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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Anarchist Newspapers

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). The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page. 

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Note: Because some newspapers changed place of location and other changed titles, there are many duplicates among the 274 periodicals listed and mapped here.

Sources:These lists of titles and circulation figures have been culled from incomplete listings in the following works, as well as miscellaneous other primary and secondary sources: Paul Avrich, “List of Periodicals,” in Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 285-290; Leonardo Bettini, Bibliografia dell’anarchismo (Florence: Crescita Politica, 1972); René Bianco, Ronald Creagh, and Nicole Riffaut-Perrot, Quand le coq rouge chantera: anarchistes français et italiens aux États-Unis d'Amérique; bibliographie (Marsielle/Montpellier: Editions Culture et Liberté/CIRCAN, 1986); Christiane Harzig and Dirk Hoerder, ed. The Immigrant Labor Press in North America, 1840s-1970s: An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987); Ernesto A. Longa, Anarchist Periodicals in English Published in the United States (1833-1955): An Annotated Guide (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009); Bruce C. Nelson, “Arbeiterpresse und Arbeiterbewegung: Chicago’s Socialist and Anarchist Press, 1870-1900,” in Elliot Shore, Ken Fones-Wolf, and James P. Danky, eds., The German-American Radical Press: The Shaping of a Left Political Culture, 1850-1940 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 81-107; John Patten, Yiddish Anarchist Bibliography (London/Cambridge: Kate Sharpley Library/Anarchist Archives Project, 1998).

Research and data compilation: Kenyon Zimmer

Maps: Arianne Hermida, James Gregory