Mark Rudd is now a teacher in New Mexico, where he lives with his family.
Rudd, a leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the Columbia University student strike of 1968 and subsequently of its offshoot, the Weathermen, adds to the spate of recent memoirs by former radicals of the era (e.g., David Barber's A Hard Rain Fell). Rudd's book captures the anger and despair his generation felt regarding the war, paternalistic universities, and a system that exempted white students from the draft while feeding the poor and minorities into the meat grinder of war. Rudd describes the tensions between white radicals and black students struggling for rights and respect, and he reflects on the movement's sexism, confessing that as a radical media star he slept with female groupies and was surprised when women rejected their role as foot soldiers, stenographers, and sex objects. SDS's descent from student rebellion to make-believe guerrilla war has been chronicled before. But Rudd's account stands with the best of these works, deftly describing the banality of life inside the movement. Now teaching in New Mexico, Rudd retains his idealism and rebellious spirit but sees positive action and community building as the true path forward. This one's a good read.-Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"An important contribution to a growing collection of narratives from former participants in the revolutionary 1960s' underground....deeply disturbing, though illuminating, in its unemotional matter-of-factness."--truthdig