Letters from Young Activists

Cover of Letters from Young ActivistsLetters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out
Edited by Dan Berger, Chesa Boudin, and Kenyon Farrow
Preface by Bernardine Dohrn
Nation Books, 2005

From the publisher: Who will lead America in the years to come? Letters from Young Activists introduces America’s bold, exciting, new generation of activists. These diverse authors challenge the common misconception that today’s young people are apathetic, shallow, and materialistic. Aged ten to thirty-one, these atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, transgender, heterosexual, bisexual, metrosexual Americans are from every type of background and ethnicity, but are united by their struggle toward a common goal. They are the inheritors of their parents’ legacy from the sixties, but also have the imagination and courage to embark on new paths and different directions. In letters addressed to their parents, to past generations, to each other, to the youth of tomorrow and to their future selves, each author articulates his or her vision for the world as they work towards racial, economic, gender, environmental and global justice. As the editors write in their introduction: “From globalization to the war on terrorism and beyond, our generation is compelled to action in the midst of a rapidly changing, and unique political moment Our challenge, and yours, is to live our lives in a way that does not make a mockery of our values.”

Praise for the book:
“Whether North American or Other you will not regret the hours spent with this inspiring, compassionate and soulful book. It allows a glimpse into the hearts of young activists of today, one much needed by their elders. Here they are, our children: beautiful, committed, serious in their belief that it is possible to assist and care for the human and the natural world. They are making of themselves an offering to the Goddess of Peace. Aché.”
— Alice Walker

“If anyone wonders about what that nebulous thing called ‘the Movement’ is, here are their many and varied voices. In letters of love and hope, of anger and depression, of wonder and rebellion, young people, from preteens to twenty-somethings, grapple with what it means to be part of ‘the Movement’ in these dim days of empire. They demand to be heard, by parents, by politicians, and by those who peopled ‘the Movement’ before their birth. These voices will not be ignored. They will be heard.”
— Mumia Abu-Jamal

“…heartfelt and passionate.”
Publishers Weekly

“Raw, confessional, instructive, and urgent…instructive, powerful reading for all; essential for young activists.”
Booklist

“…well-organized, timely and earnest…manages to pay appropriate homage to those who have gone before, while simultaneously creating new space for the voices that are infusing the movements of today.”
Fellowship magazine

“This compilation is the best–and perhaps the only–way to hear what today’s angriest youth activists are saying about politics, culture, their parents and the future. … These are the voices of a generation: righteous, earnest, funny, frustrated and mad as hell.”
High Times

“…a broad tapestry of many voices, many struggles … I immediately wanted to give the collection to my favorite ten-year-old revolutionary, and it might be a nice thing to read if you don’t know many other activists, feel isolated in your activism, are new to activist work, or are the parent of a young activist.”
Clamor magazine

“The strength of the book lies in its refutation of the conventional wisdom that young people have given up on seeking radical change. … These letters represent the kind of honest discussion, coming out of the real experiences of years of activism, that our movements could stand to engage in more often.”
Monthly Review

“All the letters convey a contagious energy and a fervent belief that a better world is possible. … The book’s greatest strength is its demonstration of the vulnerability of any social movement, which is only as strong as the people in it. The writers are not afraid to identify the raw frustrations.”
Earth Island Journal

“These writers’ words are inspiring. Their hopes and desires are addictive.”

— Bookslut.com

“…a book both for young people and for those of us who need to find hope in young people. … These young activists make you feel as if the world is in good hands.”
— Americas.org

“They have commitment, energy, tenacity, and hope in overflowing measure. And they have the acumen to demand not just supporters, but active partners.”
WIN magazine

Purchase the book at Nation BooksPowell’s, Chapters, or your local bookstore. Find it in more bookstores and libraries at Goodreads or Google Books.

Leave a Reply