Mother Earth (magazine)

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Date: 1914

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Print Journalism


Mother Earth.jpg

Artist: Man Ray, Emma Goldman, and Alexander Berkman

Confronting Bodies: United States Government

Dates of Action: 1914

Location: United States

Description of Artwork: This anarchist publication, whose first issue was published in 1906, featured radical commentary on current events, along with works of fiction and poetry from a variety of authors. Some noteworthy artists provided cover art, including one issue decorated by Man Ray.

The Incident: The introduction of the Espionage Act in 1917 threatened the magazine; publisher Emma Goldman and her contributors openly opposed the United States' proposed involvement in World War I, suggesting readers resist the military draft. Even with the looming consequences of the Espionage Act, the publication continued to include such controversial statements. In response, the government dispatched agents to search the Mother Earth office, where subscription lists of over 8,000 names were confiscated.

Results of Incident: Although the magazine continued to publish issues until August of 1917, Goldman and secondary editor Alexander Berkman were eventually deported after being found guilty of violating the Espionage Act.

Source: National Association of Artists Organizations; PBS