Remembering the Father of Social Ecology

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Oxford University Press Releases Murray Bookchin’s Biography

Special Issue by Jon Milton
Published November 23, 2015

Murray Bookchin “died in 2006 a disappointed man,” said Janet Biehl, the author of Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin. At the time of his death, his dream of social revolution had failed to materialize.

Montreal publisher Black Rose Books recently hosted three book launches from Nov. 10 to 12 for the biography of the founder of the field of social ecology and longtime revolutionary theorist. Social ecology is a social theory that considers environmental problems as rooted in social issues.

The first launch at McGill was organized as a presentation by Biehl, who was Bookchin’s editor for the last two decades, as well as his close friend.

Despite the biography—the first ever written about Bookchin—being published by Oxford University Press, Dimitrios Roussopoulos, founder of Black Rose Books, helped with the launch. This was in part because of his friendship with Biehl, as well as his admiration for Bookchin, whom Black Rose previously collaborated with.

Only around 25 people showed up, but Roussopoulos mentioned early on that this was “not reflective of how much McGill students care about making change.” He cited the student body’s help in creating the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, a group that works toward a greener Montreal and operates on Bookchin’s principles of social ecology.

Roussopoulos also mentioned that the decision to host the final French-language book launch at UQAM on Thursday was partially due to GRIP-UQÀM, the university’s public-interest research group, which was founded explicitly on social ecology.

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