- Series: Critical American Studies
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (May 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816677875
- ISBN-13: 978-0816677870
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,425,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Samurai among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life (Critical American Studies) Paperback – May 2, 2012
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"My friend Richard Aoki was there when Huey P. Newton and I founded our Black Panther Party, discussing political analysis and seeking critique approval of our Ten Point Program. This book is a necessary kind of reading that illuminates my friend’s political revolutionary life’s meaning: Richard Aoki’s reverence." —Bobby Seale, founding Chairman and National Organizer of the Black Panther Party
"Richard Aoki straddled the worlds of ethnicity by the radical bridge he built through his engagement with an authentic, even saucy American radicalism. Diane C. Fujino unearths Richard’s story with sympathy and warmth, and in the process redeems the legacy of a remarkable American radical." —Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People's History Of The Third World
"Samurai among Panthers is a bracing, honest, and revealing biography. The book is a powerful reminder that although social movements operate collectively within social and political contexts, they are ultimately enacted by individuals who, like Richard Aoki, are flawed, complicated, dedicated, and visionary." —Daryl J. Maeda, author of Rethinking the Asian American Movement
About the Author
Diane C. Fujino is associate professor of Asian American studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her books about leading Asian American activist Yuri Kochiyama (Heartbeat of Struggle) and with Fred Ho (Wicked Theory, Naked Practice) are published by the University of Minnesota Press.
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Top customer reviews
While the revelations were likely personally devastating for Fujino, with the passage of the years, I see no reason why she should not take another pass at the material and write a far more nuanced and complicated second edition of "Samurai Among Panthers." The new edition would no longer be an easy hagiography but the troubling and unresolved tale of an individual navigating state power, complicity and personal conviction while simultaneously being converted into an activist icon. Yes, it would require a substantial rewrite and a near-total reconsideration of Aoki's role, but given Fujino's knowledge of his personality and his life chronology, there is no one better situated to integrate these new documents into a truer account of the Aoki tragedy.
So many questions remain to be answered: What were his true beliefs? Was he "faking it" or did he undergo a radicalization while spying? Did he feel trapped by the FBI to continue informing by the possibility of being "outed"? What does his tone or the specifics of his reports suggest about the movements and his role in them? How much can we blame him? Was he responsible for any acts of state repression? How does the complicated question of race and ethnicity play in the formation of this "other Richard"? It is likely that Fujino, pursuing this line of questioning, might even be able to get some of his friends or colleagues on the record regarding suspicions they had or cryptic confessions he may have made in his final years of life. And if such comments are not, in fact, forthcoming (even off the record), that would be highly suggestive of the psychological compartmentalization Richard relied upon to survive in his double life. Hopefully she is up to the task but, if not, a future scholar will sooner or later pick up this tantalizing and challenging topic of research.
Most recent customer reviews
Let's speculate first that Aoki was an informant : there were always some very out of control, unstable characters on the periphery,...Read more