Michael's Reviews > Rants and Incendiary Tracts

Rants and Incendiary Tracts by Bob Black
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's review
Jul 06, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: anarchism, fascism, feminism, philosophy, politics, left-hand-path
Recommended to Michael by: Bob Black
Recommended for: anarchists, satanists, crazies
Read in January, 1991 , read count: Many

I recall that when I first heard of this book, it was to be a collaboration between Adam Parfrey and my friend Peter Lamborn Wilson. Peter left the project early on, I think because he disagreed with Parfrey as to what the value of a rant was, and because Parfrey wanted to include racists and the mindlessly violent alongside those whose flights from logic took them to more rarefied and beautiful places. Parfrey replaced him with Bob Black, who probably wasn't as particular, but did do an adequate job of introducing the anarchist stuff that Parfrey couldn't have done justice to. One or two of Peter's intros made the final cut.

Overall, the value of this book is in introducing folks with college degrees who are used to all the high-falutin' standards of critical thinking to examples of radicalism "from the gut." As such, it stays away from the more intellectual material and goes for the gusto. It gives one the chance to see that the crazies have always been out there - sometimes prophetic, sometimes wiser than they at first seemed, nearly always amusing. Some names will be familiar: Max Stirner, the Marquis de Sade, Anton LaVey; others should be more familiar than they are: Louis Lingg, Kerry Thornley, Louis-Ferdinand Celine; and others are fascinating in their obscurity: Captain Bellamy, Gerry Reith, Renzo Novatore. Satanists will be interested to see the actual source of the plagiarized section of the _Satanic Bible_: Ragnar Redbeard's 1896 publication "Might is Right!" The famous SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto by Valerie Solanas is also included, as is Sergei Nechayev's oft-translated "Revolutionary's Catechism." Many of these sources can be found easily online today, but having them crowded together in one book vying for the soapbox can be useful.

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