Anarchist Newspapers and Periodicals 1872-1940
By Kenyon Zimmer
These maps and tables locate 274 periodicals affiliated with anarchist groups or ideas from 1872 to 1940. (Single-issue publications, and those that lasted fewer than four issues, are not included.) The press played a particularly important role in disseminating information, coordinating action, and providing cohesion within the anarchist movement, which rejected the hierarchical structure of political parties and generally avoided formal organizations at the local, national, and global levels. Anarchists published periodicals in 18 different languages, reflecting the immigrant majority and transnational nature of the American movement. They were based in 20 states and 63 different cities, but New York, Chicago, and San Francisco were the main centers of anarchist publishing. New York hosted 95 newspapers, Chicago 37, and 19 were based in San Francisco. The vast majority were weeklies and monthlies; only two daily anarchist newspapers appeared, the German Chicagoer Arbeiter-Zeitung (Chicago) and the Yiddish Abend Tsaytung (New York). Most titles were short lived--only 35 lasted longer than four years--and claimed modest circulations, typically around one or two thousand copies. However, the Yiddish Fraye Arbayter Shtime (New York) appeared from 1890 to 1977 and claimed a peak circulation of 30,000, and the German Die Fackel (Chicago) and Spanish language Regeneración (Los Angeles) both exceeded 20,000 copies. These data were compiled by Kenyon Zimmer in connection with his book, Immigrants Against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America (University of Illinois, 2015).