First English language collection of writings by the legendary 19th century insurrectionist
Louis-Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881) was one of the most important and controversial figures in nineteenth-century French revolutionary politics, and he played a major role in all of the great upheavals that punctuated his life – the insurrections of 1830, 1848 and 1870-71. Adamant that a just and egalitarian society can only be established by revolutionary means, he recognised that no revolution can succeed if it fails to overcome the coercive resources of the state, and no revolutionary government can endure if it betrays the principles that alone earn and deserve mass support.
At odds with followers of Proudhon on the one hand and of Marx on the other, while Blanqui commanded unrivalled authority in French revolutionary circles during parts of his own lifetime he was quickly forgotten (if not derided) after his death. This is the first collection of Blanqui's political writings ever published in English, and it includes new and complete translations of his best known texts: Instructions for an Armed Uprising, and Eternity by the Stars. With material drawn from all his main publications and speeches, as well as from the full sweep of his voluminous manuscripts and correspondence, this wide-ranging anthology will enable anglophone readers and political activists to arrive at their own critical assessment of Blanqui's thought and legacy for the first time.