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Living My Life: Volume 1 (Unabridged)

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ISBN 10: 1611043573 / ISBN 13: 9781611043570
Used Condition: Good
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Title: Living My Life: Volume 1 (Unabridged)

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Forget all those New Left memoirs: for readers who want to know what it is to be a revolutionary in America, this is the book to read. At the turn of the 20th century, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was probably the most hated woman in her adopted country. (She emigrated from Russia at age 17.) It was bad enough that she was an anarchist, accused of complicity in the 1901 assassination of President McKinley. But her vehement espousal of women's rights--including birth control--really enraged upright citizens. Goldman's marvelously militant autobiography gives ample evidence of her gift for bearing a grudge and inability to mince words--she decries fellow leftists at least as often as the bourgeoisie, especially after she is deported to the Soviet Union in 1919 and discovers that the Bolshevik Revolution is not what she hoped for. But Goldman's blazing honesty and unflinching commitment to unpopular causes make her a larger-than-life heroine. She does display the occasional human weakness, including a lengthy romance with a man whose infidelities torment this advocate of free love, but they're less interesting than her heroic challenge to America to live up to its ideals. Whether or not she was literally a bomb thrower remains a matter of debate. For posterity, her words are incendiary enough. --Wendy Smith

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