FUGITIVE DAYS: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist

November 13, 2008

In Fugitive Days, Ayers tells the real story of the defining events of the radical ’60s. The book is an eyewitness account of a young pacifist who helped found one of the most radical political organizations in U.S. history, and who consequently lived for ten years as a fugitive. In a new era of antiwar activism and suppression of protest, Fugitive Days is more poignant and relevant than ever.

Quotes

“[Ayers’s] memoir is a breath of fresh air in this self-absorbed age. Ayers discusses his reservations about the use of violence to achieve an end to violence (reservations he held then as well), but he is unrepentant in believing that . . . right-minded people have an obligation to resist unjust wars. . . . There are many lessons still to be learned from such narratives. Recommended.”
—David Keymer, Library Journal

“[A] gripping and provocative story . . . What is most remarkable about this dramatic and revelatory personal and social history are the always urgent questions it raises about compassion and freedom, responsibility and community, and the conundrum of how to bring about much-needed change.”
Booklist, starred review

“A challenging, moving, and troubling account . . . Ayers writes well, lyrically, passionately.”
—Andrea Behr, San Francisco Chronicle

“A memoir that is, in effect, a deeply moving elegy to all those young dreamers who tried to live decently in an indecent world. Ayers provides a tribute to those better angels of ourselves.”
—Studs Terkel, author of Working and The Good War

“With considerable wit, no small amount of remorse, and an anger that smolders still across the decades, Bill Ayers tells the story of his quintessentially American trip through the 1960s. That it is written in a consistently absorbing style with many passages of undiluted brilliance only adds to its appeal.
—Thomas Frank, author of One Market Under God and What’s the Matter with Kansas?

“A gripping account . . . Ayers describes well the deep emotions that inflamed the ’60s.”
—John Patrick Diggins, Los Angeles Times

“This is a precious book, not simply because it offers a gripping personal account of the primal American suspense story of life on the run, but, more important, because it recreates a critical point of view and way of thinking that we seem, even a few decades later, barely able to recall.”
—Scott Turow, author of Ordinary Heroes and Ultimate Punishment

“It’s been a long time since American political culture last leftward . . . Extremists of the left have all but disappeared, while extremists of the right are as common as mushrooms after rain . . . Ayers has a knack for capturing the spirit of his times . . . It’s a fascinating story.”
—Jean Dubail, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Finally, here is an irresistibly readable book that answers the question, How did a nice suburban boy go from the ordinary pleasures of his class to the Days of Rage and beyond? Bill Ayers not only makes this exalting and painful journey comprehensible, he peoples it with sympathetic family, friends, and lovers, and moves us with his candor.”
—Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Half a Heart

“Terrific . . . This memoir rings of hard-learned truth and integrity and is an important contribution to literature on 1960s culture and American radicalism.”
Publishers Weekly

“What makes Fugitive Days unique is its unsparing detail and its marvelous human coherence and integrity. Bill Ayers’s America and his family background, his education, his political awakening, his anger and involvement, his anguished re-emergence from the shadows: all these are rendered in their truth without a trace of nostalgia or ‘second thinking.’ For anyone who cares about the sorry mess we are in, this book is essential, indeed necessary, reading.”
—Edward W. Said, author of Reflections on Exile and Out of Place

“This remarkable memoir gives us the visceral experience of being on the run. Ayers writes with eloquence and irony. This is one man’s amazingly honest, authentic, and gripping testament—and a helluva story it makes.”
—Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body

“A wild and painful ride in the savage years of the late sixties. A very good book about a terrifying time in America.”
—Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels

“For anyone who wants to think hard about the social conflagration the Vietnam War produced in the U.S., and more generally about a citizen’s obligations in troubled times, Ayers’s powerful, morally charged account of a life and a society in the political balance is provocative reading.”
—David Farber, Chicago Tribune

Links to purchase:

Beacon: http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?SKU=3277

Find it at a local independent bookstore: http://www.indiebound.org/hybrid?filter0=fugitive+days+activist

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Fugitive-Days-Memoirs-Anti-War-Activist/dp/0807032778/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226595530&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Fugitive-Days/William-Ayers/e/9780807032770/?itm=1



The Discipline of Hope by Herbert Kohl

August 9, 2008

Herbert Kohl is the most important educator of his generation. No one describes the practical life of classrooms with such grace, nor connects the commonplace to the larger circles of economic circumstance, historical flow, political power, and cultural context with such compelling force. In The Discipline of Hope, Kohl draws critical lessons from a lifetime of teaching, activism, and reflection.

In the tradition of John Dewey, Herb Kohl shows us teaching as intellectual and ethical work, life-changing and earth-shaking. At the heart of Kohl’s vision is the child yearning to grow and to contribute


Tales of the Dolly Llama by Guy Kuttner

August 9, 2008

One teacher’s long journey to a kind of enlightenment, this is the best piece I’ve read on teaching in years. Not only does Kuttner nail issue after issue with laser-like precision, but he manages to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted with humor and brief anecdotes, avoiding both the puffed-up academic pose and the grim earnestness of the wounded and the self-righteous. I really loved it.


She Would Not Be Moved by Herb Kohl

August 9, 2008

Herb Kohl revisits the fabled story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, turning it upside down in search of a truth beneath the authorized and largely whitewashed version. She Would Not Be Moved is a small book with a big message—it’s destined to become a classic.


On the Outside Looking In by Christina Rathbone

August 9, 2008

Like Dickens and de Tocqueville, whose American journeys in the last century challenged us to look at ourselves in new and surprising ways, Rathbone’s outsider perspective provides more than a ‘thick description’ of some distant and abstract subculture. On the Outside Looking In is in the end a powerful mirror held up to our American dream—what we behold is a frighteningly fragile future and a world in desperate need of repair.


Organizing the South Bronx by Jim Rooney

August 9, 2008

Organizing the South Bronx is a story of heroic and articulate individuals who were able to defy overwhelming odds and build affordable housing in the South Bronx. It is about the process of teaching citizens in a low-income neighborhood how to fully and effectively participate in public life. Very little is written about the catastrophic and precipitous collapse of the South Bronx, although its fate is universally cited as emblematic of urban hopelessness. This inquiry focuses on community organizers sifting through the wreckage and making progress in battling an inept municipal government and the centrifugal forces of decay. The locus is a coalition of forty church congregations who battled the city of New York for vacant land in order to build owner-occupied row houses. It’s a compelling lesson in how to educate adults in a democracy to find their voices and wield their collective power as organized and engaged citizens.


An Elementary School in Holland by Loren Barritt

August 9, 2008

An Elementary School in Holland overflows with powerful lessons for American educators: the importance of community in the lives of teachers and students, the value of small school size and intimate face-to-face relationships in children’s growth and development, the usefulness of collaboration among teachers. Loren Barritt has given us a remarkable, dynamic portrait of one school that works.