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Synopsis: Being historically one the more important yet obscure figures in American history, Emma Goldman's anarchist thought is as relevent today as it was when she wrote "Anarchism, and Other Essays". In an age where political apathy, intellectual ignorance and spiritual corruption are the failings of modern civilzation, Emma Goldman's Enlightenment thought is illuminating in its message of the power of direct action as she so lucidly illustrates: "Anarchism urges man to think, to investigate, to analyze every proposition... (Anarchism is the) philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary." And, "the new social order rests, of course, on the materialistic basis of life; but while all Anarchists agree that the main evil today is an economic one, they maintain that the solution of that evil can be brought about only through the consideration of every phase of life,--individual, as well as the collective; the internal, as well as the external phases." One more quote from Goldman reads "a thorough perusal of the history of human development will disclose two elements in bitter conflict with each other; elements that are only now beginning to be understood, not as foreign to each other, but as closely related and truly harmonious, if only placed in proper environment: the individual and social instincts. The individual and society have waged a relentless and bloody battle for ages, each striving for supremacy, because each was blind to the value and importance of the other. The individual and social instincts,--the one a most potent factor for individual endeavor, for growth, aspiration, self-realization; the other an equally potent factor for mutual helpfulness and social well-being." From just that little exerpt it is easy to understand why any and all authority was terrified of Emma Goldman and why her important contributions to society have been muzzled from histories - down the "memory hole" to use an Orwellian expression. "Anarchism, and Other Essays" is as relevent today as it was in Emma Goldman's day and necessary material for anyone truly interested or involved in altruistic direct action.

About the Author: One of the towering figures in global radicalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, EMMA GOLDMAN (1869–1940) was an anarchist, a feminist, a pacifist, a communist, a unionist, and a proponent of birth control and free love. Her extreme notions made her as much an object of outrage as one of reverence in the tumultuous years of the Gilded Age, World War I, and the Roaring Twenties, and her name remains, to this day, synonymous with ideas of sweeping cultural revolution. Here, in her two-volume memories, first published in 1931, she tells her life story. From her arrival in New York as a 20-year-old seamstress, when she immediately launched into a life of activism and public agitation, she recalls her childhood in Lithuania, her immigration to the U.S. as a teenager, and her wild adventures as an independent and intelligent woman: baptizing babies on a beer barrel, supporting workingmen’s strikes, traveling in Europe... An important and influential figure in such far-flung geopolitical events as the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War, Goldman is one of the most storied people of the 20th century. And her story, in her own inimitable words, is one of the great biographies, and one of the great personal histories of a turbulent era.

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