Where Have You Gone Abbie Hoffman?

Thirty years ago, on April 12, 1989, the political activist, anarchist revolutionary and counterculture impresario ran out of steam and optimism and took his life with a massive phenobarb/booze cocktail. In the following, Barbara Walters, Norman Mailer, Paul Krassner, Candice Bergen, Bill Lee and others remember the iconic co-founder of the Yippies (Youth International Party). 

Bud Collins, tennis commentator: All-American boy

… coaching the Brandeis University tennis team [in the late 1950s]…was I the coach who propelled Abbie Hoffman toward his grand tour of various slammers?

… How many coaches have had a character like Abbie Hoffman, who made headlines and TV spots anywhere but the sports news, drove cops and judges whacko, and wound up as a humanitarian doing time in a federal pen? There was no need to red-shirt Abbie. He was already too red for many tastes—although now I realize that he was merely the kind of all-American boy who would have thrown out the first barrel at the Boston Tea Party or played engineer on the Underground Railroad.

…  Abbie, when he was on the lam, was able to create excitement from the underground with furtive appearances and magazine stories, the distressing truth is that aboveground, on a tennis court, he was a boringly conservative—possibly right wing—performer. He camped on the baseline, content with reaction as a retriever, never venturing to the barricade to shake things up. This will hurt him, but the truth is he played like a cop—Inspector Javert?—doggedly pursuing everything. He won most of his matches. (Waltham, Mass.)

from My Life With the Pros, by Bud Collins (E.P. Dutton, 1989)

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Norman Mailer, novelist:  Ethnic milkshake with moxie

Abbie is one of the smartest—let us say, quickest—people I`ve ever met, and he`s probably one of the bravest. In the land from which he originates, Worcester, Mass., they call it moxie. He has tons of moxie. He is one of the funniest people I ever met. He is also one of the most appealing if you ask for little order in personality. Abbie has a charisma that must have come out of an immaculate conception between Fidel Castro and Groucho Marx. They went into his soul and he came out looking     (or at least he used to look) like an ethnic milkshake—a Jewish revolutionary, Puerto Rican lord, Italian street kid, Black Panther with the old Afro haircut, even a glint of Irish gunman in the mad, green eyes. I remember them as yellow-green, like Joe Namath`s gypsy green eyes. Abbie was one of then most incredible-looking people I ever met.

from the Introduction to Soon To Be a Major Motion Picture, by Abbie Hoffman (Perigee, 1980)

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William Kunstler, lawyer: Amongst southern rednecks

Abbie Hoffman began his personal struggle against inequality and injustice as a voter registration worker for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). I first met him in 1964 in McComb, Mississippi. As a liberal northern Jewboy, in the argot of southern rednecks, Abbie got beaten up a lot. But he remained in the South, working in the movement, until he opened Liberty House in Greenwich Village, which sold handcrafted items made by Mississippi black women. Later, he started the famous Free Store in the East Village. Since an important part of the counterculture ethic was that all material wealth should be shared, the Free Store provided various items at no charge to anyone who needed them.

Like me, Abbie’s involvement with the sixties began with a first tentative step, a deepening involvement, and finally a wholehearted commitment. He was the sixties’ renegade whose life I might have lived had I been younger.

from My Life as a Radical Lawyer, by William Kunstler (Birch Lane Press,1994)

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Peter Coyote, activist and actor: Egocentric

… Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin…came to [San Francisco] to investigate our [Diggers] activities in late 1966. Abbie returned to New York and published a book (for sale) called Free,which catalogued every free service in the city of New York that supported truly needy people; these services were immediately swamped by an influx of suburban kids into the Lower East Side. He plastered his own name and picture on the book, thus advertising himself as a “leader” of the free counterculture. While egocentricity may be as authentic as anything else, performing under its influence does not represent a new form of any kind, and we criticized Abbie for confusing the issue.

Abbie was and remained a close friend of mine until his disappearance underground after selling drugs to an undercover narcotics cop, but a friend with whom the Diggers had pronounced disagreements.

from Sleeping Where I Fall, by Peter Coyote (Counterpoint, 1998)

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Danny Schechter, filmmaker and media critic: Complicated relationship

Everyone in the media business has a mentor or role model, someone whose media savvy got them thinking about a career in the business. One of the most influential media mavericks in my life was someone who was a subject of constant media attention for as long as he lived, and who well understood how the industry worked. His name was Abbie Hoffman.

