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The Black Panthers Revisited

Steve Wasserman, who was once editor of New Republic Books, has written a devastating review in The Nation of a new history of Oakland’s Black Panther Party, Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party, by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. The story of the Panthers, like that of the SDS after 1968 or so, is that of a political movement that went completely awry. Part of the reason was government repression; but part, too, and a large part, was self-inflicted. This book appears to be entirely oblivious to that, but Steve, who knows the history and knew some of the principals, fills in the picture.