Beer and Revolution

The German Anarchist Movement in New York City, 1880-1914
Tom Goyens

Beer and Revolution
The German Anarchist Movement in New York City, 1880-1914
Tom Goyens

Understanding an infamous political movement's grounding in festivity and defiance

Beer and Revolution examines the rollicking life and times of German immigrant anarchists in New York City from 1880 to 1914. Offering a new approach to an often misunderstood political movement, Tom Goyens puts a human face on anarchism and reveals a dedication less to bombs than to beer halls and saloons where political meetings, public lectures, discussion circles, fundraising events, and theater groups were held.

Goyens brings to life the fascinating relationship between social space and politics by examining how the intersection of political ideals, entertainment, and social activism embodied anarchism not as an abstract idea, but as a chosen lifestyle for thousands of women and men. He shows how anarchist social gatherings were themselves events of defiance and resistance that aimed at establishing anarchism as an alternative lifestyle through the combination of German working-class conviviality and a dedication to the principle that coercive authority was not only unnecessary, but actually damaging to full and free human development as well. Goyens also explores the broader circumstances in both the United States and Germany that served as catalysts for the emergence of anarchism in urban America and how anarchist activism was hampered by police surveillance, ethnic insularity, and a widening gulf between the anarchists' message and the majority of American workers.

Tom Goyens teaches American history at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.

"Beer and Revolution is an extraordinary piece of work, and a rare find. I am astonished at the level of sophistication: it advances recent scholarly developments in charting geopolitical space and resurrects the kind of setting--a mixture of bohemianism and political radicalism--that is of increasing interest to young people today."
--Paul Buhle, coeditor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left

JULY 2006
312 pages. 6 x 9 inches. 27 photographs, 2 line drawings.
Cloth, ISBN 0-252-03175-X. $40.00
Radical Studies / History, American: Labor / German / History, American: 19th C. / History, American: 20th C.

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Aug 1 2007 08:46


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Aug 2 2007 08:22

Although the date says July 2006, I understand from the publishers that it won't actually be out until October / November 2007.

And Lo! November arrives and so does the book. Looks very neat and at $40.00 it should do! (At current exchange rates that's less than 20 of your English pounds plus whatever the postage from the states will cost.)

Hope to read and review by the end of the year.