kind of serves as a reminder of how even when I was into the whole "anarchist" thing I didn't quite buy into it. I guess I just thought wheatpasting and dumpsters were fun and all that, but pretty worthless, and for all their groundbreaking beliefs that's all Crimethinc. kids seem to do. And everyone has grown out of it by now like I knew they would. Maybe it was a necessary phase, but the whole thought kind of ...more
To say I "read" this is a misnomer: I listened to the version that was recorded by whoever is behind "Audio Anarchy," a podcast I stumbled upon while poking around iTunes. To that end, it was a fairly enjoyable experience--nice to have on in your headphones while you work.

CrimethInc seems to be a polarizing group. I'm not active enough in radical political circles these days to know if they're "in" or "out" right now, or if some readers/listeners have a "love/hate" relationship with their messag
Refulgent Pulchritude
I would have forgiven this book if it's sections on Love, and Gender had been longer. Those were very important to see what they had to say and frankly they were soooo short in comparison to the other chapters like "War", that it just turned me off. Also, like it's been said before--no real answers in this book. Then again I am biased cause I just have problems with Anarchy in general--well Anarchists really, but anyway...
Anarchism is important. This book is not. This book seems to only be for people whose families can afford for their anarchist kid who refuses to work, which applies to very few of us who are profoundly affected (negatively) by capitalism. If you are new to anarchism, look elsewhere for an introduction, this book has unrealistic views about how to go about it, and seems to erase class issues as anything but self-inflicted.
Read this book immediately after quitting my job as a teacher in the NYC public school system. As if the universe heard me cry out for an alternate way of seeing the world than as a vast slave-labor camp, and of life as anything else than dead time, this book found me and helped me find a different path. Related reading: The Revolution of Everyday Life.
Josh Fish
An anti-capitalist manifesto with an argument riddled with contradictions and false narratives but mostly overly simplified. Still, this book repeats the point over and over that it is best to live in a society where we all put each other ahead of anything else. And that is a place I want to live.
May 31, 2014 Joonas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joonas by: Ella
Shelves: philosophy
I never considered myself an anarchist and don't feel the need to do so now either, but the core of this book really made sense for me. I know nothing about it and my image of it has been the perhaps common one of being against everything for the sake of being against. This is why I got more and more shaken when going through this book of defining about everything and realizing that it matches my own values very very often. Finding the activities that give you pleasure and actually doing them, s ...more
some great, uplifting, 'fuck-the-man' essays. self help for baby anarchists.
Ran Prieur
You have to keep in mind that this is motivational writing, and if you're the target audience, it's just about the best motivational writing you'll ever see. But it should not be taken too seriously as advice.

And my response to the people who complain that the actions in this book are only available to relatively affluent white people: Not only is it okay to use race and class advantages to live on the fringes of society -- ideally that's what ALL race and class advantages would be used for.
Much has been said and dismissed of Days of War, Nights of Love since it was released ten years ago, so I'll mostly stick with the positive stuff that can easily be gleaned from this book if one reads it with an open mind. The layout of the book is very much adopted from the traditional cut and paste style that should put you in the mood for what you're about to read because it's purposefully done like an independent zine (lots of illustration/art/quotes/that sort of thing). It's not the kind of ...more
Michael Brady
I feel their pain but I cannot commit to joining them where they are. This very special and challenging book was a gift from my dear friend David, whose life much more closely adheres to the philosophy championed in this earnest volume. "Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink For Beginners" by CrimethInc is like reading about a different species; an uncannily familiar species we might admire despite its awkward alien-ness. Its angry anarchic, rejectionist, contrarian prose exhorts us to an garb ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Whitney rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers, dreamers, those who wish to give of themselves freely and abundantly
It's difficult to imagine the ideal world this book presents, but then it's hard to imagine any ideal. When we decide to take reality head on, however, I think it's hard not to agree that life could be something better than what it is. I feel as if by being born, I woke up and everybody is playing Monopoly. That is only a fun game when you're winning though. I don't want to be playing Monopoly, I want to be playing a game that everyone can enjoy.

The problem is that there are some people who are
Days of War, Nights of Love is easy to make fun of, if you're smug / if you've read a few books more on the side. But it does say "For Beginners" on the cover.

In response to all the reviews complaining about the book's bad influence: I think people should be blamed for what they do - not a book. Throughout the text it seemed pretty obvious that it calls for self-critique, not for being a self-important idiot because of some romanticized idea of "revolutionary" living. You wanna start burning dan
Dec 30, 2009 A rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: baby anarchists and middle class white kids who feel like "slumming it"
Shelves: 2009
I give this 2 stars for spirit. A lot of my problems with the substance of the arguments are related to my reservations about anarchism in general, and then my reservations about Crimethinc's particular brand of anarchism. I definitely relate to the sense of dissatisfaction with modern society and the worst aspects of capitalism (especially the corporate variety). And individual liberty and the search for self-knowledge (beyond any brand-name) is still important to me. But it's hard for me to ac ...more
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From the official website:
Crimethought is not any ideology or value system or lifestyle, but rather a way of challenging all ideologies and value systems and lifestyles—and, for the advanced agent, a way of making all ideologies, value systems, and lifestyles challenging.
More about CrimethInc....
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“Anarchism is the revolutionary idea that no one is more qualified than you are to decide what your life will be.” 27 likes
“Because I care about human beings, I want them to be free to do what is right for them. Isn't that more important than mere peace on earth? Isn't freedom, even dangerous freedom, preferable to the safest slavery, to peace bought with ignorance, cowardice, and submission?” 9 likes
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