Living My Life, Vol. 1

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9780486225432: Living My Life, Vol. 1

“You damn bitch of an anarchist, I wish I could get at you. I would tear your heart out and feed it to my dog.” This was one of the less obscene messages received by Emma Goldman (1869-1940), while in jail on suspicion of complicity in the assassination of McKinley. The most notorious woman of her day, she was bitterly hated by millions and equally revered by millions.
The strong feelings she aroused are understandable. She was an alien, a practicing anarchist, a labor agitator, a pacifist in World War 1, an advocate of political violence, a feminist, a proponent of free love and birth control, a communist, a street-fighter for justice — all of which she did with strong intellect and boundless passion. Today, of course, many of the issues that she fought over are just as vital as they were then.
Emma Goldman came from Russia at the age of 17. After an encounter with the sweatshop and an unfortunate marriage, she plunged into the bewildering intellectual and activist chaos that attended American social evolution around the turn of the twentieth century. She knew practically everyone of importance in radical circles. She dominated many areas of the radical movement, lecturing, writing, haranguing, and publishing to awaken the world to her ideas. After World War I she was deported to Russia, where she soon discovered that anarchists were no better liked than in America, despite Lenin’s first gesture of welcome. She escaped with her life but never was allowed to return to the United States.
Emma Goldman was a devastatingly honest woman, who spared herself as little as she spared anyone else. From her account the reader can gain insight into a curious personality type of recurrent interest: a woman who devoted her life to eliminating suffering, yet could make a bomb or assist in staging an assassination. Equally interesting are her comments on other radicals of the period, such as Kropotkin, Berkman, Mooney, Lenin, Trotsky, Haywood, Most, the Haymarket martyrs, and many others. Her autobiography, written with vigor, ranks among the finest in the English language.

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Review:

Forget all those New Left memoirs: for readers who want to know what it is to be a revolutionary in America, this is the book to read. At the turn of the 20th century, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was probably the most hated woman in her adopted country. (She emigrated from Russia at age 17.) It was bad enough that she was an anarchist, accused of complicity in the 1901 assassination of President McKinley. But her vehement espousal of women's rights--including birth control--really enraged upright citizens. Goldman's marvelously militant autobiography gives ample evidence of her gift for bearing a grudge and inability to mince words--she decries fellow leftists at least as often as the bourgeoisie, especially after she is deported to the Soviet Union in 1919 and discovers that the Bolshevik Revolution is not what she hoped for. But Goldman's blazing honesty and unflinching commitment to unpopular causes make her a larger-than-life heroine. She does display the occasional human weakness, including a lengthy romance with a man whose infidelities torment this advocate of free love, but they're less interesting than her heroic challenge to America to live up to its ideals. Whether or not she was literally a bomb thrower remains a matter of debate. For posterity, her words are incendiary enough. --Wendy Smith

About 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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Descripción Dover Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 1970. Paperbacks. Estado de conservación: New. 1st Editions Thus. With 993pp plus index. Volume I is fine. Volume II appears unread but has a bouple of brusis on outer spine. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. No Writing or Other Marks. Good Packing, Fast Shipping. Nº de ref. de la librería 049898

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Descripción Dover Publications Inc., United States, 1971. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. The strong feelings she aroused are understandable. She was an alien, a practicing anarchist, a labor agitator, a pacifist in World War I, an advocate of political violence, a feminist, a proponent of free love and birth control, a communist, a street-fighter for justice - all of which she did with strong intellect and boundless passion. Today, of course, many of the issues that she fought over are just as vital as they were 75 years ago. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780486225432

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Descripción Dover Publications Inc., United States, 1971. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The strong feelings she aroused are understandable. She was an alien, a practicing anarchist, a labor agitator, a pacifist in World War I, an advocate of political violence, a feminist, a proponent of free love and birth control, a communist, a street-fighter for justice - all of which she did with strong intellect and boundless passion. Today, of course, many of the issues that she fought over are just as vital as they were 75 years ago. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780486225432

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