Danuta Kean “Anarchist Cookbook author William Powell dies aged 66” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/30/anarchist-cookbook-author-william-powell-dies-aged-66
A manual filled with diagrams and recipes about how to make weapons from bombs to homemade guns and even how to convert a shotgun into a rocket launcher, The Anarchist Cookbook was inspired by Powell’s rage at the presidency of Richard Nixon and the Vietnam war.
As an angry teenager in 1969, he used the New York Public Library to research and the book included instructions for illegal practices including breaking into telephone networks and making LSD. The book went on to sell more than 2m copies.
2013年にコロラド州デンヴァーのハイ・スクールでKarl Piersonが同級生を殺し、自殺するという事件が起きたが、友人の証言によれば、ピアソンもまた Anarchist Cookbookを読んでいた*1。
In 1976, Powell converted to Christianity and began his fight to have the book removed from circulation, but the copyright was in the name of the publisher Lyle Stuart. The latest version of the book, from Snowball Publishing, is reported to have been heavily edited.
Following the attack, Powell called for the book to be taken out of circulation. Writing in the Guardian, he revealed that he no longer held the copyright for the book and had been wrangling with its publisher to take it out of print. “Over the years, I have come to understand that the basic premise behind the Cookbook is profoundly flawed,” he wrote. Describing the anger that he felt at the time of writing as blinding him to the “illogical notion that violence can be used to prevent violence”, he added: “I had fallen for the same irrational pattern of thought that led to US military involvement in both Vietnam and Iraq. The irony is not lost on me.”*2
As an adult, Powell turned to teaching in Africa and Asia, working with schools around the world to support children with learning challenges. In 2010, he and his wife founded the Next Frontier: Inclusion, a nonprofit organisation aimed at helping children with special educational needs including dyslexia, ADHD and autism.
*1:See Ron Mott and Tracy Connor “Colorado high school shooter read bomb-making manual” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/colorado-high-school-shooter-read-bomb-making-manual-f2D11750480
*2: William Powell “I wrote the Anarchist Cookbook in 1969. Now I see its premise as flawed” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/19/anarchist-cookbook-author-william-powell-out-of-print See also Tony Dokoupil “After latest shooting, murder manual author calls for book to be taken ‘immediately’ out of print” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/after-latest-shooting-murder-manual-author-calls-book-be-taken-f2D11758543
*3:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100212/1265948020 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141223/1419309580 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141223/1419309580 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20170102/1483325500