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“Dan Berger represents an emerging generation of radical activist scholars. A meticulously researched and well-referenced study of the Weather Underground. . . . A gripping story, drawing important lessons for the younger generation of activists.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960–1975
Outlaws of America brings to life the motivations and actions of America’s most famous renegades, who bombed their way into history. Through detailed and original research, Dan Berger offers a nuanced and compelling portrait of the group that risked everything in opposition to war and racism.
This explosive, engaging, and timely book uncovers the untold story of the Weather Underground, from its incendiary beginning to its tumultuous ending—never sparing a critical analysis of the group. Especially noteworthy is Berger’s groundbreaking discussion of the infamous 1981 Brinks case, where former Weather Underground members allied with the Black Liberation Army in a failed robbery that resulted in the deaths of three men and the longtime incarceration of several activists.
Outlaws of America is culled from dozens of in-depth interviews with former Weather Underground members, as well as with civil rights activists, Black Panthers, Young Lords, and others—many of whom speak about their experiences publicly here for the first time. The book also features an extensive appendix including Weather Underground communiqués, a chronology of actions, a collection of rare photographs, and current biographical sketches of many ex-Weather Underground members.
Outlaws of America is published at a time of surging interest in the history of the group, immediately following the release of the Oscar-nominated documentary entitled The Weather Underground, of which Outlaws is the essential companion volume.
Dan Berger is a writer, activist, and PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. A longtime anti-racism organizer, he is the co-editor of Letters From Young Activists (Nation Books, 2005).
|Pt. I||Students for a Democratic Society and global revolution|
|Ch. 1||Shaking America's moral conscience : the rise of Students for a Democratic Society||17|
|Ch. 2||Imperialism is the enemy : black power and the development of a structural analysis||37|
|Ch. 3||An FBI bust is worth a thousand words : state repression, the movement, and the media||61|
|Ch. 4||Two, three, many SDSes : the end of SDS, the beginning of new groups||75|
|Pt. II||The Weather Underground Organization and white anti-racism|
|Ch. 5||A line in the sand : Weatherman and militant anti-racism||95|
|Ch. 6||Dead ends and new beginnings : the townhouse explosion and its aftermath||127|
|Ch. 7||Fighting back : building the Underground and taking on the state||153|
|Ch. 8||A single spark : Prairie fire and speaking from clandestinity||183|
|Ch. 9||John Brown and "Jaws" : new projects and the beginning of the end||199|
|Ch. 10||Hard times : the end of the Weather Underground Organizaton||225|
|Ch. 11||From underground to under lock and key : the Brink's affair and being a political prisoner||245|
|Pt. II||Lessons and legacies|
|Ch. 12||The politics of solidarity : lessons and legacies of the Weather Underground||269|
|App. I||Biographies of interviewees|