- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: AK Press (April 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1902593871
- ISBN-13: 978-1902593876
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,100,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader Paperback – April 1, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In this reader are collected some of her speeches that were later transcribed into essays and published. A December 16, 1893 speech was published in 1894 as "In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation": "Miss Goldmann [sic] is a communist; I am an individualist. She wishes to destroy the right of property, I wish to assert it. I make war upon privilege and authority whereby the right of property, the true right of the individual, is annihilated". In this essay, she showed herself to a libertarian and wisely saw that free enterprise makes it difficult for one to amass wealth at the expense of the many; only the interventionist power of the State can create monopoly [or even a corporation for that matter].
In her 1909 essay "Anarchism and American Traditions", she wrote: "Anarchism declares that private enterprise, whether individual or cooperative, is equal to all the undertakings of society. And it quotes the particular two instances, Education and Commerce, which the governments of the States and of the United States have undertaken to manage and regulate, as the very two which in operation have done more to destroy American freedom and equality, to warp and distort American tradition, to make of government a mighty engine of tyranny".
After the Haymarket labor leaders were hanged in 1887 after a corrupted trial, she became an anti-Constitutionalist because of its inability to protect individuals' rights. Apparently she had never read or heard of the Cherokee Nation's Supreme Court win and subsequent Trail of Tears at the hands of President Andy Jackson in violation of the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court ruling. Because if she had, she would not have been shocked to learn that the Constitution really is a sham. It protects individuals' rights only when the government allows it to; otherwise it's just words on paper.
A student of Benjamin Tucker, Voltairine de Cleyre should be read not only for her ideas on liberty but for her historical impact in the growth of early libertarian thought.
She covers such diverse subjects as Zapata in the chapter on the Mexican Revolt to Anarchism and American Traditions.
This is one the important contributions Anarchist Press has made to the world by publishing works that have been frequently out of print.