Why?

Archive of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

In 1942, after 3 years with no English-language anarchist publication published in the U.S., a group of people, most of who had been associated with the youth group surrounding Vanguard, started Why?.

Founded by Audrey Goodfriend, David Koven, Sam & Esther Dolgoff, Franz Fleigler and Dorothy Rogers, Why?was initially similar in content as Vanguard, the Second World War proved to be a contentious issue among the group that published Why?. Sam and Esther Dolgoff, as well as Fliegler and his wife, Bessie, advocated critical support for the Allied war effort, while most of the rest of the group took an antiwar stance.

Initially influenced by the 'revolutionary defeatism' type of war position by the the Italian-American, and insurrectionary anarchist leaning publication, L' Adunata dei refrattari, members of the Why? group increasingly moved towards pacifism. Rejecting both the draft and the state-run labor camps for religious conscientiousness objectors, most of the men involved with the group ended up in prison or on the run.

The publication developed strong personal and political ties with Retort, another anarchist publication that leaned towards pacifism during the war years.

Why? went on to be produced until 1947, when it was replaced by Resistance.

Sources

-Anarchist voices: an oral history of anarchism in America (Abridged) edited by Paul Avrich

-Unruly equality: U.S. anarchism in the 20th century by Andrew Cornell

Volume 1

Why? Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 1942)

The Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 1942) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Why?

-National searchlight: The great surrender by Bill Young

-Bakunin on federal union

-International searchlight : (Part I) What about Russia? by Ivan (a.k.a. Sam Dolgoff)

-Local color: On the waterfront by Lead Line (a.k.a. Franz Fleigler)

-International news

-After the war

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Why Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 1942).pdf8.04 MB

Why? Vol. 1, No. 2 (May 1942)

The Vol. 1, No. 2 (May 1942) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-May Day, 1942

-Labor in retreat by W.Y.

-Old Deal and New Deal

-"Whisk-broom's" dirt

-Profits must go!

-War for justice?

-What about Russia? Part Two by Ivan (a.k.a. Sam Dolgoff)

-The dean of cant by L.L.

-Spanish chronicle

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Why Vol. 1, No. 2 (May 1942).pdf8.15 MB

Why? Vol. 1, No. 3 (June 1942)

The Vol. 1, No. 3 (June 1942) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-After three years by W. O'C (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-The British Labor Front by Bill Young

-As the chains tighten by J.P.F.

-Toward total regimentation? by Charles Storm

-Spanish notes: Revolutionary effectiveness; Solidaridad Obrera; Contradiction

-For workers's action

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Why Vol. 1, No. 3 (June 1942).pdf8.24 MB

Why? Vol. 1, No. 5 (August-September 1942)

The Vol. 1, No. 5 (August-September 1942) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Anti-fascism vs. anti-fascism

-Twenty years after by B.C.

-This reconstruction business by Ethel Mannin (Reprinted from War Commentary, July 1942)

-Direct action by Michael Bakunin

-Nationalism and India by W. O'C (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-The great confusion by C.S. (a.k.a. Charles Storm)

-Union card for Jim Crow? by W.Y.

-Troops accused of racial bigotry?

-Notes from a Mariner

-The death of Sebastian Faure (Reprinted from L'adunata, August 8, 1942)

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Why Vol. 1, No. 5 (August-September 1942).pdf7.73 MB

Why? Vol. 1, No. 8 (March 1943)

The Vol. 1, No. 8 (March 1943) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-North Africa: the cuckoo's nest by William Young

-The structure of man and government by Howard L'Hommedieu

-Why world government? by Ammon A. Hennacy

-Pay as you go by G.A. (a.k.a. Audrey Goodfriend)

-War in the making by Lead Line (a.k.a. Franz Fleigler)

-Plans for a New World Order by Martin Thorn

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Why Vol. 1, No. 8 (March 1943).pdf8.58 MB

Volume 2

Why? Vol. 2, No. 1 (May 1943)

The Vol. 2, No. 1 (May 1943) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Conscription and American fascism by Frank Lanham

-Labor conscription by September!: management journal spills the fascist beans by William Young (a.k.a. Bill Young)

-One year of publication

-The forgotten plan

-Call me Casey

-I am the people, the mob by Carl Sandburg (Reprinted from An anthology of revolutionary poetry, edited by Marcus Graham)

-Geopolitics: science of the super-state by Martin Thorn

-Cooperative workers are human, too by G.G.

