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Abbie Hoffman

Abbie Hoffman visiting the University of Oklahoma to protest the Vietnam War
Born November 30, 1936(1936-11-30)
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died April 12, 1989 (aged 52)
New Hope, Pennsylvania, United States
Other names Free, Barry Freed
Occupation Social and political activist, writer

Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was an American social and political activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). Later he became a fugitive from the law, living under an alias and working as an environmentalist following a conviction for dealing cocaine.[1]

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.

Hoffman came to prominence in the 1960s, and continued practicing his activism in the 1970s, and has remained a symbol of the youth rebellion and radical activism of that era.[2]

Contents

Biography

Early life and education

Hoffman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to John Hoffman and Florence Schamberg, who were of Jewish descent. Hoffman was raised in a middle class household, and was the oldest of three children. On June 3, 1954, the 17-year-old Hoffman landed his first arrest, being charged with driving without a license. This arrest resulted in his being expelled from his public high school, after which he attended Worcester Academy, graduating in 1955. He then enrolled in Brandeis University, completing his B.A. in American Studies in 1959. At Brandeis, he studied under professors such as noted psychologist Abraham Maslow, often considered the father of humanistic psychology.[3] He later earned a master's degree in psychology from UC Berkeley.

Early protests

Prior to his days as a leading member of the Yippie movement, Hoffman was involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and organized "Liberty House", which sold items to support the Civil Rights Movement in the southern United States. During the Vietnam War, Hoffman was an anti-war activist, who used deliberately comical and theatrical tactics, such as organizing a mass demonstration in which over 50,000 people would attempt to use psychic energy to levitate The Pentagon until it would turn orange and begin to vibrate, at which time the war in Vietnam would end.[4] Hoffman's symbolic theatrics were successful at convincing many young people to become more active in the politics of the time.[4]

Another one of Hoffman's well-known protests was on August 24, 1967, when he led members of the movement to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The protesters threw fistfuls of dollars down to the traders below, some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could. [5] Accounts of the amount of money that Hoffman and the group tossed was said to be as little as $30.00 to $300.00.[6] Hoffman claimed to be pointing out that, metaphorically, that's what NYSE traders "were already doing." "We didn't call the press", wrote Hoffman, "at that time we really had no notion of anything called a media event." The press was quick to respond and by evening the event was reported around the world. Since that incident, the stock exchange has spent $20,000 to enclose the gallery with bulletproof glass.[7]

Chicago Seven conspiracy trial

Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in anti-Vietnam War protests, which were met by a violent police response during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.[8] He was among the group that came to be known as the Chicago Seven (originally known as the Chicago Eight), which included fellow Yippie Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, future California state senator Tom Hayden and Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale (before his trial was severed from the others).

The Chicago Eight became the "Chicago Seven" when Bobby Seale was ordered to be bound, gagged and tried separately by Judge Hoffman after repeated requests to represent himself in court.

Presided over by Judge Julius Hoffman (no relation to Abbie, which Abbie joked about throughout the trial), Abbie Hoffman's courtroom antics frequently grabbed the headlines; one day, defendants Hoffman and Rubin appeared in court dressed in judicial robes, while on another day, Hoffman was sworn in as a witness with his hand giving the finger. Judge Hoffman became the favorite courtroom target of the Chicago Seven defendants, who frequently would insult the judge to his face.[9] Abbie Hoffman told Judge Hoffman "you are a 'shande fur de Goyim' [disgrace in front of the gentiles]. You would have served Hitler better." He later added that "your idea of justice is the only obscenity in the room."[9] Both Davis and Rubin told the Judge "this court is bullshit." When Abbie was asked in what state he resided, he replied the "state of mind of my brothers and sisters".

Other celebrities were called as "cultural witnesses" including Allen Ginsburg, Arlo Guthrie, Norman Mailer and others. Abbie closed the trial with a speech in which he quoted the revolutionary words of Abraham Lincoln, making the claim that the President himself, if alive today, would also be arrested in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

On February 18, 1970, Hoffman and four of the other defendants (Rubin, Dellinger, Davis, and Hayden) were found guilty of intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines. All seven defendants were found not guilty of conspiracy. At sentencing, Hoffman suggested the judge try LSD and offered to set him up with "a dealer he knew in Florida" (the judge was known to be headed to Florida for a post-trial vacation). Each of the five was sentenced to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.[10]

However, all convictions were subsequently overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Controversy at Woodstock

At Woodstock in 1969, Hoffman interrupted The Who's performance to attempt a protest speech against the jailing of John Sinclair of the White Panther Party. He grabbed a microphone and yelled, "I think this is a pile of shit while John Sinclair rots in prison. . ." The Who's guitarist, Pete Townshend, was adjusting his amp between songs and turned to look at Hoffman over his right shoulder. Townshend ran with his Gibson SG and rammed it into Hoffman's upper middle back. Hoffman turned with mouth gaping, back arched with one hand trying to reach the injury as Townshend, disgruntled and yelling "Fuck off! Fuck off my stage," put a hand in Hoffman's face and shoved him backwards to stage right. Townshend then said "I can dig it." The rest of the band looked at one another not sure what was going to happen next. Townshend, frustrated by the interruption, windmilled into the next song ("Do You Think It's Alright"). The band regained composure and followed. After that song, Townshend walked over to Hoffman, who was sitting on the right hand side of stage with his arms around his knees. Townshend leaned over and said something to him then gave him a smack up behind the head. Townshend later said that while he actually agreed with Hoffman on Sinclair's imprisonment, he would have knocked him offstage regardless of the content of his message, given that Hoffman had violated the "sanctity of the stage", i.e., the right of the band to perform uninterrupted by distractions not relevant to the actual show. The incident took place during a camera change, and was not captured on film. The audio of this incident, however, can be heard on the The Who's box set, Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Disc 2, Track 20, "Abbie Hoffman Incident").

