I’ve been working on my next book, “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” since February 2010. But it has been brewing inside me for much longer than that.
When I first let slip that I was working on this book, I was in Germany, teaching a class of a dozen Europeans and Americans how to work wood by hand. We were sitting at lunch around a table when I told them the title of the book.
Everyone in the room laughed.
Then, after a moment, it got quite quiet. One of the Germans in our group – a quiet man with excellent hand skills – spoke up.
“I don’t think that’s a good title,” he said. “Anarchism does not have a good name here.”
The rest of the students nodded their heads. One of them piped up:
“It might be better to call it the ‘Practical Tool Chest,’ ” he suggested. “At least in Europe.”
When I returned to the United States, I weighed their advice against my gut. I’m not a political person. I would rather talk about almost anything than politics. In fact, covering politics and business and government as a newspaper journalist is what soured me on… everything.
So I decided to go with my gut. The book might make you uncomfortable. The ideas inside it might make you dislike me. But in my heart, I know that most woodworkers are “aesthetic anarchists.” This short movie shows some construction details of my chest and has my two favorite quotes about anarchism. If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.
— Christopher Schwarz