We first met in 1966 through a transatlantic correspondence. I was a student at the London School of Economics. Abbie was in New York, running Liberty House, generating income for struggling black communities by selling goods made by southern cooperatives. A former civil rights worker like me, he was riled over SNNC’s decision to, in effect, kick whites out. I lectured Abbie on the importance of self-determination. Our yearlong correspondence began our friendship. Some of our conversations made their way into Abbie’s first book, Revolution for the Hell of It, and encouraged me to become one of the unpublicized founders of the Youth International Party (YIPPIE) in his East Village apartment in December 1967. (The others were Abbie, Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner, and poet Ed Sanders.) Ours was a complicated relationship that lasted until his death, with lots of tension and many disagreements. Abbie chose to make news and I chose to cover it.

from The More You Watch, The Less You Know, by Danny Schechter (Seven Stories Press, 1997)

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Ed Sanders, poet, Indefatigable activist

I became aware of activist Abbie Hoffman, who had begun organizing in the Lower East Side. I was impressed with his zeal, creativity, and ability to think in the fun-filled realms of Guerilla Theater, Street Action, and what had to be called the Performance Art of Immediate Social Change. For a few years in the time track Hoffman was the Jim Thorpe of social action—he never seemed to sleep; could engage in fifty projects at the same time; was an adroit writer, whether of leaflets or books; and had an uncanny ability to get the attention of the media. (New York, 1967)

from Fug You, by Ed Sanders (Da Capo Press/Perseus, 2011)

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Paul Krassner, investigative satirist: Egos and Jewishness

When the [anti-Vietnam War] parade was over, I left with Abbie Hoffman. Other paths had crossed at various meetings and events, but we’d never really hung around together. Now, over soup, he was telling me about the time he had brought a FUCK COMMUNISM! poster to a symposium, and how he had been influenced by The Realist [a freethought magazine published by PK].

I asked, “Do you think it’s an ego trip for me to be concerned about whether the readers think I’m on an ego trip?”

“That’s because you’re Jewish,” he laughed.

“I don’t think of myself as Jewish. I’m an atheist. I mean Christ was Jewish.”

“When I was at Brandeis,” Abbie said, “I asked this professor, ‘How come in one part of the Bible, Jesus says to God, Why hast thou forsaken me? But in another part of the Bible, Jesus says to God, Forgive them for they know not what they do? And the professor says, ‘You gotta remember, the Bible was written by a lot of different guys.’” (New York, 1967)

from Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut, by Paul Krassner (Simon & Schuster, 1993)

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Timothy Leary, psychologist and LSD guru:  Psychedelic socialist

…The Yippies basically didn’t like America or American values. Like their models, the revolutionary students in Europe and the Middle East, the militants of the ‘60s were out of touch with the optimistic aspirations of the young for more and better of everything.

The militants didn’t succeed because they emitted bad vibes—tough, mean, deliberately provocative. I had many a run-in with Abbie Hoffman.

“Your peace-and-love bullshit is leading youth down the garden path of fascism,” he screamed. “You’re creating a group of blissed-out pansies ripe for annihilation.”

“Come on, Abbie, you’re just trying to scare people into feeling bad. Which doesn’t help anybody. You can’t do good unless you feel good.”

Like others on the opposite end of the political spectrum Abbie continually projected on me his worst fears of what would happen if everyone were free and self-confident. He studied me, although we disagreed on goals (Abbie was at that time a conservative socialist, moralistic, past-oriented, anti-science) we had many analytical discussions about the tactical necessity of using the media. The thing I liked about Abbie was that he kept changing, taking risks, dropping acid, reprogramming his head. He became the ultimate contradiction—a psychedelic socialist. (1967)

from Flashbacks, by Timothy Leary (Tarcher, 1997)

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Jonah Raskin, academic and biographer of AH:  Advising socialist eggheads

The first time I saw him, I was on a panel with Susan Sontag at the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York. It was 1967 and the topic was the moral and political responsibility of intellectuals vis-à-vis the war in Vietnam. Abbie showed up in the audience as a cowboy, firing off a toy cap gun and complaining that in the movement there was too much analysis and too much intellectualizing, and not enough socialism or direct action…

from the Preface to For the Hell Of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman, by Jonah Raskin (University of California Press, 1996)

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Stew Albert, poet and activist: Biological energy

…”You’ve got to meet Abbie Hoffman [said Jerry Rubin]. He’s an amazing energy center.”

