Activist and Author Bill Ayers at Book Beat

AYERS-PublicEnemy-1Book Beat will host author, educator and legendary activist Bill Ayers on Thursday, March 6 at 7pm. He will be speaking and signing copies of his latest book, Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Book Beat is located at 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park, MI 48220. For further information or to reserve copies, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.

“The legendary Bill Ayers is at his spellbinding best in Public Enemy—a brilliant, spirited document of a revolutionary life in our not-so-revolutionary age.” —Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“With incisive humor, Bill Ayers’s captivating memoir reveals that behind the fearsome ‘public enemy’ lies a deeply dedicated parent, compassionate teacher, and principled revolutionary activist, representing this country’s best hopes for a democratic future.” —Angela Davis, author of Women, Race, and Class

Dohrn Ayers

Bernardine Dohrn, former leader of the radical, anti-war movement Weather Underground, and her companion Bill Ayers are escorted by federal authorities after surrendering at Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, Ill., Dec. 3, 1989. (AP Photo)

“Labeled a “domestic terrorist” by the McCain campaign in 2008 and used by the radical right in an attempt to castigate Obama for “pallin’ around with terrorists,” Bill Ayers is in fact a dedicated teacher, father, and social justice advocate with a sharp memory and even sharper wit. Public Enemy tells his story from the moment he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, emerged from years on the run and rebuilt their lives as public figures, often celebrated for their community work and much hated by the radical right. In the face of defamation by conservative media, including a multimillion-dollar campaign aimed solely at demonizing Ayers, and in spite of frequent death threats, Bill and Bernardine stay true to their core beliefs in the power of protest, demonstration, and deep commitment. Ayers reveals how he has navigated the challenges and triumphs of this public life with steadfastness and a dash of good humor—from the red carpet at the Oscars, to prison vigils and airports (where he is often detained and where he finally “confesses” that he did write Dreams from My Father), and ultimately on the ground at Grant Park in 2008 and again in 2012.” – from the publisher’s description

“This compelling sequel to Ayers’ Fugitive Days describes the author’s chaotic life after he and his wife, Bernadette Dohrn, became the topic and target of conversation during Barack Obama’s first run for the presidency. . . . Demonized and blacklisted, Ayers maintains not only his sanity but also his humor. . . . A wonderful homage to free speech.” —Booklist, starred review

On Fugitive Days: “A memoir that is, in effect, a deeply moving elegy to all those young dreamers who tried to live decently in an indecent world. Ayers provides a tribute to those better angels of ourselves.” —Studs Terkel

Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn interviewed on Democracy Now!

Watch the acclaimed documentary film on the Weathermen Underground.

Photo by  Anna Knott for Chicago Magazine

Photo by Anna Knott for Chicago Magazine

Bill Ayers is an elementary education theorist, author, and former founder of the Weatherman Underground, a revolutionary underground activist group from 1970-1976, formed in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Ayers is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar, and is the author of To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher,  Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist and Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident.


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