Prairie Radical A Journey Through the Sixties

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9780918828200: Prairie Radical A Journey Through the Sixties
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Prairie Radical: A Journey Through the Sixties is the memoir of a young man whose life was radically changed when he joined the civil rights movement and spoke out against the war in Vietnam. It is a grass-roots inside history of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the largest student organization of the 1960s, as seen by one of its national officers who spent 1967-68 in the SDS national office, at the height of the antiwar movement It is also a history of the vibrant and innovative SDS chapter at the University of Texas in Austin, one of the Prairie Power strongholds, where the cultural rebellion and the political movement were united. Robert Pardun’s story of that tumultuous period is set within the context of what was happening in Vietnam and interwoven with what we now know was happening inside the government and the FBI. The book is illustrated with photos, posters, and FBI documents.

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From the Author:

I decided to write Prairie Radical because I found that most histories of the sixties say very little about the day-to-day activities on the local level or about the lives of the individuals involved. The movement was, after all, the combination of thousands of local movements each made up of individuals who were willing to risk their lives and careers to end injustice, racism, and the Vietnam War. It was on the local level that the strategy and tactics for reaching new people were developed and where the connections between the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the women’s and other liberation movements, and the counter-culture were forged. I hope that this “history with a human face” helps people experience the passion of that decade rather than just learning what happened.

About the Author:

Robert Pardun was born in Kansas and raised on the edge of the prairie in Pueblo, Colorado. As a graduate student, he was a founder of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at the University of Texas in 1964, became a regional SDS organizer, and then an SDS national officer in 1967-68, which put him in the SDS national office at the height of the antiwar movement. After the collapse of SDS, he spent 1971-76 on a commune in the Ozarks. Robert recently served as associate producer of the critically acclaimed documentary film on SDS, Rebels with a Cause, and is one of the people interviewed in the film. Robert now lives in the mountains near Santa Cruz, California.

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