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The Anarchist's Cookbook was a book written to protest The Vietnam War that contained various half baked recipes for things like phone phreaking and, most controversially, building homemade explosives. However, it's really infamous for two things:

1. Having nothing to do with Anarchism as a political idea.

2. Having nothing to do with the reality of how one would safely make a homemade bomb.

With the rise of the internet, a number of text and .pdf files have showed up bearing the name of this book. If you do a Google search for "anarchist cookbook," some of these will probably come up on the first page. They often contain some information cribbed from the real book, as well as various tips, tricks, and pranks that have been put in over the course of twenty years (these things date back to the dark days of UseNet). As one would expect from something that was put together by the precursors to 4chan, most of the stuff in these online "cookbooks" is often so outdated or dangerously inaccurate that it makes the real Anarchist Cookbook look like an Army field manual.

Tropes used in Anarchist Cookbook include:


  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: The Anarchist Cookbook is the media's fallback rebuttal against anyone who publicly opposes censorship. Since the majority of the media (and the public) seem to assume that its recipes are substantially more effective than they really are, it will be mentioned in connection with any homemade bomber before long. Then the book will be cited as something dangerous enough to justify a ban.
  • Don't Try This At Home: Seriously.
  • Follow the Leader: The aforementioned files circulating on the Internet that bear the book's name.
  • Government Conspiracy: The book has been theorized to be the work of antidisestablishmentarianist factions in the government to get hippies to "accidentally" maim and kill themselves. Given the reliability of a lot of the recipes and instructions therein, this isn't that far fetched.
  • G-Rated Drug: Apparently, baking banana peels activates a hallucinogenic chemical called "bananadine" which can be used to get high. Although this is 100 percent fiction, that little fact hasn't stopped countless failed attempts by the type of people who try to buy 10 bottles of Robotussin.
  • The Movie: There's actually a movie named after it. How is it? Even though it came out in 2002, it is so straw-tastic, it makes anti-communist propaganda from the fifties look like a Michael Moore documentary.
  • Old Shame: The writer of the book, William Powell, later renounced the views and content expressed in it and tried to have it pulled from publication, but discovered that he had accidentally signed the rights over to the publisher, Lyle Stuart. To give you an idea about how things have changed: Powell is now a devout Christian and administer of an international charity to help teachers.
  • Take That: Anarchist collective CrimethInc published a book titled An Anarchist Cookbook that is more in line with their definition of anarchism.
  • Technology Marches On: The guide to phone phreaking shows this book as a relic of The Seventies.
  • Toad Licking: The book contains a recipe to make dried toad skin powder for smoking. It's not good for your toad karma.
  • UseNet: Where the online guides were compiled.
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