Bill Ayers was born into privilege and is today a highly respected educator and community activist. In the late 1960s he was a founder of the militant activist group the Weather Underground. Living on the run, stealing explosives, and hiding from the law, Ayers was involved in the defining moments of his generation: the Days of Rage, SDS, the Black Panthers-and the explosion that killed his beloved comrade, Diana Oughton. Fugitive Days tells of these turbulent events, and of the tenacity with which Ayers slowly rebuilt his life after it all came apart. Ayers writes openly about his regrets and what he continues to believe was right. The result is a profoundly honest account of an incendiary chapter in our history.
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Advance Praise for Bill Ayers - Fugitive Days: A Memoir
“This is a precious book, not simply because it offers a gripping personal account of the primal American suspense story of life on the run, but, more important, because it re-creates a critical point of view and way of thinking that we seem, even a few decades later, barely able to recall.” —Scott Turow, author of The Laws of Our Fathers and Personal Injuries
“A memoir that is, in effect, a deeply moving elegy to all those young dreamers who tried to live decently in an indecent world. Ayers provides a tribute to those better angels of ourselves.” —Studs Terkel, author of Working and The Good War
“Finally, here is an irresistibly readable book that answers the question, How did a nice suburban boy go from the ordinary pleasures of his class to the Days of Rage and beyond? Bill Ayers not only makes this exalting and painful journey comprehensible, he peoples it with sympathetic family, friends, and lovers, and moves us with his candor.” —Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Half a Heart
“With considerable wit, no small amount of remorse, and an anger that smolders still across the decades, Bill Ayers tells the story of his quintessentially American trip through the 1960s. That it is written in a consistently absorbing style with many passages of undiluted brilliance only adds to its appeal.” —Thomas Frank, author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool
“A wild and painful ride in the savage years of the late sixties. A very good book about a terrifying time in America.” —Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels
“What makes Fugitive Days unique is its unsparing detail and its marvelous human coherence and integrity. Bill Ayers’s America and his family background, his education, his political awakening, his anger and involvement, his anguished re-emergence from the shadows: all these are rendered in their truth without a trace of nostalgia or ‘second thinking.’ For anyone who cares about the sorry mess we are in, this book is essential, indeed necessary, reading. —Edward W. Said, author of Reflections on Exile and Out of PlaceAbout the Author:
Bill Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent and many other books on education, is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Center for Youth and Society.
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