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Steal This Dream: Abbie Hoffman and the Countercultural Revolustion in America

Sloman, Larry

32 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385411626 / ISBN 13: 9780385411622
Published by Doubleday, New York, 1998
Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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xxiii, [1], 437, [3] p. Illustrations. Foreword by Howard Stern. A fascinating oral history of the social and cultural revolution in America in the 1960s and beyond, as seen through the life of Abbie Hoffman and those who knew him. From Wikipedia: "Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 April 12, 1989) was a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale. The group was known collectively as the "Chicago Eight"; when Seale's prosecution was separated from the others, they became known as the Chicago Seven. While the defendants were initially convicted of intent to incite a riot, the verdicts were overturned on appeal. Hoffman came to prominence in the 1960s, and continued practicing his activism in the 1970s, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion of that era." Very good in good dust jacket. DJ has some wear, soiling, and edge tears/chips. First edition. First Edition [stated]. First printing [stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 67536

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Steal This Dream: Abbie Hoffman and the ...

Publisher: Doubleday, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Edie, the oral biography of Edie Sedgwick, Steal This Dream is a captivating roller-coaster ride of an oral biography of Abbie Hoffman and the sixties, told by over two hundred of those who demonstrated, protested, and lived through those tumultuous years.

Abbie Hoffman was at the center of most of the political and social tumult of the sixties, as a participant, disciple, instigator, leader, and dissident. He helped fight for civil rights in the South, organized on behalf of the poor in New York City, was a leader of the Flower Power generation in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, and was one of the most vocal and visible counterculture guerrillas in the fight against the war in Vietnam. He created chaos on Wall Street, experimented with psychedelics, hashish, speed, cocaine, and free love, planned be-ins, attempted to "levitate" the Pentagon, helped to disrupt the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and was one of the forces behind Woodstock. A genius at exploiting and manipulating the media, and through them, inspiring a counterculture across the country and throughout the decade, Abbie was the most famous hippie and revolutionary of modern times.

A fast-paced and utterly compelling oral history told by the people Abbie worked with, for, and against--from Tom Hayden and Jerry Rubin to Paul Krassner and Timothy Leary--Steal This Dream is the finest social history of the sixties yet written.

Review:

Although there have been other biographies of the late-'60s radical dissident and counterculture publicist Abbie Hoffman, as well as his own writings such as Steal This Book, this oral biography strikes a valuable chord. Unlike other oral biographies--particularly those organized by George Plimpton around such figures as Edie Sedgwick and Truman Capote--with snobs waffling on about nothing much, the context of Hoffman's fame amid the political struggles of the '60s and '70s fits the mold of a many-voiced, democratic narrative. The interviews were carried out, selected, and assembled by the prolific Larry Sloman, former editor at National Lampoon and High Times, author of On the Road with Bob Dylan, and coauthor of Howard Stern's Private Parts and Miss America. In his own way, Hoffman could be a "shock jock" too, but during such gripping events as the Chicago Seven trial or demonstrations agains the Vietnam War, he could be funnier and sadder than Howard Stern ever was. Plagued by manic-depressive syndrome, psychosis, substance abuse, and relational problems, he ruined his life by choosing to deal drugs, which forced him to go underground for six years late in his life. Hoffman, who died of suicide, nevertheless possessed, as Sloman, who knew him from 1967 on, writes, an "incredibly sharp wit" and "charisma" that won him friends even when he was plainly exploiting them. A lively ride of a book, one that will bring back memories for anyone who lived through these parlous times of America's history. --Benjamin Ivry

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