Talk:Becky Edelsohn

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Why Rebecca and not Becky?[edit]

Both New York Times articles refer to her as Becky Edelsohn, as do all the books I've read about Emma Goldman. Should we move the article to Becky Edelsohn? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:36, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

What's the source for the "h" in Edelsohn? All the images and the listed sources refer to her as Edelson. ~ trialsanderrors (talk) 15:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the sources are split. The academic sources (Avrich, Falk, and Wexler) consistently use Edelsohn (as did Emma Goldman in her autobiography,[1] while the New York Times used Edelson. Contemporary sources, including Goldman's Mother Earth, were inconsistent in their spelling. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 17:59, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Obvious conjecture is that she was born Edelsohn as a Russian Jew likely of German extraction and that it was anglicized at some point in her life (possibly while she was still in the nursery)? In any case, the article should make note of the spelling variants. ~ trialsanderrors (talk) 11:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

DYK?[edit]

I was thinking of submitting this article for appearance at Did You Know. Probably with a hook of "...that anarchist Becky Edelsohn was arrested for calling John D. Rockefeller, Jr. a "multi-murderer"?" Any thoughts or objections? Kaldari (talk) 20:51, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. I was also thinking of nominating it. Why not use the "first woman to attempt a hunger strike in the United States" as a hook or an alt? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 21:09, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Purpose of Edelsohn's speech[edit]

It took some digging, but it looks like Edelson's speech was regarding John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s role in the Ludlow Massacre which had occurred a month earlier. Strangely, all the New York Times articles seem to be at pains to avoid mentioning this (or perhaps it was just obvious to readers at the time). Kaldari (talk) 00:01, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The full story is here. Kaldari (talk) 01:36, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Interestingly, another anarchist, Marie Ganz, tried to assassinate John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1914, but no mention of this exists in Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 01:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

"first woman to attempt a hunger strike in the United States"[edit]

The New York Times describes Edelsohn as the first woman hunger striker. I can't find confirmation of that, but...

Emma Goldman, who was no fan of hers, referred to Edelsohn as the first political prisoner to conduct a hunger strike in the U.S.[2] Alexander Berkman wrote the same thing.[3] As does this interesting paper, by a graduate student in history. Margaret Sanger too.[4]

Maybe Edelsohn wasn't the first woman hunger striker, as the Times wrote, but the first in the U.S. to use a hunger strike for political purposes? Or maybe both? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:10, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that hunger strikes are always for political purposes, but don't always involve prisoners. I think it's plausible that Edelsohn was both the first woman in the U.S. to hunger strike and the first political prisoner in the U.S. to hunger strike, but I would be more comfortable making those statements if we had a modern reputable source for it. The New York Times didn't have a great reputation for accuracy in 1914, and the other sources are all within Edelsohn's network of friends (Sanger via Goldman). I wonder if there are any scholarly studies on the history of hunger strikes. Kaldari (talk) 03:26, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
If there's a residual doubt about the veracity of the NYT report the claim should be amended to "described by the New York Times as the first woman hunger striker". ~ trialsanderrors (talk) 11:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC)