RED EMMA SPEAKS: Selected Writings and Speeches by Emma Golden by Alix -- Ed. Shulman

RED EMMA SPEAKS: Selected Writings and Speeches by Emma Golden

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A timely compilation of the speeches and writings of Emma Goldman, the romantic revolutionary-anarchist who preached ""free love to puritans, atheism to churchmen, revolution to reformers."" Included are selections from her autobiography, Living My Life, essays from the journal Mother Earth which she edited with Berkman, selections from Anarchism and Other Essays, and four pieces hitherto unpublished. The editor pays special respects to Goldman the feminist who denounced the suffragettes' narrow view of women's emancipation and championed birth control and the elimination of marriage as ""an insurance pact"" which made women parasites and fettered the bliss of free love. Goldman was no original thinker; she had, like anarchists from Bakunin to Kropotkin whom she resembles, little use and even less time for the ""trifling details"" of a program. The extreme antiauthoritarianism which made her a demonic legend and led to her deportation in 1919 by J. Edgar Hoover is affecting despite the crudities of her theories on violence and state power. Her early attacks on the statism of the Bolsheviks voiced in My Disillusionment in Russia seem prescient; on the other hand her bludgeonings of the Church were anachronistic even in her own day. And the Rousseau-inspired theories on the education of children would today be cheerfully applauded by the Montessorians. What does come through in this well-chosen selection of her writings is the impassioned fury of a Medusa who was engage from the Homestead strike to the I.W.W. to the Spanish Civil War. Her fiery libertarianism will find sympathetic resonance among contemporary guerrillas -- she is part of their historical pedigree.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1971
Publisher: Random House