Written during the late 1960s by William Powell, it delivered the message that violence is an acceptable means to effect political change. The information in the book, which was released in 1970 by Lyle Stuart, Inc., Publishers, contained bomb and drug recipes copied from military documents stored in the New York City Public Library.
Now, Powell maintains that the book was a misguided product of his young adulthood anger, triggered by the possibility that he would be drafted and sent to fight in the Vietnam war—a war that he says he did not believe in. Powell admits to no longer believing in the book’s philosophy, and in 1976 when he became a confirmed Anglican Christian, he asked the publisher to stop publishing the book. However, insisting that the copyright was in the publisher’s name, the publisher did not grant Powell’s request.
In the early 1980s, the book rights were sold to another publisher, who, against Powell’s wishes, published the book with the original bomb and drug recipe content. Powell receives no royalties from the sale of the book, currently published by Ozark, and a number of Internet Websites continue to market the book.
The original version of the book spawned a series of documents that described techniques for cracking computer systems, thus providing a source of education for the neophyte members in the Computer Underground.
Powell, W. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell: Editorial Reviews From the Author. [Online, July 6, 2004.] Amazon Website. http://www.amazon.com.