History of Anarchism among newly emigrated communities to America


New book/podcast and older but still well worth a watch documentary:


Kenyon Zimmer, “Immigrants Against the State” | New Books in American Studies #87

In Immigrants Against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America (University of Illinois, 2015), Kenyon Zimmer, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas, Arlington, examines the anarchist movements and ideas of immigrants to the United States from the 1880’s through the 1940’s. Using sources in half a dozen different languages, Zimmer builds an in-depth picture of these movements’ achievements and challenges. This book is a definitive transnational history of working-class immigrant radicalism, which suggests that anarchist ideas are very much still relevant today. —Interviewer Max Kaiser


Free Voice of Labour: The Jewish Anarchists

“Free Voice of Labor, traces the history of the Yiddish anarchist newspaper of that name—publishing its final issue after 87 years—as told by its now elderly, but decidedly unbowed staff. Also included is first hand accounts of the labor organizing, propaganda, educational experiments, and monumental contributions from these cherished, if largely unsung, heroes of the American anarchist movement.”—AKPress

“A wonderful evocation of the radical political past and what has become of its activists in their old age. It takes it’s name from the Yiddish anarchist newspaper, which finally died in 1987 at the age of 87. The film is an oral history, given by those who lived through the era. It’s more than merely that, however. It uses clips from old movies, in Yiddish, that dealt with the ugliness of the sweatshop. You hear the Yiddish songs and poems inveighing against oppression and calling for the people to rise up.

But the joy in the film lies in the people who belonged to the movement. They have aged gracefully, with their sentiments unchanged, but with their world different in ways they would never have dreamed of years ago. They speak with humor of demostrations, picket lines, battles of long ago. They speak as Jews, but secular Jews whose visions were of an unbossed universality. They are grandmas and grandpas, as sunny and mellow as any others, but their courage, intelligence and social concern still shines in their faces. They were a movement, mostly nonviolent, unlike the caricature anarchist bomb-thrower, but their families have grown into middle-class America. They no longer fight, but they still think.”—New York Times




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