From Publishers Weekly
The 180 interviewees in this oral history (mostly anarchists, but also their friends, associates and relatives) represent diverse political tendencies-individualists, collectivists, pacifists, revolutionaries. What unites them is an optimistic faith that people will live in harmony once the impositions of government disappear. The respondents give firsthand recollections of Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, Sacco and Vanzetti and other key anarchists; describe their experiences in libertarian schools and colonies; and offer trenchant observations on the dangers of authoritarian communism, bureaucracy and entrenched institutions. Among those interviewed are self-proclaimed "philosophical anarchist" Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union; Daniel Guerin, historian of the U.S. labor movement; Alexandra Kropotkin, English-born daughter of Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin; Albert Boni, publisher of "Modern Library" classics and a socialist; and Dwight Macdonald, who launched the journal Politics in 1944. Avrich (The Haymarket Tragedy) profiles a movement that continues to exercise an appeal with its calls for self-determination, direct grass-roots action and voluntary cooperation.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Avrich (history, Queens Coll.) is America's leading authority on anarchist movements. Through his many books and articles he has shown that anarchism is a distinctive political tradition with deep roots in the American experience. Anarchist Voices draws on interviews with native and foreign-born anarchists that Avrich has been conducting over the past 30 years. While a few of his subjects are relatively well-known (Dwight MacDonald, Daniel Guerin), most are obscure. The interviews, however, address major historical figures such as Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti, as well as the impact of anarchism on the education system, ethnic movements, and the New Left. Avrich's absorbing collection makes a vital contribution to the history of the American left. Expensive but recommended for academic and larger public library history collections.
See all Editorial Reviews
Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.