…a demonstration scheduled for the stock-market—the plan was to throw money [at the stockbrokers from the balcony of the Stock Exchange].

We lined up, waiting our turn to get out on the Exchange’s balcony…

Abbie Hoffman was handsome and electric. He was in constant compelling motion, and his tough, New York City street slang was combined with surprising accents to suggest a New England childhood. He was aggressive, but likeable. He was a coach pushing his ragtag hippie team into surrealistic confrontation with capitalism’s holiest sanctuary.

When Jerry introduced us outside the Exchange, Abbie checked me out head to toe. We shook hands. His salutation was friendly, brief, and once that was taken care of, he quickly moved on. But I did not feel ignored. Abbie was immensely entertaining, and I sensed a genuine and warm guy.

Abbie’s energy was biological, his body broadcast action programs. When Abbie talked—when he was recruiting, seducing, converting or entertaining—I always felt like touching him. Nothing heavy, maybe a hug, a pat on back, or just standing close to him—some physical gesture that would bring me nearer to his soul… (New York, 1967)

from Who the Hell is Stew Albert? : A Memoir, by Stew Albert (Red Hen Press, 2004)

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Victor Navasky, publisher of The Nation:  Laughing HUAC out of town    

Eventually HUAC [House Committee on Un-American Activities] was brought down by history, with a little help from the Yippies, building on the Lardner-Trumbo tradition of what Mark Twain once called “the assault of laughter.” Jerry Rubin appeared before HUAC in a red Santa Claus suit. And Abby Hoffman showed up for his testimony in a red, white and blue T-shirt, duly ripped by unruly souvenir-hunting demonstrators and/or the cops. Asked by the judge if he would like to make a statement on his own behalf, he replied, “Yes, your honor. I regret that I have but one shirt to give to my country.” By that time, 1968, it was possible to laugh HUAC and its roadshow out of town.

from the Introduction [by Victor Navasky] to I’d Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir, by Ring Lardner, Jr. (Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2000)

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Willie Morris, magazine editor: Unlikely revolutionist

Three or four times I ran into Abbie Hoffman in his busy campus travels: this former pharmaceuticals salesman-turned-revolutionary noted for such puckish pranks as tossing dollar bills from the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange and gleefully watching the stampede of traders rushing to pick up the money, or selecting three thousand souls at random from the New York telephone book and sending each of them marijuana cigarettes with directions on how to smoke them. A most unlikely revolutionist he was with his ginger wisecracks and savvy one-liners and antic gyrations, but he was a high-strung and effusive presence wherever he went and easily rivalled [poet Allen] Ginsberg as an icon of the restive middle-class young, and one could not help but like him. Encountering him walking with a small group on one campus or another in those years I introduced myself. “You’re the one who publishes [Norman] Mailer [in Harper’s],” he said, eyes diligent and aflash above his scruffy black beard. “Hey, man, you’re not all bad.” (late 1960s)

from New York Days, by Willie Morris (Little Brown, 1993)

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Michael Albert, economist, activist and publisher, Outrageous, courageous

I met Abbie Hoffman at the MIT sanctuary [a Vietnam War protest event]. Like many other people, he had come to see what was going on. I remember standing with Hoffman on a second-floor balcony overlooking the large quadrangle outside the student center hall where the sanctuary was held. Abbie suddenly went down the stairs and started marching around the public area, with students passing by in the sun. Abbie had a make-believe rifle over his shoulder. The rifle was the cross that marked the MIT chapel…

…He was brilliant, outrageous, courageous, and provocative. Few have ever had as much moxie as Abbie. At a 1988 reunion of the Chicago Eight, Abbie described himself as “an American dissident. I don’t think my goals have changed since I was four and I fought schoolyard bullies.” (late 1960s)

from Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism, by Michael Albert (Seven Stories Press, 2006)

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Irv Kupcinet, broadcaster and columnist: Huff and a puff and gone

Rarely, there were subjects we couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss [on Kup’s Show] for legal reasons. One was the Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial which was ongoing in Chicago when I invited Abbie Hoffman on the show in February of 1970. He had just written a book, Woodstock Nation, which had some revolutionary ideas. Once on the show, though, he instead started to express his feelings about Judge Julius Hoffman, before whom he was appearing. This could have prejudiced the trial and I stopped him short.

