Little Red

Little Red : Three Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond

3.84 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the early 1960s, a remarkable crop of students graduated from a small New York City school renowned for progressive pedagogy and left-wing politics: Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School. These young people entered college at the peak of the transformative era we now call The Sixties, and would go on to impact the course of United States history for the next half century. Among them were Angela Davis, the brilliant, stunning African American Communist and academic who became the face of the Black Power movement; Tom Hurwitz, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) activist and cinematographer who played a key role in the occupation of Columbia University; and Elliott Abrams, who rebelled against the leftist political orthodoxies of the school and of the times, and ultimately played key roles in the Reagan administration, the George W. Bush administrations and the neoconservative movement. In Little Red, based on extensive original interviews and archival research, Dina Hampton tells the compelling, interwoven life stories of these three schoolmates. Their tumultuous, divergent, public and private paths wind through the seminal events and political conflicts of recent American history, from the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War; the Summer of Love to the feminist uprising; Iran-Contra to Occupy Wall Street. As they pursue political ends, each of their lives will be shaped by events, relationships and social changes they never imagined. Their successes and setbacks will resonate with anyone who has struggled to reconcile the utopian goals of The Sixties--or of youth itself--with the realities of day-to-day life in the world as it is. Today, a new generation is taking to the streets, galvanized by controversial wars and social and economic inequities as troubling as those we faced in the 1960s. The stories of Angela, Tom and Elliott serve as both road map and cautionary tale for anyone engaged in that most American of acts--trying to perfect the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 33.02mm | 521.63g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 12-pp. B/W photo insert on text
  • 1586480936
  • 9781586480936
  • 2,455,417

About Dina Hampton

Dina Hampton is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has worked for more than a decade as a reporter and editor for publications including the New York Times and the New York Daily News. She is a late-1970s graduate of Little Red and later served as its alumni director. She lives in New York more

Review quote

Samuel G. Freedman, author & journalist "Nearly a half-century later, America is still wrestling with the conflicts that emerged in the passionate and turbulent 1960s. Dina Hampton brings both narrative elan and analytical intelligence to bear as she explores the decade's legacy through three dramatic life stories. These people, activists of both the left and the right, are connected by Dina's other subject, the remarkable radical school called 'Little Red.'" Kirkus Reviews"Hampton ably maintains an evenhanded respect for her subjects' widely varying political positions as she explores their evolution over the years, but it is her narrative skills that truly shine. Her evocation of the heady, impulsive spirit of the university-building-occupation era, awash in drugs, sex and over-the-top Marxist rhetoric, is pitch-perfect. Davis' arrest and 1972 trial for murder in the death of a California judge are presented as a gripping courtroom thriller, counterbalanced later by the inexorable pursuit of Abrams by special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. A capable and compelling memoir of the '60s and its varied political legacies as reflected in the lives of three survivors." Publishers Weekly"This fast-paced, engaging book provides a fascinating look at how these personalities navigated an era of upheaval." New York Times"Dina Hampton gracefully connects the private school in Greenwich Village and its Elisabeth Irwin High School to the radical political culture of the 1960s with interwoven profiles of three prominent graduates: Angela Davis (high school class of 1961) and Tom Hurwitz and Elliott Abrams (both 1965)." Daily Beast"This is not just another tie-dyed cultural history of the '60s, but rather a thoroughly researched three-part biography that divides the era into a triptych. Hampton shows how America still has a long way to go before we're out of the shadow of that decade, for better or for worse." Boston Globe"As a window into the extremes of the liberal ideals that made the '60s and the social and political convulsions that have followed, "Little Red" is an instructive read...for students of America's culture wars, the book leaves room to think for oneself." Washington Post"Never boring...these stories have been neglected for years, and Hampton allows a new generation of readers to learn about them... 'Little Red'...captures a good deal of political drama from recent decades in our nation's history."show more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 42% (8)
3 37% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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