There’s not much commentary I feel I can offer on The Anarchist Cookbook. A lot of it is just recipes for drugs and bombs. It’s not a manifesto and doesn’t contain much mention of theory, or praxis for anarchist ideology. It’s obviously rebellious and probably 95% of the recipes are illegal, but it contains a teenager’s understanding of anarchy; probably because it was written by a teenager. Some things in this book made me laugh such as the line, “Pot is central to the revolution” and Powell’s disgust towards heroin while readily providing methods for obtaining amphetamines.
I kind of doubt any act of revolution could have been inspired by The Anarchist Cookbook any further than somebody following a recipe for a simple time bomb. Despite this, it was heavily censored and those who owned a copy were viewed more closely by the FBI. Thinking about the context of the time period, this makes sense because there was no other way to obtain these recipes; the internet did not exist. Still, if somebody today was searching the web for bomb recipes and methods for acquiring hard psychedelic drugs, I have no doubt that they would be flagged by some sort of government institution. It’s just interesting to me that a book written by a teenager who was likely perpetually high was a source for so much concern by the government.