Emma Goldman

emma “The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought.”

Emma Goldman a Russian Jewish immigrant who moved to the United States in her teenage years. The Haymarket conspiracy trial was the spark that started it for Emma. The working and living conditions Emma was under, was also one of the many reasons her anarchist beliefs were brought upon. After the radical events, Emma moved to New York to become an anarchist revolutionary.

Having toured around the country Goldman’s anarchism revolved around the passionate belief of individual freedom.Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women’s rights, and social issues, attracting a large public.  She was not extremely focused on political rights, but on the right of women living free and equal. Goldman was talked about a lot in the United States.  She became an active public speaker and talked about a spectrum of topics.Emma used writing as a platform to deliberately express her right of freedom of speech. Fiery speaker and activist for peace, free love and birth control in the 1910s. Lecturing on subjects raging from anarchism to homosexuality. Regularly including the right to birth control in her speeches and distributed pamphlets with detailed information about contraceptives. She advocated freedom of action and love for both sexes. Emma constantly ran afoul of the law, she was arrested more than forty times for dangerous or “obscene” statements or simply to keep her from speaking. In a spike of the red scare, hundreds of radical immigrants were deported, including prominent Emma Goldman.


From the documentary “Anarchism in America” (1983) by Pacific Street Films.

SCHNEIR, Miriam. FEMINISM: The Essential Historical Writings. New York: Vintage Books, 1972.

Ferguson, Kathy E. “Gender and Genre in Emma Goldman.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 36, no. 3 (2011): 733-57.

Foner, Eric. “The Progressive Era.” Give Me Liberty!: An American History. Fourth ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. 704. Print.


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