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

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

by Bryan Burrough

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Overview

From the bestselling 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 time in America, during the 1970s, when bombings by domestic underground groups were a daily occurrence. The FBI combated these and other groups as nodes in a single revolutionary underground, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government.
 
In Days of Rage, Bryan Burrough re-creates an atmosphere that seems almost unbelievable just forty 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 U.S. Capitol, at a Boston courthouse and a Wall Street restaurant packed with lunchtime diners. The FBI’s fevered response included the formation of a secret task force called Squad 47, dedicated to hunting the groups down and rolling them up. But Squad 47 itself broke many laws in its attempts to bring the revolutionaries to justice, and its efforts ultimately ended in fiasco.
 
Drawing on revelatory interviews with members of the underground and the FBI who speak about their experiences for the first time, Days of Rage is a mesmerizing book that takes us into the hearts and minds of homegrown terrorists and federal agents alike and weaves their stories into a spellbinding secret history of the 1970s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143107972
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 469,446
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of five previous books, including The Big Rich and Public Enemies. A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he is a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in financial journalism.

Read an Excerpt

01

“THE REVOLUTION AIN’T TOMORROW. IT’S NOW. YOU DIG?”
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Days of Rage"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Bryan Burrough.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Cast of Characters xvii

Prologue 1

1 "The Revolution Ain't Tomorrow. It's Now. You Dig?": Sam Melville and the Birth of the American Underground 9

2 "Negroes with Guns": Black Rage and the Road to Revolution 26

Part 1 Weatherman

3 "You Say You Want a Revolution": The Movement and the Emergence of Weatherman 55

4 "As to Killing People, We Were Prepared to Do That": Weatherman, January to March 1970 87

5 The Townhouse: Weatherman, March to June 1970 106

6 "Responsible Terrorism": Weatherman, June 1970 to October 1970 132

7 The Wrong Side of History: Weatherman and the FBI, October 1970 to April 1971 152

Part 2 The Black Liberation Army

8 "An Army of Angry Niggas": The Birth of the Black Liberation Army, Spring 1971 173

9 The Rise of the BLA: The Black Liberation Army, June 1971 to February 1972 199

10 "We Got Pretty Small": The Weather Underground and the FBI, 1971-72 218

11 Blood in the Streets of Babylon: The Black Liberation Army, 1973 236

Part 3 The Second Wave

12 The Dragon Unleashed: The Rise of the Symbionese Liberation Army, November 1973 to February 1974 259

13 "Patty Has Been Kidnapped": The Symbionese Liberation Army, February to May 1974 284

14 What Patty Hearst Wrought: The Rise of the Post-SLA Underground 304

15 "The Belfast of North America": Patty Hearst, the SLA, and the Mad Bombers of San Francisco 333

16 Hard Times: The Death of the Weather Underground 361

17 "Welcome to Fear City": The FALN, 1976 to 1978 380

18 "Armed Revolutionary Love": The Odyssey of Ray Levasseur 407

19 Bombs and Diapers: Ray Levasseur's Odyssey, Part II 425

Part 4 Out with a Bang

20 The Family: The Pan-Radical Alliance, 1977 to 1979 447

21 Jailbreaks and Captures: The Family and the FALN, 1979-80 471

22 The Scales of Justice: Trials, Surrenders, and the Family, 1980-81 492

23 The Last Revolutionaries: The United Freedom Front, 1981 to 1984 513

Epilogue 537

Acknowledgments 549

A Note on Sources 553

Notes 557

Bibliography 561

Index 569

What People are Saying About This

Yale University; author of The Day Wall Street Exploded - Beverly Gage

A fascinating portrait of the all-but-forgotten radical underground of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Burroughs gives us the first full picture of a secret world where radical dreams often ended in personal and political tragedy.

author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back - Mark Harris

Bryan Burrough gives the story of America's armed underground revolutionaries of the 1960s and 1970s what it has long desperately needed: Clarity, levelheadedness, context, and reportorial rigor. He has sifted the embers of an essential conflagration of the counterculture, found within it a suspenseful and enlightening history, and told it in a way that is blessedly free of cant or point-scoring.

From the Publisher

William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards, Money and Power, and The Price of Silence
“In spellbinding fashion, Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage brilliantly explicates one of the most confounding periods of recent American history—the era when a web of home-grown radicals and self-styled anarchists busily plotted the overthrow of the American government. Rarely has such a subject been matched with a writer and reporter of Burrough’s extraordinary skill. I could not put the book down; you won't be able to, either.”

Beverly Gage, Yale University; author of The Day Wall Street Exploded
“A fascinating portrait of the all-but-forgotten radical underground of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Burroughs gives us the first full picture of a secret world where radical dreams often ended in personal and political tragedy.”

Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back
“Bryan Burrough gives the story of America’s armed underground revolutionaries of the 1960s and 1970s what it has long desperately needed: Clarity, levelheadedness, context, and reportorial rigor. He has sifted the embers of an essential conflagration of the counterculture, found within it a suspenseful and enlightening history, and told it in a way that is blessedly free of cant or point-scoring.”

Paul Ingrassia, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Engines of Change and Crash Course
“Bryan Burrough has delivered a terrific piece of research, reportage and storytelling. Those who lived through the period of America's radical underground, as I did, will be amazed to learn how much they didn’t.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Engines of Change and Crash Course - Paul Ingrassia

Bryan Burrough has delivered a terrific piece of research, reportage and storytelling. Those who lived through the period of America's radical underground, as I did, will be amazed to learn how much they didn't.

author of House of Cards, Money and Power, and The Price of Silence - William D. Cohan

In spellbinding fashion, Bryan Burrough's Days of Rage brilliantly explicates one of the most confounding periods of recent American history—the era when a web of home-grown radicals and self-styled anarchists busily plotted the overthrow of the American government. Rarely has such a subject been matched with a writer and reporter of Burrough's extraordinary skill. I could not put the book down; you won't be able to, either.

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