Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American anarchist and libertarian socialist author, orator, historian, and political theoretician. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin initiated the critical theory ofsocial ecology within anarchist, libertarian socialist, and ecological thought. He was the author of two dozen books covering topics in politics, philosophy, history, urban affairs, and ecology. Among the most important were Our Synthetic Environment, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, and The Ecology of Freedom. In the late 1990s he became disenchanted with the increasingly apolitical lifestylism of the contemporary anarchist movement (see: lifestyle anarchism) and stopped referring to himself as an anarchist. Instead, he founded his own libertarian socialist ideology called Communalism.
Bookchin was an anti-capitalist and vocal advocate of the decentralisation of society along ecological and democratic lines. His writings on libertarian municipalism, a theory of face-to-face, assembly democracy, had an influence on theGreen movement and anti-capitalist direct action groups such as Reclaim the Streets.