FROM YALE TO JAIL by David Dellinger


A Memoir
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 A thorough, thoughtful memoir of a lifetime of service to the principles of nonviolence. Born into a wealthy Republican family, his father a respected Boston attorney, Dellinger (Revolutionary Nonviolence, 1970) became a rebel while still young by rejecting the comfortable path to success mapped out for him. From his first forays into hobo jungles and the hard life of the homeless--undertaken during the Depression while an undergraduate at Yale--he accepted any and all risks. With the onset of WW II, his experiences in Nazi Germany and the knowledge that the US had supported Hitler's military buildup kept him from registering for the draft--an act of defiance that landed him in federal prison on two occasions during the war. Although subsequent antiwar activities included a now-famous role as one of the defendants in the Chicago Seven trial (stemming from protests during the 1968 Democratic Convention), Dellinger was also deeply involved in the civil-rights movement, and acted as editor/publisher of Liberation, for many years the primary outlet for dissenting American voices. His close contact with other activists--from Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bayard Rustin to Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden--permits Dellinger to offer a frank review of their actions and motives, but his memoir is most remarkable for its depiction of the trials and tribulations of one man's life of conscience. At times more rambling than riveting; still, overall, an open, inspiring chronicle, a personal history of more than half a century of dissent in America. (Photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-40591-7
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Pantheon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993