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Gudrun Ensslin and Andreas Baader

Elliot Neaman’s Free Radicals: Agitators, Hippies, Urban Guerrillas, and Germany’s Youth Revolt of the 1960s and 1970s is now available for purchase in our online store. Save 20% on the list price by using the coupon code BOOKS20 during the checkout process. Also available in ebook format at (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (NOOK).

“From the summer until November 1969, Baader and Ensslin threw themselves into their project with enthusiasm and were soon put in charge by the naïve and often intimidated authorities. Under Baader and Ensslin’s guidance, around forty girls and boys (nicknamed ‘picos’) fled Staffelberg, and runaways from various other juvenile centers soon joined them. They found sanctuary in various and sundry apartments in the Frankfurt area, arranged by local activists. Baader and Ensslin staged ‘go-ins’ in the offices of the nervous bureaucrats who ran the homes and succeeded in convincing the experts to make changes to the living conditions before the young residents would promise to return. Baader and Ensslin were given power to manage the five DM cash allotment for each youth, which turned out, unsurprisingly, to be a bad mistake. Still the dutiful daughter of a Protestant pastor, Ensslin organized bible study circles using Mao’s Little Red Book as the holy text. Baader was in his element. He used the youngsters’ money to hang out in bars and cafés with his teenage charges, steal cars, get drunk, and imbibe drugs. Dressed in a smart leather jacket, cigarette hanging from his lips like Jean-Paul Belmondo in the French new wave film Breathless, Baader was worshipped like a demigod by the picos. Baader derived his style, ideas, and persona, to the end, from the gangster milieu of his own younger days or from contemporary films about outsiders and criminals.”

—Elliot Neaman, Free Radicals: Agitators, Hippies, Urban Guerrillas, and Germany’s Youth Revolt of the 1960s and 1970s

Praise for Elliot Neaman’s Free Radicals

Free Radicals is a radical upending of what we thought we knew about Germany’s most famous generation.”
Zachary Shore, Associate Professor of History, Naval Postgraduate School

Free Radicals combines vast reading in memoirs, recent German-language research, and discoveries from the archives of government surveillance agencies, East and West, to cast a new and sober light on this mythicized period of German history.”
Jerry Z. Muller, Professor of History, The Catholic University of America

“I wholeheartedly recommend the book—it captures the radical spirit of the time and is a must read for anyone that wants to get the complete picture of the Western world’s most unique entertaining revolutionary movement.”
Michael Werz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

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