Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : prison memoirs

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Living My Life

by Emma Goldman

Volume one

New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc.,1931.


Chapter 8

IT WAS MAY 1892. NEWS FROM PITTSBURGH ANNOUNCED THAT trouble had broken out between the Carnegie Steel Company and its employes organized in the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. It was one of the biggest and most efficient labor bodies of the country, consisting mostly of Americans, men of decision and grit, who would assert their rights. The Carnegie Company, on the other hand, was a powerful corporation, known as a hard master. It was particularly significant that Andrew Carnegie, its president, had temporarily turned over the entire management to the company's chairman, Henry Clay Frick, a man known for his enmity to labor. Frick was also the owner of extensive coke-fields, where unions were prohibited and the workers were ruled with an iron hand.

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Berkman, Alexander (1912) Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, Mother Earth Press.

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THE THIRD DEGREE

I

THE CLANKING OF the keys grows fainter and fainter; the sound of footsteps dies away. The officers are gone. It is a relief to be alone. Their insolent looks and stupid questions, insinuations and threats,-how disgusting and tiresome it all is! A sense of complete indifference possesses me. I stretch myself out on the wooden bench, running along the wall of the cell, and at once fall asleep.
      I awake feeling tired and chilly. All is quiet and dark around me. Is it night? My hand gropes blindly, hesitantly. Something wet and clammy touches my cheek. In sudden affright I draw back. The cell is damp and musty; the foul air nauseates me. Slowly my foot feels the floor, drawing my body forward, all my senses on the alert. I clutch the bars. The feel of iron is reassuring. Pressed close to...


A Sketch of Alexander Berkman by Emma Goldman Taken from The Russian Tragedy (A Review and An Outlook)  (Berlin: Der Syndikalist, 1922). To write a biographic sketch of even an ordinary man within the limited space at my disposal would be difficult. But to write about one whose personality is so complex and whose life so replete with events as that of Alexander Berkman, is almost an insurmountable task. To do justice to such a rich and colorful subject one must not be so limited by space as I am. Above all, one should be removed, in point of time and distance, from the life to be portrayed. Which is not the case in the present instance. I shall therefore not attempt a biography at the present time. I shall merely ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Alexander Berkman died 61 years ago on June 28th, 1936. We enclose here his editorial for the first issue of The Blast published in San Francisco on 15th January 1916. Why The Blast? Do you mean to destroy? Do you mean to build? These are questions we have been asked from any quarters, by inquirers sympathetic and otherwise. Our reply is frank and bold: We mean both: to destroy and to build. For, socially speaking, Destruction is the beginning of Construction. Superficial minds speak sneeringly of destruction. O, it is easy to destroy -they say- but to build, to build, that’s the important work. Its nonsense. No structure, social or otherwise, can endure if bui... (From : Kate Sharpley Library.)

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