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Living My Life (Penguin Classics) Paperback – Abridged, April 4, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
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The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In Living My Life, Emma Goldman, called "Red Emma" or "The Anarchist Queen" by the United States government and other detractors, describes her philosophical and political journey through her life. We witness the politicization of this young Russian immigrant as she arrives in the United States in 1886, begins her first job in a sweat-shop, and becomes inflamed by the Haymarket labor riots of 1887. Over the next forty years of her life as an anarchist, she wends her way through the labyrinth of American, Russian, and European radical politics. Living My Life is a graphic description of the labor movement in the United States; of the bitterly-fought battles and ensuing jail terms over free speech, free love, the right to birth control; and of day-by-day political and personal life in Russia immediately following the 1917 revolution. Emma Goldman applies the same unrelenting scrutiny to her political actions and the actions and philosophies of governments as she does to her love affairs and friendships. The power of this book lies in the personal nature of her narrative - in the daily accounts of the friendships, love affairs, doubts, and joys of Emma and her revolutionary colleagues - overlaid on the canvas of major world events. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Kate Boris-Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Emma Goldman (1869–1940) came to America from Russia when she was sixteen. As a political activist, publisher, lecturer, and writer, she was a central figure in the radical social movements of her age.

Miriam Brody has written biographies of Mary Wollstonecraft and Victoria Woodhull.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142437859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142437858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chadwick Heller on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have no issue with the book itself, I'd just like those who purchase this book to know that this is only the first half of Emma Goldmans "Living My Life". I bought this copy under the impression that it would be her entire autobiography. It would be helpful if this important piece of information were included in the description of this book somewhere.
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Format: Paperback
I consider this autobiography as essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the United States, or early 20th century international political history. Beyond its value as a historical document, 'Living My Life' is also a gripping read. Goldman was a real adventurer, a real revolutionary after a design that seems forgotten today. The stories that come from her rough and tumble experiences in America, the still-born Soviet Union, and Europe, are breathtaking, heartbreaking, and pertinent in our own age of political and economic instability.

I firmly believe that this book should be required reading in American high schools or junior highs, especially for young women. The very fact that Goldman still comes off as so dangerously radical is testimony to both her brilliance and courage, and to the lack of change that typifies most of the world's social systems.

I agree with other reviewers' assessment of Goldman's writing abilities, but she was an ideologue more than an artist. Where her political philosophy is concerned, she is definitely uncompromising. However, Goldman seems to me much more human than many of the era's major revolutionary figures. Her devotion to the liberation and well-being of women and her renouncement of terrorist tactics in her later life demonstrate this quite sufficiently. The long relationship between Goldman and Alexander Berkman reveals the personal cost of revolutionary activity and is probably worth a book of its own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is great Emma Goldman, but in a truly *terrible* edition. The cover and binding look like some kind of horrible on-demand crapola, the text is 284 pages of close-to-6-point type in some annoying face that looks like spider tracks, and there's no publisher info beyond the ISBN. Who dealt this mess?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously, I love it. It's my introduction. But I'm puzzled by the objections about the font and size. The Penguiin edition has not been issued in small print. I am not a young reader with excellent vision. No problem with the size of print. Also, I wish to caution readers that this is an abridged version of Volumes I and II of the autobiography as originally published by Norton. Sorry I haven't logged in sooner.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You have got to be kidding. I waited excitedly for this book to come. What a bummer it is! The print is so small I cannot read it. For the first time I feel ripped off by Amazon. I've never returned anything, but this book is going back. I had to put one star or this review would not go through.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Autobiography of Emma Goldman was a fascinating read. I could not put the book down. I am a history teacher and am fascinated with United States history from 1890-1920. After reading a biography of Eugene Debs and reading about John Reed, I wanted to find out more about the life of Emma Goldman. Her life was devoted to anarchism, which is not studied much today. Her life is full of intrigue and I was especially interested in her time spent in the early Soviet Union. This is an absorbing book that all followers of United States radical history should read.
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