This book is not really a book, more like an essay. The copy I got had Google Docs watermarks on it (suggests it was put together hastily and printed). However the content is good and the print is clear. Overall a great copy of a historical document.
This essay will make you question the very institution of marriage. On ways the state has attributed to the decline of love and why Free Love is the way to go. Any fan of Goldman will enjoy this and if you are a first timer this is a GREAT way to get started before getting any of her other books.
My first real exposure to Goldman, and was not prepared for the poetic heights. Highly recommended, even though some of my friends in the An-Cap side of the debate may differ with some of Goldman's other treatises (and acts).
This book was written six years before women got voting rights in the U.S., by a feminist author with an anarchist political background. Goldman was ahead of her time as a feminist, belonging less to the first wave of feminists whose main goal was voting rights, and more to the second wave of feminists whose goal was social revolution for equality of women with men, including wider acceptance for women into professions, higher education, and equal pay for equal work. In this piece, she writes that marriage is an artificial institution that benefits mainly patriarchal power structures, and stifles both men and women in their love lives and personal expression. Her arguments and support data give us a strong reminder that just 100 years ago, women were still little better than chattel in North America, though they had entered the workforce of the Industrial Revolution 60 years earlier. She also relates the artificiality and failure of marriage to capitalist economy, which was a central target of her pro-anarchist political activism. Modern readers will recognize her accurate analysis of the ways marriage adversely affects married individuals. It's a quick, easy read and an important piece of feminist history.
This book is incredible! Her ideas are revolutionary and ahead of her time, even ahead of our time. I see marriage in this world is showing more and more contradictions and making lots of troubles. Emma is against marriage, and in favor of love. Like she wrote, love is the greatest gift in the world. We should not let marriage destroy love. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is in favor of love.
A very short, brilliant and liberating read. Goldman shows the ways in which conventional marriage kills love. Some of these conditions are in the past, but some still prevail, e.g., the convention that one has to get married, and often - that one has to endure a miserable marriage "for the sake of the children". Way ahead of her time. Curious to read her other works. Finishing this review with a quote from Emma Goldman: "If I can't dance, I want no part of your revolution."
This book is a historical document for understanding some of the background issues and problems that surround the emergence of the women's rights worldwide. I don't know if all the issues are still relevant but it is certainly a good place to find the seeds that erupted and spawned the movement towards women's rights. I enjoyed the ride.