The Blast (San Francisco). Vol. 1 No. 13. May 15, 1916.

The Blast (San Francisco). Vol. 1 No. 13. May 15, 1916.

Contents: The Only Hope of Ireland, Pro-Government Anarchists by Errico Malatesta, Reflections by Alexander Berkman, Should Labor be Patriotic by Tolstoy, Science: God’s Mortal Terror by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Great Adventure by Herman Kuehn, Letters, Our Funny Column, ABC Dialogues.

Alexander Berkman’s incendiary-titled ‘The Blast’ began after Berkman left New York City, and his editorial position with Emma Goldman’s ‘Mother Earth’ he had held since his release from prion in 1906, to organize the ‘Anti-Militarist League’ and anarchists circles across the country in opposition to the war and associated repression. Published semi-monthly in San Francisco, California, beginning in January, 1916 with the first issue carrying a cover legendary cartoonist Robert Minor and this statement: ‘Before a garden can bloom, the weeds must be uprooted. Nothing is therefore more important than to destroy. Nothing more necessary and difficult…To destroy the Old and the False is the most vital work. We emphasize it: to blast the bulwarks of slavery and oppression is of primal necessity. It is the beginning of really lasting construction.’ Twenty-nine issues were published, with special attention paid to the war, political prisoners, and the labor movement in California. Berkman was arrested in June, 1917 for encouraging resistance to the draft and The Blast, like so many radical journals of the time, fell to Federal repression. Berkman spent two years in Atlanta Federal Prison before being deported to Russia in 1919.

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