Friday, January 13, 2006

Voltairine De Cleyre: Her revolutionary ideas and legacy

Voltairine De Cleyre: Her revolutionary ideas and legacy
by Anarcho

The Voltairine De Cleyre Reader
A. J. Brigati (Editor)
AK Distribution
ISBN: 1902593871

Gates of Freedom: Voltairine De Cleyre and the Revolution of the Mind
Eugenia C. Delamotte
University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472098675

Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine De Cleyre - Anarchist, Feminist, Genius
Sharon Presley and Crispin Sartwell (Editors)
State University of New York Press
ISBN: 0791460940

Typical. The anarchist movement waits nine decades for a book of Voltairine De Cleyre's writings to appear and three turn up at once! Was it worth the wait? Yes, most definitely.

In her short life, Voltairine de Cleyre distinguished herself as a leading intellectual, activist, speaker and writer within the American and worldwide anarchist movement. Emma Goldman called her "the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced." Her activity and works covered many subjects, including anarchism, feminism, education and the labour movement, bit sadly, both are virtually unknown today. Except for Paul Avirch's classic biography of 1978 ("An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre"), she has resided in near obscurity since her early death in 1912 at the age of 46. Only one collection of her writings has previously been published -- The Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre in 1914, edited by Alexander Berkman and published by Goldman's "Mother Earth". Even this was hardly complete, leaving important works buried in little known papersand magazines. Since then, Voltairine has descended into undeserved obscurity.


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