A hippies guide to the 21st century

Abbie Hoffman in July 1971.

Grace Schroeder

Abbie Hoffman in July 1971.

By Grace Schroeder, Staff Writer

    “Steal This Book” by Abbie Hoffman is a seminal piece of work that was first published in 1971, at the height of the counterculture movement in the United States. The book is a guide to surviving and thriving in the counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s, providing readers with tips on everything from how to grow your own food to how to live without money.

    The author, Hoffman, was a prominent figure in the counterculture movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was a political activist, a member, and founder of the Youth International Party (also known as the Yippies), and a leader in the anti-war and civil rights movements. The Youth International Party was a youth-oriented and counterculture revolutionary offshoot of the New Left and the anti-Vietnam War movement during the late 1960’s. Despite being short-lived, the Yippies played a significant role in shaping the cultural and political landscape of the mid 20th century. Their actions and ideas continue to influence subsequent generations of activists and social movements. He wrote “Steal This Book” as a way to empower people to take control of their lives and to reject the status quo. 

    The book is divided into several sections, each of which focuses on a different aspect of counterculture living. The first section, “Survival,” provides readers with practical advice on how to live without money, how to grow your own food, and how to find free housing. He shares stories from his own personal experiences of trying to navigate and survive a capitalistic society, which makes the narrative all the more personal. The second section, “Resistance,” focuses on political activism, encourages readers to join the resistance, to fight for social and political change, and to work towards a more just and equal society. The third section, “Communication,” provides readers with tips on how to communicate effectively and how to use the media to get their message out.

    Hoffman’s writing is lively, engaging, and often humorous. He uses personal anecdotes, satire, and irony to make his point. His writing style makes the book a quick and entertaining read, but also doesn’t shy away from the serious topics. His message is clear: society is broken, the only way to survive is to take matters into your own hands, and the only way to bring about change is to actively resist the status quo. 

    The book also includes a lot of resources and information, such as how to create a community radio station, how to organize a peaceful protest, and how to use the legal system to fight against injustice. Some of the information may be outdated but the core ideas and the spirit of the book are still incredibly valid and relevant today.

    The book is not just a guide to survival, but also a call to action. He encourages readers to question authority, to think for themselves, and to live on their own terms.

    “Steal This Book” is a powerful and thought-provoking read that is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the counterculture movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and for anyone who wants to challenge the status quo and make a difference in the world. The book provides a unique perspective on how to survive and thrive in a society that is often hostile to change and progress.