I told him flatly that we couldn’t discuss the trial, and he responded in that case he wasn’t going to stay on the show. Before leaving, though, Abbie decided to have a cigarette. It wasn’t one of your name brands. He lit it, took a big drag, then passed it around to the other members of the panel—Arlo Guthrie and George Carlin. They each took a drag, and then returned the joint to Abbie, who finished it, stood up and left.

from Kup: a Man, an Era, a City, by Irv Kupcinet with Paul Neimark (Bonus Books, 1988)

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Merv Griffin, talk show host:  Subversive shirt censored

when I booked radical activist Abbie Hoffman as a guest in the spring of 1970, it was no surprise to me that everything about that show came under intense scrutiny. A month before his appearance, Hoffman, a member of the notorious Chicago Seven, had been convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act for his role in the antiwar protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention (his conviction would later be overturned on appeal).

Hoffman walked out wearing a red, white, and blue shirt that resembled the American flag. The network [CBS] censors, apoplectic at the prospect that this apparel might violate the strict desecration laws of several states, managed to electronically block out Hoffman’s torso for the duration of our thirty-five-minute interview. To viewers at home, it appeared as if I were talking to a black box with legs. [Editor’s note: Other guests had worn the same shirt in the past and singer Pat Boone appeared in an automobile commercial on the same broadcast wearing a similar flag motif shirt.]

from Merv: Making the Good Life Last, by Merv Griffin with David Bender (Simon & Schuster, 2003)

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Peter Townshend, rock musician, Guitar butt

…we [The Who] flew to New York and drove up to Woodstock [for the legendary 1969 music festival].

As we started to play ‘Acid Queen’ I put myself in character, imagining myself as the black-hearted gypsy who had promised to bring Tommy out of his autistic condition but was actually a sexual monster, using drugs to break him. As I walked to the mike stand, someone stepped in front of me, trying to stop the music. It was Abbie Hoffman. ‘This is a croc of shit,’ he shouted into the mike, waving his arms at the audience. ‘My friend [the Detroit poet] John Sinclair is in jail for one lousy joint and…’ He got no further.

Still playing the ‘Acid Queen’ intro, and still feeling malevolent, I knocked Abbie aside using the headstock of my guitar. A sharp end of one of my strings must have pierced his skin because he reacted as though stung, retreating to sit cross-legged at the side of the stage. He glowered at me, his neck bleeding.

I finished the song and looked over at him. ‘Sorry about that,’ I mouthed.

‘Fuck you,’ he mouthed back, and left the stage.

from Who Am I: A Memoir, by Peter Townshend (HarperCollins, 2012)

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Richard Neville, writer and editor (London OZ): To overthrow the UK

…I stood in the arrival lounge of Heathrow Airport, waiting to welcome Abbie Hoffman, flying in from Paris. After the headlines ignited by [fellow Yippie] Jerry Rubin, it was uncertain whether Abbie would be let into Britain…

The terminal was packed. With an ear-to-ear grin and a frizz of black hair, Abbie bounded out the door, clad in jeans and a green sweater. ‘I told them I wanted to overthrow the government,’ he said, ‘and that I’d need three days.’…

‘What did immigration say?’

‘Oh, that it might take a little longer,’ he said, laughing. ‘They gave me a month.’ (1971)

from Hippie Hippie Shake, by Richard Neville (Bloomsbury, 1995)

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Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and activist: Run over

…I was arrested along with thousands during the big May Day 1971 demonstrations [against the Vietnam War] in Washington.

When we were arrested, we were first taken to a holding pen in a courthouse basement, then a little later put back in paddy wagons and taken to the Redskins’ practice field, which was surrounded by a high wire fence…

Somebody brought me over to see Abbie Hoffman in a first-aid tent that the prisoners had improvised. He was lying on the ground, his face badly cut and bruised. He said that a motorcycle policeman had spotted him, run him down, then come back and run over his face a couple of times more. He looked it.

from Spock on Spock: A Memoir of Growing Up With the Century, by Benjamin Spock with Mary Morgan (Pantheon, 1989)

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Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer: Not impressed

I did a talk show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and met Abbie Hoffman, a counterculture hero, on that occasion. I was not impressed.

