Mark Rudd: A Critical Look at History

Mark Rudd‘s book “Underground” goes into depth talking about his struggle to come to terms and justify with his past actions. His account questions the fine line between terrorism and militant actions as well as highlights regrets such as the splintering of SDS, one of the fastest growing groups that would have, according to him, “In forming the Weather Underground, we destroyed the largest radical student organization in the country, doing the FBIs work for them.” Rudd describes his book as “dedicated to non-violence” and in many of his writings admits that himself and other leaders of WUO made some bad decisions, even going as far as questioning the ability of SDS to have ended the war sooner.

Rudd confronts “The Weather Underground” documentary, while not completely dissatisfied with it, as painting WUO as completely reactionary based on emotions. However Rudd states in his essay Che and me “Our dominant emotion, however, was not frustration.  On the contrary, it took an enormous quantity of optimism, combined with a strategic theory, to believe that this country was moving toward revolution and that our actions could play a role in that development.”

Rudd is also very critical of the Townhouse bombing which killed three “intelligent, vibrant, beautiful friends” and the fact that WU forced an ideological debate about violence that unmotivated anti-war movements nationally.