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The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground Ron Jacobs Verso Books illustrated edition edition


31st August 2012 History Books 0 Comments

The Weather Underground was a small band of no more than a few hundred radicals, yet the fringe group was widely feared and revered as notorious bombers and violent revolutionaries. In The Way the Wind Blew Ron Jacobs presents a history of the group, from its origins on college campuses to the surrender of its last fugitive members in the 1980s. Along the way they set off bombs (…) and issued communiqués that were largely irrelevant if not incomprehensible to the American public. The dispassionate tone of this book allows for a credible narrative history of the group and its most prominent members, but many questions about the group’s motivations remain unanswered. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Jacobs (librarian, Univ. of Vermont-Burlington), a writer for the alternative monthly Works in Progress, presents a political history of the American New Left group Weatherman, a.k.a. Weather Underground Organization or Weather. Jacobs focuses on Weatherman’s policy statements, e.g., Prairie Fire (1973), and its politics of revolutionary youth, anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, and anti-racism. He traces Weatherman from its origins in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1969, through its activist years from late 1969 to mid-1970s (e.g., the October 1969 Days of Rage in Chicago, street protests, and bombings of the U.S. Capitol and other targets), to its demise in the 1980s as its members either were arrested, surrendered, or left the organization. Despite the lack of historical and contextual explanations and a critical evaluation of WUO’s actions, Jacob’s engaging and sympathetic political narration is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.?Charles L. Lumpkins, Bloomsburg Univ. Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Silas Bissell, former heir to the rug-cleaning fortune who was discovered living near Eugene, Oregon, in 1987, drew a line under one of the most spectacular and bizarre episodes in the history of the American New Left, for it marked the official end of the Weatherman. The product of splits within the anti-war movement during the late 1960s, the Weatherman Underground would become synonymous with violent, clandestine resistance to the racism and imperialism in the United States and, for some, a symptom of how the movement went wrong. This comprehensive history of the Weatherman covers the origins, development and ultimate demise of the organization: its emergence from the Students for a Democratic Society; its leadership role in the famous Days of Rage in Chicago during October 1969; its decision to go underground; the various actions it staged – and in some cases bungled – during the 1970s; its role as goad to other left organizations to sustain the struggle against racism and imperiliasm; and, finally, its disintegration, as various members were either captured or surrendered. Drawing on an array of documents, interviews with participants, and a knowledge of the history of the New Left, Jacobs gives an objective assessment of US 1960s radicalism.

The Weather Underground was a small band of no more than a few hundred radicals, yet the fringe group was widely feared and revered as notorious bombers and violent revolutionaries. In The Way the Wind Blew Ron Jacobs presents a history of the group, from its origins on college campuses to the surrender of its last fugitive members in the 1980s. Along the way they set off bombs and issued communiqués that were largely irrelevant if not incomprehensible to the American public. The dispassionate tone of this book allows for a credible narrative history of the group and its most prominent members, but many questions about the group’s motivations remain unanswered. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground (Haymarket)

Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen

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. –Vanessa Bush


The leader of the student uprising of 1968 and founding member of the notorious Weather Underground tells his storyfor the first time

In 1968, Mark Rudd led the legendary occupation of five buildings at Columbia University, a dramatic act of protest against the university’s support for the Vietnam War and its institutional racism. Rudd was the charismatic chairman of the Columbia chapter of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, the largest radical student organization in the United States. After a violent police bust, the Columbia occupation turned into a student strike that closed down the entire campus, turning Rudd into a national symbol of student revolt. Rudd went on to become the cofounder of the Weatherman faction of SDS, which took control of the student organization and helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in Chicago in 1969.

But Mark Rudd wanted revolution.

Rudd and his friends sought to end war, racism, and injusticeby any means necessary, even violence. After a tragic turn that led to the death of three people, who were killed when the bombs they were making in a Greenwich Village town house exploded, they transformed themselves into the Weather Underground Organization. By the end of 1970, after a string of nonlethal bombings by the organization, Rudd, now one of the FBI’s Most Wanted, went into hiding for more than seven years before turning himself in to great media fanfare.

In this gripping narrative, Rudd speaks out about this tumultuous period, the role he played in its crucial events, and its aftermath, revealing the drama and tension, as well as the navet of young activists, fighting in the name of peace and social justice, who believed that their actions mattered.

“I’ve spoken and answered questions at scores of colleges, high schools, community centers, and theaters about why my friends and I opted for violent revolution, and how I’ve changed my thinking and how I haven’t, and most of all, about the parallels between then and now,” Rudd writes. Powerful and shocking, Underground sheds new light on this controversial time, which still haunts the nation.

Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen










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