Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 08:26:24 -0700 (PDT)

Radical Bookselling/distribution and Anarchism

Irvine -- What is the status of radical bookselling these days? Subversity interviews Ramsey Kanaan, who in 1994 set up the U.S. office of AK Press (founded in Edinburgh), an anarchist collective that has become the largest distributor of anarchist and radical publications. AK Press currently distributes some 3,000 publications from anarchist, anti-authoritarian, left and radical books. It publishes its own imprint, including spoken word CDs.

Kanaan, who got involved in activism as a teen, talks about the class-struggle anarchist position and the class analysis of anarchism. He also discusses why he distributes primitivist John Zerzan's works even though he doesn't think Zerzan's views are really about anarchism and discusses the corporate media's role in deciding which person to single out.

He explores the economics and politics of alternative book and CD distribution, and the contradictions of an anti-capitalist collective trying to make money distributing books in a capitalist system. Some of its titles stand out: The AK Press edition of "SCUM Manifesto," which AK Press has kept in print, has sold some 20,000 copies. And Kanaan expects AK will sell some 10,000 copies of the CD version of Howard Zinn's lecture on "A People's History of the United States."

Kanaan, who had set up a booth at the American Library Association convention in June in San Francisco, was interviewed by show host Dan Tsang at AK Press's new warehouse in Oakland shortly after the conference.

The interview airs this evening from 5-6 p.m. on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, and is web-cast simultaneously via

Tsang contributed two essays to the AK Press publication, "Legacy to Liberation : Politics & Culture of Revolutionary Asian/Pacific America," edited by Fred Ho (2000).

AK Press:


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