New York: Benj. R. Tucker, 1893. First Edition. Octavo. Publisher's blue-gray cloth boards, lettered in gilt on spine; blind-stamped decorative borders to front board; red edge-stain; frontispiece portrait; x,-512,pp. A tight, fresh copy, lightly rubbed at joints and extremities and with a brief marginal tissue repair to pp.249/250 (not approaching text); Very Good or better, with the publisher's edge-stain still vivid and even.
Perhaps the clearest exposition ever published of individualist anarchism, written by the movement's foremost exponent in America. The work is comprised of selections from Tucker's voluminous, incisive, often acidic articles in his long-running journal Liberty. These are arranged thematically, in chapters such as "The Individual, Society, and the State;" "Money and Interest;" "Land and Rent;" "Socialism;" "Communism;" etc. Tucker, who had a reputation for not questioning the fallibility of his own ideas, clearly intended the book to be used as a sort of "Bible" of anarchism, a notion alluded to in Paul Avrich's 1973 interview with Tucker's daughter Oriole, who stated, "...the whole family lived an anarchistic life. When I asked a question - like how in the world would we get along without police - Father would say look it up on page so and so of Instead of a Book..." (Avrich, Anarchist Portraits. Princeton: 1988 p.151).
There was a second edition in 1897, on noticeably inferior paper (the 1893 edition bulks a full quarter inch thicker); the first edition somewhat scarce in commerce, especially in such nice condition. NURSEY-BRAY (Anarchist Thinkers & Thought: An Annotated Bibliography) 928.