Immigrants against the State

Immigrants against the State : Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America

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Description

From the 1880s through the 1940s, tens of thousands of first- and second-generation immigrants embraced the anarchist cause after arriving on American shores. Kenyon Zimmer explores why these migrants turned to anarchism, and how their adoption of its ideology shaped their identities, experiences, and actions. Zimmer focuses on Italians and Eastern European Jews in San Francisco, New York City, and Paterson, New Jersey. Tracing the movement's changing fortunes from the pre-World War I era through the Spanish Civil War, Zimmer argues that anarchists, opposed to both American and Old World nationalism, severed all attachments to their nations of origin but also resisted assimilation into their host society. Their radical cosmopolitan outlook and identity instead embraced diversity and extended solidarity across national, ethnic, and racial divides. Though ultimately unable to withstand the onslaught of Americanism and other nationalisms, the anarchist movement nonetheless provided a shining example of a transnational collective identity delinked from the nation-state and racial hierarchies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252080920
  • 9780252080920
  • 1,438,105

Review quote

"Zimmer's archival research is impressive... a fascinating examination of the interplay of individuals of various ethnicities... involved with anarchism and its sympathizers in San Francisco."--International Review of Social History "Drawing on an impressive and unprecedented array of Yiddish- and Italian-language sources, Zimmer details both the ideological connections and ethnocultural obstacles that supported and separated anarchist communities... Zimmer's research and scope is encyclopedic... Zimmer's fine book is indispensable."--The Journal of American History "Most students of US radicalism have long assumed that anarchism was brought to the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by immigrants from eastern and southern Europe. Zimmer demonstrates that the real story is more complicated. Recommended."--Choice "This is likely to be an essential work on immigrant anarchism for years to come."--H-Net Reviews "Zimmer has produced a powerful text that brings to life numerous forgotten rebels and significantly expands our understanding of anti-statist social movements in the first half of the twentieth century... This immaculately researched and carefully composed monograph thus sets a new bar for the study of anarchism."--Anarchist Studies "Well researched and eloquent."--Jewish Book Councilshow more

About Kenyon Zimmer

Kenyon Zimmer is an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington.show more

Rating details

6 ratings
4.66 out of 5 stars
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