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Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970-1974 Paperback – June 6, 2006


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Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970-1974 + Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident + Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583227261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583227268
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BILL AYERS is distinguished professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. He is the author of fifteen books on teaching and children’s rights, as well as his recent, unflinching memoir, Fugitive Days.
BERNARDINE DOHRN is currently the director of the Children and Family Justice Center, and clinical associate professor at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic.
In his past decade as an environmental activist, JEFF JONES campaigned to get PCBs out of the Hudson River, clean up toxic pollution in inner city and rural neighborhoods and reverse global warming. Raised a Quaker, he became a spokesman for the Weather Underground. After his arrest and release in 1981, Jones was a reporter for the Guardian newspaper, covering the environment, the AIDS epidemic, the Central American wars and activist political movements. In 1985 he edited Brigadista, politics and war in Nicaragua, a book about North American solidarity with the Sandinista Revolution. He currently consults on political and media strategies for grassroots, progressive and labor groups.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Reznik on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will not go into any details concerning the Weather Underground. If you are searching for this book it is likely you already have had an introduction. Sing A Battle Song is an excellent resource for anyone studying the Weather Underground, either out of admiration or disdain. All the Communiqués are here, including A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR from May 21, 1970. There is a collection of poems and songs, but all are trivial. The real gem of this book is the PRAIRIE FIRE manifesto from May 1974, credited to Bernardine Dohrn, Billy Ayers, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn. It is here where the goals and intentions of the Weather Underground are stated, not only for that period of time, but for the present and the future. "We have an urgent responsibility: to destroy imperialism (the United States) from within in order to help free the world and ourselves from its grasp. Our final goal is the destruction of imperialism, the seizure of power, and the creation of socialism." (265, 266)

Physically, this book looks great. The cover design is attractive due to its minimalistic nature and it certainly looks good on a shelf next to other similar books documenting the turbulent period of 1965-1975 (see Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson, also published by Seven Stories Press). The only negative is that the binding is a bit weak, tending to easily split down the middle with one read and leave vertical creases on the spine, though the sewn pages hold together. This is unacceptable for a paperback costing $19.95.

Sing A Battle Song is an indispensable book for the serious student of the Weather Underground and the New Left radicals of the Baby Boomer generation who conceived it; and even though I categorize these individuals as socially destructive and intellectually perverted, this book is a highly recommended resource.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Whitney on January 26, 2011
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This book has been an excellent primary resource for my thesis research. It saved me a lot of time and toil because it not only contains the WUO communiques but Prairie Fire, their political statement. The editors, who were all figureheads of the WUO did a fine job of giving the reader insight into the communiques by explaining different events, people, and language in the communiques so that anyone who wants to study them is not left wondering what and whom the writers are referring to. There are also several helpful timelines of WUO events and historic events that influenced and shaped their ideology. Being a poet, I also enjoyed the different poems that the members had written during their time underground. If you are an aspiring scholar who is interested in this organization this book will be great for you. I think that this book can also help people who have heard a lot about the organization but need a concrete resource to give them a better understanding of what they stood for. (Sometimes people get carried away with one aspect of an organization, such as government overthrow, and completely ignore the other aspects which are just as historically significant).
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Hatten on October 29, 2010
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Even someone like me who has been politically active all her grown life can learn something from this book. I was really pleased to see profits are going to the Rosenberg Fund for Children which helps provide comfort and needed money to children of activists. Also most of us did not have a very accurate idea of what the Weathermen actually did.
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