Boston Herald, “Rachelle Cohen: Robert E. joins Emma in history’s hall of shame”

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, the defaced Gen. Robert E. Lee statue, center, stands at the Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. Duke Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday, Aug. 19, days after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy. The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness early Saturday morning from Duke Chapel where it stood among 10 historical figures depicted in the entryway (Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun via AP, File)

But the pedestal we were looking at, my friend assured me, once held a statue of Emma Goldman. Ok, so what had this American anarchist done to deserve being thrown off her perch with the rest of them?

Well, yes, she was Russian-born and after getting arrested in the U.S. several times for her rabble rousing — she had at one point been labeled “the most dangerous woman in America” — had been deported back to Russia where she eventually became thoroughly disillusioned with communism as it was actually practiced.

She died in Toronto, but is buried back in the U.S. — in Illinois — in a cemetery plot thoughtfully reserved for old lefties and anarchists. A complex character, Goldman was sympathetically portrayed in the musical “Ragtime” and today has been rediscovered and revered as an early feminist.

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