by Aaron Lakoff
Of all the great women in American history, not many have left as profound a mark as Emma Goldman. At one point called “one of America's most dangerous radicals” by the New York Times, Goldman was an influential anarchist feminist who was loved by her comrades and workers all around the world, and hated by bosses and politicians. Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about this woman is that she was involved in struggles around a plethora of social issues, including women's rights to birth control, workers' rights, and prisoner justice. However, in 1917, the year that American President Woodrow Wilson made a dramatic decision to send his troops across the Atlantic Ocean to fight in World War 1, Goldman decided to devote herself entirely to opposing the war and many of its consequences, both abroad and at home. In this paper, we will examine Emma Goldman's anti-war activism, and the impact that it made at the time of the USA's involvement in WW1. Furthermore, we will look at how her opposition to war was drawn from her anarchist and feminist positions on class, individual freedom, and democracy which she held so dearly.