Resource

Life Story: Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Radical Activist Among Progressive Reformers

The story of a radical anarchist immigrant who fought against the tyranny of capitalism and promoted full equality for women.

An image of Emma Goldman seated in a chair. She is holding a book in her right hand, and her left-hand rests against her chin. She is wearing a light-colored blouse and dark skirt. Around her neck is a scarf or kerchief. She is also wearing glasses.
Emma Goldman, Chicago

Emma Goldman, Chicago, 1906. New York University, Tamiment Archives.

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Suggested Activities

  • As an anarchist, Emma’s views on suffrage were often considered unique. Compare her beliefs with the arguments made for and against suffrage elsewhere in this unit.
  • Compare Clara’s life story to that of Clara Lemlich Shavelson, another Russian Jewish immigrant who was politically active in New York City.
  • Both Emma Goldman and Jeannette Rankin were pacifists who fought against American participation in World War I. Read their life stories and discuss how their approaches and reasons for pacifism were different.

Themes

IMMIGRATION, MIGRATION, AND SETTLEMENT; POWER AND POLITICS; ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL CHANGE

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