So, there's a book out on the tendence apocalyptique in US politics. Those folks got around:
...missionaries Ralph and Edith Norton meet with Mussolini in the early 1930s to interview him for the Sunday School Times. Like a lot of fundamentalists of that era, the missionary couple believed Mussolini was a strong candidate for the Antichrist—the dictatorial leader who would resurrect the Roman Empire. As the Nortons quizzed Mussolini about his political intentions and explained the basics of biblical prophecy, Il Duce became fascinated. “Is that really described in the Bible?” he asked. “By the time the Nortons were through with him,” Sutton writes, “Mussolini apparently believed—and maybe even hoped—that he was the long-awaited world dictator prophesied in the book of Daniel.”
There's also a cracking story about Bush raving to Chirac about Gog and Magog in order to get him to join in the Iraq war. Always worth being reminded of how crazy the atmosphere was in those days.
I'm easing back into blogging with a few cut and paste jobs. Like about the time that Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman ran an ice cream parlour:
"But where to get enough money for the purpose?...It occurred to us that an ice-cream parlour might prove the means to our end." They put up $50 of their own, borrowed $150 from their landlord, rented a storefront, and "succeeded in turning the neglected ramshackle place into an attractive lunch-room....Within a short time we had paid back our landlord's loan and were able to invest in a soda-water fountain and some lovely coloured dishes."
This charming idyll of small-scale entrepreneurship among the anarchists ended with news of the crushing of the Homestead strike.
One day, spotting a newspaper headline over a customer's shoulder, Goldman saw news of the Homestead steel strike, which was being countered by violence from Pinkerton agents and the Pennsylvania state militia.
She paid for the man's paper with a free dish of ice cream (true story), then closed the store and plotted with Berkman to assassinate the steel company boss, Henry Clay Frick. Berkman eventually gained access to Frick's office, where he shot and stabbed the man but failed to kill him.
Berkman was sentenced to 22 years for the attempt. I have his Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, in which he doesn't mention once that he plotted an attentat among the 99s.