Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, 1992.


I would like to thank Heiner Becker, John Clark, John Crump, Caroline Cahm, David Goodway, Carl Levy, the late Geoffrey Ostergaard, Hans Ramaer, and Vernon Richards for commenting on different chapters of this work, and Tom Cahill and Graham Kelsey for providing me with materials. I am indebted to John Burrow for encouraging, many years ago, my interest in the history of anarchist ideas. I much appreciate the pioneering work in the history of anarchism undertaken by Paul Avrich, Daniel Guerin, James Joll, Jean Maitron, Max Nettlau and George Woodcock, although I do not always share their emphases or interpretations. In preparing the book for publication, the editorial advice of Philip Gwyn Jones has proved unfailingly perceptive and relevant.

My thanks are due to the staff of both the National Library of Wales and the British Library, and to the librarians of Coleg Harlech, the University College of North Wales, and the University of London for facilitating my research.

My children Dylan and Emily have been bemused by my work on something impossibly called 'anarchism', but have been an inspiring example of constructive anarchy in action. I am grateful to my mother Vera for first awakening in me a sense of justice and equality. My brother Michael has given his warm support at all times. Above all, I must thank Jenny Zobel for her constant help and encouragement during the composition of this long study; only she knows the depth of my indebtedness. Finally, my friends Richard Feesey, Jeremy Gane, Graham Hancock, David Lea, and John Schlapobersky have in their different ways all inspired me to complete my task.

Peter Marshall, July 1991