Swords in the Hands of Children: Jonathan Lerner
172 Allen St.
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The Age of Trump can be reminiscent of the tumult of the late 60s. The period during the Vietnam War saw a both a rising right-wing establishment and a generation taking up arms to resist. In spite of being a gay man, not entirely at home with the machismo of 60s radicals, Jonathan Lerner was a member of its most notorious organization: the Weather Underground. He later reinvented himself as high-rolling gay hustler. Lerner’s memoir is thrilling, poignant, and quintessentially American—a crucial point of reference for activists and citizens today.
“Imagine if your favorite uncle, a brutally honest, worldly, self-reflective gay raconteur, had been, as a twenty year-old, a lieutenant in an underground guerrilla army dedicated to the violent overthrow of the government of the United States. Jonathan Lerner is that favorite uncle you never had, telling unbelievable true stories—no bullshit—from the ‘revolution’ fifty years ago. This is the closest you’ll ever get to being there.” —Mark Rudd, national secretary of SDS, founding member of the Weather Underground and author of Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen
“A powerfully written account of idealism undercut by submission to a rigid ideology… Lerner brings a unique perspective—that of a gay man—which no other book on the Weather Underground has expressed.” —Arthur Eckstein, author of Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution
“In language as emotionally bruising as it is beautiful, Lerner illuminates the overlapping, interlocking histories of political revolution, anti-war activism, Black Power, Gay Liberation, Radical Feminism—and all the insanity, passion, and sheer drive of the Sixties and Seventies. …A brilliant and moving analysis of one of the most significant moments in American history.”
—Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States
“In this compelling, wise, and passionate memoir, Jonathan Lerner gives us a deeply honest and self-questioning depiction of his youthful radicalism. By telling his particular story of life at the far edge of the 60s and 70s counter culture (with all its intricate complexities), he is able to be precise and unstinting about the wages of resistance and rebellion without sacrificing his continuing and moving idealism.” —Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others and Eat the DocumentBuy tickets/get more info now