Synopses & Reviews
Written from the maximum-security prison where he has lived for almost 30 years, this enlightening memoir chronicles the militant career of David Gilbert, a radical activist whose incarceration is due to his involvement in the 1981 Brinks robbery, an attempted expropriation that resulted in four deaths. From his entry into the world of political activism as the founder of Students for a Democratic Society at Columbia University to his departure from public life in order to help build the clandestine resistance to war and racism known as the Weathermen, Gilbert relates all of the victories he has achieved and obstacles he has encountered during his struggle to build a new world. In telling the intensely personal story he is stripped of all illusions and assesses his journey from liberal to radical to revolutionary with rare humor and frankness. A firsthand glimpse into the terrors and triumphs of the 1960s and beyond, Love and Struggle is as candid and uncompromising as its author.
"Though Gilbert is still in prison after almost 30 years for the botched 1981 Brink's robbery, these are not prison memoirs. Rather, Gilbert (No Surrender) reflects thoughtfully on his development as a leftist organizer and revolutionary in the context of the social tumult of the 1960s and '70s, driven by a fundamental desire 'to get America to live up to its ideals of democracy for all.' In a conflicted and conflict-ridden period of cold war anticommunism, civil rights struggle, Black Power, antiwar organizing, class divides, a burgeoning youth counterculture, and second-wave feminism, Gilbert's political education and personal growth sometimes painfully intertwined, as he relates in candid passages detailing his failings as well as advances vis-Ã -vis colleagues, peers, and lovers, including longtime partner and fellow revolutionary Kathy Boudin. Some sections of this loosely chronological narrative, spiced with older diary entries, are more grounded than others. Inside knowledge of flashpoints the breakup of SDS, the Weathermen's springing of Timothy Leary from jail, or the beginnings of a rift between the renamed Weather Underground and Black Panthers add to the historical record or underscore the complexities of the movement, while glosses on larger historical events or figures (the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Bob Dylan) prove less novel. However, such lively ruminating from someone on the inside of important recent history makes for vital reading." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Gilbert appeared in the Academy Awardnominated film The Weather Underground and is the author of No Surrender. He is incarcerated in the Clinton Correctional in Dannemora, New York. Boots Riley is the former leader of the Coup, a music group declared the best hip-hop act of the past decade” by Billboard magazine. He formed a new group, Street Sweeper Social Club, with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. He lives in Oakland, California.