Wooden Shoe Books • 704 South Street • Philadelphia, PA 19147 • sabot@woodenshoebooks.com • (215) 413-0999
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sabot Wooden Shoe Books: anarchist and radical literature
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Our Hours:
We aspire to be open from noon (or earlier) to 10pm, 7 days a week, but... we're all volunteers, and sometimes it just doesn't work out. If you're making a special trip to the Shoe it's a good idea to call ahead to make sure we're open: 215 413 0999

See our Calendar page for many more upcoming events.
If you'd like to propose an event you can send us an email.

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We are a 501c3 non-proft organization and donations are tax deductible.

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The Wooden Shoe is temporarily closed, due to growing public health concerns in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As anarchists, we assert that in times of crisis people have the capability of taking voluntary action, both collectively and individually, to mitigate the risks posed by an outbreak such as this. We understand it is imperative to slow the spread of contagion to lessen the chance of our catastrophically unprepared healthcare system becoming overwhelmed.
It is in the spirit of these concerns that we make this decision.
However, we are also aware that state and government forces are more than willing to exploit crises by abusing tools like quarantines and other states of exception. This often comes at the expense of the most vulnerable, especially those detained and imprisoned in overcrowded jails, prisons, and concentration camps. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and critically and encourage all to do the same.

We apologize to all of those in the community who rely on our space. Hopefully we will be able to open our doors again soon.

In the meantime, please check out and contribute to this local mutual aid effort: Neighbors helping Neighbors: Request For Aid - Philly Mutual Aid for Folks affected by COVID-19 https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSf4tHQTrOG0DDh6hy…/viewform

And for people outside of Philly here is a growing list of mutual aid pandemic disaster care resources: Collective Care Is Our Best Weapon against COVID-19 https://docs.google.com/…/1uP49OQGhosfBN4BOYQv…/mobilebasic…

In solidarity,
The Wooden Shoe volunteers

We all need anarchist culture during these trying times.
Until we are able to reopen, here are a few online resources for free books, pamphlets, zines, movies and more: https://theanarchistlibrary.org
If you're in Philly, The Free Library has amazing online materials for you to enjoy while all of their physical locations are closed, including (limited) free video streaming via Kanopy


What Is Anarchism? What Is The Wooden Shoe? To put it simply, anarchism is the the political philosophy that people are better off making decisions for themselves, and communities making decisions for their communities, rather than having any centralized power/governing body do it for them. Furthermore, anarchism is opposed to capitalism and all systems of oppression that attempt to exploit or control.

Founded in 1976, the Wooden Shoe is an all volunteer, collectively-run, anarchist book store. Functioning within a system we oppose, we seek to be an example of one way things can function without anyone commanding or forcing us to think or act a certain way. We have neither bosses nor managers and make all of our decisions through consensus rather than majority rule voting so as to empower those involved. We also identify as an infoshop, meaning that we serve as a space for people to gather, learn, and find out more about like-minded activities happening in their communities.

As of March 2009 we would like to make a special announcement. After nearly six months of work, we have completed a major restructuring of the organization of our collective. Many people might wonder why the Wooden Shoe collective found it necessary to restructure. For years collective members worked hard to find new solutions to the ever-present main problems: finding committed and accountable collective members, combating the yearly loss of funds, and finding ways to hold larger community events. Many different solutions were presented and tried, but none were successful. We needed to re-organize in order to survive financially, but also to make the collective stronger. With our new structure, we have a better system of open and honest communication, better training process, and much better accountability amongst our members. We cannot truly confront the many systems of oppression in larger society until we have confronted those very issues within our own collective.

We're primarily an information sharing and educational space, yet in the end, the idea we really want to promote is that workers ought to control their own workplaces, neighbors should control their own neighborhoods, and all people should be able to live their lives free of oppression. The space we make should further these ideals. This is a moment in our history and we wanted to share it with our community.This project was largely inspired by Red Emma's collective in Baltimore, MD. We are extremely grateful to them for assisting and consulting with us throughout the transformation process. The information and advice they shared proved to be incredibly invaluable. Although we adopted our new structure to retain the original Wooden Shoe flavor, we borrowed many concepts they use in their collective, and highly encourage others to look at their model for creating a strong collective. We now have a new structure for our collective, a new outlook, and new energy for building a pretty amazing space. Our members have discussed and agreed to a revised mission and statement of values.

Wooden Shoe Books In The News/Media


Listen to the Mp3 from the July 21, 2010 Talk: "The New World View of CLR James" with Noel Ignatiev and the WSB audience

Part Two Q&A from the July 21, 2009 Talk: "The New World View of CLR James with Noel Ignatiev and the WSB audience

Listen to the Mp3 from the July 10, 2010 Talk: "Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States" with Craig Hughes and Stevie Peace

Listen to the Mp3 from the June 11, 2009 Talk: "11 Years of Defenestrating" with The defenestrator Colelctive and the WSB audience

Listen to the Mp3 from the June 4, 2009 Talk: "The Vegetarian Myth" with Lierre Kieth and the WSB audience

Listen to the Mp3 from the April 23, 2009 Talk: "Arm The Spirit: A Woman's Journey Underground and Back" with Diana Block and the WSB audience

Listen to the Mp3 from the April 9, 2009 Talk: "Radically Democratic Urbanism" with Matt Hern and the WSB audience

Listen to the mp3 from the April 10, 2008 Talk: "Anarchists and the Elections: The Love-Hate Relationship w/ Presidential Elections and Should Our Approach Be Any Different?" with Cindy Milstein and the WSB audience

Forty Years in the Struggle: The Memoirs of a Jewish Anarchist
By Chaim Leib Weinberg
Translated by Naomi Cohen
Edited and annotated by Robert P. Helms
Jointly published by: Wooden Shoe Books & Robert P. Helms
Philadelphia 2007

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Wooden Shoe Books • 704 South Street • Philadelphia, PA 19147 • sabot@woodenshoebooks.com • (215) 413-0999