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'Well-being for all is t a dream.' In this brilliantly enjoyable, challenging rallying-cry of a book, Kropotkin lays out the heart of his anarchist beliefs - beliefs which surged around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and which have a renewed relevance and poignancy today. Humane, thoughtful - but also a devastating critique of how modern society is organized (with the brutal, narrow few clinging onto their wealth and privileges at the expense of the many), The Conquest of Bread is a book to be argued over, again and again.
Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) came from a major aristocratic Russian family but turned his back on it to embrace a life of imprisonment and exile in pursuit of his beliefs. His major works are The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid. His funeral was marked by the last permitted gathering of anarchists in the USSR. David Priestland is the author of Red Flag and Merchant, Soldier, Sage. He teaches at St Edmund's Hall, University of Oxford.