From the best-selling author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich, an explosive account of the decade-long battle between the FBI and the homegrown revolutionary movements of the 1970s.
The Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. The FALN. The Black Liberation Army. The names seem quaint now, when not forgotten altogether. But there was a stretch of time in America, during the 1970s, when bombings by domestic underground groups were a daily occurrence. The FBI combated these groups and others as nodes in a single revolutionary underground dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government.
The FBI's response to the leftist revolutionary counterculture has not been treated kindly by history, and in hindsight many of its efforts seem almost comically ineffectual, if not criminal in themselves. But part of the extraordinary accomplishment of Bryan Burrough's Days of Rage is to temper those easy judgments with an understanding of just how deranged these times were, how charged with menace. Burrough re-creates an atmosphere that seems almost unbelievable just 40 years later, conjuring a time of native-born radicals, most of them "nice middle-class kids" smuggling bombs into skyscrapers and detonating them inside the Pentagon and the US Capitol, at a Boston courthouse and a Wall Street restaurant packed with lunchtime diners - radicals robbing dozens of banks and assassinating policemen in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta. The FBI, encouraged to do everything possible to undermine the radical underground, itself broke many laws in its attempts to bring the revolutionaries to justice - often with disastrous consequences.
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Amazing treatment of tough history
No other book has the fine detail of every single group and radical action of the period. The author treats the victims of the violence of the era with great respect and empathy and exposes the fraud and duplicity of many of the groups at hand. He also gives chilling details of those groups that were not just playing. A must for anyone interested in the 1970s. Ray Porter is an outstanding reader.
Great book on a little-discussed chapter of American culture