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Emma Goldman - Target

Goldman's prominence as an advocate of a myriad of controversial issues ranging from birth control, women's independence and free love, to free speech, anti-capitalism and anti-militarism made her a frequent target for arrest and imprisonment. When America became involved in World War I in 1917, Goldman accelerated her anti-war efforts. As a leader of the No-Conscription league, in her magazine Mother Earth, and in her public speeches, she objected to the war, in which the poor were forced to fight and die for the interests of the rich, and the draft, which she felt contradicted the fundamental American liberty of individual choice. In 1917 she and her comrade Alexander Berkman were arrested and put on trial for conspiracy to obstruct the draft. Accused of disloyalty to America, Goldman, in her speech to the jury, explained that "our patriotism is that of the man who loves a woman with open eyes. He is enchanted by her beauty, yet he sees her faults." Goldman declared that true patriotism is best expressed by those who recognize their country's flaws and do all they can, out of love, to set it right.

Emma Goldman, circa 1900
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Emma Goldman, circa 1900.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress - Prints and Photographs Division.

Political Cartoon on Patriotism
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"A Menace," political cartoon on patriotism, from San Diego's Union.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Emma Goldman - Target." (Viewed on January 17, 2018) <>.


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