Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman

Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman

In 1889 two Russian immigrants, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, met in a coffee shop on the Lower East Side. Over the next fifty years Emma and Sasha would be fast friends, fleeting lovers, and loyal comrades. This dual biography offers an unprecedented glimpse into their intertwined lives, the lasting influence of the anarchist movement they shaped, and their unyielding commitment to equality and justice.

Berkman shocked the country in 1892 with "the first terrorist act in America," the failed assassination of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick for his crimes against workers. Passionate and pitiless, gloomy yet gentle, Berkman remained Goldman's closest confidant though the two were often separated--by his fourteen-year imprisonment and by Emma's growing fame as the champion of a multitude of causes, from sexual liberation to freedom of speech. The blazing sun to Sasha's morose moon, Emma became known as "the most dangerous woman in America." Through an attempted prison breakout, multiple bombing plots, and a dramatic deportation from America, these two unrelenting activists insisted on the improbable ideal of a socially just, self-governing utopia, a vision that has shaped movements across the past century, most recently Occupy Wall Street.

"Sasha and Emma" is the culminating work of acclaimed historian of anarchism Paul Avrich. Before his death, Avrich asked his daughter to complete his magnum opus. The resulting collaboration, epic in scope, intimate in detail, examines the possibilities and perils of political faith and protest, through a pair who both terrified and dazzled the world.

Title:Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780674065987
Format Type:

    Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman Reviews

  • El

    My interest in Alexander "Sasha" Berkman and Emma Goldman started several years ago after reading Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, a book I found on my boyfriend's shelf. Through reading that...

  • Steven Z.

    Each day Americans are bombarded with news sound bites dealing with the actions of the National Security Administration and their machinations to keep citizens safe from terrorist attacks. The concept...

  • Viola

    Acting UpA new biography evokes the lost world of America's most notorious anarchistsROCHELLE GURSTEINAt the end of the summer of 1892, three young and feverishly idealistic Russian immigrants, whose ...

  • Susan Jaffe Pober

    One of the lines quoted at the end of the book says of Emma Goldman - "she made you think". This is so true of this book. The lives of Alexander Berkman & Emma Goldman were remarkable, not because of ...

  • J. Dutilloy

    This is a great biography of these two most famous American anarchists. The collaboration between Paul Avrich and his daughter brings a humanizing aspect of these two major figures. In addition to the...

  • Jonathan

    When I was 19 and a self-fashioned political activist, I found a way forward in my life inspired by anarchist idealists, especially Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, Errico Malatesta and others. The...

  • Breeze

    What is anarchism? A definition escapes me; these two radical intellectuals globe trotted around the world bankrolled by various wealthy supporters and lectured vehemently for social justice but I jus...

  • Patricia

    "Sasha and Emma" is a fascinating and in-depth account of the lives of Emma Goldman and her long-time friend and comrade Alexander Berkman. From their youth in Russia during the reign of Alexander II ...

  • Dale

    For Berkman's story, this was a good follow-up on reading Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist and most of all was illuminating to understand what kept Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman in a solid emotiona...

  • Meg

    Great thus far... wonderful job describing the Homestead strike and Berkman's attack on Henry Clay Frick (both his motivations and their roots in the political landscape of Russia), and the response f...