Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mark Rudd as Commencement Speaker? (or What can Kids today learn from a terrorist)

I can't imagine OSU ever doing this, but one can dream. Timothy Noah, over at, suggests that colleges and universities shouldn't recruit successful people to give the commencement speech at the end of the year. Instead, schools should get failures--people who have screwed something up in their lives and can talk about the wisdom they gathered from the experience. One of his examples is our old friend, Mark Rudd. Here is Noah:

"Mark Rudd. Rudd (author of Underground: My Life With SDS and the Weathermen) is a refreshing departure from Weather Underground veterans like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who continue to glamorize their radical past and to deny the Weather Underground's violent intentions. Rudd sees "very little positive" in the Weather Underground and much to be ashamed of, including its destruction of Students for a Democratic Society, the anti-war group the Weather Underground grew out of. He does not deny that the explosives that killed three of the Weather Underground's members in a Greenwich Village brownstone in 1970 were intended to kill soldiers and their dates at a dance at Fort Dix, N.J. He feels bad about the toll his life took on his parents. Worthwhile message: Don't intellectualize violence."

What a great talk that would be! (And I agree with Noah's review of Rudd's work in comparison to Ayers. Fugitive Days is a bore and a tad pompous. Rudd actually has some lessons for people about politics today)

Check out Mark talking about his new book on C-Span here.

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At 6:11 AM , Blogger b.f. said...

For historical info about the 1968 Columbia Student revolt from an African-American perspective, readers might want to check out Professor Stefan Bradley's new book, "Harlem vs. Columbia University" that U. of Illinois press is publishing. Also Lewis Cole "Legacy of 968 Columbia Student Strike" speech at the following link might be of interest:

At 12:36 PM , Blogger Joseph Orosco said...

Thanks, b.f. A very important dimension of those events.


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