Bad Moon Rising

How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution

Arthur M. Eckstein

View Inside Price: $35.00


October 25, 2016
360 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300221183
Hardcover

A startling history of the forlorn war between the Weather Underground and the FBI, based on interviews and 30,000 pages of previously unreleased FBI documents

In the summer of 1970 and for years after, photos of Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and other members of the Weather Underground were emblazoned on FBI wanted posters. In Bad Moon Rising, Arthur Eckstein details how Weather began to engage in serious, ideologically driven, nationally coordinated political violence and how the FBI attempted to monitor, block, and capture its members—and failed. Eckstein further shows that the FBI ordered its informants inside Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to support the faction that became Weather during the tumultuous June 1969 SDS convention, helping to destroy the organization; and that  the FBI first underestimated Weather’s seriousness, then overestimated its effectiveness, and how Weather outwitted them. Eckstein reveals how an obsessed and panicked President Nixon and his inner circle sought to bypass a cautious J. Edgar Hoover, contributing to the creation of the rogue Plumbers Unit that eventually led to Watergate.

Arthur Eckstein is professor of history and distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. He did his graduate work in Berkeley in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He lives in Greenbelt, MD.

"One reason the Sixties will never end is because the secrets, like gifts that keep on giving, keep rolling out in so many declassified documents that it’s like hearing parallel voices from the world behind the wall, in this case the State and its intelligence branches. In BAD MOON RISING, Arthur Eckstein shows how the 'intelligence gathering' was all about official operations to destroy organizations and movements like Students for a Democratic Society, which lasted  less than a decade. Eckstein’s book is not only a terrific yarn, but also includes new evidence that informants were used by the FBI to help destroy the SDS in a bitter sectarian fight in which the informants were ordered to support the faction that became Weatherman. This is a book which everyone should study to avoid a repeat among the current wave of young idealists." -- TOM HAYDEN

Arthur Eckstein's Bad Moon Rising is simply the best book ever written about the Weather Underground.  Sober, balanced, exhaustively researched, brimming with insight and revelations, and gracefully written to boot, it belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in either the pathology of the Weather Underground's brand of revolutionary violence, or the Hoover-era FBI's signature blend of bureaucratic incompetence and contempt for civil liberties. -- Maurice Isserman, Professor of History, Hamilton College, co-author of America Divided:  The Civil War of the 1960s.

"BAD MOON RISING is a compelling and (even at this distance) amazing story of delusion and ineptitude. Two delusions were intertwined: the Weathermen’s about a revolution they  would promote with dynamite, and the FBI’s about their intelligence and the scale of the menace. The FBI, having first promoted the Weathermen, lost their trail, then tried to make up for their haplessness with illegal burglaries. The Weathermen, having helped wreck the student left, were wrecked in turn by their own ineptitude and factionalism, rather than by a government more terrified than intelligent. Both lively and scrupulous, Eckstein’s book has much to teach even—or especially—those of us who thought we already understood the ‘60s and their aftermath."  —TODD GITLIN

"Bad Moon Rising reveals for the first time the fascinating true story of the Weathermen. It unveils the motives and moves of America’s notorious home-grown bombers, after decades of shrouded secrecy. This book provides a crucial piece of the puzzle of Sixties history, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what really happened to the radical left group and the FBI who failed to stop them."
  --CLARA BINGHAM, author of Witness to the Revolution

"Bad Moon Rising is justified by new evidence, some of which will be surprising to all concerned, while others definitely put old arguments to rest."—ArtsFuse

"Recommended. All levels/libraries."—Choice