Anarchism and other essays

by Emma Goldman

Book, 2005

Status

Checked out
Due 28-06-2017

Publication

Työväen tuotantokomitea, Espoo, Finland, 2005

Description

In the 1890s and for years thereafter, America reverberated with the name of the "notorious Anarchist," feminist, revolutionist, and agitator, Emma Goldberg. A Russian Jewish immigrant at the age of 17, she moved by her own efforts from seamstress in a clothing factory to internationally known radical lecturer, writer, editor, and friend of the oppressed. This book is a collection of her remarkably penetrating essays, far in advance of their time, originally published by the Mother Earth press which she founded. In the first of these essays, Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, she says, "Direct action, having proven effective along economic lines, is equally potent in the environment of the individual." In Minorities Versus Majorities she holds that social and economic well-being will result only through "the non-compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass." Other pieces deal with The Hypocrisy of Puritanism; Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure; The Psychology of Political Violence; The Drama: A Powerful Disseminator of Radical Thought; Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty; and The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation. A biographical sketch by Hippolyte Havel precedes the essays. Anarchism and Other Essays provides a fascinating look into revolutionary issues at the turn of the century, a prophetic view of the social and economic future, much of which we have seen take place, and above all, a glimpse into the mind of an extraordinary woman: brilliant, provocative, dedicated, passionate, and what used to be called "high-minded."… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member astrologerjenny
I love Emma Goldman. I don’t always agree with her, and that figures, since these essays were written a century ago. So many attitudes have shifted since then. Emma’s statements about women’s nature, her horror of “perversion” – these are limiting beliefs that she didn’t know she had. At one point in her book, she claims that she’s overcome all prejudice.

But so much of what she says is right on, and so much is clarifying. And there’s so much that the world has yet to learn.

It’s sad that this passionate, idealistic woman was so demonized in her time. She was held responsible for every act of political violence, just because she dared to say that the murder of a political figure is not worse than the systematic oppression of hundreds of people – in prisons, in factories, in mines, every hour of every day.

And is the world still resting on the backs of these people? That hasn’t changed in 100 years. We could use Emma these days.

Quote from the book:
“The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed.”
… (more)
LibraryThing member astrologerjenny
I love Emma Goldman. I don’t always agree with her, and that figures, since these essays were written a century ago. So many attitudes have shifted since then. Emma’s statements about women’s nature, her horror of “perversion” – these are limiting beliefs that she didn’t know she had. At one point in her book, she claims that she’s overcome all prejudice.

But so much of what she says is right on, and so much is clarifying. And there’s so much that the world has yet to learn.

It’s sad that this passionate, idealistic woman was so demonized in her time. She was held responsible for every act of political violence, just because she dared to say that the murder of a political figure is not worse than the systematic oppression of hundreds of people – in prisons, in factories, in mines, every hour of every day.

And is the world still resting on the backs of these people? That hasn’t changed in 100 years. We could use Emma these days.

Quote from the book:
“The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed.”
… (more)
LibraryThing member bkinetic
Emma Goldman portrays anarchism as a profoundly liberating philosophy that challenges people to think for themselves, express opinions freely, and avoid the blandness of conventional wisdom. On the opening pages, she exhorts us to cease seeking peer social approval and begin forming independent ideas and perspectives. On the subsequent pages she exemplifies independent though.

The chapters cover diverse ground. In one chapter, she seeks to persuade the reader not to judge acts of anarchist violence harshly, but to understand them in the context of a corrupt and repressive society. Surprisingly, in another chapter she argues against giving women the right to vote, but only because she saw elections as meaningless. The last chapter is an interesting review of plays, such as those of Ibsen, that reveals the deficiencies in our culture in a more effective way than polemics.
… (more)

Language

Original publication date

1910
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