Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and 247 other “politicals” had been deported from the United States on December 21, 1919. Berkman and Goldman, the two most active anarchists in America since the turn of the century, had only recently each completed two year prison sentences for active opposition to the World War I draft (as founders and organisers of the No-Conscription League) and, though resentful of being so abruptly forced to terminate their organising in America, looked forward to enthusiastic participation in the revolutionary experiment in their native land, Russia.
Two years in his native Russia, travelling widely for the Museum of the Revolution of which he was Chairman, provided both the background material for this analysis of the revolution and its betrayal by the Communists. Berkman left Russia, disappointed and angry, towards the end of 1921 and spent the remaining 14 years of his life in exile, welcome in no country, attempting to counter the myth of Bolshevism. He shot himself on June 28, 1936.