Hartmann the Anarchist: The Doom of the Great City by Edward Douglas Fawcett

Hartmann the Anarchist: The Doom of the Great City by Edward Douglas Fawcett

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This is the first book on the new Bone imprint of Tangent Books. The titles are chosen and edited by anarchist author and rabble rouser, Class War founder Ian Bone. The new edition of Hartmann is illustrated by Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood. If you thought Ursula Le Guin was the best of anarchist science fiction wait till you read "Hartmann the Anarchist: Or The Doom of the great city". Rudolph Hartmann is one hell of a guy. It was just his misfortune to be born ahead of his time. If in the summer of 2009 his airship The Attilla had appeared over London and blasted parliament to smithereens before moving off to annihilate the bankers in the city he would have been a national hero. Even more so if he'd have taken a few of the Met G20 police officers out en route. The country would have been at his feet. His analysis of the reasons to bomb the City of London show his prescient awareness of the evils of globalisation years before anyone else: 'His aim was to pierce the ventricles of the heart of civilisation, that blood that pumps the blood of capital everywhere, through the arteries of Russia, of Australia, Of India, through the capillaries of the fur companies of North America, mining enterprises in Ecuador and the trading steamers of African rivers'. Echoing the old masthead of Green Anarchist, Hartmann wants nothing less than the 'destruction of civilisation' - achieved by pouring leaden death from the skies. No reformist he. But Hartmann has secret helpers on the ground - Nechaev style conspirators numbering 12,000 in London alone. They have already blown up the Home secretary's house (Angry Brigade) and burned down half of rich Kensington. There are of course - ahem - a few minor quibbles about Hartmann's class analysis - referring to the working class as 'the swinish multitude' he's not particular if they perish also as they 'have long colluded with the system'. But this is to quibble in the face of genius - and anyway Hartmann is justifiably miffed with them for failing to rise up during his earlier assassination attempt on the Crown Prince on Westminster Bridge. As with Emile Henri and Ravachol - there are no innocents for Rudolph Hartmann. Anyway I take it that Hartman's contempt for 'the swinish multitude' is in fact nothing more than a modish rejection of late Victorian consumerism! But just relax and enjoy parliament and the bankers in the City of London being annihilated by good old-fashioned bomb wielding anarchists. Hartmann was written by E.Douglas Fawcett when he was only 17 years old and wanting to take Jules Verne's Captain Nemo and Robur the Conqueror one stage further than Verne anticipated. First published in 1892 and not reprinted in full for over 100 years this is a long lost must-read anarchist classic. For a 17year old public school boy E.Douglas Fawcett shows an amazing awareness of splits in the socialist movements and himself led a remarkable life. He was a Theosophist, climbed the Matterhorn aged 66, was an accomplished skier and motorcycle racer, and became a pilot when he was 84. His younger brother was the famed lost explorer Percy Fawcett who vanished in the Amazon jungle in 1925 looking for the 'lost City of Z'.



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