A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. In 1969, a 19-year-old New Yorker named William Powell, jacked up on revolutionary politics and infuriated by the growing police brutality against antiwar protesters, began compiling The Anarchist Cookbook, a how-to manual for sowers of mayhem. The book included detailed instructions for spying on and sabotaging electronic communications, using lethal weapons, and constructing bombs and booby traps. It contained recipes for TNT and LSD; it explained how to build a silencer for a pistol or machine gun and how to convert a shotgun into a grenade launcher. Copyrighted by independent publisher Lyle Stuart and published in 1971, The Anarchist Cookbook would reportedly go on to sell some two million copies over the years, and it’s still going strong. Count among its loyal fan base James Eagan Holmes, currently serving life in prison for the 2012 movie-theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado; Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people when he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995; and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. Continue reading >>