Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, Volume One: Made for America, 1890-1901 / Edition 1

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Overview


Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years redefines the historical memory of Emma Goldman and illuminates a forgotten yet influential facet of the history of American and European radicalism. This definitive multivolume work, which differs significantly from Goldman’s autobiography, presents original texts—a significant group of which are published in or translated into English for the first time—anchored by rigorous contextual annotations. The distillation of years of scholarly research, these volumes include personal correspondence, newspaper articles, government surveillance reports from America and Europe, dramatic court transcripts, unpublished lecture notes, and an array of other rare items and documentation. Biographical, newspaper, and organizational appendixes are complemented by in-depth chronologies that underscore the complexity of Goldman’s political and social milieu.

The first volume, Made for America, 1890–1901, tracks the young Emma Goldman’s introduction into the anarchist movement, features her earliest known writings in the German anarchist press, and charts her gradual emergence from the radical immigrant circles of New York City’s Lower East Side into a political and intellectual culture of both national and international importance. Goldman’s remarkable public ascendance is framed within a volatile period of political violence: within the first few pages, Henry Clay Frick, the anti-union industrialist, is shot by Alexander Berkman, Goldman’s lover; the book ends with the assassination of President William McKinley, an act in which Goldman was falsely implicated. The documents surrounding these events shed light on difficult issues—and spark an important though chilling debate about Goldman’s strategy for reconciling her "beautiful vision" of anarchism and the harsh realities of her times.

The documents articulate the force of Goldman’s rage, tracing the development of her political and social critique as well as her originality and her remarkable ability to synthesize and popularize cutting-edge political and cultural ideas. Goldman appears as a rising luminary in the mainstream press—a voice against hypocrisy and a lightning rod of curiosity, intrigue, and sometimes fear. The volumes include newspaper accounts of the speaking tours across America that eventually established her reputation as one of the most challenging and passionate orators of the twentieth century.

Themes that came to dominate Goldman’s life—anarchism and its possibilities, free speech, education, the transformative power and social significance of literature, the position of labor within the capitalist economic system, the vital importance of women’s freedom, the dynamics of personal relationships, and strategies for a social revolution—are among the many introduced in Made for America.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This first volume of a new collection of writings by and about anarchist leader Goldman covers her formative period, when she was emerging as a political agitator. Many of the documents included here were selected from the microfilm edition of the Emma Goldman Papers, with others discovered since its publication included as well. The materials fall into three broad categories: published articles, personal correspondences, and government documents. Most of the articles first appeared in the radical and popular press and present Goldman's early views on politics, the use of violence to effect change, free speech, marriage, and other topics. The letters include those from Goldman's lover Alexander Berkman, written while he was in prison for attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick in 1892. Finally, the government documents include excerpts from Goldman's 1893 trial for unlawful assembly in New York plus Prussian and French police and intelligence service reports on her activities, including the 1901 extradition order removing her from France. The book also includes a chronology and directories of the people, periodicals, and organizations covered in the documents. Materials originally written in German are presented in both German and English. This collection is an excellent overview of Goldman's early years and is recommended for larger public and all academic libraries.-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ., Parkersburg Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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"Everything good and noble, grand and beautiful, wise and useful, has been done by the spirit of liberty, from the love of freedom, in spite of and in the teeth of government and authority. When man will have recovered from the effects of authority, when he will understand that freedom is the most precious thing, when he will be free to live, to work, to act, to develop, to enter into social relations with whom he is in sympathy, then warfare, conquests, robbery, theft, corruption, poverty and all the ornaments of the State, all the burden of authority will be looked upon as relics of barbarism."--Emma Goldman
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Table of Contents

List of Documents xi
List of Illustrations xv
Foreword xvii
Forging Her Place: An Introduction 1
Editorial Practices 85
List of Abbreviations 91
Documents, 1890-1901 93
Chronology 489
Directories
Individuals 516
Periodicals 563
Organizations 570
Selected Bibliography 581
Emma's List 591
Acknowledgments 597
Index 615
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