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The Women Incendiaries [Paperback]

By Edith Thomas, James Atkinson (Translator) & Starr Atkinson (Translator)
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Item description for The Women Incendiaries by Edith Thomas, James Atkinson & Starr Atkinson...

The Women Incendiaries tells the inspirational story of women who played a leading role in the Paris Commune, one of history's greatest moments of social upheaval. This is the first paperback edition of this vital, remarkable book.

Edith Thomas was a French writer whose books include a biography of Paris Commune leader Louise Michel.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   274
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   Haymarket Books
ISBN  1931859469  
ISBN13  9781931859462  

Availability  0 units.

More About Edith Thomas, James Atkinson & Starr Atkinson

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > Europe
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Women's Studies
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > General
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about The Women Incendiaries?

this book is a must for your feminist collection  Sep 4, 2007
The Women Incendiaries was reprinted in paperback this year from the nonprofit book publisher, Haymarket Books. This classic feminist text was first published in France in 1963 and translated to English three years later. It describes the role women played in the Paris Commune, an anarchist-socialist government that took hold of Paris for two months in the spring of 1871.

This book is not a light read, but for anyone who has interest in the current political atmosphere, this revolutionary tale provides historical significance. It was a time, much like our own, when military defeat and poor political leadership encouraged an ever-widening disparity between rich and poor. The disillusionment of the working class was at an all time high, and personal dignity was often sacrificed in the name of survival.

And of those who suffered, women were one of the most transgressed. Their mother-wife role in the patriarchal society was clear, but as the working poor they were unable to live up to this moral standard, and those with money and power condemned them for it. Many of the female revolutionaries of the time rightly believed that women's rights were an inextricable part of worker's rights, and you could not have one without the other. With this conviction in mind, they took a large part in organizing and fighting within revolutionary organizations, including the French socialist movement that gave rise to the Paris Commune. The role they played in this battle for dignity, and its effect on the future of women's liberation, is not mentioned in history books. But thanks to historian Edith Thomas, we have a detailed and unflinching account of these inspiring feminists.

Unfortunately, the author isn't writing for the uninitiated. Her audience is primarily women's studies students and historians. Thankfully, she takes extensive footnotes, and leaves a trail of books to which the reader can go for more information. If you're a fan of classic feminist literature, this book is a must for your collection.
The Women Incendiaries paints a vivid picture of turbulent era  Sep 3, 2007
Originally published in 1963 and translated into English in 1966, The Women Incendiaries: The Inspiring Story of the Women of Paris Commune Who Took Up Arms in the Fight for Liberty and Equality is now in a new paperback edition. The Women Incendiaries a historical analysis of the role women played during the Paris commune of 1871. In the spring of 1871, the workers of Paris claimed and held the city for two months. They elected a municipal council of workers and soldiers to govern in the interests of all workers; the Commune swiftly issued decrees ranging from an enforced limit on the highest salary for any employee of the Commune to an established separation of church and state. The Women Incendiaries especially focuses upon the true story of Louise Michel, who was eventually arrested, put on trial, and sentenced to exile. Yet when she returned to Paris in 1880, ten thousand workers gathered to greet her. The Women Incendiaries paints a vivid picture of turbulent era, and is a welcome classic for international history shelves.
The Role of Women in the Paris Commune of 1871  Aug 30, 2007
Edith Thomas originally produced in 1948 perhaps one of the best socio-political histories of the role women played in the Paris uprising of the modern proletariat in 1871. Thomas illuminates the contributions of the best known socialist-anarchist leader Louis Michael and others. These women demanded participation within the leadership of the uprising and the defense of the Commune. Michael according to Thomas was the unofficial representative of the Second International, then lead by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Much of what Marx and Engels use in their famous pamphlet on the "Civil War in France 1871" came directly from the information reported and supplied by Michel. Thomas provides significant documentation of these reports.

Seeking and locating documents of the commune in power, the personal dairies of the women participants and unearthing police documents Thomas produced one of the best seminal works in modern history on the nature of the class and sex struggle. The role of the Women in the Commune is finally coming to light and any serious student of modern revolution needs to understand the very beginnings of the issues that remain today such as free birth control on demand, 24 hour child care, equal pay and opportunity regardless of sex and the right to free abortion for all women. Many of the modern day struggles of feminists and working women today were addressed by the leaders of the Commune. Women played an essential and significant direct role in this revolutionary uprising that included participating in the direct defense of the Commune. Women fought alongside with the men on the streets of Paris and many were killed and buried in the mass graves of the communards shoulder to shoulder.

This is a worthy read for any student of social revolution who is sincerely interested in the lessons the Commune and its relevancy for the modern radical labor movement.

The fate of Louise Michael after the uprising, including her trial and sentence to France's famous penal colony on the notorious island of no return (as depicted in Papillion). Thomas documents Michael's fate as well as the fate of other women leaders of the Commune. She dispels the myth that these women were conscious incendiaries. It is important to note this book was originally written long before the modern second wave of feminism and serves as a historical backdrop of where many modern leaders and authors of the second wave of feminism learned about their herstory.

I am so glade this book is back in print and I highly recommend it.

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