In his autobiography, Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture, Hoffman wrote that the incident played out like this:

If you ever heard about me in connection with the festival it was not for playing Florence Nightingale to the flower children. What you heard was the following: "Oh, him, yeah, didn't he grab the microphone, try to make a speech when Peter Townshend cracked him over the head with his guitar?" I've seen countless references to the incident, even a mammoth mural of the scene. What I've failed to find was a single photo of the incident. Why? Because it didn't really happen.

I grabbed the microphone all right and made a little speech about John Sinclair, who had just been sentenced to ten years in the Michigan State Penitentiary for giving two joints of grass to two undercover cops, and how we should take the strength we had at Woodstock home to free our brothers and sisters in jail. Something like that. Townshend, who had been tuning up, turned around and bumped into me. A nonincident really. Hundreds of photos and miles of film exist depicting the events on that stage, but none of this much-talked about scene.

In Woodstock Nation, Hoffman mentions the incident, and says he was on a bad LSD trip at the time. Joe Shea, then a reporter for the Times Herald-Record, a Dow Jones-Ottaway newspaper that covered the event on-site, said he saw the incident. He recalled that Hoffman was actually hit in the back of the head by Townshend's guitar and toppled directly into the pit in front of the stage. He doesn't recall any "shove" from Townshend, and discounts both men's accounts.

Underground

In 1971, Hoffman published Steal This Book, which advised readers on how to live basically for free. Many of his readers followed Hoffman's advice and stole the book, leading many bookstores to refuse to carry it. He was also the author of several other books, including Vote!, co-written with Rubin and Ed Sanders.[11] Hoffman was arrested August 28, 1973 on drug charges for intent to sell and distribute cocaine. He always maintained that undercover police agents entrapped him into a drug deal and planted suitcases of cocaine in his office. In the spring of 1974, Hoffman skipped bail, underwent cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance, and hid from authorities for several years.

Despite being "in hiding" during part of this period living in Fineview, New York near Thousand Island Park, a private resort on Wellesley Island on the St. Lawrence River under the name "Barry Freed", he helped coordinate an environmental campaign to preserve the Saint Lawrence River (Save the River organization).[12] During his time on the run, he was also the "travel" columnist for Crawdaddy! magazine. On September 4, 1980, he surrendered to authorities; on the same date, he appeared on a pre-taped edition of ABC-TV's 20/20 in an interview with Barbara Walters. Hoffman received a one-year sentence, but was released after four months.

Back to visibility

In November 1986 Hoffman was arrested along with fourteen others, including Amy Carter, the daughter of former President Jimmy Carter, for trespassing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The charges stemmed from a protest against the Central Intelligence Agency's recruitment on the UMass campus. Since the university's policy limited campus recruitment to law-abiding organizations, Hoffman asserted in his defense the CIA's lawbreaking activities. The federal district court judge permitted expert witnesses, including former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and a former CIA agent who testified about the CIA's illegal Contra war against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua in violation of the Boland Amendment.[13]

In three days of testimony, more than a dozen defense witnesses, including Daniel Ellsberg, Ramsey Clark, and former Contra leader Edgar Chamorro, described the CIA's role in more than two decades of covert, illegal and often violent activities. In his closing argument, Hoffman, acting as his own attorney, placed his actions within the best tradition of American civil disobedience. He quoted from Thomas Paine, "the most outspoken and farsighted of the leaders of the American Revolution": "Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it. Man has no property in man, neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow."

As Hoffman concluded: "Thomas Paine was talking about this spring day in this courtroom. A verdict of not guilty will say, 'When our country is right, keep it right; but when it is wrong, right those wrongs.'" On April 15, 1987, the jury found Hoffman and the other defendants not guilty.

After his acquittal, Hoffman acted in a cameo appearance in Oliver Stone's later-released anti-Vietnam War movie, Born on the Fourth of July. He essentially played himself in the movie, waving a flag on the ramparts of an administration building during a campus protest that was being teargassed and crushed by state troopers.

In 1987, Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers wrote Steal This Urine Test (published October 5, 1987), which exposed the internal contradictions of the War on Drugs and suggested ways to circumvent its most intrusive measures. He stated, for instance, that Federal Express, which received high praise from management guru Tom Peters for "empowering" workers, in fact subjected most employees to random drug tests, firing any that got a positive result, with no retest or appeal procedure, despite the fact that FedEx chose a drug lab (the lowest bidder) with a proven record of frequent false positive results.

Stone's Born on the Fourth of July was released on December 20, 1989, more than eight months after Hoffman's suicide on April 12, 1989. At the time of his death, Hoffman was at the height of a renewed public visibility, one of the few '60s radicals who still commanded the attention of all kinds of mass media. He regularly lectured audiences about the CIA's covert activities, including assassinations disguised as suicides. His Playboy article (October, 1988) outlining the connections that constitute the "October Surprise", brought that alleged conspiracy to the attention of a wide-ranging American readership for the first time.

Personal life

In 1960, Hoffman married Sheila Karklin and had two children: Andrew (b. 1960) and Amy (1962–2007), who later went by the name Ilya. They divorced in 1966.

In 1967, Hoffman married Anita Kushner. They had one child, america Hoffman, deliberately named using a lowercase "a" to indicate both patriotism and non-jingoistic intent[14] (america later took the name Alan). Although Abbie and Anita were effectively separated after Abbie became a fugitive starting in 1973 and he subsequently fell in love with Johanna Lawrenson in 1974 while a fugitive, they were not formally divorced until 1980.

His personal life drew a great deal of scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By their own admission, they kept a file on him that was 13,262 pages long.[15]

Death

Hoffman was 52 at the time of his death on April 12, 1989, which was caused by swallowing 150 Phenobarbital tablets. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1980;[16] while he recently changed treatment medications, he claimed in public to have been upset about his elderly mother, Florence's, cancer diagnosis (Jezer, 1993). Hoffman's body was found in his apartment in a converted turkey coop on Sugan Road in Solebury Township, near New Hope, Pennsylvania. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by about 200 pages of his own handwritten notes, many about his own moods.

