Welcome Dina Hampton and Host David Farber (Temple University) (author, The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s)

Little Red: Three Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond

In Little Red: Three Passionate Lives through the Sixties and Beyond, Dina Hampton does something unique in writing about the history, meaning and legacy of the 1960s in the United States. She gives us intimate portraits of three very different people whose lives were forged in the red hot political cauldron of that era: the Communist Party champion of Black Power, Angela Davis; the New Left firebrand, Tom Hurwitz; and the neo-conservative advocate of unbridled American power, Elliott Abrams. Her three subjects, fascinatingly, all attended at the same time the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, collectively known as Little Red. The name is telling: the school was founded in Greenwich Village in the 1920s as a proudly left-wing progressive private school and nothing, not even McCarthyism, got in the way of that leftist vision of social justice pedagogy. At Little Red, Davis, Hurwitz and Abrams learned even as children that challenging the political status quo was the right and proper duty of every American. As Hampton shows us, that duty took quite divergent forms in their hyper-political lives.

Little Red is not a polemic or a didactic tale. Hampton is less interested in making a case for any particular political cause or movement than she is in exploring what drives people to passionate, ideological commitment. What I found remarkable was Hampton’s ability to create empathic portraits of each of her protagonists, none of whom are without serious flaws both as people and as political actors. She can make a reader understand why Angela Davis in the 1960s decides to become a member of the Communist Party and celebrate the Soviet Union and East Germany as exemplars of human freedom and models for the American racial justice struggle. She can make us see how and why Tom Hurwitz turned to violent confrontation with political authorities in the face of America’s deadly policy in Vietnam and then embraced for several years Maoism and China’s Cultural Revolution. And perhaps most unexpectedly, especially for readers here, she can evoke how New Left tactics in the Sixties hardened the heart of Elliott Abrams and placed him on a path toward a no holds barred anti-communism that would lead him to champion the murderous right-wing regime in El Salvador in the 1980s, as well as the brutal thuggery of the Contras in Nicaragua during the Reagan administration.

I’m a university-based historian accustomed to reading, lecturing, and writing about the Sixties from the perspective of structure, event, and context—and I know that some of the academic writing about the Sixties has turned spectacular human drama into dry-as-dust stuff. Hampton makes the Sixties a story of emotion, passion, and character; of people who make hard choices in real time spurred on by lovers, friends, and the desire to act in a world turned inside out. All of us who are political people understand that far more than dispassionate analysis goes into our political decision-making. In a messy, very personal, very intimate way we develop a core set of values and a hierarchy of beliefs, almost always in conversation with friends and loved ones. Hampton helps us to understand that process in her powerfully written account of three lives in the balance in the Sixties era. How and why we become political is at the heart of Hampton’s story.

Hampton does not stop her account in the 1960s. The last third of her book follows Davis, Hurwitz, and Abrams through the changing times of last decades of the twentieth century and right up to the present. Hampton’s account of how these three brilliant, sometimes infuriating, often kinetic people figure out how to keep their Sixties-era political passions intact in the face of massive changes in American and international affairs makes for fascinating and moving reading—even when one disagrees wholeheartedly with one or another of the choices being made.

Little Red gives us another way to encounter the radical politics of the Sixties and to ponder the choices individuals made in the face of endemic racism and sexism, the catastrophic war in Vietnam, and the obduracy of the American political establishment during those turbulent times. It raises a multitude of questions about the meaning of leftist politics in the Sixties, about how social and political change can and should be made in a nation that professes democratic values, and about what an individual can and should do when confronted by public policies and social practices he or she finds immoral, destructive, and even deadly. By making these questions about human choice and not broad social structures or political economy, Dina Hampton has given us a history with which we have to wrestle at a very personal level.

 

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

100 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dina Hampton, Little Red: Three Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond”

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Dina, David, Welcome to the Lake.

David, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

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David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Hi Dina–it’s great to have a chance to talk with you about your book.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Bev, Thank you! And thanks to David for moderating and for his wonderful introduction.

dakine01 May 18th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Good afternoon Dina and David and welcome to Firedoglake this afternoon.

Dina, I have not had an opportunity to read your book so forgive me if you address this in there but did your subjects know each while in school? If not, at what point did they realize they had been at the same schools at the same time?

Elliott May 18th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Welcome to the Lake!

I’m fascinated that they all went to the same school as kids. I assume they knew each other?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi Dina–I’m not sure if the first time went through.

It’s great to have a chance to chat about your book.
To start: What prompted you to write this book? What drew you to this subject?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:03 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

I didn’t know them when I attended Little Red and Elisabeth Irwin (I graduated in ’77) but I learned about them when I returned in the mid-90s as the school’s alumni director. That’s when I started assembling the school’s archives and reaching out to alumni.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

You focus on three figures–Angela Davis, Tom Hurwitz, and Elliott Abrams. Why these three?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
In response to Elliott @ 5

Elliott Abrams and Tom Hurwitz were both in the class of ’65 (and a small class it was — only about 32!). Angela Davis was class of ’61 – she and Tom know each other but Elliott didn’t meet her then — and has not to this day, I believe.

Elliott May 18th, 2013 at 2:08 pm
In response to Elliott @ 5

ahh OK Thanks.

A book like yours is a great way to study the 60s

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Dina–are we having technical problems?

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

The book is a great read, not just for the people, but also a wonderful
history. Did anything particularly surprise you?

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Dina, how far does the archives go back? What was your biggest surprise going through them?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
In response to David Farber @ 6

Hi David.

As a kid growing up in Manhattan in the 70s I was fascinated by the college radicals who were about 10 years older than I was. I was thrilled by their idealism and commitment. By the time I got to college, however, it was the late-’70s– more disco than demonstrations — and I thought I had missed out on something wonderful.

As I got older, I wondered how I would have acted had I been a young adult in those years. Some people made some disasterous choices and I wondered whether I would have been among their number.

Elisabeth Irwin H.S. in the late 70s was completely apolitical — I had only the vaguest notions about its history. I was only when I became alumni director in the ’90s that I learned about its radical history and of its 1960s graduates.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:17 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 14

Your experience is similar to mine. I think that’s what drew me to writing about the 60s, too.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
In response to David Farber @ 8

I wanted each protagonist to represent a part of the era. Tom was from Old Left royalty, Angela was an African American woman from Birmingham and Elliott the son of New Deal Democrats.

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
In response to David Farber @ 15

David, have you met Angela, Tom or Elliott, in doing your research?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
In response to David Farber @ 11

Nope, I’m here. Just need to type faster!

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:20 pm
In response to BevW @ 17

Not those three. Had some very interesting conversations with Abbie Hoffman, Dave Dellinger, and Tom Hayden, among others.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:21 pm
In response to RevBev @ 12

Bev, I was surprised to find out that Angela arrived at the school from Birmingham, Alabama. It was the height of the Jim Crow laws at the time and she won a scholarship to the school from the American Friends Service Committee.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:21 pm
In response to BevW @ 17

Yes, I was able to interview them all.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Angela’s experience is quite complex in the midst of all those changes in race and roles for women. Did she seem to regret any parts of her
choices?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 16

That’s fascinating. It’s always hard to get well-known people off their boilerplate accounts; too often, I think, they stick to scripts and start to play the role they’ve taken. How did you get them to go beyond their usual talking points?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
In response to BevW @ 13

They go back to the school’s founding and before. It was fascinating to learn about the founder, Elisabeth Irwin. She lived in Greenwich Village when it was emerging as the bohemian enclave. She was a freelance reporter, an then founded experimental classes on the Lower East Side where she put into practice her progressive — and highly unorthodox — methods of educating young people.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:25 pm
In response to RevBev @ 22

She didn’t express any to me.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 24

