About the BookEmma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years reconstructs the life of Emma Goldman through significant texts and documents. These volumes collect personal letters, lecture notes, newspaper articles, court transcripts, government surveillance reports, and numerous other documents, some of which appear here in English for the first time. Supplemented with thorough annotations, multiple appendixes, and detailed chronologies, the texts bring to life the memory of this singular, pivotal figure in American and European radical history.
Volume 1: Made for America, 1890-1901 introduces readers to the young Emma Goldman as she begins her association with the international anarchist movement and especially with the German, Jewish, and Italian immigrant radicals in New York City. From early on, Goldman's movement through political and intellectual circles is marked by violence, from the attempted murder of industrialist Henry Clay Frick by Goldman's lover, Alexander Berkman, to the assassination of President William McKinley, in which Goldman was falsely implicated. The documents surrounding these events illuminate Goldman's struggle to balance anarchism's positive gains and its destructive costs. This volume introduces many of the themes that would pervade much of Goldman's later writings and speeches: the untold possibilities of anarchism; the transformative power of literature; the interplay of human relationships; and the importance of free speech, education, labor, women's freedom, and radical social reform.
About the AuthorEmma Goldman (1869-1940) was a speaker and writer who campaigned for women’s and workers’ rights, birth control, universal education, and other progressive causes. Candace Falk is a Guggenheim Fellow and the founding director of the Emma Goldman Papers research project at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of New York Times Notable Biography of the Year Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman. Barry Pateman is the associate editor of the Emma Goldman Papers, curator of the Kate Sharpley Library, and editor of Chomsky on Anarchism. Jessica Moran is a former assistant editor of the Emma Goldman Papers and is an archivist and scholar of anarchist history.
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Reviews“[Goldman’s career] as her adoptive country's most notorious anarchist [is] richly displayed in these two volumes of documentary history." --London Review of Books
“A major contribution to the history of anarchism and its place in the broader left . . . . Reading these collections nearly recreates the experience of going to the library and jumping headfirst into archival research.”--Against the Current
“The volumes expand access to materials essential to understanding American history, especially struggles over radical politics, the position of women, free speech, violence as a means of social change, government repression, and the place of the individual in American myth and culture.”--Documentary Editing
"This collection is an excellent overview of Goldman's early years and is recommended for larger public and all academic libraries."--Library Journal
"The book definitely shows better than any work previously published, including Goldman's own autobiography, her splendid achievement during this early decade as an emerging anarchist."--Dennis G. Dalton, Forward
"This book's real achievement is that alongside the rich and detailed picture of Goldman's life and ideas we are given a much clearer view of her comrades and the movement they built."--John Patten, Anarchist Studies
"A vast sourcebook of fascinating newspaper articles, letters, trial transcripts, and speeches . . . especially instructive in today's climate of constricted civil liberties."--Chris Dodge, Utne Reader