His death was officially ruled a suicide.[17] As reported by The New York Times, "Among the more vocal doubters at the service today was Mr. Dellinger, who said, 'I don't believe for one moment the suicide thing.' He said he had been in fairly frequent touch with Mr. Hoffman, who had 'numerous plans for the future.'" Yet the same New York Times article reported that the coroner found the residue of about 150 pills and quoted the coroner in a telephone interview saying 'There is no way to take that amount of phenobarbital without intent. It was intentional and self-inflicted.' [17]

A week after Hoffman's death, a thousand friends and relatives gathered for a memorial in Worcester, Massachusetts at Temple Emanuel, the synagogue he attended as a child. Senior Rabbi Norman Mendel officiated. Two of his colleagues from the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial were there: David Dellinger and Jerry Rubin, Hoffman's co-founder of the Yippies, by then a businessman.

As The New York Times reported: "Indeed, most of the mourners who attended the formal memorial at Temple Emanuel here were more yuppie than yippie and there were more rep ties than ripped jeans among the crowd…."

The Times report continued:

Bill Walton, the radical Celtic of basketball renown, told of a puckish Abbie, then underground evading a cocaine charge in the '70s, leaping from the shadows on a New York street to give him an impromptu basketball lesson after a loss to the Knicks. 'Abbie was not a fugitive from justice,' said Mr. Walton. 'Justice was a fugitive from him.' On a more traditional note, Rabbi Norman Mendell said in his eulogy that Mr. Hoffman's long history of protest, antic though much of it had been, was 'in the Jewish prophetic tradition, which is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.'

He was posthumously awarded the Courage of Conscience award September 26, 1992.[18]

Portrayals

Hoffman's life was dramatized in the 2000 film Steal This Movie, in which he was portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio.

In the 1975 work The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Hoffman briefly appears, having a discussion with Apollonius of Tyana.

In the 1987 HBO television movie Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8, Hoffman was portrayed by Michael Lembeck.

He was portrayed by Richard D'Alessandro in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump speaking against "the war in Viet-fucking-nam" at a protest rally at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool facing the Washington Monument.

Hank Azaria's voice is heard as the animated Hoffman in the film Chicago 10.

Sacha Baron Cohen has been cast as Hoffman in Steven Spielberg's film The Trial of the Chicago Seven.[19]

Thomas Ian Nicholas portrays Abbie in the 2010 film entitled * "The Chicago 8"

Bibliography

Books

  • Fuck the System (pamphlet, 1967) printed under the pseudonym George Metesky
  • Revolution For the Hell of It (1968, Dial Press) published under the pseudonym "Free"
    • Revolution for the Hell of It: The Book That Earned Abbie Hoffman a 5 Year Prison Term at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial (2005 reprint, ISBN 1560256907)
  • Woodstock Nation: A Talk-Rock Album (1969, Random House)
  • Steal This Book (1971, Pirate Editions)
  • Vote! A Record, A Dialogue, A Manifesto – Miami Beach, 1972 And Beyond (1972, Warner Books) by Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Ed Sanders
  • To America With Love: Letters From the Underground (1976, Stonehill Publishing) by Hoffman and Anita Hoffman
    • To America With Love: Letters From the Underground (2000 second edition, ISBN 1888996285)
  • Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (1980, Perigee, ISBN 0399505032)
    • The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman (2000 second edition, ISBN 1568581971)
  • Square Dancing in the Ice Age: Underground Writings (1982, Putnam, ISBN 0399127011)
  • Steal This Urine Test: Fighting Drug Hysteria in America (1987, Penguin, ISBN 0140104003) by Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers
  • The Best of Abbie Hoffman (1990, Four Walls Eight Windows, ISBN 0941423425)
  • Preserving Disorder: The Faking of the President 1988 (1999, Viking, ISBN 067082349X) by Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers

Record

  • Wake Up, America! Big Toe Records (1970)

Theatre Festival

The Mary-Archie Theatre Company in Chicago started the "Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins" Theatre Festival in 1988. This festival runs every year for 3 consecutive days as a celebration of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969. Festival website

Media

Interviews

Appearances

References

  1. ^ JOHN T. MCQUISTON (1989-04-14). "Abbie Hoffman, 60's Icon, Dies; Yippie Movement Founder Was 52". http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE3DF1030F937A25757C0A96F948260&scp=4&sq=abbie%20hoffman%20died&st=cse. Retrieved 2008-10-08.  
  2. ^ Abbie Hoffman Dies New York Times
  3. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. pp. 20–23. ISBN 0-8135-2017-7.  
  4. ^ a b "Abbie Hoffman". Teaching.com. 1997. http://www.teaching.com/earthday97/center/text/webstock19.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-01.  
  5. ^ Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture: The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman, First Edition, Perigree Books, 1980, p. 101.
  6. ^ [Ledbetter, James (August 23, 2007). "The day the NYSE went Yippe". CNNMoney.com. http://money.cnn.com/2007/07/17/news/funny/abbie_hoffman/index.htm?postversion=2007082314. Retrieved December 23, 2009.  
  7. ^ Blair, Cynthia. "1967: Hippies Toss Dollar Bills onto NYSE Floor". It Happened In New York. Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/about/ny-ihonyindex2004,0,6301617.htmlstory. Retrieved 2006-04-01.   For Hoffman's account of the events of the day, see his 1968 book Revolution for the Hell of It: The Book That Earned Abbie Hoffman a 5 Year Prison Term at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial (reprint edition New York, Thunder's Mouth Press:2005) ISBN 1-56025-690-7
  8. ^ Excerpts from his testimony at the trial can be found here.
  9. ^ a b J. ANTHONY LUKAS (1970-02-06). "Judge Hoffman Is Taunted at Trial of the Chicago 7 After Silencing Defense Counsel". The New York Times (paid access). http://select.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F60716F6355B157493C4A91789D85F448785F9. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  10. ^ Linder, Douglas O. "The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial." UMKC School of Law. Accessed 2008-10-23. This article gives a detailed description of the trial, the events leading up to it, the reversal on appeal and the aftermath.
  11. ^ Brate, Adam. Technomanifestos, chapter 8. Texere, June 2002.
  12. ^ "Save the River!". Savetheriver.org. http://www.savetheriver.org/. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  
  13. ^ "University of Massachusetts". Cia-on-campus.org. http://www.cia-on-campus.org/umass.edu/trial.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  
  14. ^ Children of the revolution The Guardian
  15. ^ http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/foiaindex_h.htm
  16. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2017-7.   p. xvii: "Abbie was diagnosed in 1980 as having bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic depression." ISBN 0-8135-2017-7"
  17. ^ a b Abbie Hoffman Committed Suicide Using Barbiturates, Autopsy Shows New York Times
  18. ^ "The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Recipients List". Peaceabbey.org. http://www.peaceabbey.org/awards/cocrecipientlist.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  
  19. ^ Harlow, John (2007-12-30). "No more jokes as Borat turns war protester". London: Times Online. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3108058.ece. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  

