The long-awaited autobiography of U.S. and New York State political prisoner David Gilbert, Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond, was recently published by the West Coast-based PM Press publishing group.
Prior to his arrest and imprisonment on October 20, 1981 in Rockland County, New York, Gilbert was a founder of the Columbia University and Barnard College chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a New School SDS organizer, and a staff member of National SDS’s New York City Regional Office during the 1960s. He also co-authored National SDS’s sequel to its earlier Port Huron Statement, the Port Authority Statement , in 1967. And during the 1970s, Gilbert was an anti-imperialist activist in the Weather Underground (who would later be featured in a 21st-century documentary film about the Weather Underground that was nominated for an Academy Award).
As PM Press observes in its website description of Gilbert’s Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond book:
“David Gilbert arrived at Columbia University just in time for the explosive '60s. From the early anti-Vietnam War protests to the founding of SDS, from the Columbia Strike to the tragedy of the Townhouse, Gilbert was on the scene: as organizer, theoretician, and above all, activist. He was among the first militants who went underground to build the clandestine resistance to war and racism known as “Weathermen.”
“…And he was among the last to emerge, in captivity, after the disaster of the 1981 Brinks robbery, an attempted expropriation that resulted in four deaths and long prison terms. In this extraordinary memoir, written from the maximum-security prison where he has lived for almost thirty years, David Gilbert tells the intensely personal story of his own Long March from liberal to radical to revolutionary.
“Today a beloved and admired mentor to a new generation of activists, he assesses with rare humor, with an understanding stripped of illusions, and with uncommon candor the errors and advances, terrors and triumphs of the Sixties and beyond. It’s a battle that was far from won, but is still not lost: the struggle to build a new world, and the love that drives that effort. A cautionary tale and a how-to as well, Love and Struggle is a book as candid, as uncompromising, and as humane as its author.”