Agnes Smedley Quotes

 

I feel like a person living on the brink of a volcano crater.

— Agnes Smedley

Like all my family and class, I considered it a sign of weakness to show affection; to have been caught kissing my mother would have been a disgrace, and to have shown affection for my father would have been a disaster.

— Agnes Smedley

Everybody calls everybody a spy, secretly, in Russia, and everybody is under surveillance. You never feel safe.

— Agnes Smedley

Now, being a girl, I was ashamed of my body and my lack of strength. So I tried to be a man. I shot, rode, jumped, and took part in all the fights of the boys.

— Agnes Smedley

I have no objection to a man being a man, however masculine that may be.

— Agnes Smedley

My mother listened to all the news from the camp during the strike. She said little, especially when my father or the men who worked for him were about I remember her instinctive and unhesitating sympathy for the miners.

— Agnes Smedley

Germany is in terrible condition this year. This is particularly true of the working masses, who are so undernourished that tuberculosis is having a rich harvest, particularly of adolescent children.

— Agnes Smedley

Yet it is awful to love a person who is a torture to you. And a fascinating person who loves you and won’t hear of anything but your loving him and living right by his side through all eternity!

— Agnes Smedley

I hate female men.

— Agnes Smedley

What a couple. I’m consumed into ashes. And he’s always raking up the ashes and setting them on fire again.

— Agnes Smedley

And the woman who could win the respect of man was often the woman who could knock him down with her bare fists and sit on him until he yelled for help.

— Agnes Smedley

But he like my mother, had certainly come to know that those who work the most do not make the most money. It was the fault of the rich, it seemed, but just how he did not know.

— Agnes Smedley

There are many men – such as those often to be found among the Indians – who are refined until they have qualities often attributed to the female sex. Yet they are men, and strong ones.

— Agnes Smedley

In the little hall leading to it was a rack holding various Socialist or radical newspapers, tracts, and pamphlets in very small print and on very bad paper. The subjects treated were technical Marxist theories.

— Agnes Smedley

More and more do I see that only a successful revolution in India can break England’s back forever and free Europe itself. It is not a national question concerning India any longer; it is purely international.

— Agnes Smedley

So I had to be the doctor to these wounded men until we could remove them to the hospital. There were fifty-four women and forty little boys with the Red Army prisoners, and I went daily to take care of them also.

— Agnes Smedley

For the first week of the Sian events I was a first aid worker in the streets of Sian.

— Agnes Smedley

No one yet knows what a man’s province is, and how far that province, as conceived of today, is artificial.

— Agnes Smedley

When I was a girl, the West was still young, and the law of force, of physical force, was dominant.

— Agnes Smedley

But I see no reason why a woman should not grow and develop in all those outlets which are suited to her nature, it matters not at all what they may be.

— Agnes Smedley

Thousands of women are crushed and made inarticulate by that system and never develop as their natures would force them to develop were they in a decent environment.

— Agnes Smedley

For months it seemed that a revolution was certain. But instead, slavery seems more likely now. The working class no longer has the physical resistance for a revolution, and the Entente is too strong, and Russia is too weak.

— Agnes Smedley

I joined another circle and the leader gave us a little leaflet in very small print, asking us to read it carefully and then come prepared to ask questions. It was a technical Marxist subject and I did not understand it nor did I know what questions to ask.

— Agnes Smedley

In one hotel, the maid who built the fire fainted in our room. Exhaustion was the cause. We talked with her later and learned that she worked 17 hours a day and makes 95 marks a month – about 50 cents.

— Agnes Smedley

Much that we read of Russia is imagination and desire only.

— Agnes Smedley

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