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(en) Kate Sharpley Library: Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist reviewed - KSL update

Date Sat, 8 Apr 2017 13:31:54 +0300


We liked the new edition of Berkman's Prison Memoirs ---- Earlier this year AK Press and the Kate Sharpley Library co-published an annotated edition of Alexander Berkman's Prison memoirs of an Anarchist. ---- Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist is a classic for good reason: the drama of the story drives it along. Berkman's mission to assassinate Frick is interspersed with effective flashbacks showing his development to that point. In the prison there's plenty of conflict which makes you wonder: how can he survive 22 years? Can the prisoners expose their mistreatment and the scams of the management? Will the escape plan work? I loved the cover: a piano with a pick and shovel leaning against it as a nod the outside comrades who dug a tunnel for him, covered by Vella Kinsella ‘tinkling the ivories'. There's also the odd bit of unintentional comedy, like Berkman's puzzlement when he first comes across prison slang: ‘I should "keep my lamps lit." What lamps? There are none in the cell; where am I to get them? And what "screws" must I watch? And the "stools,"-I have only a chair here. Why should I watch it? Perhaps it's to be used as a weapon.'[p112]

You can read the rest of the review at http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/t76k1f
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