The Disreputable Phoenix: A Transnational History of Propaganda by the Deed

By Axel Corlu

This dissertation explores the connections of anarchism and violence, especially in the form of propaganda by the deed. The existing scholarship on this subject either focuses on national/ethnic units, or subsumes it under the dubious heading of “terrorism.” I aim to present an inclusive, transnational account and analysis of anarchist violence in proper context, and I argue that the people who were/are involved in propaganda by the deed cannot be simply classified as terrorists, irrational murderers, or nihilistic vandals. From a geographic perspective, anarchist violence deeply influenced a vast sociopolitical landscape! from the US and Argentina to Western Europe, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, anarchists left an indelible mar) on the development of social movements as well as the coercive state apparatus. Another limitation of existing scholarship is temporal! most studies of anarchism and violence focus on the late the early  20th century period when dozens of assassinations and bombings mar)ed the anarchist response to state suppression. This study includes the early period of anarchist violence, as well as its current, global revival. This is a study of firsts, in many ways. It is the first comprehensive study specializing in propaganda by the deed that incorporates elements of historical, sociological, and philosophical analysis at the same time! the first study that attempts to explain the anarchist experience against the state apparatus in the United States, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire in a comparative…

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