The leader of the student uprising of 1968 and founding member
of the notorious Weather Underground tells his story--for the first
In 1968, Mark Rudd led the legendary occupation of five
buildings at Columbia University, a dramatic act of protest against
the university's support for the Vietnam War and its institutional
racism. Rudd was the charismatic chairman of the Columbia chapter
of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, the largest radical
student organization in the United States. After a violent police
bust, the Columbia occupation turned into a student strike that
closed down the entire campus, turning Rudd into a national symbol
of student revolt. Rudd went on to become the cofounder of the
Weatherman faction of SDS, which took control of the student
organization and helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in
Chicago in 1969.
But Mark Rudd wanted revolution.
Rudd and his friends sought to end war, racism, and
injustice--by any means necessary, even violence. After a tragic
turn that led to the death of three people, who were killed when
the bombs they were making in a Greenwich Village town house
exploded, they transformed themselves into the Weather Underground
Organization. By the end of 1970, after a string of nonlethal
bombings by the organization, Rudd, now one of the FBI's Most
Wanted, went into hiding for more than seven years before turning
himself in to great media fanfare.
In this gripping narrative, Rudd speaks out about this
tumultuous period, the role he played in its crucial events, and
its aftermath, revealing the drama and tension, as well as the
naivete of young activists, fighting in the name of peace and
social justice, who believed that their actions mattered.
"I've spoken and answered questions at scores of colleges, high
schools, community centers, and theaters about why my friends and I
opted for violent revolution, and how I've changed my thinking and
how I haven't, and most of all, about the parallels between then
and now," Rudd writes. Powerful and shocking, "Underground" sheds
new light on this controversial time, which still haunts the
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