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Eve Ensler Reads Emma Goldman

On October 24, 2015, The Nation feted its 150th anniversary with an unprecedented celebration at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in a renovated Civil War-era Tobacco Warehouse. Featuring acclaimed writers and activists channeling iconic Nation voices from the past, plus music and comedy, the evening was hosted by Nation writers and MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry and featured readings and reflections by Tony Kushner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Calvin Trillin, Victor Navasky, Laura Flanders, Kai Wright, Zephyr Teachout, Mychal Denzel Smith, along with a moving live performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

In this inimitable reading, Eve Ensler, the pathbreaking feminist playwright, reads from an essay on political exiles by the great anarchist Emma Goldman, whom Ensler calls “my revolutionary mother and inspiration,” someone who understood that “there is no revolution with sex and dancing.” Published in The Nation in 1932, Goldman’s essay spoke of “the cruel plight of the political refugees” after World War I, who continued to believe that someday “the workers will wake up from their leaden sleep, that they will once more take up the battle for liberty and well-being.”