GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938.
Lot 1095
GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940.
VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938.
Sold for US$ 87,500 inc. premium

Voices of the 20th Century

6 Dec 2017, 13:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940. VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938.
GOLDMAN, EMMA. 1869–1940.
VAN VALKENBURGH, WARREN STARR. 1884-1938. Archive of correspondence between Goldman, Van Valkenburgh, and other members of the anarchist movement of the early 20th century, as follows:
50 Autograph Letters Signed ("Emma," "E.G.," "E"), approx. 272 pp recto and verso, 4to and 8vo, AND approx.118 Typed Letters Signed ("Emma" E.G." "E" and "Mrs. Colton"), approx. 220 pp, 4to and legal folio, various places including London, Toronto and San Tropez, 1916-1932 (with the vast majority dating from the mid- to late 1920s), to Warren Starr Van Valkenburgh, with his retained copies (equally voluminous, if not more so, and many annotated), covering a wide variety of issues relating to the anarchist movement, including publishing, fundraising, and general messaging.
WITH: Typed Manuscript Signed ("Emma Goldman"), 10 pp, 4to, n.p., n.d., titled "Patience and Poststamps Some Times Have Their Reward," annotated throughout, being a report of Goldman's efforts in Canada. AND WITH: carbon copies of Goldman circulars distributed to movement members and some examples of retained copies of Goldman correspondence (handled through Van Valkenburgh); lists of names and addresses of supporters/contributors (including Lady Astor and Paul Robeson); other related correspondence and retained copies and pamphlets, magazines, and newspaper clippings, many relating to the Sacco-Vanzetti Trial.
Provenance: descended through the family of Warren Starr Van Valkenburgh.

CORRESPONDENCE FROM FAMED ANARCHIST AND RADICAL FEMINIST EMMA GOLDMAN.
Born in Russia to a Jewish family, Emma Goldman emigrated to America in 1885; not long after her arrival, she was stirred to activism by the Chicago Haymarket riot of 1886, embarking on a lifelong career of writing and lecturing about anarchist politics, women's rights and social issues. She was frequently imprisoned for "inciting to riot" and for distributing information about birth control. On the left she was lionized as a political maverick and trailblazer; on the right she was demonized for promoting revolution and political murder. In 1901 McKinley assassin Leon Czolgosz claimed Goldman had inspired him to act, and she was arrested and charged with having planned the murder. She was eventually cleared, and refused to condemn Czolgosz, whom she viewed as mentally ill, a position which led to an exile of sorts. Within a few years, however, she returned to writing and lecturing, traveling around the globe to spread her message.

Warren Starr Van Valkenburgh began his career in the early part of the 20th century as an anarchist writer and lecturer, often publishing under the pseudonym Walter Starrett. He contributed to Goldman's publication Mother Earth as well as the other leading radical journals of the period, The Blast and Revolt. From 1928-1932 he was editor of The Road to Freedom, the leading anarchist journal of the period. The correspondence between the two begins in earnest around 1925, as Goldman writes from Canada, France, and England. Among his many duties on her behalf, Van Valkenburgh submitted Goldman's manuscripts to publishers and negotiated on her behalf, solicited funds from supporters, distributed messages through publications or circulars, and generally acted as a sounding board for current events and writing.

On disagreements within the anarchist movement, from May 7, 1926: "I am sure you must be under the impression that Beckh knows everyone in the Anarchist movement, or that he is an anarchist in the political sense. It must be that or you would not have taken the trouble to write at length about the reception for Rocker, or what Havel did. I confess it made me sick. Not that Beckh would mind about the reception if he knew the life and work of Rocker. If he knew, for instance, that for thirty five years Rocker has lived in abject poverty, has been in prison and concentration camp, has given his all to the movement. And that Milly Rocker worked for years in the sweatshop to help sustain the Jewish anarchist paper. If Beckh would know that he would feel with me that any reception given this wonderful man is a small recompense for what he has given or suffered."

On the burden of being a public anarchist, from July 12, 1928: "whatever I may find in 'Boston' about the muck, pettiness and viciousness back of the Sacco-Vanzetti fight will not surprise me in the least. I have waded through such mud before—once in the case of Berkman and in the Czolgocz affair. I understand your bitterness only too well. I haven't forgotten the bitterness that nearly drove me out of the movement entirely. But I have come to realize that we must have strength to rise above this swamp—and reach out towards the pure air of some height—or we become swallowed up by it."

Goldman often comments on her own writing, which comes slower than she would like, and is a perceptive critic of other voices of the period. From May 22, 1928: "Unlike you I do not think Dreiser's articles half as unfair as most stuff that comes from there. It is true he gloats over the experiment, speaks highly of a lot of things. But he also emphasis[sic] the dark sides, the political despotism. It is more than Roger Baldwin is doing in his book ... After all we must grant him the right of seeing Russia or whatever part he visited in his light, just so we have the feeling that the man is honest enough to point out the evils as well as what he considers good."

In the later letters Goldman and Van Valkenburgh discuss the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany with suitable alarm.
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