Emma: A Play in Two Acts about Emma Goldman, American Anarchist

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South End Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 138 pages
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In this play, historian and playwright Howard Zinn dramatizes the life of Emma Goldman, the anarchist, feminist, and free-spirited thinker who was exiled from the United States because of her outspoken views, including her opposition to World War I.

With his wit and unique ability to illuminate history from below, Zinn reveals the life of this remarkable woman. As Zinn writes in his Introduction, Emma Godman "seemed to be tireless as she traveled the country, lecturing to large audiences everywhere, on birth control ("A woman should decide for herself"), on the falsity of marriage as an institution ("Marriage has nothing to do with love"), on patriotism ("the last refuge of a scoundrel") on free love ("What is love if not free?") and also on the drama, including Shaw, Ibsen, and Strindberg. This book will be of immense interest to feminists, American historians, and people interested in the long history of resistance and protest in the United States.

Howard Zinn is professor emeritus at Boston University. He is the author of the classic A People's History of the United States. A television adaptation of the book is currently being co-produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Chris Moore for HBO. Zinn has received the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Eugene V. Debs award for his writing and political activism. Zinn is the author of the internationally acclaimed play Marx in Soho, which has been touring the country in performance since its release.

 

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Contents

Act One
1
Act Two
69
About the Author
139
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

A committed radical historian and activist, Howard Zinn approaches the study of the past from the point of view of those whom he feels have been exploited by the powerful. Zinn was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1922. After working in local shipyards during his teens, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force, where he saw combat as a bombardier in World War II. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 1958 and was a postdoctoral fellow in East Asian studies at Harvard University. While teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Zinn joined the civil rights movement and wrote The Southern Mystique (1964) and SNCC: The New Abolitionists (1964). He also became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, writing Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal (1967) and visiting Hanoi to receive the first American prisoners released by the North Vietnamese. Zinn's best-known and most-praised work, as well as his most controversial, is A People's History of the United States (1980). It explores American history under the thesis that most historians have favored those in power, leaving another story untold. Zinn discusses such topics as Native American views of Columbus and the socialist and anarchist opposition to World War I in examining his theory that historical change is most often due to "mass movements of ordinary people." Zinn's other books include You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times (1995) and Artists in Times of War (2004). He has also written the plays Emma (1976), Daughter of Venus (1985), and Marx in Soho (1999).

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