An Anarchist Woman
by Hutchins Hapgood
Duffield & Company
It is possible that in fifty years people now called "anarchists" will have in America as respectable a place as they now occupy in France. When we are more accustomed to social thought, we shall not regard those who radically differ from us, as mad dogs or malevolent idiots. We may, indeed, still look on them as mistaken, but what now seems to us their insanity or peculiar atrociousness will vanish with our growing understanding and experience. When we become less crude in civilisation, they will seem less crude to us. When, with growing culture, we see things more nearly as they are, the things we see, including the anarchists, will seem more sympathetic.
This book is not an attempt to justify any person or set of persons. It is not a political or economic pamphlet. It represents an effort to throw light on what may be called the temperament of revolt; by portraying the mental life of an individual, and incidentally of more than one individual, I have hoped to make more clear the natural history of the anarchist; to show under what conditions, in connection with what personal qualities, the anarchistic habit of mind arises, and to point out, suggestively, rather than explicitly, the nature, the value, and the tragic limitation of the social rebel.