My Disillusionment in Russia

Overview

A teenager when she left Russia and emigrated to the United States, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was so emotionally affected by Chicago's Haymarket Square bombing in 1886 that she became a revolutionary and campaigned for such then-controversial changes in society as higher wages, the eight-hour work day, birth control, and abolition of the draft. Because of these activities, she was stripped of her citizenship and deported in 1919 with other undesirable "Reds" to Russia. J. Edgar Hoover, who directed her deportation...
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My Disillusionment in Russia

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Overview

A teenager when she left Russia and emigrated to the United States, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was so emotionally affected by Chicago's Haymarket Square bombing in 1886 that she became a revolutionary and campaigned for such then-controversial changes in society as higher wages, the eight-hour work day, birth control, and abolition of the draft. Because of these activities, she was stripped of her citizenship and deported in 1919 with other undesirable "Reds" to Russia. J. Edgar Hoover, who directed her deportation hearing, called her "one of the most dangerous women in America." While in Russia, Goldman witnessed firsthand the aftermath of the tsarist government's downfall. Horrified by what she saw in major cities and revolted by the Bolshevik dictatorship, she left the country in 1921 and soon after, set down her thoughts in two books. This edition, combining the two original volumes, contains Goldman's account of her experiences in Soviet Russia from 1920 to 1921 and what she viewed as the Bolsheviks' betrayal of the revolution. In her writings, Goldman speaks passionately about political harassment and forced labor inflicted upon the masses, the rampant opportunism raging throughout the Soviet government, industrial militarization, persecution of anarchists, and the increased use of deportation as a political weapon. An important work by a major feminist and political activist, this volume will be of value to teachers, students, and anyone interested in Communist thought and the socio-economic problems of the early twentieth century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486432700
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/19/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,025,308
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

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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Table of Contents

Preface vii
I. Deportation to Russia 1
II. Petrograd 8
III. Disturbing Thoughts 15
IV. Moscow: First Impressions 22
V. Meeting People 31
VI. Preparing for American Deportees 38
VII. Rest Homes for Workers 44
VIII. The First of May in Petrograd 48
IX. Industrial Militarization 51
X. The British Labour Mission 58
XI. A Visit from the Ukraina 60
XII. Beneath the Surface 68
XIII. Joining the Museum of the Revolution 75
XIV. Petropavlovsk and Schlusselburg 80
XV. The Trade Unions 84
XVI. Maria Spiridonova 90
XVII. Another Visit to Peter Kropotkin 97
XVIII. En Route 101
XIX. In Kharkov 105
XX. Poltava 122
XXI. Kiev 133
XXII. Odessa 153
XXIII. Returning to Moscow 160
XXIV. Back to Petrograd 169
XXV. Archangel and Return 178
XXVI. Death and Funeral of Peter Kropotkin 186
XXVII. Kronstadt 193
XXVIII. Persecution of Anarchists 201
XXIX. Travelling Salesmen of the Revolution 212
XXX. Education and Culture 221
XXXI. Exploiting the Famine 233
XXXII. The Socialist Republic Resorts to Deportation 237
XXXIII. Afterword 242
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