LETTERPRESS REVOLUTION: THE POLITICS OF ANARCHIST PRINT CULTURE by Kathy E Ferguson
153 x 230mm, 330 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2023
While the stock image of the anarchist as a masked bomber or brick thrower prevails in the public eye, a more representative figure should be a printer at a printing press. In Letterpress Revolution, Kathy E. Ferguson explores the importance of printers, whose printed materials galvanized anarchist movements across the United States and Great Britain from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. Ferguson shows how printers—whether working at presses in homes, offices, or community centers—arranged text, ink, images, graphic markers, and blank space to construct the architecture of the page. Their extensive correspondence with fellow anarchists and the radical ideas they published created dynamic and entangled networks that brought the decentralized anarchist movement together. Printers and presses did more than report on the movement; they were constitutive of it, and their vitality in anarchist communities helps explain anarchism’s remarkable persistence in the face of continuous harassment, arrest, assault, deportation, and exile. By inquiring into the political, material, and aesthetic practices of anarchist print culture, Ferguson points to possible methods for cultivating contemporary political resistance.