Through his many books on the history of anarchism, Paul Avrich has done much to dispel the public's conception of the anarchists as mere terrorists. In Anarchist Voices, Avrich lets American anarchists speak for themselves. This book contains 180 interviews conducted by Avrich over a period of 30 years, interviews that portray the human dimensions of a movement much maligned by the authorities and contemporary journalists. Most of the interviewees (anarchists as well as their friends and relatives) were active during the heyday of the movement, between the 1880s and the 1930s. They represent all schools of anarchism and include both famous figures and minor ones, previously overlooked by most historians. Their stories provide a wealth of personal detail about such anarchist luminaries as Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti.
The interviews are grouped in six sections organized around individuals or major aspects of the movement. Each section begins with an explanatory essay, and each interview with a biographical note. Avrich also includes a selected bibliography and a list of anarchist periodicals. This work of impeccable scholarship will be an invaluable resource not only for scholars of anarchism but also for those studying immigration, ethnic politics, the history of education, and legal and labor history.
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