One suspects that more than a few disinfonauts have perused a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook since it was first published in 1970. It quickly became something of an underground classic, but author William Powell later disavowed it. On the book’s Amazon page he is quoted as saying:
During the years that followed its publication, I went to university, married, became a father and a teacher of adolescents. These developments had a profound moral and spiritual effect on me. I found that I no longer agreed with what I had written earlier and I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ideas that I had put my name to. In 1976 I became a confirmed Anglican Christian and shortly thereafter I wrote to Lyle Stuart Inc. explaining that I no longer held the views that were expressed in the book and requested that The Anarchist Cookbook be taken out of print. The response from the publisher was that the copyright was in his name and therefore such a decision was his to make – not the author’s. In the early 1980’s, the rights for the book were sold to another publisher. I have had no contact with that publisher (other than to request that the book be taken out of print) and I receive no royalties.
Unfortunately, the book continues to be in print and with the advent of the Internet several websites dealing with it have emerged. I want to state categorically that I am not in agreement with the contents of The Anarchist Cookbook and I would be very pleased (and relieved) to see its publication discontinued. I consider it to be a misguided and potentially dangerous publication which should be taken out of print.
Now he is calling for it to be completely taken out of print in the wake of a high school murder, setting him at odds with the publisher, according to NBC News:
It was an accessory in the arsenal of Karl Pierson, the student who opened fire last week inside a Colorado high school, leaving one girl in a coma before taking his own life.
“The Anarchist Cookbook,” which Pierson read in the days before his rampage, isn’t a guide to culinary revolution. It’s the original how-to of homicide and mass murder — and sales are still raging, with distribution from the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, even as the work is linked to terrorist acts around the world.
Now, in rare interviews with NBC News, the publisher and the author of the “Cookbook” are trading blows about the book’s future.
“’The Anarchist Cookbook’ should go quietly and immediately out of print,” says William Powell, who wrote the book as a stern 19-year-old, an opponent of the Vietnam War who felt violence was justified if it could prevent even greater violence in the process. He has since renounced that position, but never so forcefully, telling NBC in an email that “it is no longer responsible or defensible to keep it in print.”
Published in 1971, the book has sold more than two million copies and influenced hundreds of malcontents, mischief makers, and killers. Police have linked it to the Croatian radicals who bombed Grand Central Terminal and hijacked a TWA flight in 1976; the Puerto Rican separatists who bombed FBI headquarters in 1981; Thomas Spinks, who led a group that bombed 10 abortion clinics in the 1980s; Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995; the Columbine High School shooters of 1999; and the 2005 London public transport bombers…
[continues at NBC News]
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