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Rads: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and Its Aftermath
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Rads: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and Its Aftermath

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
An electrifying and intensely involving history of the apocalyptic end of the antiwar movement, told through the story of the 1970 bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and the man who masterminded it.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 28th 1993 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

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Ashley Lauren
Jul 23, 2013 Ashley Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Now that was interesting.

I'm so surprised! Picking up this beast about the 1970 bombing of Sterling Hall at UW, I was pretty certain it was going to be a snoozefest. But, it was recommended to me in a Philosophy class I took at, you guessed it, the University of Wisconsin Madison. The topic intrigued me just enough to plunge in. Still, as I cracked open the binding to this 465 page brick published over 10 years ago I told myself, I'll just skim it.

Turns out, I didn't want to. Bates did a hell o
Feb 05, 2014 Alger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book many years ago, read it and was impressed with it at the time. This is a review of my first reread since the 1990s.

On the whole the book holds up well as a work of social history, although it feels at times that Bates tries too hard to discredit the motives of the terrorist cell to highlight their personal aimlessness and faddish radicalism rather than tie it to a wider and more general societal malaise and feeling of powerlessness during the wind down from the 1960s.

Aside from e
Feb 21, 2011 James rated it really liked it
Very interesting book but it sure does drag! Talk about homegrown terrorism!
Dec 05, 2008 Ciara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anti-war historians, people interested in symbolic violence, madison historians
well. this was a little bit ridiculous. okay, background: in 1970, this hippie wingnut character thought it would be a cool idea to plant a bomb at the army math research center on the university of winsconsin campus in madison. there was some research going on there that was funded by & benefited the united states army, which was, of course, at the time engaged in the highly unpopular invasion of vietnam. tons of people in the late 60s & early 70s were bombing ROTC offices, research lab ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Ann rated it it was ok
For a professional editor, the author, Tom Bates, is a very clunky writer. Just as one example - he writes that a certain person is fixated on "mammary glands." Come on, Tom.

This is either a pretty critical look at the four people who bombed the Army Math Research Center building in Madison, Wisconsin in 1970, or an accurate portrayal of just how intellectually barren their motivations were. I can't tell. There isn't much out there to weigh this particular account against.

The book has big gaps
Oct 13, 2015 Ed rated it liked it
local history, little lengthy and editorial
Mark Desrosiers
Jun 23, 2008 Mark Desrosiers rated it really liked it
Shelves: journalism
Bates often underscores the class warfare that bubbled beneath the surface of the various anti-war movements. In the case of Madison: lots of privileged east-coast protest kids vs. the blue-collar locals (mostly cops). The one student who served time for the bombing, Karl Armstrong, was actually a blue collar local who was trying to impress his new radical upper-crust buddies. Sad story, but often hilarious, especially the story of Karl's attempt to air-bomb the Badger Ordnance Works with a Cess ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book as a person who grew up in the Madison area, though a bit later than this period. I think it keeps the players in perspective, revealing them as naive idealists full of angst that took a bad idea much too far. As a companion piece, you'll want to also read David Marines' They Marched into Sunlight, but I do find that David is a better writer.
Apr 11, 2011 Mindy rated it really liked it
So it may have taken my four months (or more) to finish this book but I really liked it. I'm sure the writing could have been more engaging but it's really neat to read about Madison in a different time and to learn that the Nitty Gritty wasn't always the fratboy birthday bar. Read it.
Douglas Armstrong
Sep 28, 2011 Douglas Armstrong rated it really liked it
Thorough look at the circumstances that led Karlton Armstrong and three co-conspirators to set off a powerful bomb that brought the anti-war movement to an end. But the story doesn't end there.
May 02, 2008 Brooke rated it really liked it
Such an interesting story. Because it focuses just on a small group of people in Madison you come away learning much more about the late 60's than reading just a general history.
Sep 21, 2009 Coleen rated it really liked it
I read this a good ten years ago and it was very interesting. Of course, being a Madison graduate I am a little biased.
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