Through his many books on the history of anarchism, Paul Avrich has done much to dispel the public's conception of the anarchists as mere terrorists. In "Anarchist Voices, " Avrich lets American anarchists speak for themselves. This abridged edition contains fifty-three interviews conducted by Avrich over a period of thirty years, interviews that portray the human dimensions of a movement much maligned by the authorities and contemporary journalists. Most of the interviewees (anarchists as well as their friends and relatives) were active during the heyday of the movement, between the 1880s and the 1930s. They represent all schools of anarchism and include both famous figures and minor ones, previously overlooked by most historians. Their stories provide a wealth of personal detail about such anarchist luminaries as Emma Goldman and Sacco and Vanzetti.
"Avrich shows that anarchists were much more than black-caped figures with fizzing bombs, but at the same time he does not try to sanitize them. He makes it quite clear, for example, that Sacco and Vanzetti were disciples of Luigi Galleani, who favored bomb and dynamite attacks on capitalists, and that they were active members of terrorist conspiracies."--The Times Literary Supplement "[Avrich takes] a utilitarian approach to oral history as a kind of backup for missing archival sources ... [and] achieves some wonderful results."--Paul Buhle, The Nation "This gracefully edited study should interest all students of American radicalism... "--Choice "A vital contribution to the history of the American left."--Library Journal "One of the most valuable records of anarchism ever published... The cumulative effect is an astonishing kaleidoscope of policies and personalities unobtrusively revolved before our eyes."--Nicolas Walter, The Times Higher Education Supplement