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John Henry Mackay

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Title: John Henry Mackay  
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Subject: Max Stirner, Anarchism in Germany, Anarchism and issues related to love and sex, Queer anarchism, Egoist anarchism
Collection: 1864 Births, 1933 Deaths, Anarchist Poets, Egoist Anarchists, Free Love Advocates, Gay Writers, German Anarchists, German Biographers, German Male Novelists, German Male Poets, German Novelists, German People of Scottish Descent, German Poets, German Political Writers, Individualist Anarchists, Lgbt History in Germany, Lgbt Novelists, Lgbt Poets, Lgbt Rights Activists from Germany, Lgbt Writers from Germany, Lgbt Writers from Scotland, Male Biographers, Modern Pederasty, People from Greenock, Queer Anarchism, Scottish Anarchists, Scottish Biographers, Scottish Expatriates in Germany, Scottish Novelists, Scottish Poets, Scottish Political Writers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

John Henry Mackay

John Henry Mackay
Born (1864-02-06)February 6, 1864
Greenock, Scotland
Died May 16, 1933(1933-05-16) (aged 69)
Berlin, Germany
Pen name Sagitta
Occupation writer
Nationality dual British/German
Genre non fiction
Subject political philosophy
Literary movement naturalism
Notable works Die Anarchisten (The Anarchists)
Der Freiheitsucher (The Searcher for Freedom)

John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 – 16 May 1933) was an individualist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of Die Anarchisten (The Anarchists, 1891) and Der Freiheitsucher (The Searcher for Freedom, 1921). Mackay was published in the United States in his friend Benjamin Tucker's magazine, Liberty. He was a noted homosexual.


  • Life 1
  • Writing and influence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Mackay was born in Greenock on February 6, 1864. His mother came from a prosperous Hamburg family. His father was a Scottish marine insurance broker who died when the child was less than two years old, at which point mother and son returned to Germany, where Mackay grew up.[1]

Mackay lived in Berlin from 1896 onwards, and became a friend of scientist and Gemeinschaft der Eigenen co-founder Benedict Friedlaender.

Mackay died in Stahnsdorf on May 16, 1933, ten days after the Nazi book burnings at the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft. Adolf Hitler had become Reichskanzler on January 30, 1933, and all activities of the German homosexual emancipation movement soon ceased. Allegations that Mackay's death may have been a suicide have been disputed:

Writing and influence

Using the pseudonym Sagitta, Mackay wrote a series of works for pederastic emancipation, titled Die Bücher der namenlosen Liebe (Books of the Nameless Love). This series was conceived in 1905 and completed in 1913 and included the Fenny Skaller, a story of a pederast.[2] Under his real name he also published fiction, such as Der Schwimmer (1901) and, again as Sagitta, he published a pederastic novel of the Berlin boy-bars, Der Puppenjunge (literally "The Boy-Doll", but published in English as The Hustler) (1926). In a note to the American publisher of this book, Christopher Isherwood said, "It gives a picture of the Berlin sexual underworld early in this century which I know, from my own experience, to be authentic."

From 1906, the writings and theories of Mackay had a significant influence on Max Stirner (1806–1856) outside Germany, writing a biography of the philosopher which also added greatly to the understanding of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche in the English-speaking world.

and "Heimliche Aufforderung". Other uses of Mackay's poems by Strauss include "Verführung" (Op. 33 No. 1) and "In der Campagna" (Op. 41 No. 2).

See also


  1. ^ * 
  2. ^ "Richard Strauss and John Henry Mackay" by Hubert Kennedy. Thamyris 2.

Further reading

  • Kennedy, Hubert. Anarchist of Love: The Secret Life of John Henry Mackay (2nd Edition, 2002)
  • "On the Nameless Love and Infinite Sexualities: John Henry Mackay, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Origins of the Sexual Emancipation Movement", Journal of Homosexuality, Vol 50, No.1, 2005.

External links

  • Works by John Henry Mackay at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about John Henry Mackay at Internet Archive
  • Works by John Henry Mackay at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Bike tour to John Henry Mackay’s grave
  • Thomas A. Riley, New England Anarchism in Germany. Retrieved Feb 2, 2008.
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