What Mother Country Radicals Misses About the Weather Underground


Weatherman organization leader John Jacobs (football helmet, center)

“… In 1969, a militant faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) borrowed this line from Bob Dylan’s song ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ for the title of a manifesto they read at the organization’s national convention in Chicago. Led by the charismatic young attorney Bernardine Dohrn, the Weathermen, as the group would become known, called for building a youth guerrilla army and broke away from the larger organization, for all intents and purposes spelling the end of the organized New Left. This story has been told many times before and is told again in Mother Country Radicals, a new podcast about the Weather Underground produced by Zayd Dohrn, a communications scholar and son of Bernardine Dohrn and fellow former Weathermen leader, Bill Ayers. In the months after the Chicago convention, Weathermen radicals transformed themselves into urban guerrillas, changed their name to the Weather Underground, and carried out around twenty-five bombings in the United States before disbanding in 1976. Most of their blasts were intended to protest the war in Vietnam or racist police violence at home. Listeners familiar with the Weathermen may be interested in new revelations offered in Zayd Dohrn’s extensive interviews with his parents, other ’60s radicals, a retired FBI agent, and fellow adult children of leftist militants. Listeners new to this story may find this well-produced podcast, which also includes impressive archival news footage, to be highly entertaining. But listeners should know that the story they are getting is not exactly a balanced history of the Weather Underground. For better and for worse, this is very much a ‘family history,’ with some notable historical omissions, driven largely by the viewpoints of Dohrn’s parents. …”
Jacobin
The Weather Underground’s Lasting Victory


Construction workers and policemen stand around a pile of rubble in the police headquarters building after a bombing by the Weather Underground in New York, New York, on June 9, 1970.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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