Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman


The anarchist and radical hero Emma Goldman, brought to vivid life in a graphic biography by an acclaimed artist.

"You are a terrible child and will grow into a worse woman! You have no respect for your elders or for authority! You will surely end on the gallows as a public menace!"—Emma Goldman's ...
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The anarchist and radical hero Emma Goldman, brought to vivid life in a graphic biography by an acclaimed artist.

"You are a terrible child and will grow into a worse woman! You have no respect for your elders or for authority! You will surely end on the gallows as a public menace!"—Emma Goldman's childhood religion teacher

A wonderful retelling of the famous anarchist and radical icon Emma Goldman's extraordinary life, this graphic biography embodies the richness and drama of Goldman's story in a wholly original way.

A Dangerous Woman depicts the full sweep of a life lived to the hilt in the struggle for equality and justice. Emma Goldman was at the forefront of the radical causes of the twentieth century, from leading hunger demonstrations during the Great Depression—"Ask for work! If they do not give you work, ask for bread! If they do not give you work or bread, take the bread!"—to organizing a cloakmakers' strike, from lecturing on how to use birth control to fighting conscription for World War I, while her soulmate, Alexander Berkman, spent fourteen years in jail for his failed attentat against industrialist Henry Clay Frick.

Sharon Rudahl's lovely, energetic illustrations bring Goldman's many facets and passions to new life; her work belongs with the critically acclaimed graphic nonfiction of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. Featuring a foreword by Alice Wexler, A Dangerous Woman is a marvelously compelling presentation of a woman devoted to revolutionizing her age.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Deploying the smack-'em-in-the-face descriptive style of Will Eisner for a graphic biography may not seem like the best idea. But when it comes to the life of famed anarchist Emma Goldman, Rudahl's punchy, exclamation point-heavy method feels just right to cover the crusader's life. Born in Russia in 1869 at a time when women, particularly Jewish women, were to be downtrodden and not heard, Goldman lost no time upsetting the status quo with her big mouth and restless curiosity. After following her sisters to America, the newly married Goldman was just starting to learn about leftist politics when she became radicalized by the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago, leading to more than a half-century's worth of nearly nonstop protesting, fiery speechmaking and organizing across North America and Europe, and even a few passionate affairs. Rudahl's earnest admiration for Goldman and her refreshingly smart approach to the cause is clear in her excited artwork, all cramped frames and twirly action. The volume is well-suited for libraries because of its knowledgeable but shorthand approach to history, exemplified in a scene where Teddy Roosevelt holds a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungleand declares, "I don't want fingersin my sausage!!! Hurry up and pass some food and drug laws!" (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Radical heroine "Red Emma" smashed every feminine stereotype of her era. Her crusades? Free speech, free thought, birth control, sexual self-expression, and the right of workers to organize-largely taken for granted today even if still imperfectly realized in America or anywhere. Born among downtrodden Jews under 1860s imperial Russia, Emma formed her ideals early. After immigrating to America as a teen, she left a new husband to join anarchists and intellectuals fighting for free thought and for worker rights against capitalist exploitation. A charismatic public speaker and champion of the oppressed, she attracted crowds, newspaper attention, and police surveillance. Among various lovers, her lifelong mate was Alexander Berkman, soon jailed for a failed attempt on the life of a strike-breaking industrialist. Emma also spent time in prison for anarchist speech, promoting birth control, and protesting conscription for World War I. Rudahl's swirly, crowded pencils convey well the electric tumult of Emma's life and times, although the artist's attempt to cover both broad and detailed viewpoints renders the tale rather cluttered. Goldman and her fellows fought their way through hell so that we today might live with more freedoms and options. Her story-and Rudahl's telling-belongs in all public and many high school libraries to inspire continued dialog about rights and reforms.
—Martha Cornog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580641
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Pages: 115
  • Sales rank: 1,343,108
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Rudahl's work has appeared in underground newspapers and magazines, Marvel Comics, and Wobblies!: A Graphic History; her art has been widely exhibited. She lives in Hollywood. Paul Buhle is a senior lecturer at Brown University. He has written, edited, or co-edited thirty-two books, including the Encyclopedia of the American Left, Wobblies!, and the Jews and American Popular Culture trilogy. Alice Wexler is the author of a two-volume biography of Emma Goldman. She is a research scholar at UCLA.
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