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Is he actually an anarchist per the new category def? Or just someone who writes about them? Being a historian covering a certain subject doesn't necessarily make one an adherent to the cause.--Hooperbloob 06:07, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)
A reasonable question, but I think Avrich was doing 'making more than a living' from studying Anarchism, or even a sympathetic student of the movement. Finding a quote where he admits as much might be a different matter tho'. John BTW, nice edit, whoever expanded the stub.
I understand that he referred to himself as a historian of anarchism rather than as an anarchist; but that there is a sense among anarchists that that was more a nod to academic objectivity than a statement that he was not an anarchist. ... We should have a scholars of anarchism category, into which he would clearly fit, and then the question of whether he was actually an anarchist would be separate, as it should be. --LQ 08:31, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Avrich was a fantastic historian of the movement, but I don't think he was an anarchist, particularly after reading "Kropotkin's Ethical Anarchism" (from "Anarchist Portraits"), and "The Russian Anarchists." He was fair, insightful, and compassionate towards anarchists and their ideals, which is unusual for a non-anarchist chronicling the movement and its personalities, but I haven't seen any evidence that he was anything more than a critical sympathizer at best. A recurring theme in his work is the extinction of the anarchist movement - however sympathetic Avrich might have been to certain anarchist ideas or valnues, he frequently expressed the belief that the movement was, on the whole, simply obsolete. If I figure out how, and unless there is disagreement here, I will be removing Avrich from the anarchist categories. -Steve
There were no comments, so I went ahead and removed him from these categories until someone produces evidence that he identified as an anarchist.Father Inire 00:05, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
"Every good person deep down is an anarchist," - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/24/nyregion/24avrich.html It would seem odd to not categorize him as an anarchist historian (and therefore an "anarchist academic"), considering that anarchism/anarchists were his primary subject matter, and he felt such a deep connections to anarchists and their ideas (he also apparently named his two cats after Bakunin and Kropotkin!). Psjalltheway (talk) 00:55, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Dear Friends, Paul Avrich was as much an anarchist as anyone ever I've known in all these years, and a more powerful force inside the idea than anyone else who has influenced me. Let me make a few suggestions as to further testimony. Nunzio Pernicone knew Paul far better than I did, and on a higher level of knowledge. Also, Barry Patemen once asked Paul whether or not he was an anarchist. I'll let Barry tell you what Paul said, but I remember the quote with fondness. Also with fondness, I remember this warm-hearted historian as a cat-lover. But I learned a little more when I briefly met his daughter Jane, at Paul's memorial service: he would teach his children to carefully take the daddy long-leg spiders out onto the porch of their home, and to let them be free rather than to crush them underfoot. I hope this little note will cause my friend and mentor to be remembered more accurately. Paul was very severe on accuracy. BobHelms (talk) 14:27, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
(A decade later...) To clarify the link above,
Although Avrich calls himself an anarchist, he says that some kind of government is necessary. "I would like to say it could work, but people would have to get along with each other very well." — Phillips, Susan (2002). "Love and Anarchy: A Profile and Interview with Paul Avrich". Dead Anarchists. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
Mind that the profile was written as a school assignment and isn't published in a periodical with a reputation for fact-checking. czar 05:51, 15 June 2017 (UTC)