Murray Bookchin: Ecologist and Environmental Activist

A Plowboy Interview with Murray Bookchin, aka, "Lewis Herber," an anarchist ecologist, on his works and interest on environmental, social and ecological problems.

| July/August 1971

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    Murray Bookchin, anarchist ecologist.
    Photo by John Shuttleworth

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Almost as soon as Little Jane and I started MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we began getting excited messages from folks all over the country: "Do you know about Murray Bookchin?" "Have you read Bookchin?" "Here's a pamphlet by Murray Bookchin, the anarchist ecologist" or simply, "Read Bookchin." 

Naturally-being blessed with an open, inquiring mind and recognizing a good thing when so many levelheaded people pointed it out — I ... steadfastly ... ignored ... Murray ... Bookchin. I mean, I had the usual idiotic idea that anarchists were people with bushy, black beards and Molotov cocktails.  

 And then magnificent, warm Len Krimmerman invited me up to the University of Connecticut as a resource person for an alternatives-in-living conference ... and Murray had received a like invitation ... and he was there ... and my mind was boggled and my heart won.  

 Murray Bookchin is one of the warmest, most thoughtful and sensible men I've ever met. Under the pen name of Lewis Herber, he's been writing about ecology more years than some of today's staunchest environmentalists are old ... and Murray isn't that old himself (only 50). This is a man, in other words, with vision far into the future.  

Murray has published four books — two on ecology-under his pen name. The ecology titles are  Our Synthetic Environment and Crisis in Our Cities. Bookchin's fifth book (this time under his real name), Post-Scarcity Anarchism, has just been released by Ramparts Press.  

 Bookchin has taught ecology and now travels widely to speak on ecological, environmental and social problems at universities across the country.  

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