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The Anarchist Encyclopedia:
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Joseph Spivak (1882-1971),
born 4 March 1882 Uman, Russia.
Died 7 November 1971, NY City.
Both dates cited in the Daily Bleed.


Lifelong anarchist who emigrated to US in 1902, returning to Russia during the Revolution of 1905, returning when it failed. Involved in nationwide anti-militarist activities with Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman during WWI despite being harrassed by US government & threats of expulsion.

Spivak helped organize, with Tom Bell, an anarchist forum & free Worker's College in Los Angeles, as well as contributing to anarchist newspapers. Returned to NY in 1927 where he was active in the "Libertarian Book Club," publishing English translations of Voline's The Unknown Revolution, (1954-1955), The Ego & Its Own" by Max Stirner (1963), etc.

An activist to the end, Spivak participated in a conference on "the co-operative movement" just a few weeks before his death at age 90.

Joseph Spivak (1882-1971) is being watched. . . we think we're not too paranoid...

[Agent Report In re:] Joseph Spivak--Anarchist
Activities, Los Angeles, 1923 Sept. 20 Reel 66

[Agent Report In re:] Neie Geselshaft, Free Workers Forum,
Joseph Spivak--Russian (Jewish) Anarchist Activities,
Los Angeles [19]24 Jan. 22 Reel 66

In the late 40s-early 50s in New York City two libertarian organizations existed: in July 1954, Russell Blackwell, Esther & Sam Dolgoff formed the Libertarian League, of which for a short time Murray Bookchin was a member. The other, formed in 1949, was the Libertarian Book Club, an idea initiated by Grigori Maximov [G.P. Maximoff], & formally established by a number of anarchists, including: Bill & Sarah Taback, Joseph & Hannah Spivak, Joseph Aaronstam, Ida Pilot (a professional translator) & her companion Valerio Isca, & Esther & Sam Dolgoff. The Libertarian Book Club is based in New York City, & is still active today."

See Fragments: A Memoir, by Sam Dolgoff (Cambridge: Refract Publications, 1986).

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