That’s something I wanted to ask more about. You begin with the story of the Little Red Schoolhouse. What do you make of Little Red’s progressive pedagogy? Do you think that more schools should teach with a forthright political perspective?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
In response to David Farber @ 23

Talking about their formative years is a good way. I think — and as you mentioned in your intro — that one’s political views are determined by the events of their childhood and their nature.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
In response to David Farber @ 26

Irwin’s idea of “fitting the school to the child” was a good corrective to the rote memorization and strict discipline methods of the day — as was seeing the child as a complex individual. Many progressive education tenants have become so accepted — school trips for instance — that they do not seem radical at all today.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 27

Determined by the events of their childhood (at least in part)–did they see it that way? I’m curious if that’s how you began the book, with that assumption–or if that is your conclusion after interviewing them.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:33 pm
In response to David Farber @ 19

I talked to Tom Hayden who was in the building Tom occupied during the Columbia student revolt.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:34 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 30

You had amazing interviews. I’m jealous!

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 2:34 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 27

Talking about their formative years is a good way. I think — and as you mentioned in your intro — that one’s political views are determined by the events of their childhood and their nature.

Could you give some examples of Angela’s experiences for our younger readers?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:35 pm
In response to David Farber @ 23

To that point, it’s also interesting how Elliott made his experience at the school part of his “origin story” when he talked to the press — how the school’s radicalism helped drive him to the right.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

In addition to the interviews with the 3, what were the other most
valuable resources for the history of the era? You painted a very
thorough picture.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:38 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 33

I think that including Elliott Abrams as a counterpoint to Angela Davis and Tom Hurwitz was a great decision. A plot twist . . .

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:39 pm
In response to David Farber @ 29

Yes — a common theme in the interviews — with many of the LREI alums was how the school shaped them. But in most cases — certainly Tom’s and I think Angela’s — Their family and cultural backgrounds were of a piece with the school’s philosophy. Elliott, not so much. But I’d argue he found his talent for being a contrarian there — and how much he enjoyed being so.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:42 pm
In response to BevW @ 32

After high school, Angela went to Brandeis University and then studied abroad. She rose to national fame when she was fired by UCLA for being an avowed Communist. She was then accused of murder and spent 18 months in jail — and her trial was covered worldwide.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:43 pm
In response to David Farber @ 35

Answers the question: How do you rebel against a radically left school.

jaango May 18th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Welcome Dina,

As to the introduction, it was wonderfully said.

Now, I’m a fan of history, and being long of tooth, and grey of beard, I lived through the 1960′s but my perspective is predicated on what occurred here in the Sonoran Desert, among Native Americans, Chicanos, African Americans, was well as Asian Americans. Thusly, the the starting point is the “grito de Crystal” and which derives from the internment camp for Asian Americans in Cyrstal City, Texas, and which continues to carry forward to today’s toxic politics.

And after having read, seen, and heard of your three political Icons for these many years, what can you say that can be attributed to a person from the Sonoran Desert, that reinforces their history, given that each person, will be lucky to be included as a footnote in a history book, and as seen from the perspective of amy future historian?

Jaango

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
In response to RevBev @ 34

Angela and Elliott have lived very public lives — so there was a wealth of information about them along with interviews with friends and associates. With Tom, I relied more on one-on-one interviews. I had the most access to him.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Thinking more about your decision to feature Elliott Abrams–and to write about him sympathetically (or at least not critically)–in a book titled “Little Red”: I would like to hear more about that experience. For many progressives, Abrams is not exactly a sympathetic figure. What was it like interviewing him and writing about him, and did he have any concerns about how you would treat him in the book?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:48 pm
In response to jaango @ 39

Hi Jaango — I feel as if I’d be vamping if I tried to answer that question. I don’t have a deep knowledge of that part of American history.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
In response to David Farber @ 41

David,

I had a few long interviews with Elliott and he was forthcoming in all of them. I tried to tell the story from each protagonists point of view but to point out when the facts disputed those memories. I inserted my opinions into the text, but sparingly. It’s my hope that picking three people with such different views and life experiences — the contrast between them — lets them argue their points of view.

