American Anarchist

American Anarchist

DVD - 2017
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The story of one of the most infamous books ever written, The Anarchist cookbook, and of the role it played in the life of its author, William Powell, who wrote it at nineteen in the midst of the counterculture upheaval of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Publisher: [El Segundo, California] : Gravitas Ventures, [2017]
Edition: Widescreen
Copyright Date: ©2017
Branch Call Number: DVD 335.83 AMERICAN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (81 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in

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IREADBANNEDBOOKS
Apr 11, 2018

I found the subject of the documentary very sympathetic, and the director of the documentary very disingenuous. I have only perused "The Anarchist Cookbook" for content and not read it from cover to cover - I may do that now. Powell's childhood bullying treatment at school was very similar to mine. What I think the point of the movie should have been was that Powell was expressing his disgust at the militarism of American society being directed against it citizens. The fact that archival footage of one of the soldiers shown at a 1960's protest was issued a FLAME THROWER really brings that home. Who was the idiot in charge who authorized that? That continues to this day with the militarization of American police departments. He was possibly attempting to level the playing field for the citizenry. The information contained in the book was readily available in the public library. This is similar to my experience in middle school of being able to go to the Oregon State Library in Salem, and checking out a book about fireworks. The only thing that prevented my friend and I from actually building any fireworks was lack of funds.

The filmmaker hectors William Powell throughout this documentary, demanding some sort of gnashing-of-teeth, tearing-of-hair apology from the author for ever writing the cookbook to begin with. The filmmaker attempts to lay all the massacres of the last 30 years at Powell's doorstep because the Columbine shooters consulted his book. If you want to hector someone why not go after the executives who head ArmaLite, Inc. or Heckler & Koch or any of the other manufacturers of assault rifles?

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