Further reading

  • Hoffman, Jack, and Daniel Simon (1994). Run Run Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman. Tarcher/Putnam. ISBN 0-87477-760-7
  • Raskin, Jonah (1996). For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20575-8

External links


Abbie Hoffman
File:Abbie Hoffman visiting the University of Oklahoma circa
Abbie Hoffman visiting the University of Oklahoma to protest the Vietnam War
Full name Abbie Hoffman
Other names FREE!, Barry Freed
Born November 30, 1936(1936-11-30)
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died April 12, 1989 (aged 52)
New Hope, Pennsylvania, United States
Main interests Marxism, Anarchism, The medium is the message, Guerrilla theatre, Communal living, Psychology, Social revolution, Media impacts on society, Media theory, Counterculture of the 1960s
Notable ideas "Total unemployment" and the end of work, Gift economics, Drop-out culture, Free stores, The abolition of money, Woodstock Nation, Revolution in the United States as a means to end the Vietnam War

Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was an American social and political 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 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 and radical activism of that era.[1]

Contents

Biography

Early life and education

Hoffman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to John Hoffman and Florence Schamberg, who were of Jewish descent. Hoffman was raised in a middle class household, and was the oldest of three children. On June 3, 1954, the 17-year-old Hoffman was arrested for the first time, for driving without a license. In his sophomore year, Hoffman was expelled from Classical High School, a now-closed public high school in Worcester, after a disagreement with an English teacher.[2] After this he attended Worcester Academy, graduating in 1955. He then enrolled in Brandeis University, completing his B.A. in Psychology in 1959. At Brandeis, he studied under professors such as noted psychologist Abraham Maslow, often considered the father of humanistic psychology.[3] Hoffman later enrolled at University of California, Berkeley in attempts to earn a Master's Degree in Psychology. He later dropped out to marry his girlfriend, Sheila Karklin, who had recently become pregnant.

Early protests

Prior to his days as a leading member of the Yippie movement, Hoffman was involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and organized "Liberty House", which sold items to support the Civil Rights Movement in the southern United States. During the Vietnam War, Hoffman was an anti-war activist, who used deliberately comical and theatrical tactics.

In October of 1967, David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam asked Jerry Rubin to help mobilize and direct a March on the Pentagon.[4] The protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial as Dellinger and Dr. Benjamin Spock gave speeches to the mass of people.[5] From there, the group marched towards the Pentagon. As the protesters neared the Pentagon, they were met by soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division.[5] who formed a human barricade blocking the Pentagon steps.[4] Not to be dissuaded, Hoffman vowed to levitate the Pentagon[5] claiming he would attempt to use psychic energy to levitate the Pentagon until it would turn orange and begin to vibrate, at which time the war in Vietnam would end.[6] Allen Ginsberg led Tibetan chants to assist Hoffman.[5]

Hoffman's symbolic theatrics were successful at convincing many young people to become more active in the politics of the time.[6]

Another one of Hoffman's well-known protests was on August 24, 1967, when he led members of the movement to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The protesters threw fistfuls of dollars down to the traders below, some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could. [7] Accounts of the amount of money that Hoffman and the group tossed was said to be as little as $30 to $300.[8] Hoffman claimed to be pointing out that, metaphorically, that's what NYSE traders "were already doing." "We didn't call the press", wrote Hoffman, "at that time we really had no notion of anything called a media event." The press was quick to respond and by evening the event was reported around the world. Since that incident, the stock exchange has spent $20,000 to enclose the gallery with bulletproof glass.[9]

Meeting the Diggers

In late 1966, Hoffman met with a radical community-action group called the Diggers [10] and studied their ideology. He later returned to New York and published a book with this knowledge.[10] Doing so was considered a violation by the Diggers.

Diggers co-founder Peter Coyote explained:

Abbie, who was a friend of mine, was always a media junky. We explained everything to those guys, and they violated everything we taught them. Abbie went back, and the first thing he did was publish a book, with his picture on it, that blew the hustle of every poor person on the Lower East Side by describing every free scam then current in New York -- which were then sucked dry by disaffected kids from Scarsdale.[11]

Chicago Eight conspiracy trial

Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in anti-Vietnam War protests, which were met by a violent police response during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.[12] He was among the group that came to be known as the Chicago Seven (originally known as the Chicago Eight), which included fellow Yippie Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, future California state senator Tom Hayden and Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale (before his trial was severed from the others).

