Days of Rage

Days of Rage

Penguin Press | April 7, 2015 | 608 pages

From the bestselling author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich, an explosive account of the decade-long battle between the FBI and the homegrown revolutionary terrorists of the 1970s. The Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. The FALN. The Black Liberation Army. The names seem quaint now, when not forgotten altogether. But there was a stretch of time in America, roughly between 1968 and 1975, when there was on average more than one significant terrorist act in this country every week, and the FBI combated these groups and others as nodes in a single revolutionary underground, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government. The FBI's response to the leftist revolutionary counterculture has not been treated kindly by history, and it is true that in hindsight many of its efforts seem almost comically ineffectual, if not criminal in themselves. But part of the extraordinary accomplishment of Bryan Burrough's groundbreaking book is to temper those easy judgments with an understanding of just how deranged these times were, how charged with menace. Burrough re-creates an atmosphere that seems almost unbelievable just forty years later, conjuring a time of native-born radicals, most of them 'nice middle-class kids,' smuggling bombs into skyscrapers and detonating them inside the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol, at a courthouse in Boston, at a Wall Street restaurant packed with lunchtime diners. Radicals who robbed dozens of banks and assassinated policemen, in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta. The FBI's fevered response included the formation of a secret task force called Squad 47, dedicated to hunting the groups down and rolling them up. But Squad 47 itself was not overly squeamish about legal niceties, and its efforts ultimately ended in fiasco. Benefiting from the extraordinary number of people from the underground and the FBI who speak about their experiences for the first time, Days of Rage is filled with important revelations and fresh details about the major revolutionaries and their connections and about the FBI and its desperate efforts to make the bombings stop. The result is mesmerizing and completely new--a book that takes us into the hearts and minds of homegrown terrorists and federal agents alike and weaves their stories into a spellbinding secret history of the 1970s. 'In spellbinding fashion, Bryan Burrough's Days of Rage brilliantly explicates one of the most confounding periods of recent American history--the era when a web of home-grown radicals and self-styled anarchists busily plotted the overthrow of the American government. Rarely has such a subject been matched with a writer and reporter of Burrough's extraordinary skill. I could not put the book down; you won't be able to, either.' William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards, Money and Power, and The Price of Silence 'A fascinating portrait of the all-but-forgotten radical underground of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Burroughs gives us the first full picture of a secret world where radical dreams often ended in personal and political tragedy.' Beverly Gage, Yale University; author of The Day Wall Street Exploded 'Bryan Burrough gives the story of America's armed underground revolutionaries of the 1960s and 1970s what it has long desperately needed: Clarity, levelheadedness, context, and reportorial rigor. He has sifted the embers of an essential conflagration of the counterculture, found within it a suspenseful and enlightening history, and told it in a way that is blessedly free of cant or point-scoring.' Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back 'Bryan Burrough has delivered a terrific piece of research, reportage and storytelling. Those who lived through the period of America's radical underground, as I did, will be amazed to learn how much they didn't.' Paul Ingrassia, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Engines of Change and Crash Course

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ISBN: 9781594204296

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