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The story of Rudolf Rocker is the combined tale of a life and a social movement - a life that reflects with amazing accuracy the development of the anarchist movement and its various nuances. Rocker witnessed anarchism at its height, but he also saw its decline, and ultimate disintegration. During his long years of activity within the ranks of the anarchist movement, Rocker took part in the major stages of its history, from the birth of anarchism in post-Bismarck Germany, through the notorious phase of "Propaganda by Deed" in France and the London battles against the sweating system, until "the last cause" - the Spanish Civil War. A gentile who taught himself Yiddish and Jewish culture, Rocker was for half-a-century the soul of the Jewish anarchist movement, a spiritual teacher, a philosopher, and a preacher. He was the anarchist "rabbi," a man who not only talks but also acts on his beliefs. Rocker was the father of the anarcho-syndicalist trend, and his major philosophical contribution, Nationalism and Culture, constitutes to this day one of the most serious attempts to analyze critically the emergence of nationalism, and its relationship to the political state and western civilization.
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