Abbie Hoffman (November 30, 1936 - April 12, 1989)
Born: 30th November, 1936
Died: 12th April, 1989
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Activist
Region: Worcester, Massachusetts, New Hope, Pennsylvania
Notable works: Chicago Seven

Abbie Hoffman Facts

Biography

Abbie Hoffman, byname of Abbott Hoffman, (born November 30, 1936, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.--died April 12, 1989, New Hope, Pennsylvania), American political activist and founder of the Youth International Party (Yippies), who was known for his successful media events.

Hoffman, who received psychology degrees from both Brandeis University (1959) and the University of California, Berkeley (1960), was active in the American civil rights movement before turning his energies to protesting the Vietnam War and the American economic and political system. His acts of protest blurred the line between political action and guerrilla theatre, and they utilized absurdist humour to great effect. In August 1967 Hoffman and a dozen confederates disrupted operations at the New York Stock Exchange by showering the trading floor with dollar bills. In October of that year he led a crowd of more than 50,000 antiwar protesters in an attempt to levitate the Pentagon and exorcise the evil spirits that he claimed resided within.

Hoffman's ethic was codified with the formal organization of the Yippies in January 1968. Later that year Hoffman secured his place as a countercultural icon when he joined thousands of protesters outside the Democratic Party's national convention in Chicago. Before the demonstrations degenerated into a street battle between police and protesters, Hoffman and Yippie cofounder Jerry Rubin unveiled Pigasus, a boar hog that would serve as the Yippies' presidential candidate in 1968. These exploits, among others, led to Hoffman's being named a defendant in the so-called Chicago Seven trial (1969), in which he was convicted of crossing state lines with intent to riot at the Democratic convention; the conviction was later overturned.

After he was arrested on charges of selling cocaine (1973), Hoffman went underground, underwent plastic surgery, assumed the alias Barry Freed, and worked as an environmental activist in New York state. He resurfaced in 1980 and served a year in prison before resuming his environmental efforts. He was the author of such books as Revolution for the Hell of It (1968), Steal This Book (1971), and an autobiography, Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (1980). Hoffman's life--in particular, his underground period and his efforts to draw attention to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cointelpro operations--were dramatized in the film Steal This Movie (2000).

Top 25 Abbie Hoffman quotes

The key to organizing an alternative society is to organize people around what they can do, and more importantly, what they want to do.
Alternative
Around
Importantly
Key
More
Organize
Organizing
People
Society
Want
The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
Away
Duty
First
Get
Revolutionary
Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
Decade
Embedded
Fixed
Human
Human spirit
Ideology
Nor
Particular
Perpetual
Process
Revolution
Something
Spirit
Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
Cows
Hamburger
Make
Sacred
Sacred cows
Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
Avoid
Dope
Needle
Nixon
Only
Richard
Richard nixon
Shooting
Worth
A modern revolutionary group heads for the television station.
Group
Heads
Modern
Revolutionary
Station
Television
I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.
Believe
Cannibalism
Compulsory
Eat
Forced
I believe
I believe in
More
People
Wars
Were
Would
Would-be
I was probably the only revolutionary referred to as cute.
Cute
Only
Referred
Revolutionary
Once you get the right image the details aren't that important.
Details
Get
Image
Important
Once
Right
You
Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them.
Become
Corporate
Death
Guard
Learn
Life
Machines
Make
Particular
Respect
Robots
Sterile
Them
War
Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information.
Content
Important
Information
More
Structure
Than
Transmission
The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.
Make
Only
Own
Revolution
Support
Way
Your
To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
Brother
Empire
Equally
Evil
Immoral
Institutions
Pig
Pillars
Sister
Steal
Never impose your language on people you wish to reach.
Impose
Language
Never
People
Reach
Wish
You
Your
Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.
Crowded
Fire
Free
Free speech
Means
Right
Shout
Speech
Theatre
Expedience, not justice, is the rule of contemporary American law.
American
Contemporary
Expedience
Justice
Law
Rule
When decorum is repression, the only dignity free men have is to speak out.
Decorum
Dignity
Free
Free men
Men
Only
Out
Repression
Speak
The '60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great.
Cheap
Dope
Free
Gone
Great
Never
Rock
Roll
Sex
Will
You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
Democracy
Freedom
Gives
Measure
You
Understand that legal and illegal are political, and often arbitrary, categorizations; use and abuse are medical, or clinical, distinctions.
Abuse
Arbitrary
Clinical
Distinctions
Illegal
Legal
Medical
Often
Political
Understand
Use
I'm a nomad. A Jewish road warrior. I do not have a concept of home. I wish I did. But I live with the idea that we have to get out of town before dawn.
Before
Concept
Dawn
Did
Get
Home
I wish
Idea
Jewish
Live
Nomad
Out
Road
Town
There is a difference between being self-interested and being selfish. I will never be selfish.
Being
Being selfish
Between
Difference
Never
Selfish
Will
I was a fugitive, taking risks with my life. I chose that. I chose to be a volunteer to go to Guatemala when they were having their earthquake, to help people with a team of doctors.
Chose
Doctors
Earthquake
Fugitive
Go
Having
Help
Help people
Life
My life
People
Risks
Taking
Taking risks
I will say this: In order for the planet to survive, there are going to be acts of ecoterrorism.
Acts
Going
Order
Planet
Say
Survive
To survive
Will
The majority of people were always sitting in the stands. When I find people who are willing to go against the grain, who are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to change an unjust situation - that's what blows my mind out.
Against
Always
Blows
Change
Find
Go
Grain
Majority
Make
Mind
Out
People
Sacrifices
Sitting

Abbie Hoffman essays

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