In fact, I felt rather sorry for him and others like him. They had ridden a wave of emotion to its crest and when it broke and receded, it left them stranded in some no-man’s-land of the spirit from which (I suspected) they would never find their way back. (early 1970s)

from In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1954-1978 (Doubleday, 1980)

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Candice Bergen, actor: Radical foster child

As we came in the door [of a friend’s house in San Francisco], we heard a low cackle and a rasping “Hiya!.” Alone in the living room, draped, toga-like, in a sheet, one end flung across one shoulder, sat Abbie Hoffman—a casual Caesar who had conquered Chicago.

He was not then underground but always on the run, a radical foster child in need of hideouts, handouts and hugs…(early 1970s)

from Knock Wood, by Candice Bergen (Simon & Schuster, 1984)

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Kurt Vonnegut, novelist, Weary clown

I now glimpsed Abbie Hoffman, the clowning revolutionary. He had been stopped for perhaps the dozenth time that day by security men [at the Republican National Convention]…He was a weary clown by now. His press credentials were in order. He was gathering material for a book.

“Who you representing?” he was asked.

Field and Stream,” he said. (Miami Beach, 1972)

from Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, by Kurt Vonnegut (Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1974)

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Germaine Greer, feminist writer: Loved America

At a meeting of the National Women’s Political Caucus [at the 1972 Democratic National Convention] after I arrived, I caught sight of my fellow Yippie, Abbie Hoffman, covering the meeting for the book he is doing with Jerry Rubin and Ed Sanders. Abbie looked odd with the unsolicited nose job he had as a result of a police beating in Washington last May, but odder still was the something soft and questing, even mawkish in his expression. ‘Ah, come on, Geegee,’ he pleaded with me. ‘Don’t be so down on everything! We gotta chance this time, Geegee!’ ‘But Abbie,’ I replied faintly, ‘it can’t work this way. What kind of bargaining power have these people got? Remember your Marx, man, and the nature of capitalism.’ Aw Gee, I never read Marx, but Lenin woulda liked it.’ I realized with a guilty creak of the heart that Abbie was sick of trashing and being trashed, tired of the feds infesting the staircase of his apartment, tired of informers and spying, too intelligent not to see that most of his activities had had the net result of intensifying oppression while revolution remained as far off as ever. Besides, he loved America. (Miami)

from The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings 1968-1985, by Germaine Greer (Picador/Pam, 1986)

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Grace Slick, rock musician, Grieving for a nation?

…he, his wife, Anita, and Paul [Kantner] and I occasionally used to get together to discuss politics and pranks. One time, we all took a trip to Gettysburg, where we listened to tape-recorded information that came crackling out of boxes that looked like parking meters. Push a button and hear some glorious interpretation of the Civil War slaughter that made that particular cemetery such a popular tourist attraction.

At one point, he hid in Paul’s and my house in San Francisco, where he engaged in subversive terrorist activities like entertaining the kids at [daughter] China’s birthday party. He loved the ideaof this country (theory and practice often being diametrically opposed), but the manner in which the original documents of freedom had been mangled to steer corporate/military interests drove him close to clinically insane. I believe it was grief for a nation that finally killed him… (mid-1970s)

from Somebody to Love? A rock-and-roll memoir, by Grace Slick with Andrea Cagan (Warner Books, 1998)

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Bertell Ollman, Marxist academic and board game inventor: Creative socialist teacher

The large majority of the letters I have received on Class Struggle have been friendly and positive…

The one letter that went to my heart more than any other read, “Hey, Berty. Love your game. Just stole it from a friend’s pad. Good luck. Professors that invent games are the greatest teachers in the playground of America. Your student—Abbie Hoffman.” I had met Abbie briefly about ten years ago [in the late 1960s], but so had a million other people. We don’t really know each other, but yet on the deepest human level I feel I know him very well. As someone who has given new life to the tired anarchist notion of propaganda by the deed, and has uncovered new ways of using the system against the system, Abbie may just be the most creative socialist teacher of us all. He is our own Evel Knievel, the shadow who walks out in front of us to test the dangerous waters, a whole army including a drum and bugle corps, and an intelligence service all by himself. Abbie’s role in inspiring the creation of Class Struggle and our media strategy was considerable. To receive word from the Underground that he knew and understood was one of the high points of my Class Struggle career.

