cover image Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

Paul Avich, Paul Avrich. Princeton University Press, $80 (574pp) ISBN 978-0-691-03412-6

The 180 interviewees in this oral history (mostly anarchists, but also their friends, associates and relatives) represent diverse political tendencies-individualists, collectivists, pacifists, revolutionaries. What unites them is an optimistic faith that people will live in harmony once the impositions of government disappear. The respondents give firsthand recollections of Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, Sacco and Vanzetti and other key anarchists; describe their experiences in libertarian schools and colonies; and offer trenchant observations on the dangers of authoritarian communism, bureaucracy and entrenched institutions. Among those interviewed are self-proclaimed ``philosophical anarchist'' Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union; Daniel Guerin, historian of the U.S. labor movement; Alexandra Kropotkin, English-born daughter of Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin; Albert Boni, publisher of ``Modern Library'' classics and a socialist; and Dwight Macdonald, who launched the journal Politics in 1944. Avrich (The Haymarket Tragedy) profiles a movement that continues to exercise an appeal with its calls for self-determination, direct grass-roots action and voluntary cooperation. (Feb.)