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Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel Paperback – June 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This critical, comprehensive biography of the late radical Abbie Hoffman surveys in detail the politics, philosophies and struggles of the antiwar movement and, to a lesser extent, civil rights, feminism and environmentalism. Even though Jezer ( The Dark Ages: Life in the United States, 1945-1960 ) clearly respects Hoffman's ability to mobilize dissenters, he does not shirk from challenging Hoffman's attention-getting tactics, often perceived as clownish or macho. Jezer contends that the Jewish Hoffman's upbringing in conservative, largely non-Jewish, working-class Worcester, Mass., taught him to accept people of varied backgrounds and contributed to his energetic support of civil rights. His youth also led him to adopt a "tough hood" stance that he never abandoned, and that did not allow him to fully practice nonviolence. Hoffman's formative education in radicalism at Brandeis and Berkeley, his support of antiwar political candidates and his founding of the politicized Yippie movement on Manhattan's Lower East Side are discussed. Anecdotal accounts of demonstrations are here in abundance; much attention is given to "guerrilla theater," police brutality and Hoffman's problems with the law on a cocaine-dealing charge. Little is made of his life outside the political arena, but the manic depression that led him to commit suicide in 1989, at age 53, is shown to have been an ever-present, worsening condition. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Do not be misled by the fact that this book was published by a university press. Jezer's biography offers a fascinating and eminently readable study of one of the most controversial and emblematic symbols of the 1960s. Jezer, himself a veteran of pacifist movements against the Vietnam War, traces Hoffman's evolution from Brandeis beatnik to Yippie leader and spokesperson for the Woodstock nation. As Jezer shows, Hoffman remained active around environmental and social justice issues during the narcissistic 1970s and the Reaganite 1980s. This warts-and-all portrait of a unique rabble-rouser is surprisingly witty, absorbing, and even significant. Highly recommended for all collections.
- Kent Worcester, Social Science Research Council, New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813520177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813520179
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great account of Abbie's life as well as an inside view of what the 60's anti-war movement was like to be a part of from a major organizer's perspective. This book has given me the most comprehensive view of the anti-war movement to date and it seems the most realistic. It also supports the cynicism of being an organizer, which, as a small local political activist, I can appreciate. Most of the "demonstraters" were and still are just tools that are there to be seen, have an experience or to meet someone to hook up with. Sure they may "support" the message of the movement, but the majority only support it with lip service and if an organizer is lucky, they show up to your event. Most "activists" have no clue of all the hard work and preparation as well as money being spent from the pockets of the organizers of small groups. This book really gives one an inside view of how awesome, creative and motivating Abbie (despite his absurd ridiculousness at times) really was, as well as how mentally messed up one can get by media propaganda against them.
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By R. Prada on December 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this interesting. In fact I am going to look for another biography and see how they compare. I was living abroad for ten years and was only dimly aware of what was going on at home during that time, so this filled me in on stuff I never read about in the papers in Buenos Aires.
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By sue on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read anything about Abbe Hoffman........this book in particular, picked up
on his history & his life in a very thought provoking manner!
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book's great. A complete account of the life and times of one of the 1960's New Left's major characters.
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