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FRIEDSON, Reid. " Radical Educators in New York City, 1909-1915"
Article published on 26 December 2006
last modification on 25 December 2006

by r-c.
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"The preeminent American scholar of anarchism, Paul Avrich, has called the Modern School’s adult Ferrer Center the "Academy Humane" for its gathering of counter-culture rebels and artists. Harry Kelly recalled that "those who gathered at the center formed the most dynamic group of men and women of its kind ever brought together in this country." [26] Sadakichi Hartmann, who fried eggs and discussed poetry with Walt Whitman and corresponded with Ezra Pound met other radicals there. Carlos Tresca, an Italian militant who attended many of the talks, noted that there were all shades of radicals, from pacifists to terrorists, in attendance. People young and old gathered from 1910-1915 to here Jack London, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Clarence Darrow, Hutchins Hapgood, Hippolyte Havel, Eugene O’Neill, Theodore Dreiser, Max Eastman, Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger speak on the need for libertarian cultural transformations. The topics of economics, politics, sex, literature, art, law, psychology, psychoanalysis, socialism, anarchism, and syndicalism were all discussed. The ideas were exciting and relevant to the controversial issues of the day and were attractive to plain working men as well as avant-garde intellectuals. The Ferrer Center was simply aiming toward the "reconstruction of society upon the basis of freedom and justice."


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