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

How did Elliott’s school experiences differ from Angela’s and Tom’s? What was the difference you noted, explaining the different lives when they grew up?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Can we go back to one of the questions someone else asked earlier? What books or other sources–movies, music, anything–did you find useful in thinking about an era you didn’t really live through?

CTuttle May 18th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 38

…How do you rebel against a radically left school.

And How…!

Aloha, Dina and David, mahalo for being here today…!

I have nothing but utter contempt, and sheer hatred for Elliot Abrams, he is directly responsible for mass murder on 5 different Continents…!

What was it like interviewing him, Dina…?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
In response to David Farber @ 41

As I read over the book, I see my opinions clearly in some of the narrative and perhaps not as clearly as I’d like in others. And of course, I only recounted certain episodes in their lives, so that selection, too, was editorial.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 2:58 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 47

I’ve written a lot about conservatives and big-time capitalists. I know the feeling of walking a line between telling their life stories fairly and trying to be true to my understanding of the meanings of their actions.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I really thought your explanation was the clearest story of Iran-Contra that I have seen.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:00 pm
In response to David Farber @ 45

Aside from usual print sources and interviews there’s a tremendous wealth of footage available in the Internet — so I could match up their memories not only to facts but by seeing them in action years ago.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

How about some more provocative questions about the meaning of “the Sixties” and the roles of Davis and Hurwitz?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here’s an easy one.
The conservative writer David Horwitz calls the social change activists of the 60s “the destructive generation.” What’s your response?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:05 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 46

CTuttle: Everyone asks me that! Especially those on the Left. He was cordial and highly articulate — and especially eager to talk about his experiences in high school. As with all of us, the slights and memories of those days seem very fresh in his mind.

But I will point out to you and David — that although those on the left seem to see my portrait of him as neutral-positive, many on the right my portrait of him as terribly slanted against him. Interestingly, two of those reviews have been by other alums that reacted to the school by going to the right (Ron Radosh in WSJ and Abigail Thernstrom in Weekly Standard)

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to David Farber @ 52

It was many things. I would argue that the Weathermen — a radical splinter from Students for a Democratic Society – were indeed destructive and nihilistic. They turned the country against progressive causes in much the way the Tea Party and their adherents have turned mainstream Americans away from the right.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 53

All attention’s good, right?

CTuttle May 18th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 53

Mahalo, Dina…! What was Elliot’s take on your portrayal…?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:09 pm
In response to David Farber @ 48

David — Yes — and in narrative non-fiction it’s especially challenging.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 56

I haven’t had any response!

Suzanne May 18th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

welcome and thank you for writing this book. i’m still reading it but wow, is it ever a trip down memory lane for me. i got grief while a freshman in high school for writing a paper about angela davis’s activism based on a look magazine article.

as i said, i’m still reading your book but i highly recommend it. thank you

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Speaking of the Weathermen–allow me to play devil’s advocate for a minute. One of my concerns is how often popular books about the 1960s era make it seem as if the Weathermen and the Black Panthers were representative of social change movements of that era. They absolutely were not. Do you think your book, by featuring two of the most militant activists of that era, contributes to that popular misunderstanding?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

And does anyone else want to join in on the question of the 60s and how to best characterize that era? In addition to Dina’s great work, any recommendations for other books or documentaries, websites, etc., that capture the era?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:15 pm
In response to David Farber @ 51

It’s remarkable how present they both still are on the scene. Elliott has op-eds everywhere re: Syria and Israel and Angela makes appearances all over the country as she always has — and a documentary about her trial has just come out. To an earlier questions about how their beliefs have evolved, Angela quit the Communist Party in 1991 along with many others who were dismayed by the party’s rigidity in the face of the fall of the Soviet Union and, closer to home, its sexism and homophobia.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:17 pm
In response to David Farber @ 55

It’s all been instructive. It shows, I think, how the issues being fought over then are still with us.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 59

Suzanne — thank you so much. You got grief for writing about her in high school and now she’s on the curriculum in many colleges.

