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Jan 30, 2012

The Butler Did It

Josiah WarrenJosiah Warren is often called the father of American individualist anarchism. (I’m in the midst of reading Crispin Sartwell’s excellent Warren collection.) Most of Warren’s major works are relatively easy to find online; an exception is his unpublished Notebook D, edited by Ann Butler for her undergraduate thesis in 1964. This too turns out to be online, but its being so is a bit tricky to detect: my information had led me to look for Butler’s 1968 M.A. thesis, which has the same title and is evidently not online; how it differs from the 1964 version I know not. (Butler wrote her 1978 Ph.D. thesis on Warren as well, though thankfully with a different title; this too is not online.)

Notebook D is probably not the ideal place to start with Warren; Equitable Commerce and True Civilization are better entry points. But Notebook D remains important and valuable; among its most interesting features is Warren’s account of his views on marriage and the family, and in particular his narrative of the way in which he applied his anarchistic principles to the education of his children. Read Part 1, from 1840, and Part 2, from 1860 and 1873. 

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