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Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

Posted by Dreamer

Examining the efforts of the organization Mujeres Libres (Free Women), Martha A. Ackelsberg brings the concerns and struggles of this group of socially-conscious anarchist women to life in Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women. From their ideological foundations until the end of the Spanish Civil War, Ackelsberg traces Mujeres Libres’ work to both change the world and win the war one woman at a time – on their own terms.

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At the crossroads of both radical history and women’s history, Free Women of Spain provides a fascinating glimpse into a movement and an era, shining light not only on Spanish anarchist ideology of the time (in a word, unique) and the association’s commitment to preparing working class women for the revolutionary future, but also delving into the little-known political struggles between the antifascist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

Free Women of Spain will no doubt delight devotees of history as well as fans of various “-isms” (anarchism, feminism, socialism, libertarianism, communism, etc.). It is written in a fairly academic style, but the general non-fiction reader will also find the book to be both engaging and accessible. Originally written in English, Free Women of Spain is also available in Spanish.

(Reviewer’s note: This is a review of the Spanish translation, Mujeres Libres. El anarquismo y la lucha por la emancipación de las mujeres.)

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English version:
Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women by Martha A. Ackelsberg. Oakland: AK Press, 2005. 286 pages.
Buy the book in Europe or buy the book in North America.

Spanish version:
Mujeres Libres. El anarquismo y la lucha por la emancipación de las mujeres by Martha A. Ackelsberg. Barcelona: Virus, 2002. 260 pages.
Buy the book in Europe or buy the book in North America.


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Examining the efforts of the organization Mujeres Libres (Free Women), Martha A. Ackelsberg brings the concerns and struggles of this group of socially-conscious anarchist women to life in Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women. From their ideological foundations until the end of the Spanish Civil War, Ackelsberg traces Mujeres Libres’ work to both change the world and win the war one woman at a time – on their own terms.

Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

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