Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (Paperback)

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Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution By Peter Kropotkin, David Priestland (Introduction by), David Priestland (Notes by) Cover Image
By Peter Kropotkin, David Priestland (Introduction by), David Priestland (Notes by)
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A pioneering treatise on embracing cooperation and reciprocity to usher in a greener and more inclusive world, from the major anarchist thinker

A Penguin Classic


Welcome to the anarchist history of the world. In this lively, provocative work, Peter Kropotkin argues that "mutual aid" is a natural instinct in all of us, animal and human. Cooperation, reciprocity, support: these, for Kropotkin, are the overlooked foundations of our history. From the earliest days of evolution through to artisanal guilds, indigenous nomads, and even the Royal National Lifeboat Association, it is a pragmatic, mutually beneficial bond to our fellow humans that has allowed us to survive. In this, Kropotkin challenges all the major orthodoxies of his age, from individualism and social Darwinism to Marxist theories of the savior state. Instead, these essays insist that a better life for all of us--and our planet--begins when we reject competition, and embrace the local, the mutual, and the collective.

About the Author


Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) came from a major aristocratic Russian family but turned his back on it to embrace a life of imprisonment and exile in pursuit of his beliefs. His major works are The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid. His funeral was marked by the last permitted gathering of anarchists in the USSR.

David Priestland (introducer) is a British historian. He teaches modern history at the University of Oxford and is Fellow of St Edmund Hall. Priestland's research focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and the development of communism and neoliberalism. He is an occasional political and cultural commentator for The Guardian and New Statesman.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780241355336
ISBN-10: 0241355338
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English