Emma Goldman

Goldman, Emma, 1869–1940, American anarchist, b. Lithuania. She emigrated to Rochester, N.Y., in 1886 and worked there in clothing factories. After 1889 she was active in the anarchist movement, and her speeches attracted attention throughout the United States. In 1893, Goldman was imprisoned for inciting to riot. From 1906 she was associated with Alexander Berkman in publishing the anarchist paper Mother Earth. In 1916 she was imprisoned for publicly advocating birth control, and in 1917 for obstructing the draft. With Berkman, Goldman was deported in 1919 to Russia but left that country in 1921 because of her disagreement with the Bolshevik government. In 1926 she married James Colton, a Welshman. She was permitted to reenter the United States for a lecture tour in 1934 on condition that she refrain from public discussion of politics. She took an active part in the Spanish civil war in 1936. She died in Toronto.

See her Living My Life (1931). Other writings include Anarchism and Other Essays (1911), Social Significance of Modern Drama (1914), and My Disillusionment in Russia (1923). See biographies by R. Drinnon (1961), A. Shulman (1971), C. Falk (1984), A. Wexler (1984 and 1992), and V. Gornick (2011); C. Falk et al., ed., Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years (2003); P. and K. Avrich, Sasha and Emma (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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