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Sasha and Emma


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About the Author

Paul Avrich was Professor of History at Queens College. Karen Avrich is a writer and editor.


A magnificent work that offers at once proof of the late Paul Avrich's keen scholarship and the lasting drama that is the life of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.--Paul Buhle, coeditor of Encyclopedia of the American Left
An account, at once densely detailed and lively, that traces the pair from their births in what is now Lithuania to their deaths in exile in the shadow of World War II. With generous contemporary accounts and Paul Avrich's interviews with anarchists and their children, as well as Berkman's and Goldman's extensive writings, the book draws readers into the lives of its characters... For a modern reader, Sasha and Emma contains many surprises... Sasha and Emma is an enormously rich book, offering an absorbing portrait of the world of anarchists in turn-of-the-century America and of the loving yet competitive partnership at its center.-- (12/09/2012)
As Karen Avrich recounts in the gripping dual biography Sasha and Emma, Berkman and Goldman were impassioned agitators, helping to give shape to what we now think of as the tradition of anticapitalist dissent... [She] delivers the full dramatic sweep that the subjects of Sasha and Emma demand, and beyond that, the book's central strength is that it gives Berkman a place of equal prominence to Goldman.--Rochelle Gurstein"Bookforum" (12/01/2012)
Riveting... Sasha and Emma joins a number of other recent dual biographies, including those on Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Leo and Sophia Tolstoy, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. It is compelling to read about one life as counterpoint, irritant and inspiration to another, and to trace the meanderings of love and friendship over a lifetime. This dialogic form--understanding one life in terms of another--offers a robust and vibrant way to read about the lives of others. Along the way, two stories become one... The story of Berkman and Goldman cries out to be a screenplay. The narrative is dramatic... This book's minute-by-minute account of Berkman's decision to assassinate [Henry Clay] Frick is pure cinema.-- (11/08/2012)
The story of Sasha and Emma--staunch comrades, intimate friends, intermittent lovers, consistent confidantes, co-conspirators driven by a passion for social justice and absolute freedom--is gripping and engaging. It's a rare narrative of the political underworld of anarchist militants for whom bonds of personal love and devotion are a matter of life and death.--Candace Falk, author of Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman and director of The Emma Goldman Papers
With a wealth of detail, the richness of Paul Avrich's intimate knowledge of anarchism, and his personal acquaintance with many anarchists, this book brings Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman to vivid life, in all their heroism and human frailty.--Alice Wexler, author of Emma Goldman in America and Emma Goldman in Exile

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