The Anarchist Cookbook, first published in 1971, is a book that contains recipes and instructions for the manufacture of explosives, rudimentary telecommunications phreaking devices and other dangerous and illegal items, some with merit and some dangerous if even attempted. It was written by William Powell to protest the United States government's involvement in the Vietnam War.
Relationship to anarchism
Many scholars of anarchism
dispute the association of the book with anarchist political philosophy. The anarchist collective CrimethInc.
, which published the book Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook
in response, denounces the earlier book, saying it was "not composed or released by anarchists, not derived from anarchist practice, not intended to promote freedom and autonomy or challenge repressive power — and was barely a cookbook, as the recipes in it are notoriously unreliable.
Since writing the book, Powell has had moral
awakening by way of conversion to Christianity
. So he felt that necessarily entailed having his book removed from circulation which he attempted to do in 2000
. However, Powell noted that when the book was published, the copyright
was taken out in the publisher
's name, not his, and the current publisher has no desire to remove the book from print. Powell has since written many websites devoted to the book, explaining his desire to see it removed from circulation as he no longer advocates what he had written, saying:
"The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that I did not believe in."