Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies
University of California Press, Apr 30, 2004 - 407 pages
In this first comprehensive comparison of left-wing violence in the United States and West Germany, Jeremy Varon focuses on America's Weather Underground and Germany's Red Army Faction to consider how and why young, middle-class radicals in prosperous democratic societies turned to armed struggle in efforts to overthrow their states. Based on a wealth of primary material, ranging from interviews to FBI reports, this book reconstructs the motivation and ideology of violent organizations active during the 1960s and 1970s. Varon conveys the intense passions of the era--the heat of moral purpose, the depth of Utopian longing, the sense of danger and despair, and the exhilaration over temporary triumphs. Varon's compelling interpretation of the logic and limits of dissent in democratic societies provides striking insights into the role of militancy in contemporary protest movements and has wide implications for the United States' current "war on terrorism."
Varon explores Weatherman and RAF's strong similarities and the reasons why radicals in different settings developed a shared set of values, languages, and strategies. Addressing the relationship of historical memory to political action, Varon demonstrates how Germany's fascist past influenced the brutal and escalating nature of the West German conflict in the 60s and 70s, as well as the reasons why left-wing violence dropped sharply in the United States during the 1970s. Bringing the War Home is a fascinating account of why violence develops within social movements, how states can respond to radical dissent and forms of terror, how the rational and irrational can combine in political movements, and finally how moral outrage and militancy can play both constructive and destructive roles in efforts at social change.
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action activists acts American Andreas Baader antiwar movement armed struggle arrested attack attorneys Ayers Baader Baader-Meinhof Group Berlin Bill Ayers Black Panther Black Panther Party bombings Brückner charge Chicago Columbia commitment communiqué conﬂict critics culture Days of Rage death defendants deﬁned democracy democratic demonstrations denounced described Dohrn Ensslin fascist FBI-WUO Federal Republic ﬁght ﬁghting ﬁgure ﬁnally ﬁrst ﬂag Frankfurt Germany’s Gudrun Ensslin guerrillas Holger Meins Ibid ideology inmates interview killed leaders Left left-wing Left’s Leftists liberation Marcuse masses Meinhof militant military moral murder Nazi Neufeld Nixon November numbers ofﬁces ofﬁcials one’s organization Palmer police Press prison protest radical RAF members RAF’s Red Army Faction reﬂected repression resistance revolution revolutionary Rote Hilfe Schleyer sense social society sought state’s student terrorism Terrorismus terrorists Third World tion trial Ulrike Ulrike Meinhof University Vietnam Vietnam War Vietnamese Weath Weather Underground Weathermen West German York young youth
Page 22 - We must name that system. We must name it, describe it, analyze it, understand it and change it. For it is only when that system is changed and brought under control that there can be any hope for stopping the forces that create a war in Vietnam today or a murder in the South tomorrow.