Jump to navigation Jump to search If your object is to secure liberty , you must learn to do without authority and compulsion. If you intend to live in peace and harmony with your fellow-men, you and they should cultivate brotherhood and respect for each other. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery , the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep.

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He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. 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 , 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, Alexander Berkman November 21, — June 28, was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. In , Berkman and Goldman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiracy against the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested—along with hundreds of others—and deported to Russia. In , 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


Alexander Berkman

The family moved to Saint Petersburg , a city previously off-limits to Jews. A wave of political assassinations culminated in a bomb blast that killed Tsar Alexander II in The business had to be sold, and the family lost the right to live in Saint Petersburg. Yetta moved the family to Kovno , where her brother Nathan lived. Berkman had shown great promise as a student at the gymnasium, but his studies began to falter as he spent his time reading novels. He distributed banned material to other students and wrote some radical tracts of his own, which he printed using supplies pilfered from the school. He turned in a paper titled "There Is No God", which resulted in a one-year demotion as punishment on the basis of "precocious godlessness, dangerous tendencies and subordination".


The ABC of Anarchism

Shelves: resistance Required reading, right? Volume 1 of "Working Classics Series," for example. One of the strengths of this book is meant to be its simple language and clear argumentation. At first, I felt like it was talking down to me, but the further I got into it, the more I liked it, as Berkman builds his argument. I was a little disappointed with the bits about violence.


What is anarchism? - Alexander Berkman

History[ edit ] The anarchist movement was under siege during the s. In the newly created Soviet Union , Russian anarchists were being arrested by the Cheka and imprisoned or executed. In an effort to revive the movement, the Jewish Anarchist Federation in New York asked Berkman in to write an introduction to anarchism intended for the general public. A number of the ideas he discusses are similar to those proposed in The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin , whom Berkman cites throughout. Berkman avoids the sort of jargon and technical language that is often used by political writers in favor of plain language. As he writes in his foreword: Anarchist books, with few exceptions, are not accessible to the understanding of the average reader.

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