Here's to the Second Half: Celebrating Murray Bookchin, by Chaia Heller

I: Half a Movie

One day last fall, I walk out of a local movie theater onto the quiet street of Northampton, Massachusetts. I squint into the late-day sun after a matinee showing of Fast Food Nation, a film based on the book by Eric Schlosser. I am flooded with the kind of sensory disorientation that often follows an afternoon matinee—one that leaves the viewer suspended somewhere between day and night, reality and representation. This disorientation is intensified by the fact that, as I am leaving the theater, I remember that the friend with whom I want to discuss the film is no longer alive.

Being a Bookchinite, by Chuck Morse

When Murray Bookchin died on July 30, 2006, one of the most ambitious and compelling figures of the anti-authoritarian Left passed.

He was an author, educator, and activist, although above all he was a revolutionary who gave his life to a single, colossal task: devising a revolutionary project that could heal the wounds within humanity and the split between it and the natural world. He tried to outline the theoretical principles of this endeavor, build organizations capable of transforming the world around those principles, and forge a cadre with the wisdom necessary to fight for them while enduring the inevitable ups and downs of political life. He had much in common with other sect builders of the socialist Left—such as Max Shachtman, Josef Weber, and Raya Dunayevskaya, for example—who, in their respective times and latitudes, also attempted to salvage the revolutionary enterprise from the disaster that was Russian Communism and the many calamities of the twentieth century.1

Was Bookchin successful?

Sign up for E-news

If you'd like to receive our occasional IAS e-newsletter, with updates on grants, books, events, and more, send us an email at info (at)

User login