The First Socialist Schism chronicles the conflicts in the International Working Men's Association (First International, 1864-1877), which represents an important milestone in the history of political ideas and socialist theory. This can be seen as a decisive moment in the history of political ideas: the split between centralist party politics and the federalist grassroots movement. The separate movements in the International - which would later develop into social democracy, communism and anarchism - found their greatest advocates in Bakunin and Marx.
Wolfgang Eckhardt works for the Library of the Free (Bibliothek der Freien) in Berlin and has been actively researching anarchism since the 1990s. His publications include the German-language Bakunin Selected Works series, of which six volumes have been published so far under his editorship (1995-2011).