Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Underground: My life in SDS and the Weathermen by Mark Rudd


I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it’s much more thoughtful than Bill Ayers’ mess of a memoir.  I have little faith that Mark Rudd can fully answer the political questions that arose out of the New Left of the 60s, but it’s an enthralling account nonetheless.

With the war in Iraq provoking memories of Vietnam, Rudd gave up a 25-year silence on his role in the radical student movement of the 1960s when he lead the Weathermen. The group grew out of the Student for Democratic Society behind massive anti-war and social-justice protests at Columbia University. Rudd recalls his personal journey from idealistic freshman to student radical and the escalating violence that led to the riot during the 1969 Democratic party convention in Chicago and the bombing of a townhouse in Greenwich Village. Rudd spent seven years, from 1970 until 1977, living underground as a federal fugitive before turning himself in. Rudd writes from the perspective of a middle-aged teacher living in New Mexico, still concerned about social justice and heartened by the new administration and growing involvement of young people in politics and civic engagement. He admits shame and guilt about some of the excesses and violence of the radical 1960s, but maintains an enduring pride in the passion and idealism of the time. An engrossing look back at a turbulent time by an iconic figure.


mirror 1: rapidshare (PDF ebook 6 x 9, perfect quality)

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