Bill Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent and many other books on education, is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Center for Youth and Society.
Fugitive Daysby Bill Ayers, William Ayers
Bill Ayers was born into privilege and is today a highly respected educator and community activist. In the late 1960s he was a founder of the militant activist group the Weather Underground. Living on the run, stealing explosives, and hiding from the law, Ayers was involved in the defining moments of his generation: the Days of Rage, SDS, the Black Panthers-and
Bill Ayers was born into privilege and is today a highly respected educator and community activist. In the late 1960s he was a founder of the militant activist group the Weather Underground. Living on the run, stealing explosives, and hiding from the law, Ayers was involved in the defining moments of his generation: the Days of Rage, SDS, the Black Panthers-and the explosion that killed his beloved comrade, Diana Oughton. Fugitive Days tells of these turbulent events, and of the tenacity with which Ayers slowly rebuilt his life after it all came apart. Ayers writes openly about his regrets and what he continues to believe was right. The result is a profoundly honest account of an incendiary chapter in our history.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.36(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.72(d)
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
As a graduate student in the education department at UIC, I have yet to take a course with Bill Ayers. He is extremely well respected in his teaching capacity and is liked by students and teachers alike. I read this book because it has generated so much controversy. Whether or not one agrees with the politics, views and events that happened some 30 years ago, Ayers gives the reader an inside view, albeit disturbing at times, into his location during a turbulent time in America. This is a memoir - bashing Ayers for telling his story from his point of view detracts from the purpose of writing down his history. While I certainly don¿t agree with much of the actions taken by the Weatherman, it is very refreshing to listen to an alternative viewpoint regarding events in America¿s history. I keep trying to relate Weatherman¿s actions in light of the events of September 11th in order to understand the fury behind such hatred of governments. That understanding has not yet come to me, but I keep remembering that people are not created equally nor do all people think the same. Fugitive Days is a disturbing, but honest manifesto about one man¿s recollection of his early adult life. If you enjoy autobiographies, history and good writing, you should read this book.
'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.' The problem with Ayers' book is he didn't learn anything from his experiences: You don't play with fire, you don't attempt to blow up the Pentagon, etc... AND HE DOES NOT RULE OUT TRYING TO BOMB THE PENTAGON AGAIN! SHAME on Ayers (and Dohrn, his wife) and shame on Barnes and Noble for promoting this TRAITOR. But don't take my word for it. Read the recent (11-09-2001) articles in various newspapers, magazines and internet sites which give a more complete picture of these dangerous people. Osama bin Laden succeeded where Ayers failed in bombing the Pentagon, which killed more people than the Oklahoma City bombing. He is of the same mindset as Tim McVeigh and may ultimately share his fate.
While Ayers' book is no worse than I expected, it is no better either. It shares company with many other 60s' radicals' memoirs in romanticizing the period as well as the political naivete. So far, not much of a problem. But Ayers romaticizes the anti-social attitudes and acts as well, justifying them even now, and exalting immature nihilism to the status of legitimate--even, laudable-- social behavior. Worse still, Ayers' book is childishly written: filled with innane jokes about serious matters, glossing over meaningful political argument in favor of canned rhetoric and gleeful anti-authority declarations. For anyone who remembers those times, or who has studied them extensively, Ayers' book rings loudly with a basic dishonesty that is almost a deliberate insult to his readers. It is just possible that the memoirs are more of the same radical-chic game: delude and co-opt the very people you are depending upon for support because, hey, after all, they are part of the 'ruling hegemony' and 'we' are the 'elite Marxist radicals who know better.' Readers interested in the period should read Todd Gitlin's THE SIXTIES instead. While it is also self-indulgent, defensive of naivete, and selective, it is, at base, more honest and reflective. Further, follow it with Todd Gitlin's THE TWILIGHT OF COMMON DREAMS to put all that radical posturing into perspective. The latter book illustrates meaningful social activism and 'inclusiveness' in contrast with the 60s' (and Ayers')pervasive focus on Divisiveness and Confrontation as ends in themselves.
Ayers' prose is an intriguing look at the '60s underground and the politics and personalities that inspired it. Many books sensationalizing these times or which have been penned purely from the (often misleading) police perspective are out. This one is right from one of those involved. Great read!
Bill Ayers was a member of the radical left-wing Weathermen group, and his memoir, Fugitive Days, recounts his time on the lamb from the FBI. The political stance of the Weathermen might seem strange to most of us now, but Ayers places it in the context of the escalating Vietnam war and Civil Rights movement and tries to show what these young, idealistic, left-wing lunatics were trying to do. It makes an incredibly interesting, suspenseful, and gripping story. It's like reading 'On The Road' and 'The Anarchist's Handbook' at the same time. I loved it.