Days of Rage

Days of Rage

America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence

Book - 2015
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Days of rage provides an account of the volatile period of 1968-1975, in which home-grown terrorist groups wreaked havoc in major US cities. The FBIs response to the leftist revolutionary counterculture seems almost criminal in itself to many, but as this ground-breaking book shows, this was a period of menace where radicals were smuggling bombs into public spaces and assassinating policemen. This book takes us into the hearts and minds of home-grown terrorists and federal agents alike and weaves their stories into a spellbinding secret history of the 1970s.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2015.
ISBN: 9781594204296
Characteristics: xx, 585 pages : illustrations


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Nov 28, 2016

"The underground groups of the 1970s were a product--a kind of grungy bell-bottomed coda--to the raucous protest marches and demonstrations of the 60s."
Taking its title from a series of protests in the late 1960s, Bryan Burrough's "Days of Rage" tells the history of various radical groups who staged bombings, shootings, robberies, and kidnappings in the 1970s, including the Weather Underground, Black Panther offshoots, the FALN (a Puerto Rican group), and the SLA, whose kidnapping of Patty Hearst was the most famous action of any of these groups. It was the recent book on Patty Hearts, "American Heiress," that led me to "Days of Rage." It's an absorbing and detailed history that runs a little long (over 500 pages) and drags in parts, but highlights an era that many Americans either know little about or have forgotten. Given the threat of domestic terrorism in our own time, it may be more relevant than ever.

bibliotechnocrat Oct 05, 2016

While I'm glad to have read this, I'm not at all sure it is a good read. Burrough's research is exhaustive (to the point of being exhausting sometimes), and it is a revelation to realize how thoroughly the culture has forgotten this period of 1970s violence. This book gives context to current violent trends - turns out there is really nothing new. On the other hand, the author laments the lack of success in prosecuting the radicals, failing to connect the dots between the illegal behaviour of the cops and FBI and the reason for the radicalization in the first place. The failure of the state to live up to its promise of fair treatment, justice, equal opportunity - and instead provide the Vietnam war, Nixon's dirty tricks, Hoover, a stacked justice system, patently illegal law enforcement behaviour.... Might these things have something to do with why some turned from protesters into violent radicals? Might the heavy-handed response of the state to protest culture (Kent State anyone?) have pushed some over the edge? Burrough fails to make this case leaving this book somehow incomplete despite its length. Because of this, the book comes off as an interesting piece of period history, and does not make the point that we are living in a very similar time. Are we really condemned to repeat this history? Alas, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jul 12, 2015

There's a lot of research here, but the writing is lazy, heavy on cheesy sensationalism and light on political context. That's fine for a magazine article but it gets old fast in book length.

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