“Red Emma Speaks: Selected Writings and Speeches”

Emma Goldman

1972 Random House

Probably the best of the three ‘anarchist’ books I’ve read recently, because Emma Goldman was an American and lived during the 20th century, so has the most relevant things to say about this stupid and messed-up society we live in. Her essays here range from feminism, to education, to sexuality, to prisons, to war, to violence, to revolution and counter-revolution.

My favorite pieces here are the Afterword to her wonderful anti-Bolshevik book “My Disillusionment in Russia” and her essay “There Is No Communism in Russia” – both on the subject of how dictatorship in the name of the people is in no way synonymous with freedom, nor capable of leading to it.

This is basic, common-sense stuff, that really doesn’t need a stupid label like ‘anarchism’ – recommended for everyone.

Emma did have a certain provocative way of writing that, if you don’t already agree with her, will make things difficult for you. Anyway, cut her some slack, she was the most hated woman in America for most her life, and one of the most brilliant.

Advertisements