-They fought: excerpts from address by Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, United States District Court, 1917

-As the chains tighten

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Why Vol. 2, No. 1 (May 1943).pdf13.82 MB

Why? Vol. 2, No. 2 (June 1943)

The Vol. 2, No. 2 (June 1943) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-What about the miners? by Frank Lanham

-What do we think?

-Keep 'em sailing by x208382

-How a scissor bill fed two economists: a fantasy

-Quote

-Our Chinese allies by Jack High

-The definition of anarchism (Reprinted from Memoirs of a revolutionist by Peter Kropotkin)

-Who are the fascists? by Frank Lanham

-Notes from a U.S.M.S. school

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Why Vol. 2, No. 2 (June 1943).pdf1.74 MB

Why? Vol. 2, No. 3 (July-August 1943)

The Vol 2, No 3 (July-August 1943) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Spain and the world

-Reflections on an early American anarchist by J.A.W.

-Litvinov-night

-Land of the free by D.D.

-Carpetbagging in steel by Frank Lanham

-We will not be lead! by Howard Johnson

-Exit Mussolini

-Obituary: demise of the Third International

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Why Vol 2, No 3 (July-August 1943).pdf3.1 MB

Why? Vol. 2, No. 4 (September 1943)

The Vol. 2, No. 4 (September 1943) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Allied intervention, inc. by Vida

-Law and justice by G.A. (a.k.a. Audrey Goodfriend)

-No defense! by D.K. (a.k.a. David Koven)

-The automotive union: from sit-down to Roland Jay by Frank Lanham

-The Italian scene: is fascism crumbling? by Max Sartin

-Postwar planning

-Quote

-Tsk! Tsk!: what will Murray say? by D.K. (a.k.a. David Koven)

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Why Vol. 2, No. 4 (September 1943).pdf5.56 MB

Why? Vol. 2, No. 6 (January-February 1944)

The Vol. 2, No. 6 (January-February 1944) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Another link in the chain by Vida

-"Suffer little children" by D.K. (a.k.a. David Koven)

-What are we worth? by G.A. (a.k.a. Audrey Goodfriend)

-The necessity of community by George G. Ausden

-Anarchism by Peter Kropotkin (Reprinted from Encyclopedia Brittanica)

-Education: tool of a free society by J.A.W.

-Bronson Alcott: pioneer of progressive education by C.B.

-Planning for control

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Why Vol. 2, No. 6 (January-February 1944).pdf6.55 MB

Volume 3

Why? Vol. 3, No. 1 (April-May 1944)

The Vol. 3, No. 1 (April-May 1944) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-In memorium, May 1, USA

-Labor in the post-war world by Charles Storm

-To the boiling point by Lead Line (a.k.a. Franz Fleigler)

-They call it free enterprise by Max Sartin

-Anarchism by Peter Kropotkin (Reprinted from Encyclopedia Brittanica)

-Off the press

-Ralph Bourne: idealist by W. O'C (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-And it came to pass by Lead Line (a.k.a. Franz Fleigler)

-War and ideals by C.B.

-Elizabeth Byrne Ferm by Alexis Ferm

-Do we want work? by Eddie Shaw (Reprinted from War Commentary)

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Why Vol. 3, No. 1 (April-May 1944).pdf5.19 MB

Why? Vol. 3, No. 2 (June-July 1944)

The Vol. 3, No. 2 (June-July 1944) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-The cesspool of law by A.D. Adams

-The great design by Charles Storm

-The tyrants' war by Max Sartin

-A new prison: a short story by W.O.C. (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-Towards anarchy by Frederick Lohr (Reprinted from War Commentary)

-Anarchist chronicle

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Why Vol. 3, No. 2 (June-July 1944).pdf5.14 MB

Why? Vol. 3, No. 3 (August 1944)

The Vol. 3, No. 3 (August 1944) issue of Why?, an anarchist publication produced out of New York City from 1942-1947.

Contents include:

-Who are the guilty? by W.O'C (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-Philadelphia: ignorant and discontented by Vida

-As we go to press...

-The air is not free by W.O'C (a.k.a. Michael Grieg)

-Sacco and Vanzetti: two anarchists by G.A. (a.k.a. Audrey Goodfriend)

-Labor's weapons by D.K. (a.k.a. David Koven)

-A bright tomorrow by A.D. Adams

-Towards anarchy by Frederick Lohr (Reprinted from War Commentary)

-Between the lines

-A new declaration of independence by Emma Goldman (Reprinted from Mother Earth Vol. 4, 1909-1910)

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Why Vol. 3, No. 3 (August 1944).pdf5.57 MB