Revolution by Murder

Revolution by Murder: Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and the Plot to Kill Henry Clay Frick is a kindle single by James McGrath Morris. It tells the true story of the attempted assassination on Henry Clay Frick, the industrialist at the heart of the Homestead Steel Strike in the late 1800s. Driven by the utopian idea of a world without government interference, Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman plot to kill the most powerful man in America “for the workers.”

Let me start with this: If all history books, or any textbooks for that matter, where written by James McGrath Morris, I would remember so much more from school than I do. He managed to take a real event, full of potentially boring details and tell it in a way that had me wanting to read it.

A great Kindle single that fits the perfectly in between reading lengthy novels. Morris is on my list to keep my eye out for more.

This was a great educational read. I had never heard of the story before this book and enjoyed learning about the sequence of events.

The name Emma Goldman was familiar to me (Thank you Literary Theory for discussing her), but Alexander Berkman was not and neither was the Homestead Steel Strike.

I feel like this book was why Kindle Singles were created. It tells an interesting, and in this case true, story in a way that is inviting to readers and does so quickly. I love filling in the time between larger books with these types of singles and this one delivered.

Morris wrote the story in a way that I could almost hear his voice narrating (I’m sure my imaginary voice is much different than his actual one, but it’s my imagination). I also appreciated that the quotes from Goldman, Berkman, and Frick were used sparingly. They were evenly placed in the telling of the story to contribute, not distract.

The efforts on Goldman and Berkman’s part to rid the world of Frick almost seemed fictional they were so outlandish, but this was the late 1800s into early 1900s and times were very much different than they are now.

The story lives up to the title, which is a little long for my taste in non-academic reading, and delivers the true story of Goldman and Berkman’s attempts to assassinate Frick for the “greater good.”

Going to look into more from James McGrath Morris to fill in my reading list.

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