Jonathan Lerner

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People gathered for a concert in Tompkins Square Park in 1967. Credit Meyer Liebowitz/The New York Times

In June 1967, in the freewheeling spirit of the times, I dropped out of Antioch College, in Ohio, and hitchhiked to New York. I was 19, mildly though not madly political. In junior high, I had joined civil rights demonstrations. Now I opposed the Vietnam War. But my ideology was simply the counterculture’s: peace and love, plus anything fun that could undermine convention.

I floated into that summer in a luminous haze of artistic impulse, magical thinking and pot smoke. But by September, things were darkening. Reality — menace — began to intrude. I found a focus. I joined the staff of Students for a Democratic Society, the principal organization of the New Left; I became an organizer.…  Seguir leyendo »