EVERETT, Martyn War and Revolution: The Hungarian Anarchist Movement in World War I and the Budapest Commune (1919).

Kate Sharpley Library (BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX), 2006. 28 p. ISBN-10 1-873605-382.

HungaryBibliographyPOLANYI, Karl (1886-1964)SZABÓ, Ervin (Szlanica, 22 August, 1877. - Budapest, 30 September, 1918)DUCZYNSKA, Ilona (Ezensdorf, Vienne (Austria 11 March 1897 - Pickering, Canada 23 April 1978)

Kate Sharpley Library (BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX). 28 pages, illustrated with portraits of Hungarian anarchists. ISBN-10 1-873605-382.

ISBN 13: 978-1-873605-38-7

(Anarchist Library Series #14) ISSN 1479-9073


This booklet will wet your appetite: we knew that Johann Most and Michael Bakunin were the first translators of Marx in German and Russian, and now we learn that Evin Szabo edited a wo volume selection of the works of Marx and Engels. Szabo was a cousin of Karl Polanyi, who later married Ilona Duczynska, another of Szabo‚s cousins and an anarchist revolutionist. He also was in touch with Grygory Lukacs.

But it’s not only in the intellectual field that Everett breaks new ground on anarchist influence. It is in the fields of insurrection, unions, anarchist strategies concerning state institutions and cooperation with other radicals that appear issues which still are crucial today.

There is also drama. You must read that paragraph on page 13 in which, very soberly, the author describes Duczynska’s attempt to assassinate the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Apart from providing an insight on little known aspects of Hungarian history, this is a pioneer study on the impact of anarchism on "Western Marxism". I am already eagerly waiting for Everett’s forthcoming article on "Ervin Szabo: the Anarchist Librarian" and do hope that he will have the opportunity of pursuing his research.

Ronald Creagh

From the publisher:

The First World War ended in 1918 - everywhere that is except Hungary - where the fighting continued. War and economic collapse created a revolutionary situation.

In spite of its size the tiny Hungarian Anarchist movement played a significant part in opposing the blood and slaughter of the First World War. Working with Marxists and Left Communists they kick-started a revolution that culminated in the formation of the Budapest Commune, but were unprepared for the encounter with Bolshevism, and were among the first victims of the White Terror unleashed against the Commune.


The Budapest Commune of 1919 has been neglected by the historians of anarchism, yet it provides an important and fascinating opportunity to understand the anarchist movement at a crucial historical moment. We can see how and why anarchist fortunes declined after the end of the First World War, as anarchist organisations fused with Marxist parties, or were crushed by protofascism.

The Commune also raises issues with contemporary resonance such as the role of anarchists in revolutionary situations, and the part played by anarchism in shaping what has been described as "Western Marxism", although both of these subjects are complex enough to require their own studies. In piecing together the history of the Hungarian anarchists, I have also been forced to think about the way ideas about anarchism circulate within the British anarchist movement. This last point is of particular interest, because although many of the foremost theorists of anarchism have been European, contemporary anarchist thought often appears subject to a form of cultural imperialism that parallels the cultural imperialism of the dominant system. We remain unaware of important aspects of our own and European history while our ideas and priorities are often influenced by the cultural values of the anarchist movement in the USA. Because of a common language ideas are easily circulated across the Atlantic, whereas language barriers separate us from the influence of European anarchism. This can cause real problems for the development of anarchism as an effective social movement. A classic example of a missed opportunity was our failure to support the newly emergent anarchist groups in Eastern Europe after the collapse of Stalinism."


The Hungarian Anarchist Movement in World War I and the Budapest Commune (1919)


ISBN-10: 1-873605-382

ISBN 13: 978-1-873605-38-7

Anarchist Library Series#14 ISSN 1479-9073

28 pages, illustrated with portraits of Hungarian anarchists. £3 (£2 to subscribers) / $3.

Available direct from the publisher

Kate Sharpley Library, BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX

Kate Sharpley Library, PMB 820, 2425 Channing Way, Berkeley CA 94704, USA


or from good bookshops.