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RECIPES FOR DISASTER an anarchist cookbook by the Crimethinc Collective,
PO Box 1963/Olympia WA 98507/USA www.crimethinc.com

Another deftly produced manual from the Crimethinc Collective, this time an A-Z (or A-W as it goes) guide to living the Good Lifestyle Anarchy. This book gives you detailed information on everything from asphalt mosaics (don't ask me, read the book), bike parades, coalition building, graffiti, hijacking events (not planes), infiltration, non-monogamous relationships, pie throwing, smoke bombs, think tanks and undermining oppression. It's one of the most comprehensive such guides I've come across and weighing in at over 600, albeit small, pages, so it should be.

As with previous Crimethinc media, a slightly evangelical tone runs through the book, but it's practical advice is sound and is obviously written by experienced hands. Each chapter ends with an account of an action related to the topic being covered. This helps to ground the book in reality, though at times it feels like reading a radical student lifestyle guide. It tends to jump wildly from place to place - from helping women escape violent relationships to the use of root vegetables in disabling vehicles. Still, it beats reading Socialist Worker hands down and any book that contains advice on making safe petrol bombs (tie the fuse around the bottleneck, don't shove it in kids...) is worth producing in my view.

The chapters covering organising black bloc's and street actions is particularly worth reading. Crimethinc avoid the macho posturing of the likes of Class War/Green Anarchist and give practical, solid advice on moving safely and effectively in big street actions. A pragmatic view of violence, given the scale of crisis we face, is a hallmark of Crimethinc and hopefully indicates a maturing of the "movements" attitude to the issue.
Crimethinc do tend to promote a lifestyle anarchism that depends on the material excesses of capitalism in order to survive. Tactically, most of the stuff relies on the current relationship Western police forces and Governments have with those they govern, and is more rebellion than revolution. This isn't to criticise as such, just to point out it's limits. For big-time sabotage, go to the likes of "Ecodefence - a field guide to monkey wrenching" produced by US EF! some years ago. Speaking about the US, Recipes is US-centric, which limits it's relevance to a degree to readers outside US borders.

Still, well laid out and accessible, it's a good introduction to those new to the movement . Makes a good Christmas gift for your angry teenage cousin. Just don't be around when he gets to the "build your own rocketstove" bit.

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone +44 (0)1273 685913
email: schnews@brighton.co.uk

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