Emma Goldman Reference Archive

My Disillusionment in Russia

Written: 1922-23, of her experience in 1920 - 1921;
First Published: 1923;
Source: New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1923;
Transcription: Dana Ward and Brian Baggins;
Online Version: Anarchy Archives; Emma Goldman Reference Archive (marxists.org) 2000.

Deported American anarchist Emma Goldman travels to Russia for the first time in 30 years. She provides a revealing picture on the rampant oportunism throughout the Soviet government and its steady roots throughout the bureacracy. In addition she focuses on how the Soviet government began to open its arms after the Civil War to those who once had fought against it: the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and even the old tsarists. While these forces of the right were now coming into cooperation with the Soviet government, those on the extreme left saw an utter betrayal of revolutionary principles. At the one hand, during the Civil War, the Bolsheviks were much to brutal to the rightists, now they were much to nice. The extreme left then began to adamantly push for the overthrow of the Soviet government. Goldman explains life in Soviet Russia from the viewpoint of the extreme left revolutionaries, and charts the undemocratic injustices that occur to them as a result.

Goldman was dismayed when she discovered that Doubleday, Page & Company had, without informing her, changed the title of her work from "My Two Years in Russia" to "My Disillusionment in Russia." Even worse, the publisher cut the last twelve chapters of the manuscript (starting with Chapter 22: Odessa), omitting her account of crucial events such as the Kronstadt rebellion and the afterword in which she reflected on the trajectory of the revolution after the Bolsheviks seized power. At Goldman's insistence, the omitted chapters were published as a separate volume: My Further Disillusionment in Russia (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1924). The complete text in one volume, with an introduction by Rebecca West, appeared the following year: My Disillusionment in Russia (London: C. W. Daniel Company, 1925).




To First Volume of American Edition
To Second Volume of American Edition
Chapter I : Deportation To Russia
Chapter II : Petrograd
Chapter III : Disturbing Thoughts
Chapter IV : Moscow: First Impressions
Chapter V : Meeting People
Chapter VI : Preparing for American Deportees
Chapter VII : Rest Homes for Workers
Chapter VIII : The First of May in Petrograd
Chapter IX : Industrial Militarization
Chapter X : The British Labour Mission
Chapter XI : A Visit from the Ukraina
Chapter XII : Beneath the Surface
Chapter XIII : Joining the Museum of the Revolution
Chapter XIV : Petropavlovsk and Schlusselburg
Chapter XV : The Trade Unions
Chapter XVI : Maria Spiridonova
Chapter XVII : Another Visit to Peter Kropotkin
Chapter XVIII : En Route
Chapter XIX : In Kharkov
Chapter XX : Poltava
Chapter XXI : Kiev
Preface to last 12 Chapters
Chapter XXII : Odessa
Chapter XXIII : Returning To Moscow
Chapter XXIV : Back In Petrograd
Chapter XXV : Archangel And Return
Chapter XVI : Death And Funeral Of Peter Kropotkin
Chapter XXVII : Kronstadt
Chapter XXVIII : Persecution Of Anarchists
Chapter XIX : Travelling Salesmen Of The Revolution
Chapter XXX : Education And Culture
Chapter XXXI : Exploiting The Famine
Chapter XXXII : The Socialist Republic Resorts To Deportation