Publisher: Black Cat Press
Released: September 28, 2021
Nestor Makhno (1888–1934) is known mainly for his efforts to establish an anarchist society in southeastern Ukraine during the Russian Civil War (1918–1921). But the Makhnovist movement did not appear out of thin air—it had a pre-history that started a dozen years earlier in the steppe village of Gulyai-Polye with an organization called the Union of Poor Peasants. This Union, with a membership mainly of young people, engaged in an unequal struggle with the forces of law and order and was soon crushed.
Makhno himself spent many years in prison, including a harrowing fifty-three days on death row. His mentor during his earlier years in the movement, Voldemar Antoni (1886–1974), managed to escape abroad and survived to old age. Both anarchists left memoirs of their early years which deserve to be better known and are offered here in an English translation.
Translated and annotated by Malcolm Archibald.