Fredy Perlman  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Fredy Perlman (August 20, 1934 – July 26, 1985) was a Czech-born, naturalised American author, publisher, professor, and activist. His most popular work, the book Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!, details the rise of state domination with a retelling of history through the Hobbesian metaphor of the Leviathan. The book remains a major source of inspiration for anti-civilisation perspectives in contemporary anarchism. Though Perlman detested ideology and would claim that the only "-ist" he would respond to was cellist, his work both as an author and publisher has been very influential on modern anarchist thought.

Black and Red

During his last year in Kalamazoo, Perlman had left the university and together with several other people, mostly students, inaugurated the Black and Red magazine, of which six issues appeared. Typing and layout was done at the Perlman house and the printing at the Radical Education Project in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In January 1969 Perlman completed The Reproduction of Daily Life. While traveling in Europe in the spring of 1969, he spent several weeks in Yugoslavia and there wrote Revolt in Socialist Yugoslavia, which was suppressed by the authorities, who called it a CIA plot.

In August 1969 he and his wife moved to Detroit, where he wrote The Incoherence of the Intellectual and with others translated Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle.

In 1970 Perlman was one of a large group that set up the Detroit Printing Co-op with equipment from Chicago. For the next decade, Black & Red publications were printed there, along with countless other projects ranging from leaflets to newspapers to books. For several years, Perlman and the cooperative were members of the Industrial Workers of the World.


In 1989, his widow Lorraine Perlman published a biography of Fredy, Having Little, Being Much on the press they founded, Black & Red. Lorraine Perlman continues to run the press in Detroit, Michigan and still contributes to Fifth Estate.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fredy Perlman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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