Presided over by Judge Julius Hoffman (no relation to Abbie, which Abbie joked about throughout the trial[13]), Abbie Hoffman's courtroom antics frequently grabbed the headlines; one day, defendants Hoffman and Rubin appeared in court dressed in judicial robes, while on another day, Hoffman was sworn in as a witness with his hand giving the finger. Judge Hoffman became the favorite courtroom target of the Chicago Seven defendants, who frequently would insult the judge to his face.[14] Abbie Hoffman told Judge Hoffman "you are a 'shande fur de Goyim' [disgrace in front of the gentiles]. You would have served Hitler better." He later added that "your idea of justice is the only obscenity in the room."[14] Both Davis and Rubin told the Judge "this court is bullshit." When Abbie was asked in what state he resided, he replied the "state of mind of my brothers and sisters".

Other celebrities were called as "cultural witnesses" including Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, Arlo Guthrie, Norman Mailer and others. Abbie closed the trial with a speech in which he quoted Abraham Lincoln, making the claim that the President himself, if alive today, would also be arrested in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

On February 18, 1970, Hoffman and four of the other defendants (Rubin, Dellinger, Davis, and Hayden) were found guilty of intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines. All seven defendants were found not guilty of conspiracy. At sentencing, Hoffman suggested the judge try LSD and offered to set him up with "a dealer he knew in Florida" (the judge was known to be headed to Florida for a post-trial vacation). Each of the five was sentenced to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.[15]

However, all convictions were subsequently overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Controversy at Woodstock

At Woodstock in 1969, Hoffman reportedly interrupted The Who's performance to attempt to speak against the jailing of John Sinclair of the White Panther Party. He grabbed a microphone and yelled, "I think this is a pile of shit while John Sinclair rots in prison ..." The Who's guitarist, Pete Townshend, was adjusting his amplifier between songs and turned to look at Hoffman over his right shoulder. Townshend ran with his Gibson SG and rammed it into the middle of Hoffman's upper back. Hoffman turned with mouth gaping, back arched, with one hand trying to reach the injury as Townshend, disgruntled and yelling "Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage,"[16] put a hand in Hoffman's face and shoved him backwards to stage right. Townshend then said, "I can dig it." The rest of the band looked at one another, not sure what was going to happen next. Townshend, frustrated by the interruption, windmilled into the next song. The band regained composure and followed. After that song, Townshend walked over to Hoffman, who was sitting on the right hand side of the stage with his arms around his knees. Townshend leaned over and said something to him, and gave him a smack in the head. Townshend later said that while he actually agreed with Hoffman on Sinclair's imprisonment, he would have knocked him offstage regardless of the content of his message, given that Hoffman had violated the "sanctity of the stage," i.e., the right of the band to perform uninterrupted by distractions not relevant to the actual show. The incident took place during a camera change, and was not captured on film. The audio of this incident, however, can be heard on the The Who's box set, Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Disc 2, Track 20, "Abbie Hoffman Incident").

In his autobiography, Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture, Hoffman wrote that the incident played out like this:

If you ever heard about me in connection with the festival it was not for playing Florence Nightingale to the flower children. What you heard was the following: "Oh, him, yeah, didn't he grab the microphone, try to make a speech when Peter Townshend cracked him over the head with his guitar?" I've seen countless references to the incident, even a mammoth mural of the scene. What I've failed to find was a single photo of the incident. Why? Because it didn't really happen.

I grabbed the microphone all right and made a little speech about John Sinclair, who had just been sentenced to ten years in the Michigan State Penitentiary for giving two joints of grass to two undercover cops, and how we should take the strength we had at Woodstock home to free our brothers and sisters in jail. Something like that. Townshend, who had been tuning up, turned around and bumped into me. A nonincident really. Hundreds of photos and miles of film exist depicting the events on that stage, but none of this much-talked about scene.

In Woodstock Nation, Hoffman mentions the incident, and says he was on a bad LSD trip at the time. Joe Shea, then a reporter for the Times Herald-Record, a Dow Jones-Ottaway newspaper that covered the event on-site, said he saw the incident. He recalled that Hoffman was actually hit in the back of the head by Townshend's guitar and toppled directly into the pit in front of the stage. He doesn't recall any "shove" from Townshend, and discounts both men's accounts.

Underground

In 1971, Hoffman published Steal This Book, which advised readers on how to live basically for free. Many of his readers followed Hoffman's advice and stole the book, leading many bookstores to refuse to carry it. He was also the author of several other books, including Vote!, co-written with Rubin and Ed Sanders.[17] Hoffman was arrested August 28, 1973 on drug charges for intent to sell and distribute cocaine. He always maintained that undercover police agents entrapped him into a drug deal and planted suitcases of cocaine in his office. In the spring of 1974, Hoffman skipped bail, underwent cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance, and hid from authorities for several years.

Some believed Abbie made himself a target. In 1998, Peter Coyote opined:

The FBI couldn't infiltrate us. We did everything anonymously, and we did everything for nothing, because we wanted our actions to be authentic. It's the mistake that Abbie Hoffman made. He came out, he studied with us, we taught him everything, and then he went back and wrote a book called Free, and he put his name on it! He set himself up to be a leader of the counterculture, and he was undone by that. Big mistake.[18]

Despite being "in hiding" during part of this period (Hoffman lived in Fineview, New York near Thousand Island Park, a private resort on Wellesley Island on the St. Lawrence River under the name "Barry Freed"), he helped coordinate an environmental campaign to preserve the Saint Lawrence River (Save the River organization).[19] During his time on the run, he was also the "travel" columnist for Crawdaddy! magazine. On September 4, 1980, he surrendered to authorities; on the same date, he appeared on a pre-taped edition of ABC-TV's 20/20 in an interview with Barbara Walters. Hoffman received a one-year sentence, but was released after four months.

