Emma Goldman:
Social & Political Philosophy

Kate Lindemann's 

Women Philosophers


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Emma Goldman Chronology

1869 Born on June 22nd in Popelan, Lithuania - then part of the Russian empire. (Shulman, 21)

1885 Fled with other refugees as a result of pogroms following Czar Alexander II assassination (Goldman, viii)

1885 Attended lectures by Sigmund Freud in Vienna (Goldman, xxi, 113)

1886 Emigrated to United States and joined other family members in Rochester, NY just prior to the Haymarket Massacres in Chicago (May 4th) (Goldman, x)

1889? Married and divorced Jacob Kerschner (Shulman, 23)

1889 Moved to New York City, lower Manhattan. (Goldman, xiii) Alexander Berkman became her lover soon after (Goldman, xvii)

1892 "[H]elped Alexander 'Sasha' Berkman plan and carry out an attempt on the life of Henry Clay Frick, the Carnegie Steel plant manager who presided over the bloody confrontation between Pinkerton guards and strikers in Homestead, Pennsylvania." (Goldman, xi) Emma's role was an unsuccessful effort to raise funds through a night of prostitution. (Goldman, xi)

1894 Finished serving a 1 year prison term for "inciting to riot."

1895 Resided in Vienna and studied midwifery and nursing; began reading Friedrich Nietzsche (Goldman, xx)

1895 Traveled in Europe and encountered the writings of Havelock Ellis, Richard Krafft-Ebing and Edward Carpenter (sexologists) (Goldman, xxii)

1900 Participated in the international meeting of anarchists, Paris. (Goldman, xxi) Goldman's desire to include issues of sexuality and free love were rejected by the the other attendees. (Goldman, xxi, 163)

1901 Assassination of Pres. William McKinley by Polish immigrant Leon Czolgosz tenuously linked to Emma Goldman through alleged quote by Czolgosz: "I am a disciple of Emma Goldman. Her words set me on fire." (Goldman, xi)

19** Arrested for disseminating birth control information in violation of the 1873 Comstock laws that made illegal any public discussions of human sexuality (Goldman, xii)

1905 Founded Mother Earth journal (Goldman, ix)

1910 Publication of Anarchism and Other Essays. By now Goldman had become strongly disillusioned about the ability of the masses spontaneously revolt. She shifts her attention to the educated, middle-class who have attended her lectures.(Goldman, xviii; Anarchism and Other Essays, 71; Nowhere at Home, 49, 106)

???? - Traveled to Clark University (Worcester, MA) to hear Sigmund Freud lectures (Goldman, xxii)

1920 Stripped of citizenship and deported by US along with other "subversives." (Goldman, vii; Wexler *)

1928 Began writing her autobiography on her 59th birthday in southern France (Goldman, vii)

1931 Finishes her autobiography.

1940 Died in Canada on May 14th after a severe stroke; buried with Haymarket martyrs in Chicago, IL.(Shulman, 35)


Goldman, Emma. 2006. Living My Life. London: Penguin Books.

Shulman, Alix Kates. compiler. 1996. Red Emma Speaks. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books.

Wexler, Alice. 1984. Emma Goldman in America. Boston: Beacon Press.

Wexler, Alice. 1989. Emma Goldman in Exile. Boston: Beacon Press.

SPECIAL THANKS: All the information about Goldman was submitted by Marcheta Wright.

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