Category Archives: Weatherman

September 3, 2010, 9:10 pm

The Best Laid Plans; Or, Waiting for Earl

We were going to go to the beach for Labor Day weekend but have decided not to drive into the hurricane zone after all. Although Shoreline will get the edge of the system, meriting Tropical Storm status unless something changes, our Back To School destination was (is) about twenty five miles to the west of where Earl is destined to pass tomorrow afternoon. Everyone is talking about Bob, a Category 2 hurricane which, 19 years ago, took out power lines and trees from Long Island to Hartford, killed eighteen people and caused almost $3 billion in damage. At last report, although very wide, Earl had been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. It’s nothing to fool around with, and it will hammer eastern Massachusetts — but, although we are battening down the lawn furniture, we should have less trouble here.

That same 19 years ago, the Radicals were in the last two weeks of a summer-long…

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April 24, 2010, 2:23 pm

Terrorists With Good Intentions: A Review of American Subversive by David Goodwillie (Scribner, 2010), 309 pp. $25.00

A combination thriller and meditation on the state of radical politics in the 21st century, David Goodwillie’s American Subversive, just out this week, begins inside the head of gossip blogger Aidan Cole who, inexplicably, is in hiding in a neglected vacation home. Why, we are not yet sure. But what we do know is that someone who has epitomized the often aimless spirit of the New Media is locked away, managed by “handlers.” He is subsisting on radio and day-old newspapers for information about the outside world and wondering whether “putting [his story] down on paper” will help him figure out how he has ended up in this place. But where is this place, you might ask? Is he in the witness protection program? And how is it that he has been thrown back on outmoded instruments like paper and pencil?

Why indeed? And do we care?

Ultimately, yes, we do. American Subversive is a fun read,…

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April 20, 2009, 10:12 pm

Off The Radical Shelf– Chesa Boudin, Gringo: A Coming-Of-Age In Latin America (Scribners: 2009), $25.00. 226 pp.

Chesa Boudin’s first solo trip to the southern hemisphere was in 1999, an immersion visit to the colonia of San Andres, Guatemala, during his senior year in high school. The trip launched a passion for travel, and for seeing the swift political changes sweeping the global south first hand.

Over the course of the next ten years, Boudin would return repeatedly, visiting almost every country in Latin and Central America. He observed, and sometimes participated in, an evolving socialist political movement during a period in which neoliberal policies promoted by the United States and its allies at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund first wrecked economies and, eventually, country by country, inspired political change. Boudin, a Rhodes scholar who studied at Oxford and is now a law student at Yale, was in the right place at a lot of right times. In February 2002, he arrived …

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March 6, 2008, 1:50 pm

Good Morning, Vietnam: A Shout Out From An Old Radical To Some Younger Radicals

As a historian I know perfectly well that the war in Iraq has major differences from the war in Vietnam, and it’s not just because depleted uranium weapons are now used in conventional combat, or because the troops are fighting in sand for oil, as opposed to fighting in jungles against Communism. But when I was driving to rowing practice at around 5:00 a.m. and heard about this bombing of the military recruiting center in Times Square, I thought, Wow. That I should live to see this again in my lifetime.

When I was a kid in the 1960′s and ’70′s, such bombings were associated with an increasingly militarized anti-war movement, made up mostly of white college students. I followed the doings of the Weather Underground very closely: my research on this radical antiwar movement and an unhealthy fascination with the doings of the Philadelphia mob are probably what, in the end, either led me…

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