Back to visibility

In November ,Hoffman was arrested along with fourteen others, including Amy Carter, the daughter of former President Jimmy Carter, for trespassing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.[20] The charges stemmed from a protest against the Central Intelligence Agency's recruitment on the UMass campus.[21] Since the university's policy limited campus recruitment to law-abiding organizations, Hoffman asserted in his defense the CIA's lawbreaking activities. The federal district court judge permitted expert witnesses, including former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and a former CIA agent who testified about the CIA's illegal Contra war against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua in violation of the Boland Amendment.[22]

In three days of testimony, more than a dozen defense witnesses, including Daniel Ellsberg, Ramsey Clark, and former Contra leader Edgar Chamorro, described the CIA's role in more than two decades of covert, illegal and often violent activities. In his closing argument, Hoffman, acting as his own attorney, placed his actions within the best tradition of American civil disobedience. He quoted from Thomas Paine, "the most outspoken and farsighted of the leaders of the American Revolution: "Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it. Man has no property in man, neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow."

As Hoffman concluded: "Thomas Paine was talking about this spring day in this courtroom. A verdict of not guilty will say, 'When our country is right, keep it right; but when it is wrong, right those wrongs.'" On April 15, 1987, the jury found Hoffman and the other defendants not guilty.

After his acquittal,[21] Hoffman acted in a cameo appearance in Oliver Stone's later-released anti-Vietnam War movie, Born on the Fourth of July.[23] He essentially played himself in the movie, waving a flag on the ramparts of an administration building during a campus protest that was being teargassed and crushed by state troopers.

In 1987 Hoffman summed up his views.

You are talking to a leftist. I believe in the redistribution of wealth and power in the world. I believe in universal hospital care for everyone. I believe that we should not have a single homeless person in the richest country in the world. And I believe that we should not have a C.I.A. that goes around overwhelming governments and assassinating political leaders, working for tight oligarchies around the world to protect the tight oligarchy here at home.[20]

Later that same year, Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers wrote Steal This Urine Test (published October 5, 1987), which exposed the internal contradictions of the War on Drugs and suggested ways to circumvent its most intrusive measures. He stated, for instance, that Federal Express, which received high praise from management guru Tom Peters for "empowering" workers, in fact subjected most employees to random drug tests, firing any who got a positive result, with no retest or appeal procedure, despite the fact that FedEx chose a drug lab (the lowest bidder) with a proven record of frequent false positive results.[citation needed]

Stone's Born on the Fourth of July was released on December 20, 1989, more than eight months after Hoffman's suicide on April 12, 1989. At the time of his death, Hoffman was at the height of a renewed public visibility, one of the few '60s radicals who still commanded the attention of all kinds of mass media. He regularly lectured audiences about the CIA's covert activities, including assassinations disguised as suicides. His Playboy article (October, 1988) outlining the connections that constitute the "October Surprise," brought that alleged conspiracy to the attention of a wide-ranging American readership for the first time.[24]

Personal life

In 1960, Hoffman married Sheila Karklin[2] and had two children: Andrew (b. 1960) and Amy (1962–2007), who later went by the name Ilya. They divorced in 1966.

In 1967, Hoffman married Anita Kushner in Manhattan's Central Park.[25] They had one son, america Hoffman, deliberately named using a lowercase "a" to indicate both patriotism and non-jingoistic intent[26] (america later took the name Allan). Although Abbie and Anita were effectively separated after Abbie became a fugitive, starting in 1973, and he subsequently fell in love with Johanna Lawrenson in 1974, while a fugitive, they were not formally divorced until 1980.

His personal life drew a great deal of scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By their own admission, they kept a file on him that was 13,262 pages long.[27]

Death

Hoffman was 52 at the time of his death on April 12, 1989, which was caused by swallowing 150 Phenobarbital tablets. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1980;[28] while he recently changed treatment medications, he claimed in public to have been upset about his elderly mother, Florence's, cancer diagnosis (Jezer, 1993). Hoffman's body was found in his apartment in a converted turkey coop on Sugan Road in Solebury Township, near New Hope, Pennsylvania. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by about 200 pages of his own handwritten notes, many about his own moods.

His death was officially ruled a suicide.[29] As reported by The New York Times, "Among the more vocal doubters at the service today was Mr. Dellinger, who said, 'I don't believe for one moment the suicide thing.' He said he had been in fairly frequent touch with Mr. Hoffman, who had 'numerous plans for the future.'" Yet the same New York Times article reported that the coroner found the residue of about 150 pills and quoted the coroner in a telephone interview saying 'There is no way to take that amount of phenobarbital without intent. It was intentional and self-inflicted.' [29]

A week after Hoffman's death, a thousand friends and relatives gathered for a memorial in Worcester, Massachusetts at Temple Emanuel, the synagogue he attended as a child. Senior Rabbi Norman Mendel officiated. Two of his colleagues from the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial were there: David Dellinger and Jerry Rubin, Hoffman's co-founder of the Yippies, by then a businessman.

As The New York Times reported: "Indeed, most of the mourners who attended the formal memorial at Temple Emanuel here were more yuppie than yippie and there were more rep ties than ripped jeans among the crowd..."[30]

The Times report continued:

Bill Walton, the radical Celtic of basketball renown, told of a puckish Abbie, then underground evading a cocaine charge in the '70s, leaping from the shadows on a New York street to give him an impromptu basketball lesson after a loss to the Knicks. 'Abbie was not a fugitive from justice,' said Mr. Walton. 'Justice was a fugitive from him.' On a more traditional note, Rabbi Norman Mendell said in his eulogy that Mr. Hoffman's long history of protest, antic though much of it had been, was 'in the Jewish prophetic tradition, which is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.'[30]

