Re: Abbie Hoffman (2 responses)

Marty Jezer (
Fri, 02 Oct 1998 10:27:50 -0400

Rachel, and everyone:

I am little uncomfortable about seeing Abbie and Anita Hoffman's son
bandied about in Rachel Kramer Bussel's post. Children are not responsible
for the notoriety of their parents; nor, as in this case, should they have
to live up to our expectations of them as the offspring of prominent

I'm the author of the Hoffman biography Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel
(Rutgers University Press). It's one of two books being used as the basis
for the movie mentioned by Rachel. The other is To Amerika with Love:
Letters from the Underground by Abbie and his wife Anita.

I never met Amerika who had very little contact with his father doing his
formative growing-up years. Though I discuss Abbie's parenting and family
relationships in a general way, I felt that the privacy of his children
should be protected. I understand Amerika had a tough row to hoe growing
up (I'm sure that's understandable to all of you) and that's he's doing OK.
He's not his father, and he needn't be judged in expectation that he be his
father. With all due respect to Rachel's take on him, it's none of our
business. IMHO His qualities as a person are not a subject for this
discussion group.

As for the incident Rachel refers to, he was very probably in a manic phase
of the bipolar illness that led to his suicide. He was, as she says,
obnoxious in that state.

As for the movie, it's being directed and produced by an independent
filmmaker, Robert Greenwald. The cast is quite impressive: Vincent
D'Onofrio as Abbie, Janeane Garofalo as Anita, Kevin Corrigan as Jerry
Rubin. Jeanne Tripplehorn as his underground partner and co-environmental
activist Johanna Lawrenson. Kevin Pollack is also in it. Anita, Stew
Albert and Judy Clavir Albert, as well as Abbie's lawyer Gerry Lefcourt
have been consultants.

I haven't seen the script but I understand it focuses on the Yippie and
anti-war stuff. That's understandable, but too bad. The grassroots
environmental organizing that Abbie and Johanna did around "Save the River"
in the Thousand Islands of NY was model organizing.

Marty Jezer



Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words (Basic Books)
Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel (Rutgers University Press)
The Dark Ages: Life in the USA, 1945-1960 (South End Press)
Rachel Carson [American Women of Achievement Series] (Chelsea House)

Check out my web page (under construction) at