Living My Life by Emma Goldman

Living My Life

Living My Life is an autobiography written by Emma Goldman, a Russian-born anarchist, political activist, and writer. The book covers her personal and political life from early childhood through to 1927. Goldman wrote it while living in Saint-Tropez, France, following her disillusionment with the Bolshevik role in the Russian revolution.

The book provides critical insight into the mentality of radical immigrants in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Goldman personally explores the often neglected topics of political violence and the nature of human sexuality in the early anarchist movement.

At the beginning of Goldman’s autobiography, the Haymarket bombing was a recent memory and American anarchists had already been tied to notions of violence and assassination.

What I Liked

The book provides a window into a crazy portion of US history. I see so many people asserting that today’s American politics is violent and crazy. OK, nowadays doesn’t even compare to how it used to be. The US has always been loud, crazy and a bit extreme. We muddle through somehow. Maybe it’s the craziness that gives us a bit of stability?

What I Did Not Like

The book is a bit tedious. The same details that make it fascinating also make it dense and slow.

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