Emma Goldman Essays

Propagandism is not, as some suppose, a "trade," because nobody will follow a "trade" at which you may work with the industry of a slave and die with the reputation of a mendicant.The motives of any persons to pursue such a profession must be different from those of trade, deeper than pride, and stronger than interest.

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The debt American intellectual growth owes to the revolutionary exiles has never been fully appreciated.

The seed disseminated by them, though so little understood at the time, has brought a rich harvest.

Among the men and women prominent in the public life of America there are but few whose names are mentioned as often as that of Emma Goldman. The sensational press has surrounded her name with so much misrepresentation and slander, it would seem almost a miracle that, in spite of this web of calumny, the truth breaks through and a better appreciation of this much maligned idealist begins to manifest itself.

There is but little consolation in the fact that almost every representative of a new idea has had to struggle and suffer under similar difficulties.

Is it of any avail that a former president of a republic pays homage at Osawatomie to the memory of John Brown?

Or that the president of another republic participates in the unveiling of a statue in honor of Pierre Proudhon, and holds up his life to the French nation as a model worthy of enthusiastic emulation?They lived in a land and at a time when antagonism between parent and offspring was fated to find its most acute expression, irreconcilable hostility.In this tremendous struggle between fathers and sons--and especially between parents and daughters--there was no compromise, no weak yielding, no truce.Like all conservative parents they, too, were quite convinced that their daughter would marry a respectable citizen, bear him children, and round out her allotted years surrounded by a flock of grandchildren, a good, religious woman.As most parents, they had no inkling what a strange, impassioned spirit would take hold of the soul of their child, and carry it to the heights which separate generations in eternal struggle.Envy, sometimes growing to hatred, vanity and jealousy, obstruct his way and fill his heart with sadness.It requires an inflexible will and tremendous enthusiasm not to lose, under such conditions, all faith in the Cause.It is difficult for the average man to form an adequate conception what strength, energy, and perseverance are necessary to absorb the unfamiliar language, habits, and customs of a new country, without the loss of one's own personality.Emma Goldman is one of the few who, while thoroughly preserving their individuality, have become an important factor in the social and intellectual atmosphere of America.The life she leads is rich in color, full of change and variety.She has risen to the topmost heights, and she has also tasted the bitter dregs of life.


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