Guerrillas of Desire: Advanced Praise & Reviews

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advanced praise

Kevin Van Meter’s eloquent and provocative book Guerillas of Desire gave me a whole new way to think about organizing.

—Alexandra Bradbury, editor of Labor Notes


Few have approached radical theory with the rigor and skill of Kevin Van Meter. Empowering, lucid, and inspiring, Guerrillas of Desire provides an exhaustive (and much needed) retooling of anarchism that will align the dreams of ‘becoming revolutionaries’ with the reality of everyday resistance.

—Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep


Looking for the political in the everyday and bringing anarchism into a productive dialogue with Autonomist Marxism, Kevin Van Meter challenges many of the left’s usual assumptions and forces a reconsideration of what we mean by ‘struggle.’

—Kristian Williams, author of Our Enemies in Blue

book blurbs 

Beautifully written, Guerrillas of Desire shows the power of the refusal of work of those
capitalism has subjugated…
—Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch


Anyone interested in mutual translation between progressive political theory and social activism today must read this book.

—Mark Blasius, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, The City University of New York Graduate Center and Center for LGBTQ Studies


Tracing Kevin Van Meter’s political development from his first militant interventions as a young anarchist in the suburbs of Long Island to his encounter with autonomist Marxism, Guerrillas of Desire is an important exploration of the revolutionary possibilities of our time.

—George Caffentzis, author of In Letters of Blood and Fire.


An ambitious work of theory and history that places autonomist Marxist ideas in direct conversation with contemporary anarchist practice, suggesting ways in which concepts such as class composition and everyday resistance, originally developed to analyze slave, peasant, and factory revolts, might aid modern day radicals operating within a bewildering political terrain marked by service work, toothless unions, insular affinity groups, and professional “change agents.”
—Andrew Cornell, author, Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the 20th Century


Kevin Van Meter gives us a fine, inspiring account of how generation upon generation of “guerrillas of desire,” from peasant insurgents to slaves to housewives and industrial workers, have reproduced a culture of resistance and self-assertion in the face of power. But this eye-opening book does something more. It makes us see the problem of “organizing” in a new and much more useful way, going beyond the tired discussion of how we’re to achieve social revolution (insurrection? slow, patient “education” of the working class?). We are already organized, Van Meter argues, we are already in revolt, and we always have been. The job of the organizer is to ask questions, to listen, and to cross-pollinate the wisdom of both open revolt and everyday resistance in communities everywhere. That’s what makes revolutionary becoming possible. Read this book, and put it into practice.

—Eric Laursen, author of The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan


Guerrillas of Desire offers a powerful and bold thesis regarding the continuous and enormously potent social force embodied in the everyday resistance of working people. The refusal of work, mutual aid, and self-activity by everyday people are the kinds of rebellious, revolutionary, and creative expressions that Kevin Van Meter explores in these pages because they produce the possibilities and spaces for new social formations, new societies, and new worlds that can and must co-exist and thrive. Van Meter has written a truly remarkable book that I urge you to study, to sit with, to argue with, and to struggle with in the days to come.  I know I will.

—David Naguib Pellow, author of Total Liberation: The Power and Promise of Animal Rights and the Radical Earth Movement


With an activist heart, and deep critical understanding of a life lived in radical politics, Kevin Van Meter’s Guerrillas of Desire skillfully dissects stifling myths within US political movements and anarchism while chronicling the creative energy of self-activity.  His liberatory beginnings and questions create open spaces for forging new paths or revisiting old ones in a quest for wider collective liberation.

—scott crow, author of Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective

reviews & interviews

  • review: Activist-scholar Michael Reagan of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation has published a thoughtful and comradely review of Guerrillas of Desire on Truthout (29 July 2017) 
  • interview: Radical journalist Stephen Quirke interviews the Kevin about Guerrillas of Desire for a recent issue of the Portland, Oregon based Street Roots (4 August 2017) 
  • interview: Kevin talks about Guerrillas of Desire and everyday resistance with Ani and Lyn of Positively Revolting on Portland, Oregon’s own KBOO Radio (11 August 2017)
  • interview: Jordan and Jeremy of Which Side speak to Kevin about Guerrillas of Desire on a recent podcast (11 September 2017) 
  • interview: Shane Burley, author of the forthcoming AK Press title Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It, interviews Kevin about Guerrillas of Desire for Viewpoint Magazine (14 September 2017) 
  • review: Scott Campbell reviews Guerrillas of Desire for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the publication of the Institute for Anarchist Studies (15 September 2017)  
  • interview: Labour Wave out of the Oregon State University in Corvallis speaks to Kevin about graduate student organizing, everyday resistance, social reproduction and class struggle (21 October 2017).
  • excerpt: An excerpt from the book titled “What is in Working Class?” has been published by the Hampton Institute: A Working-Class Think Tank.
  • video: Book talk at Oregon State University (6 November 2017).
  • video: Book talk at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (3 December 2017). 
  • review: Anti-Fascist News writes about everyday resistance and Guerrillas of Desire for It’s Going Down (4 December 2017). 
  • interview: Anti-Fascist News interviews Kevin about everyday resistance and the antifascist movement (21 December 2017).  
  • interview: Anarchy on the Air (beginning at 7:00) at Wesleyan University interviews Kevin about Guerrillas of Desire (13 February 2018). 
  • interview: Perspectives on Anarchist Theory has published an interview between Kevin and Alexander Riccio, a labor organizer based in Corvallis, Oregon who co-hosts the podcast LabourWave Revolution Radio (8 April 2018). 

goodreads reviews

  • Read and write reviews on GoodReads here.