Benjamin Tucker

Benjamin Tucker's (1854-1939) importance to the anarchist movement in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America can not be overestimated. As editor of The Radical Review and Liberty, which until last year was the longest running anarchist journal in American history--the Detroit publication The Fifth Estate is now in its 28th year--he converted Jo Labadie, whose personal papers formed the basis of the Labadie Collection, to anarchism.


Why I Am An Anarchist, by Benj. R. Tucker. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1934.

Jenson and Hadriano types; decorations and initial by Frederic W. Goudy; printed in black and blue; 100 copies on Nuremberg mould-made paper; Fabriano wrappers; 4.75 x 8 inches; 18 p.

This essay, which originally appeared in the radical weekly Twentieth Century in 1892, was reprinted by Ishill to coincide with Tucker's 80th birthday. This volume has particular importance to the Labadie Collection. Donated by Ishill to the Labadie Collection upon the request of the author, it was the first such gift received by the library from Ishill. The friendship and mutual admiration between Agnes Inglis and Joseph Ishill is apparent in their correspondence, and led to the Labadie Collection's magnificent holdings of Oriole Press books. In the years to come Ishill would continue to donate the works he published, and he also made a concerted effort to furnish copies of works published prior to Why I am an Anarchist. When Inglis noted the publications of Ishill which the Labadie Collection already owned-- mostly scattered numbers of The Modern School and Open Vistas--he indicated to her his displeasure with those early efforts: "I am quite surprised," he wrote, "to see that in the bibliography of my works you transcribed for me there is almost nothing of importance included . . . I have ceased to take pride in those thing[s] you have recorded as under my name."


The Atheist's Prayer, by Jean Richepin. Introductory note by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1934.

Garamond type; printed in black and brown; 220 copies on Nuremberg mould-made paper; boards with linen spine; 5.25 x 8 inches; 36 p. Privately printed for Mr. Tucker's friends.

Jean Richepin (1849-1926) was a French poet and dramatist who showed sympathy with outcasts. The poems contained in this small volume originally appeared in Tucker's journal Liberty. The work was printed as a tribute to Tucker, whom Ishill admired greatly, calling him, in the introduction, "the most outstanding Individualist- Anarchist this country has ever had."


Anarchism In England One Hundred Years Ago, by Dr. Max Nettlau. Commentary Note by Benjamin R. Tucker. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1955.

Garamond and Cloister Oldstyle types; printed in black and red; green wrappers; 4.25 x 7.5 inches; 20 p.

Nettlau (1865-1944) was the foremost historian of anarchism in the early twentieth century. This essay on British anarchism originally appeared in the journal Freedom and was then reprinted by Benjamin Tucker in the American journal Liberty. This pamphlet was the second number in a series of publications by Ishill called The "Penetralia" Publications. (The first number to appear was Manifesto by Josiah Warren, see Wall Case I)


Benjamin R. Tucker - A Bibliography With An Appreciation By G. Bernard Shaw, compiled and edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1959.

Kennerley type; printed in black and orange; 60 copies on Olde Style & Renker Text paper; wrappers; 5.5 x 8.25 inches; 28 p.



Thomas A. La Porte, Exhibit Curator
Special Collections Library
Hatcher Graduate Library
University of Michigan
tlaporte@umich.edu