Monday, October 16, 2023

"American Anarchy"

New from Basic Books: American Anarchy: The Epic Struggle between Immigrant Radicals and the US Government at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Michael Willrich.

About the book, from the publisher:

A "lively, fast-paced history" (Adam Hochschild, bestselling author of American Midnight) of America’s anarchist movement and the government’s tireless efforts to destroy it

In the early twentieth century, anarchists like Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman championed a radical vision of a world without states, laws, or private property. Militant and sometimes violent, anarchists were heroes to many working-class immigrants. But to many others, anarchism was a terrifyingly foreign ideology. Determined to crush it, government officials launched a decades-long “war on anarchy,” a brutal program of spying, censorship, and deportation that set the foundations of the modern surveillance state. The lawyers who came to the anarchists’ defense advanced groundbreaking arguments for free speech and due process, inspiring the emergence of the civil liberties movement.

American Anarchy tells the gripping tale of the anarchists, their allies, and their enemies, showing how their battles over freedom and power still shape our public life.
Writers Read: Michael Willrich (May 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue