Goddess of Anarchy

Goddess of Anarchy

The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical

From a prize-winning historian, a new portrait of an extraordinary activist and the turbulent age in which she lived

Goddess of Anarchy recounts the formidable life of the militant writer, orator, and agitator Lucy Parsons. Born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851 and raised in Texas-where she met her husband, the Haymarket “martyr” Albert Parsons-Lucy was a fearless advocate of First Amendment rights, a champion of the working classes, and one of the most prominent figures of African descent of her era. And yet, her life was riddled with contradictions-she advocated violence without apology, concocted a Hispanic-Indian identity for herself, and ignored the plight of African Americans.

Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Jacqueline Jones presents not only the exceptional life of the famous American-born anarchist but also an authoritative account of her times-from slavery through the Great Depression.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Women

On Sale: December 5th 2017

Price: $25.98

ISBN-13: 9781478993902

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"Goddess of Anarchy displays the powers of a master historian, taking the reader to both post-Civil War Texas and to Gilded Age Chicago."—Chicago Tribune
"An outstanding book.... Jones' fascinating portrait presents an enigmatic, unpredictable activist who sustained a lifelong oratory and writing career."—Booklist
Harper's Magazine
"Goddess of Anarchy is meticulously researched."
"In the first biography in more than 40 years of radical labor agitator Lucy Parsons, Jones lucidly portrays a fiery, outspoken woman whose life holds significant lessons about the past and future of labor in America.... Jones impresses with this richly detailed and empathetic study of a complex figure."—Publishers Weekly
"[A] tough-minded biography of a fiery revolutionary whose activism spanned the decades from Reconstruction to the New Deal...comprehensive and fair."—Kirkus Reviews
National Book Review
"In disentangling the riddle of Lucy Parsons, one of America's most famous Anarchists, Jones has written an important biography.... In an artful braid of narratives, the author penetrates Parsons' false story of her identity as a "Spanish-Indian maiden," and through her impressive research finds that Parsons married a former Confederate soldier, denied her African-American roots, and in lectures to vast crowds in 19th century America, calculatingly promoted herself to followers in carefully-honed soundbites like her famous exhortation: "Learn the use of explosives."
Library Journal
"Jones's book persuasively explains both the causes for which Parsons fought as well as inconsistencies apparent in her character and actions. This readable biography will appeal to readers with many interests, including the history of women's studies, radicalism, labor, race relations, urbanism, and especially Chicago."
New York Review of Books
"Thanks to Goddess of Anarchy...readers finally have a penetrating account of Parsons's long, remarkable life....There is much to praise in Goddess of Anarchy, including Jones's thorough research, which has laid to rest uncertainty about Parsons's origins, and the ways the book illuminates the rapidly changing economic and political circumstances in which Parsons operated."
"Jacqueline Jones has produced a stunning, meticulously researched, complex narrative of Lucy Parsons, America's first black woman anarchist. Parsons's life expands historical studies of black women and black female activism showcasing the spectacular breadth of their political sensibilities."—Kali Nicole Gross, author of Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America
"No scholar has done more to illuminate the tangled politics of race and class in American history than Jacqueline Jones. In this deeply researched and powerfully written book, Jones narrates the thrilling life of Lucy Parsons--the infamous labor radical and anarchist who scandalized American audiences with her incendiary critiques of industrial capitalism and government oppression, all the while concealing her own past in slavery. A richly revealing story, brilliantly told. Parsons will get under your skin."—Michael Willrich, author of Pox: An American History and City of Courts
"With remarkable research and insight, the distinguished historian Jacqueline Jones has recovered the life and thought of an extraordinary historical figure who we barely knew. The result is a powerful and unsettling story of race, radicalism, and personal trauma, of growth, struggle, and loss which casts a century of United States history in new and provocative light."—Steven Hahn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration
"Lucy Parsons was a unique figure in the history of the American left: eloquent, beautiful, uncompromising in her anarchist faith, and loath to embrace her mixed-race identity. Jacqueline Jones, one of our nation's most distinguished historians, fills her narrative of this remarkable life with both the vivid drama and the critical understanding it deserves."

Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918
"One of our most talented historians tackles one of American history's most enigmatic figures. Lucy Parsons lived a life full of contradictions: an ex-slave who convinced the world she was Mexican, an anarchist who loved fashion, the wife of an ex-Confederate turned socialist. Goddess of Anarchy is at once a fascinating biography and a window onto the tumultuous debates of the Gilded Age."—Karl Jacoby, author of The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire
"This dramatic and impressive book vividly brings the tumultuous and tragic life of ex-slave and American revolutionary Lucy Parsons to what should be a large audience. Even those of us who cherish a more heroic view of Parsons' life in struggle will learn enormously from this meticulously researched and learned biography."—David Roediger, author of Class, Race and Marxism