David — Do you find that your students are aware of her? And Elliott for that matter.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 3:19 pm

As far as resources, I think old TV footage would be essential. That was all so extensive and colorful and mesmerizing. That is probably where I would want to start.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 63

The word “passionate” is on the cover of your book–it seems that it might provoke some passionate responses. What’s the one that stands out the most–whether a review, an email-out-of-the-blue, or a conversation?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:21 pm
In response to David Farber @ 61

I remember seeing John Sayles “Return of the Secaucus 7″ when it came out in the early 80s. Again, feeling nostolgia for a past I hadn’t lived.

I’d recommend “Sir Yes Sir” a docu about the GI Movement Tom was involved in — a movement that was ahead of its time in that it went against the knee-jerk reaction of the time of not distinguishing between the Vietnam War and those were fighting it.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:21 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 64

No–not either one. Says something.
For 18 year olds, the 60s is like World War I was for us (though the 60s has a better soundtrack). But the counterculture still excites them; it’s the gateway drug to the 60s.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
In response to David Farber @ 66

I think it was the responses from the now-conservative EI alums.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:26 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 69

What did the now-conservative alums say? Did they recognize the school you portrayed?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:29 pm
In response to David Farber @ 68

I think it was the culture that attracted many college students of the day. When that started to wind down — in the mid-70s — many fell away — whether it was because of disillusionment or just getting older. The youth culture, I think was not sustainable the way the movements that grew out of it — feminism, gay rights etc. — were. That’s because the young people thought they would always be young. The other identity groups had more impetus to stick it out for the decades of sometimes tedious work to change the cultures’ attitudes toward them.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:31 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 71

I actually think the cultural rebellions of the 60s and early 70s were immensely influential over the long haul in everything from how we eat to how we live to how we work. But I guess I’m prejudiced because that’s the topic of my next book.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The 60s were so clearly hopeful. We really did believe we/they could change the world. And even with the evil VN war…LBJ was defeated.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:35 pm
In response to David Farber @ 60

Speaking of the Weathermen–allow me to play devil’s advocate for a minute. One of my concerns is how often popular books about the 1960s era make it seem as if the Weathermen and the Black Panthers were representative of social change movements of that era. They absolutely were not. Do you think your book, by featuring two of the most militant activists of that era, contributes to that popular misunderstanding?

David, that’s a great question. I did not choose Weathermen or those who advocated violence — Kathy Boudin, for example, who was in Angela’s class — because I wanted to challenge that misconception.

Angela was only briefly a member of the Black Panthers but she did advocate armed resistance to the government, if necessary. Predominantly, I think, she was dedicated to moving the country — and the world — to a socialist model and away from capitalism and — from a Marxist POV — the class divisions and racism that were its by-product.

Tom moved away from SDS once the extreme Weathermen faction took it over.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:37 pm
In response to David Farber @ 68

Do you see any couter-culture movements among the students? How does it differ from that of the 60s?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:40 pm
In response to David Farber @ 70

Some are still quite bitter about their experiences at the school and feel I’ve put a romanticized spin on it.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Not to pick a fight–just to continue the conversation–Hurwitz continued to embrace Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. And Davis was directly involved with the violence surrounding the Soledad Brothers. My point is that these were not representative positions for 60s activists. The “passionate” moderates are contradiction in terms; hard to make interesting historical actors. (Been there, done that.) Is this something you thought about as you crafted the book?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:42 pm
In response to David Farber @ 72

A professor of mine once said that the 60s revolutionaries lost the political war but won the cultural one. Perhaps that schism is what make the current national dialog so emotional and splintered.

Does your new book have a title?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Working title is “The Counterculture at Work.” I need a better one eventually. Any ideas, based on nothing but the few words above?

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:46 pm
In response to David Farber @ 77

David,

I take your point. But it’s always the radicals that lead the way and the rest of the country – if their cause has “legs” takes years to catch up and then only some of the way because the vast majority of people don’t want to live radical ives.

