The past decade has witnessed an important upsurge of anarchist approaches in geography – this volume is itself testimony to this development. The turn to anarchist theory, inspired also by recent grassroots movements, constitutes a rupture within the field of radical geography insofar as it questions the Marxist approaches that had been instrumental for the establishment of radical geography at universities since the 1970s. As Simon Springer, arguably the most polemical of current anarchist geographers, strives to give the deathblow to the already waning influence of Marxism, 2 he among others deploys a plainly historical type of argument: anarchism’s connection to geography largely predates that of Marxism. The roots of radical geography, he holds, stretch back into the nineteenth century – a view that even Springer’s main target, the Marxist geographer David Harvey has never challenged. The latter had long before conceded that ‘the radical urge in nineteenth-century geography was expressed through anarchism rather than through Marxism’. 3 For Marxists and anarchists alike, the inevitable points of reference are Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) and Pëtr Kropotkin (1842–1921). The Frenchman and the Russian, who knew each other and at times collaborated, 4 in their days were widely known as both anarchist militants and acclaimed geographers. The present surge of interest in anarchism is thus framed as a rediscovery of a forgotten – if not deliberately ousted – tradition. 5 Whilst Reclus has already served as a figurehead for the kind of more consciously political (and left-wing) geography promoted by the journal Hérodote since the 1970s 6 and early issues of Antipode had been devoted to Kropotkin, 7 Springer wants to take the appropriation yet further. With reference to ‘radix’ as the root of the term radicalism, Springer poses the question: ‘Yet how could a “radical” geography truly be radical without digging down into the foundations that had been laid by the anarchist geographies of Elisée Reclus and Peter Kropotkin?’ 8 The argument runs that a thorough engagement with history is now mandatory for radical geographers.