Emma Goldman in Exile: From the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War

Alice Wexler, Author Beacon Press (MA) $24.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-8070-7004-8
Flamboyant anarchist Emma Goldman generally is considered a prescient critic of Soviet authoritarianism, which she observed firsthand when the U.S. government deported her to Russia in 1919. But Wexler ( Emma Goldman in America ) argues that the disillusioned radical's greatly exaggerated portrayal of an enslaved, terrorized U.S.S.R. resulted from her homesickness, disorientation and the shattering of her anarchist ideals. Furthermore, Wexler blames the anti-Stalinist Goldman for contributing to the Cold War stereotype of communism as a monolithic evil. This remarkably vivid biographical study follows ``Red Emma'' from her exile with comrade-lover Alexander Berkman to her death in Toronto in 1940. It traces her activities in the Spanish Civil War, where she briefly felt a sense of belonging, and her trip to the U.S. in 1934. Bertrand Russell, Paul Robeson, Frank Harris and Peggy Guggenheim figure in the story. Wexler's clear-eyed, dispassionate portrait brings a self-mythologizing woman into focus. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-8070-7047-5
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