Brand : Edith Thomas

The Women Incendiaries



Elevate difference |

This book is a must for your feminist collection

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.

David bliven |

In the age of pu**y-grabers, more people need to read & discuss books like this!

Thousands of women, formerly housewives, laborers in sweatshops, and prostitutes shook off their chains and picked up guns & fought as bravely - and in some cases more bravely - than men. and this transformation in their mindset occurred within days. there are stories of women who argued with men fleeing the barricades to turn around & fight - and other stories of some barricades which were almost exclusively staffed by women. i end with the words of the great louise michel, who after telling the court she was proud of her role in leading women in the commune, looked them in the face & said "i have finished. if you are not cowards, kill me." wow!

Midwest book review |

The women incendiaries paints a vivid picture of turbulent era

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.