Emma Goldman (1869–1940)
DOI link for Emma Goldman (1869–1940)
Emma Goldman (1869–1940) book
This chapter discusses the life history of Emma Goldman whose anarchist feminism has been commemorated in plays, operas, graphic novels, and films; her name graces health clinics, preschools, cafes, punk bands, and bookstores; her life and her ideas continue to attract attention from scholars and activists. She immigrated to the US in 1885, part of the first mass wave of immigration of Russian Jews. Goldman's lasting impact has been her insistence on a relentlessly radical feminism, one that situates women's liberation firmly within the larger struggle for all people's freedom from the intertwining power structures of capitalism, government, militarism, patriarchy, religion, and empire. Freedom of speech was a central component of Goldman's political activities. While Goldman supported some legal reforms, such as the decriminalization of prostitution or the official recognition of political prisoners, she insisted that true change required revolution to overthrow both the "external tyrannies" of unjust institutions and the "internal tyrants" of "ethical and social conventions".