Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

by Paul Avrich

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Paul Avrich, a New York City professor of History, let's the anarchists speak for themselves in this mighty tome. 180 interviewees, mostly anarchists, friends, associates, and relatives, talk about their motivations as individualists, collectivists, pacifists, and revolutionaries. There are firsthand recollections of Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, Sacco and Vanzetti and other key anarchists, experiences in libertarian schools and colonies, and observations of the dangers of authoritarian communism, bureaucracy and entrenched institutions. Interviews include Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Daniel Guerin, Peter Kropotkin, and Dwight Macdonald. This book profiles a movement continuing to appeal with its calls for self-determination, direct grass-roots action and voluntary cooperation.

 

Comments

The Times Literary Supplement

Avrich shows that anarchists were much more than black-caped figures with fizzing bombs, but at the same time he does not try to sanitize them. He makes it quite clear, for example, that Sacco and Vanzetti were disciples of Luigi Galleani, who favored bomb and dynamite attacks on capitalists, and that they were active members of terrorist conspiracies.

 
 
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