Rudolf Rocker's memoirs
My current big project is a translation of Rudolf Rocker's memoirs. Rocker (1873-1958) is best known as the leading early thinker of German anarcho-syndicalism and a co-founder of the Freie Arbeiter Union Deutschlands (FAUD, Free Workers' Union of Germany) and the International Workers' Association (IWA). In the course of his life, he had to flee Germany twice and France and England once each. His story offers an insightful , firsthand account of social and political developments in Europe from the late 19th to the mid-20th century and includes appearances by some of the most interesting people in 19th & 20th century Europe, including Louise Michel, Errico Malatesta, Ravachol, & Johann Most. His memoir is both a valuable tutorial in radical history and a trove of lessons for organizing.
The wonderful PM Press is set to publish the final book and I've already got a jump on the translation. HOWEVER, Rocker's complete manuscript is runs to well over 2,000 typewritten pages, which I am in the process of editing down into something a bit more manageable. Still, it's a huge undertaking and will require an incredible amount of time and labor.
For that reason, I've started a fundraiser for anyone who might see some value in this project. I've also started posting excerpts weekly on my Medium page, partly to keep myself accountable, partly in the hope of generating some interest for this thing. Updates as appropriate...
Rudolf Rocker (back row, 2nd from left), his wife Milly Witkop (seated in front of him), and a few of their ne'er-do-well friends in 1890s London
I've been researching far-right populist rhetoric for several years and, starting in the summer of 2020, I began laying the groundwork for a future book about narratives of invasion, resistance, and expansion and the ways that they have been used to recruit, incite action, and shape international solidarites among neo-fascists on both sides of the North Atlantic. (I'm a lot of fun at parties.) It may all sound a bit esoteric, but I believe it can actually help make events of recent years much more easily comprehensible -- and provide a useful tool for non-experts to push back against modern-day authoritarianisms.