Living My Life, Vol. 1by Emma Goldman
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The no-holds-barred account by American anarchist Goldman relates her philosophical and political journey through life. Explore the politicization of the young Russian immigrant as she arrives in the United States in 1886, and how she wends her way through the labyrinth of American, Russian, and European politics over the next 40 years.
- Dover Publications
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Meet the Author
Emma Goldman (1869 - 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire (now Kaunas in Lithuania), Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Though Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1917, Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested-along with hundreds of others-and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman quickly voiced her opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. In 1923, she wrote a book about her experiences, My Disillusionment in Russia. While living in England, Canada, and France, she wrote an autobiography called Living My Life. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she traveled to Spain to support the anarchist revolution there. She died in Toronto on May 14, 1940. During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life.
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Truth pursued not possessed....Emma Goldman was the epitome of a Socratic student! The courage that flowed through her blood like water down a river has inspired me to seek to be the best, most outspoken voice challenging authority and the cheap suits that have the audacity to call themselves our 'leaders' in Washington, DC. Once you read Emma Goldman's autobiography you'll never look at mainstream propaganda history books again!
Emma Goldman was a fierce revolutionary and compassionate humanitarian. She spent every moment of her adult life fighting for 'the people,' all the while appreciating the 'finer' things in life such as literature, music, and theatre. She was a fascinating woman who led the underground activist movement for many years. She was hated and feared by many and adored by many as well. You must read this fascinating book to better understand one of the most intriguing personalities this world has ever seen.
Even abridged, Emma Goldman's memoir of life in the American anarchist movement at the turn of the century is a great read. The stories of her time in post-revolution Soviet Russia alone are worth the price. A must-read for anyone interested in the period.