Book Cover of Selected Works: Haymarket Speeches

Selected Works: Haymarket Speeches

by Voltairine de Cleyre

Chicago in the 1880s was a deadly place. In an era before modern medicine or sanitation, the large immigrant populations sustained themselves by working the most dangerous jobs. Workplace accidents were exceedingly common, and death at work a regular possibility. People started work young; wages were pitifully low, and hours brutally long. In no small part because of these conditions, the nascent philosophies of socialism, communism, and anarchism had begun to explode in popularity. The unions had become more and more radicalized, dominated by leftists.

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Voltairine de Cleyre  was an American anarchist known for being a prolific writer and speaker who opposed capitalism, marriage and the state as well as the domination of religion over sexuality a...

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