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Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

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Overview

Through his many books on the history of anarchism, Paul Avrich has done much to dispel the public's conception of the anarchists as mere terrorists. In Anarchist Voices, Avrich lets American anarchists speak for themselves. This book contains 180 interviews conducted by Avrich over a period of 30 years, interviews that portray the human dimensions of a movement much maligned by the authorities and contemporary journalists. Most of the interviewees (anarchists as well as their friends and relatives) were active during the heyday of the movement, between the 1880s and the 1930s. They represent all schools of anarchism and include both famous figures and minor ones, previously overlooked by most historians. Their stories provide a wealth of personal detail about such anarchist luminaries as Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti.

The interviews are grouped in six sections organized around individuals or major aspects of the movement. Each section begins with an explanatory essay, and each interview with a biographical note. Avrich also includes a selected bibliography and a list of anarchist periodicals. This work of impeccable scholarship will be an invaluable resource not only for scholars of anarchism but also for those studying immigration, ethnic politics, the history of education, and legal and labor history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Anarchist Voices draws on interviews with native and foreign-born anarchists that Avrich has been conducting over the past 30 years. . . . Avrich's absorbing collection makes a vital contribution to the history of the American left."--Library Journal

"The 180 interviewees in this oral history represent diverse political tendencies--individualists, collectivists, pacifists, revolutionaries. What unites them is an optimistic faith that people will live in harmony once the impositions of government disappear. . . . [Paul] Avrich profiles a movement that continues to exercise an appeal with its calls for self-determination, direct grass-roots action and voluntary cooperation."--Publishers Weekly

"Paul Avrich's Anarchist Voices . . . achieves some wonderful results."--The Nation

"This gracefully edited study should interest all students of American radicalism. . . ."--Choice

"The voices in Avrich's book help us to appreciate the central point about anarchism--that it is a cry for social justice."--Robert D'Attilio, Boston Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 180 interviewees in this oral history (mostly anarchists, but also their friends, associates and relatives) represent diverse political tendencies-individualists, collectivists, pacifists, revolutionaries. What unites them is an optimistic faith that people will live in harmony once the impositions of government disappear. The respondents give firsthand recollections of Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, Sacco and Vanzetti and other key anarchists; describe their experiences in libertarian schools and colonies; and offer trenchant observations on the dangers of authoritarian communism, bureaucracy and entrenched institutions. Among those interviewed are self-proclaimed ``philosophical anarchist'' Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union; Daniel Gurin, historian of the U.S. labor movement; Alexandra Kropotkin, English-born daughter of Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin; Albert Boni, publisher of ``Modern Library'' classics and a socialist; and Dwight Macdonald, who launched the journal Politics in 1944. Avrich (The Haymarket Tragedy) profiles a movement that continues to exercise an appeal with its calls for self-determination, direct grass-roots action and voluntary cooperation. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Avrich (history, Queens Coll.) is America's leading authority on anarchist movements. Through his many books and articles he has shown that anarchism is a distinctive political tradition with deep roots in the American experience. Anarchist Voices draws on interviews with native and foreign-born anarchists that Avrich has been conducting over the past 30 years. While a few of his subjects are relatively well-known (Dwight MacDonald, Daniel Guerin), most are obscure. The interviews, however, address major historical figures such as Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti, as well as the impact of anarchism on the education system, ethnic movements, and the New Left. Avrich's absorbing collection makes a vital contribution to the history of the American left. Expensive but recommended for academic and larger public library history collections.-Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691034126
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/1994
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York.

