17 February 2010


I am sad to hear of the death last week at the age of 85 of the writer Colin Ward. He was Britain's most influential anarchist of the late 20th century, and the monthly journal Anarchy, which he founded and edited from 1961 to 1970, was one of the best political periodicals of its time. He was a prolific author, too: among his books are Anarchy in Action (1973), as eloquent an espousal of Kropotkinian anarchism as has ever been written, and several works on housing, transport and urban planning (his day job in the 1950s was as an architect and he later worked for the Town and Country Planning Association). I got to know him in the 1990s, when he wrote a weekly column for the New Statesman that never failed to surprise in its range of subject matter. He was a regular at Statesman lunches and a great conversationist, and everyone who knew him will miss him.

Update: Boyd Tonkin, with whom I worked on the New Statesman and who knew Colin much better than I did, has a warm appreciation here in the Independent.

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