Richard Sahn's Reviews > Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen

Underground by Mark Rudd
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's review
Jun 11, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: autobiography, history

This is the most exciting autobiography I have ever read, and a tremendous lesson in later twentieth century American history. About the Columbia University student takeover by the Weather Underground in the sixties. The author was a revolutionary who believed in violence, at one time, as the response to the Vietnam War and imperialism, but he changed his mind. He realized that he could be killed, and that violence would alienate too many people. The goal of SDS and, initially, the Weather Underground, was to get Americans to reject the Vietnam war, our imperialist foreign policy, and internal racism. Rudd and his comrades did help end the war by promoting the mobilizations of millions of college age people. He never did graduate from Columbia; he was expelled, even though he was a top student.

The book is about not only the struggles of antiwar activist groups but also Rudd's personal struggles. He lived in urban communes where monogamy was regarded as bourgeois and everyone's body belonged to everyone else. The lifestyle was truly communistic and they bought into Stalin's line that the individual should always be sacrificed to the party. So Rudd was definitely extremist, yet his middle-class suburban Jewish roots kept haunting him.

Down to earth. Reads like a novel.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 11, 2011 – Shelved
June 11, 2011 – Shelved as: autobiography
June 11, 2011 – Shelved as: history

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