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William Powell (Author)
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    (December 6, 1949-July 11, 2016)
    Born in Roslyn, New York
    Wrote ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ (1971)
    Subject of the documentary ‘American Anarchist’ (2017)
    He provided recipes for explosives and illegal drugs, and advice on sabotaging communications devices and building a silencer for a handgun.
    The book contained a lot of misinformation.
    He allowed the copyright on ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ to be taken out by the publisher, Lyle Stuart, who ignored his later requests to remove the book from print.
    Criminals who took inspiration from ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ included Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Columbine shooter Eric Harris, and Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people while trying to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
    Commenting on these crimes, he said, ‘Somebody else with a perverted, distorted sense of reality did something awful. I didn’t.’
    His death went largely unnoticed for nearly a year, until the release of ‘American Anarchist,’ which mentioned his passing in the credits.
    He was sexually molested by the dorm master at a prep school he attended.
    He found the information for ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ in public libraries (mostly in military manuals).
    A security expert said it was ‘inevitable’ that someone would have assembled the information: ‘It’s human behavior to tap into a dangerous stream of knowledge.’
    He renounced the book, calling it ‘a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that I did not believe in ... The central idea to the book was that violence is an acceptable means to bring about political change. I no longer agree with this.’
    He became a teacher, working in Third World countries and specializing in helping special-needs students.

Credit: C. Fishel

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