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History Corner





James Joll On Anarchism In America: 1920s

James Joll, The Anarchists (London: Methuen; 1979), pp. 204, 205.


‘The growing prosperity of the U.S.A., the end of [mass] immigration and the absorption of the foreign elements, as well as the slow mitigation of the rigours of uncontrolled capitalist expansion, all removed the basis of anarcho-syndicalism.

In the 1920s and 1930s anarchism was kept alive as a creed in the U.S.A. among the Italian or Spanish immigrants. . . .

By the mid-twentieth century anarchism in the U.S.A. had reverted to being a dream which intellectuals discuss or a symbol of revolt against the affluent society that still attracts idealistic students, but which has long ceased to be an effective social force.’