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Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left
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Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
When Kathy Boudin was arrested in 1981 after a botched armed robbery and shootout that left a Brinks guard and two policemen dead, she ended a decade living underground as part of the radical Weathermen underground; she would spend the next 22 years in Bedford Hills prison. In Family Circle, Boudin’s former classmate Susan Braudy vividly re-creates the radicalization of th ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Anchor (first published October 14th 2003)
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Roberta Gerson
Excellent book. While I was reading "American Pastoral" by Philip Roth, a fictionalized version of a daughter from a well-off family who becomes a radical bomber, I came across this book, the true story of Kathy Boudin, and its review in the WSJ. I took this book out of the library and couldn't put it down. The author is a wonderful writer. It brought back memories of the Vietnam War and the protests, including unfortunately the bombings and robberies that were done in the name of "peace." I rem ...more
After Boudin was arrested in Nyack for her participation in the Brinks robbery in 1981, she was shuttled back and forth from Rockland County Jail to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Manhattan and finally to Orange County Jail in good old Goshen, N.Y. Back then my father was working for the County Attorney and one of his responsibilities was to monitor the conditions of OCJ's most famous prisoners (I learned from Braundy that this was probably due to Leonard Boudin's myriad pre-trial motions) ...more
I started out thinking that this book was written by the Kitty Kelly for left wingers. It seemed that the author did not express the political philosophy behing Kathy and Leonard's actions, focusing instead on personal data of questionable verity. But toward the end of the book, during Kathy's prison years I felt that I could understand her life experiences more fully. I still don't claim to understand how society's most intelligent and privileged young people who performed altruistic acts of pu ...more
This is a book worth reading if you ever wondered "What were they thinking?" when the 60's turned to violence. I found it difficult to have much sympathy for Kathy Boudin but I did come away with a bit more understanding of how people with good intentions and laudable goals can drift into violence.

I found Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen by Mark Rudd to be a more believable and detailed book about the era.
The insulting title provides a clue to the author's point of view. The Left has a long history of fighting against inherited aristocracy. As a person of the Left, I certainly do not consider the Boudin family as aristocrats. Contributors, valued comrades, but not even leaders.

Braudy distorts history as I have learned it, uses adjectives to belittle weather people and the 60's new left, and widely engages in pseudo-pychoanalysis.

In spite of the author's bias, and that I do not think she is a good
People on the left have money too and this is what they do with it. Fascinating story about what may have destroyed power of the democratic party.
Compelling. A fascinating look at a family caught up in liberation politics.
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