Barry Pateman is the curator of the Emma Goldman Archive at the University of California Berkeley and wrote the introduction to AK Press' Chomsky on Anarchism.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Preface and Acknowledgments xi
Part 1 Pioneers
Introduction 3
Oriole Tucker Riche 8
Beatrice Fetz 11
Helena Bailie 14
Laurance Labadie 15
Alexandra Kropotkin 16
John J. Most, Jr. 18
Mary Schwab 20
Henry R. Schnaubelt 22
Milton W. Thorpe 23
Grace Umrath 23
Elmer B. Isaak 27
Marion Bell 29
Brigitte Hausberger 33
Fermin Rocker 37
Part 2 Emma Goldman
Introduction 45
Freda Diamond 51
Luba Stein Benenson 55
Jeanne Levey 56
Pauline H. Turkel 58
Hilda Adel 60
Roger N. Baldwin 62
Albert Boni 65
Gabriel Javsicas 66
Ida Gershoy 68
Arthur Leonard Ross 72
Kate Wolfson 73
Ora Robbins 76
Millie Grobstein 77
Ahrne Thorne 80
Part 3 Sacco and Vanzetti
Introduction 87
Spencer Sacco 92
Gemma Diotalevi 95
Jennie Paglia 96
Ralph Piesco 98
George T. Kelley 99
Beltrando Brini 100
Lefevre Brini Wager 104
Concetta Silvestri 107
Jenny Salemme 109
Catina Willman 111
Joseph Moro 112
Bartolomeo Provo 115
Vincenzo Farulla 120
Sebastiano Magliocca 121
Sara R. Ehrmann 122
Art Shields 123
Fred J. Cook 126
George Vaux 127
Harry Richal 128
Louis Tarabelli 130
Charles Poggi 132
Febo Pomilia 134
Florence Rossi 136
Galileo Tobia 137
Elide Sanchini 138
Oreste Fabrizi 139
Alberico Pirani 141
Valerio Isca 143
John Vattuone 151
William Gallo 153
Guy Liberti 157
Hugo Rolland 159
Esther Travaglio 160
Vincenzo Ferrero 163
Dominick Sallitto 166
Lino Molin 167
Mark Luca 168
Frank Brand 169
Attilio Bortolotti 175
Part 4 Schools and Colonies
Introduction 191
Amour Liber 196
Revolte Bercovici 197
David Lawson 198
Manuel Komroff 200
Benjamin G. Benno 203
Maurice Hollod 204
Rose Goldblatt 209
Gussie Denenberg 211
Charles Plunkett 214
Moritz Jagendorf 219
Morris Beresin 222
Harry Melman 223
Emma Gilbert 224
Richard Gilbert 228
Magda Schoenwetter 229
Ray Shedlovsky 231
Eva Bein 234
Mary Rappaport 237
Anna Schwartz 239
Hugo Gellert 241
Lillian Rifkin Blumenfeld 243
Suzanne Hotkine Avins 245
Anatole Freeman Ishill 248
Ben Frumkin 249
Siegfried Rolland 250
Esther Walters 251
Rina Garst 251
Mollie Albert 254
Molly Bogin 256
Lallah Blanpied 257
Dorothy Rick 259
Jacques Dubois 259
Henry Fruchter 260
Nora Horn 261
Jacob Landa 262
Jo Ann Burbank 264
Ben Lieberman 268
Jacques Rudome 270
Lydia Miller 273
Eva Brandes 274
Nellie Dick 282
Macie Pope 291
David Dadisman 292
Pearl Pottu 294
Radium LaVene 295
Philip Trupin 296
Louis A. Gittelman 299
Ellis Grosner 301
Aaron Rockoff 303
Eleanor Litwak 304
Shaindel Ostroff 306
Emanuel V. Conason 308
Beatrice Markowitz 309
Dora Keyser 310
Part 5 Ethnic Anarchists
Introduction 315
Sam Dreen 320
Rene Shapshak 324
Lena Shlakman 325
Julius Seltzer 328
Joseph Spivak 330
Rebecca August 332
Ida Lehrer and Sonya Tucker 333
Zalman Deanin 334
Sonya Deanin 335
Paul Rose 337
Ida Radosh 339
Clara Larsen 340
Bessie Zoglin 342
Sonya Farber 346
Isidore Farbiash 348
Israel Ostroff 349
Abraham Blecher 351
Clara Halpern 353
Morris Schulmeister 359
David Babich 364
Victor Lynn 365
Wanda Swieda 369
Morris Ganberg 371
Morris Greenshner 376
Mark Mratchny 381
Johanna Boetz 385
Leon Shapiro 386
Boris Yelensky 388
Marcelino Garcia 390
Sirio Esteve 393
Jose Hernandez 394
Louis G. Raymond 394
Juan Anido 396
Marcelo Salinas 397
Gustavo Lopez 398
Joachin Edo 399
Federico Arcos 400
H. L. Wei 407
Red Jones 409
Bella Wong 410
Part 6 The 1920s and After
Introduction 415
Sam Dolgoff 419
Sarah Taback 429
Jack Frager 431
Abe Bluestein 435
Louis Genin 439
Louis Slater 443
Clara Solomon 446
Sidney Solomon 449
Mark Schmidt 453
Franz Fleigler 454
Irving Sterling 457
Audrey Goodfriend 460
David Koven 461
Bronka Greenberg 463
Daniel Guerin 467
Dwight Macdonald 469
Robert S. Calese 470
Richard Ellington 472
Fred Woodworth 473
Anne McVey 476
Notes 477
List of Periodicals 529
Further Reading 537
Index 543
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