Portrayals

Bibliography

Books

  • Fuck the System (pamphlet, 1967) printed under the pseudonym George Metesky
  • Revolution For the Hell of It (1968, Dial Press) published under the pseudonym "Free"
    • Revolution for the Hell of It: The Book That Earned Abbie Hoffman a 5 Year Prison Term at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial (2005 reprint, ISBN 1560256907)
  • Woodstock Nation: A Talk-Rock Album (1969, Random House)
  • Steal This Book (1971, Pirate Editions)
  • Vote! A Record, A Dialogue, A Manifesto – Miami Beach, 1972 And Beyond (1972, Warner Books) by Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Ed Sanders
  • To America With Love: Letters From the Underground (1976, Stonehill Publishing) by Hoffman and Anita Hoffman
    • To America With Love: Letters From the Underground (2000 second edition, ISBN 1888996285)
  • Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (1980, Perigee, ISBN 0399505032)
    • The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman (2000 second edition, ISBN 1568581971)
  • Square Dancing in the Ice Age: Underground Writings (1982, Putnam, ISBN 0399127011)
  • Steal This Urine Test: Fighting Drug Hysteria in America (1987, Penguin, ISBN 0140104003) by Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers
  • The Best of Abbie Hoffman (1990, Four Walls Eight Windows, ISBN 0941423425)
  • Preserving Disorder: The Faking of the President 1988 (1999, Viking, ISBN 067082349X) by Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers

Record

  • Wake Up, America! Big Toe Records (1970)

Theatre Festival

The Mary-Archie Theatre Company in Chicago started the "Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins" Theatre Festival in 1988. This festival runs every year for 3 consecutive days as a celebration of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969. Festival website

Media

Interviews

Appearances

References

  1. ^ Abbie Hoffman Dies New York Times
  2. ^ a b For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman
  3. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. pp. 20–23. ISBN 0-8135-2017-7. 
  4. ^ a b Levitate the Pentagon
  5. ^ a b c d The Day The Pentagon Was Supposed To Lift Off Into Space
  6. ^ a b "Abbie Hoffman". Teaching.com. 1997. http://www.teaching.com/earthday97/center/text/webstock19.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-01. [dead link]
  7. ^ Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture: The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman, First Edition, Perigree Books, 1980, p. 101.
  8. ^ Ledbetter, James (August 23, 2007). "The day the NYSE went Yippe". CNNMoney.com. http://money.cnn.com/2007/07/17/news/funny/abbie_hoffman/index.htm?postversion=2007082314. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  9. ^ Blair, Cynthia. "1967: Hippies Toss Dollar Bills onto NYSE Floor". It Happened In New York. Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/about/ny-ihonyindex2004,0,6301617.htmlstory. Retrieved 2006-04-01. [dead link] For Hoffman's account of the events of the day, see his 1968 book Revolution for the Hell of It: The Book That Earned Abbie Hoffman a 5 Year Prison Term at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial (reprint edition New York, Thunder's Mouth Press:2005) ISBN 1-56025-690-7
  10. ^ a b Sleeping Where I Fall: A Chronicle pg.71
  11. ^ Interview by Etan Ben-Ami Mill Valley, California January 12, 1989
  12. ^ Excerpts from his testimony at the trial can be found here.
  13. ^ Judge Julius Hoffman
  14. ^ a b J. ANTHONY LUKAS (1970-02-06). "Judge Hoffman Is Taunted at Trial of the Chicago 7 After Silencing Defense Counsel". The New York Times (paid access). http://select.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F60716F6355B157493C4A91789D85F448785F9. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  15. ^ Linder, Douglas O. "The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial." UMKC School of Law. Accessed 2008-10-23. This article gives a detailed description of the trial, the events leading up to it, the reversal on appeal and the aftermath.
  16. ^ "Top 10 Music-Festival Moments". Time. March 18, 2010. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1885895_1885893_1885874,00.html. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  17. ^ Brate, Adam. Technomanifestos, chapter 8. Texere, June 2002.
  18. ^ Los Angeles Times, 6/4/98
  19. ^ "Save the River!". Savetheriver.org. http://www.savetheriver.org/. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  20. ^ a b Abbie Hoffman, 60's Icon, Dies; Yippie Movement Founder Was 52
  21. ^ a b Amy Carter and Abbie Hoffman Win Acquittal, but They Want to Keep the C.i.a. on Trial
  22. ^ "University of Massachusetts". Cia-on-campus.org. http://www.cia-on-campus.org/umass.edu/trial.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  23. ^ Born on the Fourth of July IMDB
  24. ^ Playboy, Oct. 1988 (PDF)
  25. ^ Hoffman Wedding In Central Park
  26. ^ Children of the revolution The Guardian
  27. ^ http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/foiaindex_h.htm
  28. ^ Jezer, Marty (1993). Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2017-7.  p. xvii: "Abbie was diagnosed in 1980 as having bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic depression." ISBN 0-8135-2017-7"
  29. ^ a b Abbie Hoffman Committed Suicide Using Barbiturates, Autopsy Shows New York Times
  30. ^ a b Mourning, and Celebrating, a Radical
  31. ^ The Chicago 8 IMDB
  32. ^ Harlow, John (2007-12-30). "No more jokes as Borat turns war protester". London: Times Online. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3108058.ece. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 

Further reading

  • Hoffman, Jack, and Daniel Simon (1994). Run Run Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman. Tarcher/Putnam. ISBN 0-87477-760-7
  • Raskin, Jonah (1996). For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20575-8

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.

Abbott Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (30 November 193612 April 1989) was a social and political activist in the United States, co-founder of the Youth International Party ("Yippies"), and later, a fugitive from the law, who lived under an alias following a conviction for dealing cocaine.