from Ballbuster? True Confessions of a Marxist Businessman, by Bertell Ollman (Soft Skull Press, 2003)

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Barbara Walters, broadcast journalist, Mysterious and theatrical interview

 …one of the strangest interviews [for NBC television’s 20/20] of my career. It took place on a lake in upstate New York in the middle of the night. The subject was Abbie Hoffman, a former Anti-Vietnam War activist turned fugitive from the law. Hoffman had been arrested in 1973 for selling three pounds of cocaine, a charge that could have brought him a life sentence. He had jumped bail the next year and been hiding, under an alias, for six years. In September 1980 he decided to surrender, but in style. Several of his friends had called me in whispered conversations to ask if I would like to meet Hoffman. It would have to be kept secret until he actually appeared.

His appearance, it turned out, would be at dawn on a lake near the tiny town in which he’d been hiding on the Canadian border. At the appointed hour my camera crew and I were in one boat, waiting, as Hoffman gradually emerged out of the early morning haze in his own boat. It was like a slow-motion dream, all very mysterious and theatrical. I did an interview with him at his hideout on land, in which Hoffman spoke about all the good works he’d done for the local environment while using an assumed name. He obviously thought it would help his case—and it did. He turned himself in the next day and ultimately served two months in prison, followed by ten months in a work-release program at a drug rehabilitation center in New York.

from Audition: A Memoir, by Barbara Walters (Knopf, 2008)

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Arthur M. Schlesinger, historian, Subdued

On 9 November [1983] I left for Rochester, Michigan, where I spoke at Oakland University about JFK.

On the plane to Michigan I ran into Abby [sic] Hoffman. I did not recognize him at first: face furrowed, neatly trimmed beard, manner subdued—quite a change from the Abby [sic] Hoffman of 1968, but then he has been through a lot in the years since. We had a nice talk. His consuming interest now is conservation of the Great Lakes. I asked whether any of the Democratic candidates moved him at all. He said, with a flash of the old Abby [sic], “Well, I guess Jesse Jackson more than anyone else.”

from Journals 1952-2000, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (Penguin, 2008)

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Bill Lee, baseball player,  Red Sox fan

…an endorsement for my [1988 presidential] candidacy [for the Rhinoceros Party] from some major political figure…

Abbie Hoffman wanted to meet me.

My hero.

The two of us sat down at a table in a bar just outside New Hope, Pennsylvania. Abbie was shorter than I expected. He had arrived dressed in T-shirt and jeans. His dark hair was tangled and longish, receding at the crown and streaked with gray. He looked ill. His face was drawn, his body frail. Yellow tinged his eyes. But I could see the flames dancing in them.

We shook hands. He asked if I still played baseball and seemed pleased when I told him about my career on the semipro circuit. Turned out the revolutionary grew up a Red Sox fan. We talked about the Rhinoceros Party, and he agreed to give me his blessing. He broke into a belly laugh when he read our lunatic platform.

from Have Glove, Will Travel: Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond, by Bill “Spaceman” Lee with Richard Lally (Crown Publishers, 2005)

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David Horowitz, transpolitical ideologue, Perennial juvenile delinquent

…I confronted the New Left’s perennial juvenile delinquent, Abbie Hoffman, on a radio talk show in Los Angeles. I had met Abbie more than ten years before, when he was “underground” to escape prosecution for selling drugs, and performed some editing on the book he was writing Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture. The talk show, which was on KABC Los Angeles, took place shortly before Abbie killed himself with an overdose of pills. Abbie was on a phone hookup from his home, slurring his words and sounding unusually depressed. “I don’t like born-agains,” he groused at one point, referring to my second thoughts. “The trouble with you, Abbie,” I replied, “is that you never grew up.”

from Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, by David Horowitz (Touchstone, 1998) 

Dana Cook can be reached at: cooks.encounters(at)gmail.com.