AK Press

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AK Press
AK Press.jpg
FounderRamsey Kanaan
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationChico, California
DistributionConsortium Book Sales & Distribution (US)[1]
Turnaround Publisher Services (UK)[2]
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsRadical left and anarchist literature
Official websitewww.akpress.org

AK Press is a worker-managed, independent publisher and book distributor that specialises in radical left and anarchist literature. Operated out of Chico, California, the company is collectively owned.


AK was founded in Stirling, Scotland by Ramsey Kanaan in 1987 as a small mail order outlet, named after his mother Ann Kanaan.[3] The project soon expanded, venturing into independent book publishing, and AK Press also now has a branch in Chico, California. Kanaan and several other members of AK Press left in 2007 to form a new radical publishing company PM Press.[4] AK Press is organised as a workers' co-operative; the Press is owned by all members of the collective and works without bosses, with every member partaking in each function of the organisation.[5] It operates online through akpress.org[6] in the United States, and through akuk.com in Europe.[7] In the US, it manages a "Bookmobile" (which is not a physical automobile, but "an announcement, an opportunity") that sells books at various gatherings around the country (to protests, activist conferences, etc.).[8] In the United Kingdom, AK Press manages stalls at similar events. Works published by AK Press include reprints of radical classics as well as original works; its book topics include anarchism,[9] globalisation,[10] and animal rights,[11] and are often difficult to find through mainstream outlets.[5]

AK Press has released spoken word albums by figures such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Jello Biafra, Arundhati Roy and Mumia Abu-Jamal and music by artists including David Rovics and Utah Phillips.[12]

The business also sells clothing, buttons, stickers, and various "anarchist props" like an upside down map of the world and the red and black flag of anarcho-communism.

In March 2015, a deadly fire at AK Press' warehouse[13] in West Oakland, California, prompted the press to relocate to Chico[14]. It was the warehouses' second such move. Rising rents in San Francisco forced the press to move from the Mission District there.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Consortium Book Sales & Distribution | Our Publishers". Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Publishers Representatives | Publishers Distributors". Turnaround Publisher Services. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. ^ Kanaan, Ramsey. "Part 1: What's Wrong With the American Anarchist Movement?". Melbourne Indymedia. Archived from the original on 27 April 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  4. ^ Carroll, Tobias (26 August 2008). "I've Got a Name: Music, Radical Politics, and AK Press". yourbestguess.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "About – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Home page – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the AKUK Website – AKUK the European home of AK Press and Distribution". akuk.com. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Anarchsim – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Animal Rights – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Animal Rights – Published by AK Press – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Audio – AK Press". akpress.org. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Oakland's AK Press sustains fire damage". Los Angeles Times. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  14. ^ BondGraham, Darwin. "Former AK Press Warehouse Sold to 'Tech Co-Op' Developer Who Demolished 1919 Market". East Bay Express. Retrieved 7 September 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Biel, Joe (2012). "AK Press". Beyond the Music: How Punks Are Saving the World with DIY Ethics, Skills, and Values. Portland, Oregon: Cantankerous Titles. pp. 129–133. ISBN 978-1-62106-472-5. OCLC 793573868.
  • Shaw, Megan. Interview with Craig Gilmore, Ramsey Kanaan, and Craig O'Hara of AK Press. Punk Planet March/April 2000, 59.
  • Swan, Rachel. "Beyond Anarchy at PM Press". East Bay Express. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

External links[edit]