"SYNONYMOUS WITH EVERYTHING SUBVERSIVE"
GOLDMAN, Emma. Living My Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931. Two volumes. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jackets, Vol. II original glassine. $3500.
First edition of the famous radical's autobiography, with frontispiece portraits and eleven additional photogravures of Goldman, fellow anarchist Alexander Berkman and others, in very rare original dust jackets.
"For nearly 30 years, Emma Goldman had taunted conservative Americans with her outspoken attacks on government, big business and war. Her name became a household word, synonymous with everything subversive and demonic, but also symbolic of the 'new woman' and of the radical labor movement that blossomed in the years before WWI. To the public she was America's arch revolutionary, both frightening and fascinating. She flaunted her lovers, talked back to the police, smoked in public and marched off to prison carrying James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist under her arm" (Wexler, Emma Goldman in Exile). Goldman was urged to record her story for years by Peggy Guggenheim, fellow activists and others such as Theodore Dreiser, who insisted, "it is the richest of any woman's of our century. Why in the name of Mike don't you do it?" Finally, less than a decade before her death, she produced Living My Life, a work that remains one of America's most valued social histories. Without exceedingly rare Volume I glassine. Contemporary gift inscription poem.
Books fine to about-fine. Bright unfaded dust jackets near-fine to extremely good, with a bit of wear mainly to extremities and creasing to top edge of Volume II front panel. Chipping to very rare original glassine. A most desirable copy.