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Living My Life, Vol 1 Paperback – 28 Mar 2003

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 510 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (28 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486225437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486225432
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 3 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Emma Goldman (1869 – 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire (now Kaunas in Lithuania), Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Though Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1917, Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested—along with hundreds of others—and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman quickly voiced her opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. In 1923, she wrote a book about her experiences, My Disillusionment in Russia. While living in England, Canada, and France, she wrote an autobiography called Living My Life. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she traveled to Spain to support the anarchist revolution there. She died in Toronto on May 14, 1940. During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
Emma Goldman was one of America's first feminists and a contemporary of John Reed, the guy made famous by Warren Beatty's 1981 movie "Reds". If you've seen the movie and you want to get beyond the Hollywood gloss or if you want to understand what motivated the early radicals then read this book. The story starts with Emma as a young immigrant in NYC, which is a vivid first-hand account of the radical battles of the late 19th century in the USA; abortion, contraception, housing, workers' rights. The book is also a fascinating insight into the disputes within the radical movement before the movement was irrevocably shaken by the Russian revolution which split the movement for a century. After the Soviet revolution, loathed by the American establishment, she is deported to the young Soviet Russia nominally for her opposition to forced conscription during the First World War. The acccount of her experience in Russia is also fascinating. She arrives a believer but leaves in '21 as a disillusioned and active critic of the Bolsheviks. Anyone seriously interested in the history and origins of radical politics and the labour movement would be well advised to read this unique two-book autobiography.
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Format: Paperback
The autobiography of one of the most fascinating people I have ever heard about.

A woman that was always true to herself in a period (late 19th and early 20th century) when everything was against her, being russian, a woman, a prominent anarchist, a communist, an activist for labour and human rights, a syndicalist and a believer in free-love, birthcontrol and freedom.

A fascinating book from an extremely competent propagandist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good as it looks, but still to be read, give mr tima
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Format: Paperback
The single most important autobiography in the English language make sure you get VOLUME 2.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8feab540) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8feccf84) out of 5 stars Emma Goldman's autobiography--an essential document 20 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Goldman's autobiography is a long read, but I implore anyone with a critical mind and a feeling of social consiousness to pick it up at once. The book is testimony of the powerful eloquence and charisma of Emma Goldman, who managed to weave the minute details of the lives of some of our most brilliant and--by virtue of their radicalism--unknown revolutionary activists of turn-of-the-century America and abroad into an absorbing and intense piece of non-fiction. The historical events recorded in this autobiography--often day-by-day accounts--reveal a different perspective of what we're taught in high school history classes, which often portray great movements in societies as the product of one person's toil--usually an ex-president. Goldman chronicles a huge network of vibrant social activists--Anarchists, Socialists, Communists, Humanists, Suffragists, just to name a few--who often worked long hours by day to support themselves while working for their causes at night.
The details are both inspiring and disturbing, as the actions of the American public and its government against immigrants, activists, or anyone else whom it deemed un-american are described with clarity by the victim who lived through it, and not by the patriot historian. One of the most heartwrenching descriptions in the entire book is the mass deportation to Russia on Christmas, 1919, of hundreds of first and second-generation Russian immigrants(Goldman included), many of whom could not even speak Russian.
Much of the second volume is devoted to Goldman's life in Russia after her deportation--a period of her life that is a book in itself. It includes rich details of post-revolutionary Russia-- conversations with Lenin, train rides to remote regions of the country, visits to towns deracinated by the Russian pogroms against the Jews, and her eventual unceremonious departure from the country.
As I already mentioned, the book is a long read. I'd recommend taking a break between volumes one and two. It's worth the time it takes to get through it. Emma Goldman's autobiography is an essential document for anyone who harbors a passion for social change, a curiousity about turn-of-the-century America or the Bolshevik Revolution, or just enjoys good non-fiction.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fed1408) out of 5 stars Living Beyond Expectations 27 Jun. 2001
By Elderbear - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In her autobiography Emma Goldman explains her life, narrating the experience of marching to her own drummer. Depending on the reader's political expectations, Emma's life is either inspiring or downright terrifying. Those who believe in social conformity would probably be more comfortable moving on to other fodder.
Nevertheless, this eyewitness account of American and Russian history, ought not to be trivially dismissed. Emma fought for things we have taken for granted in modern life, such as birth-control and the eight-hour work day; she went to jail in the struggle to obtain these for us. This book explains how she lived her commitment to individual liberty, choosing who she would love, advocating revolution, and harrassing those of her "allies" who compromised on these principles.
Perhaps the most interesting portion of the book is her years in Russia. Here she describes arriving at the "Promised Land" of the peoples' revolution and how that mutated into a sense of disillusionment and horror at what she saw as the betrayal of that revolution by the "dictatorship of the proletariat."
Her writing style is nothing exceptional, but the story she weaves from the material of her life is nothing short of fascinating. Another reviewer suggested taking a break between volumes--I couldn't! I had to know what happened next.
Although there are a lot of pages to wade through, I will give this book as a gift to the young women in my life. I believe that Emma can serve as a role model for living one's own life, not living out the expectations of friends, family, or society. In a dysfunctional world, we have too few people who model this.
Emma gets three stars for writing style, but the powerful and plentiful content bring the rating up to five stars. Not to be missed.
(If you'd like to discuss this book or review, click on the "about me" link above & drop me an email. Thanks!)
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fed13b4) out of 5 stars Enjoyable book, fun to read, informative 21 Sept. 2002
By Samuel Krikorian - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could not disagree more with Goldman's ultimate philosophical conclusions, but I enjoyed this book, and volume II as well. Her essential humanity emerges, and it is a good case study and an interesting read, historically, philosophically and personally. She is no Mark Twain or Billy Faulkner, but her life was interesting and her prose adequately conveys the milieu she became enmeshed in. A fair degree of antecedent historical knowledge is necessary to fully enjoy this book, but you most likely have that or you wouldn't be reading about Emma to begin with. If you don't, or find that you are getting lost in the history and sequence, it would pay to do a little research to better understand what she lived through. It will also help you spot bias on Goldman's part. I heartily recommend this book. It is informative, enlightening and entertaining to boot.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fed1378) out of 5 stars Buy it before it disappears. You'll use it for inspiration. 16 Mar. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Though Emma Goldman has finally begun to be recognized by some people, she still is an unknown quantity to many. Anarchy. We hear "anarchy" and shudder. For Emma, anarchy was based on her belief in the innate goodness of man. Government takes away rights, rather than preserves them. We must learn to act outside the constraints of government and society. And we msut accept responsibility for our acts as she did for hers. She fought long and hard for individual rights. Her life wasn't easy; but it was HER life. Her autobiography is wonderfully fluid and a joy to read, even though English was not her native language. She inspires by her example and gives a riveting portrait of America from the 1890's through the 1920's. DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fed16c0) out of 5 stars One of the most important books you'll ever read 23 Aug. 2004
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the best autobiography I've ever read, because her life was lived with such commitment & independence. Certainly, she was hugely influential in her time, but her success was scratched out of nothing, with no support, and huge opposition. The difficulties and the times are conveyed amazingly well. The book will make you look carefully at your own life ... in ways that can only change it for the better.
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