Having said that, writing a non-fiction narrative I did want to write about the most striking and event-filled lives.

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

David, Do you think that there still is a “counterculture?” If so,
where?

Elliott May 18th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I thought the PBS series on Vietnam revealing – Vietnam: A Television History.

I grew up in the 60s but at the time didn’t understand what was actually going on over there.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 80

Sometimes I wonder if good politics and good writing about politics are at cross purposes. Good democratic politics demand slow, patient organizing and outreach; not usually the stuff of drama, and often boring to write or read about. Today, with 24-hour news cycles, the dramatic almost always crowds out the slow and steady work of democratic politics and policy making. The Obama election of 2008 might be the exception to the rule.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
In response to David Farber @ 77

And yes, the great majority of Little Redders took from the school a desire to change the world in modest ways — whether in their personal or career choices. A large number of grads are educators and social workers. It is harder to write about them. But the school was also notable in the number of radical students it produced. One member of the Class of ’61 (Angela and Kathy Boudin were in it) told me “It’s not every class that can boast that 6% of its number landed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
In response to Elliott @ 82

I agree; it’s a great series. If you want a good read on what led to America’s war in Vietnam, take a look at the 2013 Pulitzer prize winner, Fredrik Logevall’s Embers of War.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
In response to Elliott @ 82

Elliott: Were you active politically in college?

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:51 pm
In response to RevBev @ 81

Bev,
I’d say no, not really. What we have instead is a multiplicity of vibrant subcultures. Interesting topic to think about. Do you see a continuing counterculture today?

Suzanne May 18th, 2013 at 3:52 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 78

i like that description…. it does feel like we are fighting the same issues… war, womens rights, civil rights for all….

BevW May 18th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

As we come to the last few minutes of this Book Salon discussion,

Dina, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and Little Red.

David, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Dina’s website and book

David’s website and book(s)

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

Tomorrow: James C. Goodale / Fighting For The Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles; Hosted by Kevin Gosztola

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

FDL Book Salon has a Facebook page too

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:52 pm
In response to David Farber @ 83

You’re exactly right. It’s a dilemma. I think it’s easier to write about any person in their formative year, tho, because all avenues are open to them — and usually they don’t know which one they’re going to take.

Suzanne May 18th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
In response to BevW @ 89

this has been a great book salon bev — thank you for arranging it – fascinating discussion!

RevBev May 18th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

After I wrote that, I thought about having been in DC for the immigrant rally. Maybe it’s the Hispanic activism. But on colleges/middle class, I
am not aware of it.

David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, everyone. And in signing out, I’ll encourage everyone to read Dina Hampton’s Little Red. It’s fun and it’s a great way to think about the 1960s and what came after.

Elliott May 18th, 2013 at 3:54 pm
In response to Dina Hampton @ 86

no – boys boys boys (what can I say? :)

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:56 pm
In response to Suzanne @ 88

Suzanne: They are the same issues but sometimes we don’t see how far we’ve come. When you see the depictions of women and minorities of that era they seem grotesque or absurd — or at the least quaint. And gay rights were’n't even on the agenda. Tom and his girlfriend left Greenwich Village to move to California to fight the war just as Stonewall was occuring down the street from where they lived.

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 3:58 pm
In response to David Farber @ 93

Thank you, David. And thank you Bev and Firedoglake for making it possible!

Dina Hampton May 18th, 2013 at 4:00 pm
In response to BevW @ 89
David Farber May 18th, 2013 at 4:04 pm
In response to jaango @ 39

Not sure if you will get this–but wanted to say that I lived in New Mexico for many years and was constantly surprised to learn of the great many struggles by Native people and Hispanos over many decades as they fought for their rights and their dignity.

Elliott May 18th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Thank you both – and Bev

Good luck with the book – and the one to come

CTuttle May 18th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa to Bev, David, and Dina for another excellent Book Salon…! *g*

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