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Emma Goldman’s Ice Cream Shop

by Zachary Solomon   IT WAS JOHANN MOST, the anarchist who popularized the phrase “propaganda of the deed” to describe leftwing terrorism, who helped inspire Emma Goldman and Alexander (“Sasha”) Berkman in their attempt to assassinate steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in 1892. Yet by the time the attack would become news (and Berkman would spend fourteen years in prison for it), Most was its outspoken critic, […]

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The Palmer Raids

Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and Mollie Steimer were among the large number of activist Jews arrested and eventually deported in the wake of the Palmer Raids, launched on this date in 1919 (the second anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution) by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and his assistant, J. Edgar Hoover. Between November and January, […]

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Margaret Sanger’s Jewish Allies

Margaret Sanger (not Jewish), whose activism and sacrifice led to the legalization and normalization of birth control in American life and the establishment of Planned Parenthood, was born in Corning, New York on this date in 1879. Finding her calling while working among working-class women on New York’s Lower East Side, Sanger was active in the […]

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Why Berkman Shot Frick

Nine steelworkers and at least one Pinkerton guard were killed in battles that raged on this date in 1892 at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Works in Pittsburgh. The Pinkertons had been brought in to protect scabs imported to replace striking workers; the conflict involved guns and a homemade cannon forged by the strikers. The strike would last for months until the courts crushed the […]

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Jews Among the Wobblies

by Bennett Muraskin THE MOST RADICAL labor union in American history was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), colloquially known as the Wobblies. Its active years were from 1905 to 1919, with some campaigns extending into the 1920s. Fierce government repression during and after World War I, along with vigilante violence and internal divisions, […]

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July 25: The Anarchist Menage a Trois

Modska Aronstam (Modest Stein), an anarchist artist who lived in a ménage a trois with Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, his first cousin, arrived in Pittsburgh on this date in 1892 to assassinate steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, whom Berkman had wounded in an attack three days earlier in solidarity with the Homestead Steel strikers. […]

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December 23: Peggy Guggenheim

Heiress art collector Peggy Guggenheim, whose artistic and sexual tastes helped shape the modern art world as she built a world-famous collection in less than a decade, 1938 to 1946, died at 81 on this date in 1979. In the 1920s, she lived a bohemian life in Paris; in 1938 she opened a gallery in […]

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January 11: The Modern School

The first American Modern School opened on this date in 1911 on St. Marks Place in New York City, founded by Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and other anarchist activists, with only nine students, including the son of Margaret Sanger and future dada artist Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky). It was also known as the Ferrer Center, […]

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Emma Goldman’s “Morose Moon”

Alexander Berkman’s Passionate Anarchism by Leonard Lehrman From the Autumn 2013 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich. Harvard University Press, 2012, 528 pages. A brilliant writer and analyst trying to rally public opinion against the […]

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