Bob from Brockley asked a few bloggers (including yours truly) to list our five greatest political influences. It’s rather difficult for me to say as my politics have shifted over time from the extremes of the radical left to a more pragmatic centrism. It was very hard reducing the list to five but here they are:
1. Family. I’d be remiss (and a jerk) if I failed to mention my family. First, my mother taught me the value of compromise and being a good listener and negotiator. Second, my grandfather and his extensive library introduced me to the world of ideas at an early age. Last, but certainly not least, my brother (may he rest in peace) schooled me in the art of
2. Friends. I’ve been blessed with some remarkable friends over the years, many of whom never seem to tire of hashing and rehashing political quandaries, historical events, and old arguments. Without these intellectual comrades and allies I would not be the person I am today.
3. Paul Avrich. Historian and author of numerous books on the Russian and U.S. anarchist movements.
4. George Orwell.