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For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman Paperback – May 28, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (May 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520213793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520213791
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Raskin's scrupulously researched history corrects many of the myths Abbie Hoffman perpetuated about his life and career, yet also prompts new respect for the man as an able political strategist and organizer. Hard to believe from the staid book jacket photo, but the author (now a university professor) was "minister of education" in Hoffman's Youth International Party, better known as the Yippies. Raskin generally keeps his personal involvement in the background, but it obviously informs his well-rounded, antistereotypical depiction of the messy, often demented nature of 1960s radicalism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A self-proclaimed "cultural revolutionary," iconoclast Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) used speeches, performance art, guerrilla theater, books (Revolution for the Hell of It, Steal This Book, Woodstock Nation) and witty media manipulation to stir the countercultural soup of the 1960s. This vibrant biography captures his anarchic antics as it chronicles the turbulence of that decade. Communications professor Raskin (My Search for B. Traven), who knew Hoffman for 20 years, sees his life as "a fabulous story that blurs the line between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, autobiography and mythology." He maps Hoffman's journey from a Worcester, Mass., childhood to Brandeis, Berkeley and New York, detailing his civil rights/antiwar activities, the 1968 confrontations between Yippies and the Chicago police at the Democratic Convention, Woodstock (which Hoffman called "the first attempt to land a man on the earth") and the chaotic Chicago Conspiracy Trial. In love with his own media reflection, Hoffman entered the 1970s with "godlike invincibility." Not long after his 1973 bust for cocaine smuggling, he became an underground fugitive (as "Barry Freed"), resurfacing in the 1980s on college campuses before his final descent into manic-depressive anguish and suicide. Raskin interviewed more than 200 friends and family members, jigsawing together material from court records, FBI files and yellowing radical newspapers to present this portrait of a prankster who remains the "quintessential spirit of the era." Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Without question, the best of the recent spate of Abbie Hoffman bios. Lucid, well-researched, with more than 200 oral histories. What prevents it from receiving a "10" rating is that Raskin devotes only one short chapter to Hoffman's life in the late seventies and eighties. Despite the lack of attention paid to Hoffman's later life, the material leading up to the last chapter flows nicely, and tells the story of a complex, energetic, and ultimately great American.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O'Connell on March 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I wonder if Raskin would ever be so hypercritical of just about every statement she has ever made, the way she is of Abbie. The book was interesting at first, but I feel she went way overboard in disecting everything Abbie said and how "factual" it really was. After a while it seemed like one big critique of everything Abbie said. Like she set out to prove he lied about everything. "Well, he said this and I went back and interviewed five different people who said it actually happened like this." To me a biography should be about how someone lived, not a dissection of everything they said. She really turned a fascinating story about a very creative and excitng person into almost a police report - "just the facts, mam."
This book really bugged me!
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful By denny huber on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Abbie survived under fake ID, after a drug bust,but succumbed to personality disorder,for which he took medications, He was America's foremost radical->Activist- of 60's, he fought for the enviroment in 70's.....watch for movie of his life.."Steal this Movie"...
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