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Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond

de David Gilbert

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"Written from the maximum-security prison where he has lived for almost 30 years, this enlightening memoir chronicles the militant career of David Gilbert, a radical activist whose incarceration is due to his involvement in the 1981 Brinks robbery, an attempted expropriation that resulted in four deaths. From his entry into the world of political activism as the founder of Students for a Democratic Society at Columbia University to his departure from public life in order to help build the clandestine resistance to war and racism known as the Weathermen, Gilbert relates all of the victories he has achieved and obstacles he has encountered during his struggle to build a new world. In telling the intensely personal story he is stripped of all illusions and assesses his journey from liberal to radical to revolutionary with rare humor and frankness"--Amazon.com, viewed March 2, 2012.… (més)
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It's always interesting to hear what draws people to do things that they end up spending the rest of their life in prison for. His analysis on the Left movements in the 60s/70s was interesting and well-stated, especially his critical analysis of SDS and WUO.

Don't read this book if you don't already have a good grip on the movements in the era of Vietnam. The author assumes that you know about SDS, SNCC, WUO, and a host of other acronyms I couldn't keep straight. A lot of confusion for me came in trying to piece together the author's narrative which wasn't always chronological. For that reason it's almost impossible to say when he's writing about an SDS function vs. a WUO function, when he's above or underground, etc. It really made the book hard to read at times, because the majority of the book focuses on the Left movements of the time, and their major activities, philosophies, and shortcomings. But if you don't know what organization he's talking about, it tends to fall apart.

Additionally, for the event that is the climax of the memoir, Gilbert says almost *nothing* about the Brinks incident. Everything went wrong, apparently, but he didn't say what those things were! It's probably difficult to rehash such a difficult event, but he goes into great detail about jail, the trial, prison, etc, that you would think he would at least spend a paragraph talking about the incident, which I had no prior knowledge of. ( )
  lemontwist | Apr 11, 2012 |
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"Written from the maximum-security prison where he has lived for almost 30 years, this enlightening memoir chronicles the militant career of David Gilbert, a radical activist whose incarceration is due to his involvement in the 1981 Brinks robbery, an attempted expropriation that resulted in four deaths. From his entry into the world of political activism as the founder of Students for a Democratic Society at Columbia University to his departure from public life in order to help build the clandestine resistance to war and racism known as the Weathermen, Gilbert relates all of the victories he has achieved and obstacles he has encountered during his struggle to build a new world. In telling the intensely personal story he is stripped of all illusions and assesses his journey from liberal to radical to revolutionary with rare humor and frankness"--Amazon.com, viewed March 2, 2012.

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