on July 13, 2012
A must read for any progressive or liberal minded person. The book describes the labor, political, social and military state of affairs in the United States from the late 1800's to the first couple of decades into the 1900's. It could have been written in 2012 to describe the current state of affairs. Goldman and other "anarchists" love of liberty, education of the young and true freedom are honest and purely from the heart. The anarchists seem to know that their lofty ideals are unreachable but that in placing those goals so unbelievably high that even getting half way there will improve the social condition greatly. Goldman's struggle with the corporate/military/political oligarchy that seems to have taken power away from the voting citizens of the united states is never ending. Her personal history and treatment as a pariah in society only made her realize even more that her beliefs were sound and valid. Which they were and still are. Not knowing much about anarchism or those who espoused it led me to purchase this book because Emma Goldman is the most recognizable of those who's belief she shares in America. The sweeping, lofty vision of the true anarchist are not those of the bomb thrower or the radical street thug who smashes the symbols of capitalism, but of love of life, education of the child, the arts and sciences. Goldman and her comrades strive to educate "wage slaves" on their own condition and the hope for future personal freedoms that corporations in league with the government and the military hold back from the citizens of america as well as the world in general. I commend Goldman and those who came before and after her on their ideals and hard work in reaching for a higher plain of existence for the common man. Their struggle should continue and their banner picked up and held high. Please read this book. It may change your life.
on September 17, 2011
Here's a classic collection of works from Goldman. I thought the essay on Anarchism was the weakest of the lot. Her views on patriotism and crime/prisons were inspiring and her essays on feminism really challenged me to keep going back and reexamining what I believe.
It is probably worth reading for context and perspective on her time and ours and for another lens through which to examine society. Anarchism is a crock though, Right-Libertarianism dressed up in the fancy words of the left. She would have made Ayn Rand proud.