The Iron Rail: Anarchist Books In An Anarchist City

It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that New Orleans has an anarchist bookstore, because if there was ever an American city that suggested anarchy (the concept, not chaos) it would be New Orleans. New Orleanians seem to be fun-loving people, who want to be left alone to do what they want to do as long as they’re not hurting others, and in a city where government has often been corrupt or dysfunctional, people have learned to make do without government. All the same, the Iron Rail Book Collective got evicted from their old location by the self-styled Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, a group of gentrifiers who objected to the collective’s concern for the homeless. Now located in the French Quarter, the tiny shop sells a fairly decent selection of books on struggles, labor, Black liberation and gay and lesbian issues. Like so many left-wing shops, many of the interesting books stocked at the Iron Rail are not available elsewhere. There is also a small selection of music, mostly indie rock.

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