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The Weathermen | Activism in the Sixties

The Weathermen

Freedom of Information Act: Weather Underground Organization
Read the Chicago Office of the FBI’s 1976 analysis of the Weather Underground’s motivations, beliefs and whereabouts.

Online NewsHour: Tales From the Underground
WTTW Chicago’s Elizabeth Brackett visits the home of former Weathermen fugitives Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, where they discuss their violent past, their three children and their current work.

Billy Ayers: WeatherCop
Read a short interview with Ayers upon the publication of his memoir, Fugitive Days.

P.O.V.: What I Want My Words To Do To You
Former Weather Underground members Kathy Boudin and Judith Clark are two of the incarcerated women featured in this documentary about playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s writing program at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Boudin was paroled in September of 2003 after serving 22 years of her 20-to-life sentence.

100 Rock Moments: “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Learn about what is “arguably the first rock video” for the Bob Dylan song that inspired the Weathermen’s name.

Weatherman
Edited by Harold Jacobs
(Ramparts Press, 1971)
First published during the movement’s heyday, this collection of essays about the Weather Underground includes both “for” and “against” positions.

The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground
By Ron Jacobs
(Verso Books, 1997)
Jacobs presents a history of the group, tracing it from its college campus days in the 1960s to its remaining fugitives in the early 1980s.

Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies
By Jeremy Varon
(University of California Press, 2004)
America's Weather Underground and Germany's Red Army Faction are compared in this examination of how young, middle-class radicals in prosperous democratic societies turn to armed struggle in efforts to overthrow their governments.

Fugitive Days: A Memoir
By Bill Ayers
(Beacon Press, 2001)
Ayers’ autobiography follows his trajectory from idyllic 1950s childhood to 1970s fugitive.

Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left
By Susan Braudy
(Knopf, 2003)
A controversial portrait of Kathy Boudin, the ex-Weatherman who was freed from prison in 2003 after serving 20 years for armed robbery.

Growing Up Underground
By Jane Alpert
(Citadel Trade, 1990)
Memoirs of a former Weatherman who went underground in 1970 after being charged with conspiring to bomb government property.


Activism in the Sixties

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Get a history of the SNCC—founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to promote non-violent social and political protest—and the role that African American women played within the organization.

The Black Panther Party
Read about the Party’s history and legacy, and the political context in which it was founded.

Black Power
A brief history about the emergence of the Black Power movement and the 1960s militant groups it spawned, from the African American World reference guide.

COINTELPRO
Learn more about the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, an “illegal program of political repression directed against dissenters from the 1950s to the 1970s” formed under J. Edgar Hoover’s leadership. Members of the Communist Party, the Black Panthers and the New Left were often targets of the program’s abuses.

The Sixties
Get a comprehensive summary of the Sixties in both America and abroad, and the decade’s political and cultural implications.

Digital History
Find out more about the growth of the New Left and the campus-based movements of the Sixties, as well as the history of the Students for a Democratic Society.

Think Tank: A Conversation With Todd Gitlin
A former president of the Students for a Democratic Society, Gitlin was also featured in THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND as a critic of the Weathermen. In this conversation he discusses his latest writing projects, “the Left,” and liberalism versus radicalism.

The Observer: “The Americans who declared war on their country”
A British journalist shares a beer with Chesa Boudin—Kathy Boudin’s son, raised after her incarceration by Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers—in ex-Weatherman Brian Flanagan’s New York City bar.

Sixties Radicals: Then and Now
By Ron Chepesiuk
(McFarland, 1995)
In this oral history of the 1960s, Chepesiuk interviews 18 activists about their motivations for joining the radical movement and what their political views are today.

Too Good to be Forgotten: Changing America in the 60s and 70s
By David Obst
(John Wiley, 1998)
One of the anti-war movement’s best-known journalists writes about the political and cultural climate of the era, from the 1968 Chicago convention to Watergate.

The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
By Todd Gitlin
(Bantam Books, 1987)
Media critic, author and former SDS president Gitlin offers his definitive history of the decade.

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