Contents

Sourced

Harsher penalties, urine testing, hysteria, budget cuts and the simplistic "Just Say No!' campaign (the equivalent of telling manic depressives to "just cheer up") have returned drug education and treatment to the Reefer Madness era.
Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
  • The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it. The second duty is to eat breakfast. I ain't going.
    • Spoken to police immediately prior to his arrest at the Lincoln Hotel Restaurant in Chicago (August 1968), quoting himself in "Creating the Perfect Mess" (1 September 1968) in Revolution for the Hell of It (1968); also quoted in Abbie Hoffman : American Rebel (1992) by Marty Jezer
  • All you kiddies remember to lay off the needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
    • "God Bless America — Shoot Nixon", on the spoken word album Wake Up America! (1970)
  • In this state, dig it, you get twenty years for sale of dope to a minor. You only get five to ten for manslaughter. So like, the thing is, if you're selling to a kid and cops come, shoot the kid real quick!
    • "Chicago", on the spoken word album Wake Up America! (1970)
  • I feel like a famous Indian Chief of the Fagowee nations, who led his tribe for 40 years in the desert amidst starvation, hunger, famine, strife, plague — finally staggered up to the top of this mountain, drug crazed, looked out and pounded his chest and said, "Where the fuck are we? Where the fuck are we?"
    • Wake Up America! (1970)
  • If this guy is God, then this is the God that the United States of America deserves.
  • For six years, the only consistent thing about our national drug policy has been its inconsistency. Harsher penalties, urine testing, hysteria, budget cuts and the simplistic "Just Say No!' campaign (the equivalent of telling manic depressives to "just cheer up") have returned drug education and treatment to the Reefer Madness era.
  • You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
    • Tikkun (July-August 1989); also quoted in The Best Liberal Quotes Ever : Why the Left is Right (2004) by William P. Martin, p. 51
  • I see Judaism as a way of life. Sticking up for the underdog. Being an outsider. A critic of society. The kid on the corner who says the emperor has no clothes on. The Prophet.
    • Tikkun (July-August 1989)
  • In the nineteen-sixties, apartheid was driven out of America. Legal segregation — Jim Crow — ended. We didn't end racism, but we ended legal segregation. We ended the idea that you can send a million soldiers ten thousand miles away to fight in a war that people do not support. We ended the idea that women are second-class citizens. Now, it doesn't matter who sits in the Oval Office. But the big battles that were won in that period of civil war and strife you cannot reverse. We were young, we were reckless, arrogant, silly, headstrong ... and we were right! I regret nothing!
    • Closing words from his last speech, Vanderbilt University (April 1989)
  • Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
    • As quoted in The New York Times (20 April 1989), though nuanced by Hoffman, this is probably derived from an anonymous saying recorded in Encyclopedia of Graffiti (1974) by Robert George Reisner and Lorraine Wechsler as "Sacred cows make great hamburgers."
  • It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List.
    • On the success of his book, Steal This Book, as quoted in Steal This Book Too!‎ (2004) by Sean Curtis
  • Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them.
    • p. v, The "steal yourself rich" book, 1971
  • Free speech is the right to shout theater in a crowded fire.
    • Abbie Hoffman, Soon to be a major motion picture, p. 214, 1980

Revolution for the Hell of It (1968)

  • THE KEY TO ORGANIZING AN ALTERNATIVE SOCIETY IS TO ORGANIZE PEOPLE AROUND WHAT THEY CAN DO AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.
    • p. 135
  • TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
    • p. 184
  • The best way to educate oneself is to become part of the revolution.
    • p. 184
  • I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.
    • p. 187
  • The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.
    • p. 188

Steal This Book (1971)

  • It's perhaps fitting that I write this introduction in jail.
    • Introduction
  • To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
    • Introduction, p. iv
  • Your body is just one in a mass of cuddly humanity. Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them. The duty of a revolutionary is to make love and that means staying alive and free. That doesn't allow for cop-outs. Smoking dope and hanging up Che's picture is no more a commitment than drinking milk and collecting postage stamps. A revolution in consciousness is an empty high without a revolution in the distribution of power.
    • Introduction, p. v
  • Usually when you ask somebody in college why they are there, they'll tell you it's to get an education. The truth of it is, they are there to get the degree so that they can get ahead in the rat race. Too many college radicals are two-timing punks.
    • "Free Education"

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture (1980)

  • A modern revolutionary group heads for the television station, not the factory. It concentrates its energy on infiltrating and changing the image system.
    • p. 86
  • There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning. I think I've learned that lesson twice now. The essence of successful revolution, be it for an individual, a community of individuals, or a nation, depends on accepting that challenge.
    • p. 297
  • Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit. When all today's isms have become yesterday's ancient philosophy, there will still be reactionaries and there will still be revolutionaries. No amount of rationalization can avoid the moment of choice each of us brings to our situation here on the planet. I still believe in the fundamental injustice of the profit system and do not accept the proposition there will be rich and poor for all eternity.
    • p. 297

Unsourced

  • I was probably the only revolutionary referred to as cute.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Abbie Hoffman
Born November 30, 1936(1936-11-30)
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died April 12, 1989 (aged 52)
New Hope, Pennsylvania, United States
Other names Free, Barry Freed
Occupation Social and political activist, writer

Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a social and political activist in the United States. He was later arrested following a conviction for selling cocaine.[1] He killed himself.

Portrayal in Media

Hoffman's life was dramatized in the 2000 movie Steal This Movie, in which he was portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio.

In the 1987 HBO television movie Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8, Michael Lembeck acted the part of Hoffman.

Richard D'Alessandro played the part of Hoffman in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump speaking against "the war in Viet-fucking-nam" at a protest rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

Hank Azaria's voice is heard as the animated Hoffman in the movie "Chicago 10".

Sacha Baron Cohen has been cast as Hoffman in Steven Spielberg's movie The Trial of the Chicago Seven.[2]

Other websites

References

  1. JOHN T. MCQUISTON (1989-04-14). "Abbie Hoffman, 60's Icon, Dies; Yippie Movement Founder Was 52". http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE3DF1030F937A25757C0A96F948260&scp=4&sq=abbie%20hoffman%20died&st=cse. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  2. Harlow, John (2007-12-30). "No more jokes as Borat turns war protester". Times Online. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3108058.ece. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
Persondata
NAME Hoffman, Abbott Howard
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Hoffman, Abbie
SHORT DESCRIPTION American activist
DATE OF BIRTH November 30, 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
DATE OF DEATH April 12, 1989
PLACE OF DEATH New Hope, Pennsylvania, United States








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