I am 94 and have been a subscriber for more than 50 years. I hope I’ll be a subscriber for many more. I’ve disagreed with your writers, correspondents, supporters, and critics before. Never angrily.
However, I have just read Rick Perlstein’s review of Days of Rage [“Ignorant Good Will,” July 6/13]. I think he intended to send it to the National Review, not The Nation. The National Review is where it belongs. Need I say more?
oak park, mich.
It is confounding at a time when the US government is conducting drone terrorist operations overseas, and many black Americans are systematically murdered by the police, that two of your writers—Eric Alterman [“Days of Crazy,” May 4] and Rick Perlstein, who both wrote about Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage—are obsessed with the actions of an extremely small left-wing faction that hasn’t been active for decades. It is especially confounding when right-wing terror organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the neofascists, are not mentioned even in passing. Far more people were murdered in the Oklahoma City bombing alone than in all of the known left-wing bombings combined.
It is especially distressing to me to see George Jackson’s name dragged through the mud. In his collection of prison letters, Soledad Brother, one can discern a kind, loving soul engaged in a struggle against a system that ultimately had to murder him to silence his message. I would like to remind Perlstein that the two inmates who were charged with Jackson in the death of the Soledad prison guard were later acquitted in a court of law. It is thus odious for Perlstein to indict George Jackson for the crime.
From what I’ve read about Days of Rage in the pages of The Nation, it appears that the author, Bryan Burrough, wrote the book as a smear job. I find it odd that The Nation is doing Fox News’s work in celebrating it, especially when news organizations are seriously debating whether Dylann Roof is a terrorist.
mount clemens, mich.
In his piece “Ignorant Good Will,” Perlstein plays the old propaganda game of noncontextualized storytelling. Any rational person can agree that the violent left—the Weather Underground and such—committed horrendous acts that need to be condemned. But in his effort to demonize these folks, Perlstein completely whitewashes by omission the source of their anger, impotence, and madness: the utterly immoral slaughter of 2.5 million Vietnamese by an infuriatingly lunatic government—a slaughter that, by the way, continues to this day among the great numbers of children deformed or killed by the residual effects of Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance. Only someone ignorant of that history can conclude that these young bomb makers were simply mad dogs! If the Weather Underground was a disease, then American brutality was the virus that caused it.