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Faculty Mentors

Martha Keber

Abstract

Emma Goldman proved herself to be a powerful force on American society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For many years, the activist had the uncanny ability to seize the mass consciousness of America and never let go. Though she was often criticized, even reviled during her career as an anarchist, her reputation became rehabilitated over the years. Today, few people recall the "Red Emma" of long ago, a persona that many Americans scoffed at. Instead, she has become an icon and folk hero for many people, perhaps because the American public has finally seen and understood her many contributions to society. One of those important contributions made by Emma Goldman was her ardent support of the birth control movement between the years 1914 to 1916, crucial years in which the American public began to embrace the possibility and need for birth control in American society. Without doubt, Emma Goldman played a pivotal role in this movement. This paper puts forth the proposition that Emma Goldman saw birth control as a means of gaining an audience for her greater ideas of anarchism.

 

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