April 1: Arthur Eckstein on “The Way the Wind Actually Blew: Weatherman Underground Terrorism and the Counterculture, 1969-1971”

The most famous terrorist group in modern American history was the Weatherman Underground, later called the Weather Underground Organization. An outgrowth of Students for a Democratic Society, Weather was active in 1969 through the 1970s.  The standard view of the group holds that because it never actually killed any fellow citizen, unlike its contemporaries, the Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof Gang)Arthur Eckstein in West Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy, it was somehow less a real threat. Arthur Eckstein argued that this is misleading and that the true history of Weather is much grimmer and more ambiguous.

Arthur Eckstein is Professor of History and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland College Park.  He was a hippie in San Francisco and Berkeley in 1968-1970, and a participant in the People’s Park riots of 1969.  He was on the outskirts of Berkeley SDS, but rejected their politics as authoritarian.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California (1978), and is the author of four books on Roman imperialism as well as a co-edited book on American film and culture. He has published more than 60 scholarly articles, mostly on Roman imperial expansion, but also on Lenin, Orwell, and the Hollywood Blacklist.

A webcast of this talk is now available.