In 1968, Mark Rudd led the legendary occupation of five buildings at Columbia University, a dramatic act of protest against the university's support for the Vietnam War and its institutional racism. The charismatic chairman of the Columbia chapter of Students for a Democratic Societythe largest radical student organization in the United StatesRudd went on to become a national symbol of student revolt, and co-founded the Weathermen faction of SDS, which helped organize the notorious Days of Rage in Chicago in 1969.
But Mark Rudd wanted revolution, seeking to end war, racism, and injustice by any means necessaryeven violence. By the end of 1970, he was one of the FBI's Most Wantedand after a string of nonlethal bombings, he went into hiding for more than seven years before turning himself in to great media fanfare.
In this gripping narrative, Rudd speaks out about this tumultuous period, the role he played in its crucial events, and its aftermath.
Even those who condemn Rudd's work in history can be grateful for Rudd's work of history. Underground is honest and funny, passionate and contrite, meticulously researched and deeply philosophical: an essential document on the '60s. While the author hasn't resolved all the contradictions inherent in his old urban-guerrilla guise, he confronts them admirably, ready to acknowledge the worst in himself.