Andrew Kopkind – The Thirty Years’ Wars: Dispatches and Diversions of a Radical Journalist 1965–1994


“In Boston in the 1970s he wrote articles and movie reviews for a range of publications and did regular political commentary for WBCN radio.  … He’d been a contributor to Grand Street, New Left Review, Esquire, Vogue and Il Mani­festo, among others. He lived in New York and Vermont, where he wrote and gardened in equal measure. ‘The Sixties’ did not end at its appoint­ed time. Its defining battles – real and rhetorical – would not be con­tained within the tidy parentheses of a calendar. This book presents the thirty-year shocks and aftershocks of that cataclysm as recorded by a journalist who never forgot his history and so, in the end, has written an epic of our times. Andrew Kopkind’s narratives begin on the road from Selma in 1965 and end with the an­niversary of Stonewall in 1994. They take us from the earliest conception of the black panther as a symbol of power and independence in the deep South to its migration and catastrophic fate in the North; from Martin Luther King to Jesse Jackson; from Watts to South Central; from the first aborted triumph of the War on Poverty to the ongoing war against the poor. Kopkind travels from Washington to Hanoi, from Weatherfront to farm commune, from Prague in the wake of the Soviet invasion to Moscow in the wake of the Soviet collapse. Along the way, he ‘sniffs the Zeitgeist.’ These are journeys amid ruin and hope, the dark spaces and the bright, stirring scenes. Here is a history of engagement. The Thirty Years’ Wars explores the limits of liberalism even as it exposes the fault lines of reaction and offers a clarifying view of the contours of revolu­tionary aspirations. Pull at one thread and there is the cord that stretches from Johnson to Nixon, from Carter to Reagan to Clinton. Pull at another and there are the hopes of rebels from Chicago to Chiapas. Kopkind never condescends – not to those whom liberals love to call victims, and not to Reagan’s children. Nor does he ghettoize his subjects. In the mix we get street-fighting and Woodstock, state terror and Olympic spectacle, Christian soldiers and gay soldiers, blue collars, red banners and some white flags. Life as it is experienced. …”
Verso, amazon
Fragments from The Thirty Year’s War
W – Andrew Kopkind
Ramparts: MYSTIC POLITICS Refugees from the New Left
NYBooks – Andrew Kopkind


From left to right: Andy Kopkind, Daisy Cockburn, Alexander Cockburn and John Scagliotti at Treefrog Farm, Vermont, 1981.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Black Power, Books, Civil Rights Mov., Free Speech Mov., Vietnam War, Weather Underground and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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