New York: Benj. R. Tucker, 1897. Second 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 typically worn copy; boards evenly rubbed and soiled, with board exposure at upper corners and mild fraying to spine ends; both hinges thinly cracked (but holding); text clean and unmarked. A sound, Good or better copy.
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).
This second edition (actually almost certainly a second printing, as there is no evidence of a re-setting of type) is on noticeably inferior paper (the 1893 edition bulks a full quarter inch thicker) and is rather more commonly seen in commerce than the moderately scarce first. Still, a presentable copy of a cornerstone work in the American anarchist canon. NURSEY-BRAY (Anarchist Thinkers & Thought: An Annotated Bibliography) 928.