Cowards don’t make history; and the women of Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were no cowards. Courageous enough to create revolutionary change in their daily lives, these women mobilized over 20,000 women into an organized network during the Spanish Revolution, to strive for community, education, and equality for women and the emancipation of all. Militants in the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, Mujeres Libres struggled against fascism, the State, and reaction; and the less than supportive attitudes and concerns of their male comrades. Martha Ackelsberg writes a comprehensive study of Mujeres Libres, intertwining interviews with the women themselves and analysis connecting them with modern feminist movements. This new edition includes additional research Ackelsberg carried out for the Spanish language edition, together with a brand new introduction written in the light of the new social movements, and resurgence of anarchism, post-Seattle.
Martha Ackelsberg is a Professor of Government and a member of the Women’s Studies Program Committee at Smith College, where she teaches courses in political theory, urban politics, political activism, and feminist theory. She has contributed to a variety of anthologies on women’s political activism in the United States.