SIGNED FIRST EDITION 1912 PRISON MEMOIRS OF AN ANARCHIST ALEXANDER BERKMAN. Up For Sale Today is. Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. X, 512 pgs, 6 pgs of ads. Signed with an inscription by Berkman (With Cordial Greetings and Best wishes, Fraternally, Alexander Berkman) on the FFEP.
Front board darkened to the edges. Water stain present to the top edge near the crown of the spine. Boards are otherwise in good condition.
Text is clean and free of marks. Alexander Berkman (November 21, 1870 June 28, 1936) was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century.
Berkman was born in Vilna in the Russian Empire (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania) and emigrated to the United States in 1888. He lived in New York City, where he became involved in the anarchist movement. He was the lover and lifelong friend of anarchist Emma Goldman. In 1892, Berkman made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate businessman Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed, for which he served 14 years in prison. His experience in prison was the basis for his first book, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist.
After his release from prison, Berkman served as editor of Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth, and he established his own journal, The Blast. In 1917, Berkman and Goldman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiracy against the newly instated draft.After their release from prison, they were arrestedalong with hundreds of othersand deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Berkman soon voiced his opposition to the Soviet's use of terror after seizing power and their repression of fellow revolutionaries. In 1925, he published a book about his experiences, The Bolshevik Myth. While living in France, Berkman continued his work in support of the anarchist movement, producing the classic exposition of anarchist principles, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism. Suffering from ill health, Berkman committed suicide in 1936.
Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist is Alexander Berkman's account of his experience in prison in Western Penitentiary of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh, from 1892 to 1906. First published in 1912 by Emma Goldman's Mother Earth press, it has become a classic in autobiographical literature. The book begins with the details of how Berkman came to be imprisoned: as an anarchist activist, he had attempted to assassinate wealthy industrialist Henry Clay Frick, manager of the Carnegie steel works in Pennsylvania. Frick had been responsible for crushing the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers during the Homestead Strike, in which nine union workers and seven guards were killed.However, although Berkman shot Frick three times and stabbed him several times in the leg with a poisoned knife, Frick survived, and Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Berkman had hoped to awaken the consciousness of the oppressed American peoplean attentatbut, as the book goes on to detail, America lacked the political culture to interpret his actions. Even fellow prisoners from the union he was defending failed to see his political intent. The bulk of the book is set during Berkman's years in prison.
Written in first-person, present-tense English (a language that was new to Berkman), it reads like a diary, though it was in fact written after Berkman's release. It is a coming-of-age story that tracks Berkman's difficult loss of his youthful sentimental idealism as he struggles with the physical and psychological conditions of prison life, at times bringing him to the verge of suicide. As he gets to know the other prisoners, he has nothing but disdain and disgust for them as people, though he sees them as victims of an unjust system. "They are not of my world", he writes."I would aid them", he says, being duty bound to the victims of social injustice. But I cannot be friends with them... They touch no chord in my heart. Gradually, though, Berkman's self-imposed distance and moral high ground begins to crumble as he comes to see the flawed humanity in everyone, including himself. The Prison Memoirs is also, in part, a tribute to his relationship with fellow anarchist Emma Goldman, to whom he refers repeatedly throughout the book as "the Girl". She is the only person to maintain correspondence with Berkman in prison, and defends him from criticism on the outside, helping him upon his release.
The book tracks the development of Berkman's ideas on political violence, and his ruminations often read like a dialog with Goldman, whom he knows intimately. One of the notable features of the Prison Memoirs is its treatment of homosexuality in prison.Carol Douglas, writing of the book in off our backs, says that Berkman "described how his initial horror at homosexuality in the prison where he was confined gave way to love for another man". In his 2008 study, Free Comrades: Anarchism and Homosexuality in the United States, 18951917, Terence Kissack describes Prison Memoirs as "one of the most important political texts dealing with homosexuality to have been written by an American before the 1950s". ALL ITEMS ARE PACKED IN A WATERPROOF CUSTOM FITTED BAG, WRAPPED IN 2 LAYERS OF BUBBLE WRAP AND THEN PLACED INTO A CUSTOM FITTED CARDBOARD PACKAGE. PLEASE WAIT FOR THE INVOICE! WE WILL TRY TO PUT UP NEW AUCTIONS EVERY DAY! The item "SIGNED FIRST EDITION 1912 PRISON MEMOIRS OF AN ANARCHIST ALEXANDER BERKMAN" is in sale since Friday, August 28, 2015. This item is in the category "Books\Antiquarian & Collectible". The seller is "mugwumpny" and is located in Long Island City, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.