21st November, 1870
Alexander Berkman was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. He was the lover and lifelong friend of anarchist Emma Goldman. In 1892, Berkman made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate businessman Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed, for which he served 14 years in prison. His experience in prison was the basis for his first book, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Berkman quickly voiced his opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. In 1925, he published a book about his experiences, The Bolshevik Myth. While living in France, Berkman continued his work in support of the anarchist movement, producing the classic exposition of anarchist principles, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism. Suffering from ill health, Berkman committed suicide in 1936.