Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years redefines the historical memory of Emma Goldman and illuminates a forgotten yet influential facet in the history of American and European radicalism. This definitive multivolume work, which differs significantly from Goldman's autobiography, presents original texts--a significant group of which are published or translated into English for the first time--anchored by rigorous contextual annotations. The distillation of years of scholarly research, these volumes include personal correspondence, newspaper articles, government surveillance reports from America and Europe, dramatic court transcripts, lecture notes, and previously unpublished documents retrieved from obscurity. Biographical, newspaper, and organizational appendices are complemented by in-depth chronologies that underscore the complexity of Goldman's political and social milieu.
Making Speech Free, 1902-1909, the second volume in the series, chronicles Goldman's pivotal role in the early battle for free expression. It highlights the relationship between the development of the right of free speech and turn-of-the-century anarchist ideas. The enactment of anti-anarchist laws and the organization of groups in protest occupy center stage among the primary documents. Within this frame, the volume presents Goldman's evolving attitudes toward violence in both its European and American contexts, the emergent revolution in Russia, and the beginnings of the Modern School education movement in America, the social significance of European modern drama, and the right of labor to organize against unfair working conditions in the United States. The volume features the early evolution of Goldman's magazine, Mother Earth, launched in 1906, which promoted a blending of modern literary and cultural ideas into her radical and social political agenda and became a platform for the articulation of her feminist critique, an expression of her international reach, and a marker of her desire to spread anarchist ideas outside the immigrant left. Making Speech Free also tracks Goldman's emergence as a writer and orator whose scathing critique of hypocrisy in all realms of life and politics would eventually capture the attention and imagination of America.