Read Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975 by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Online


In 1968, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz became a founding member of the early women's liberation movement. Along with a small group of dedicated women, she produced the seminal journal series, No More Fun and Games. Her group, Cell 16 occupied the radical fringe of the growing movement, considered too outspoken and too outrageous by mainstream advocates for women's rights.Dunbar-OrtIn 1968, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz became a founding member of the early women's liberation movement. Along with a small group of dedicated women, she produced the seminal journal series, No More Fun and Games. Her group, Cell 16 occupied the radical fringe of the growing movement, considered too outspoken and too outrageous by mainstream advocates for women's rights.Dunbar-Ortiz was also a dedicated anti-war activist and organizer throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During the war years she was a fiery, indefatigable public speaker on issues of patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, and racism. She worked in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade, and formed associations with other revolutionaries across the spectrum of radical and underground politics, including the SDS, the Weather Underground, the Revolutionary Union, and the African National Congress. But unlike the majority of those in the New Left—young white men from solidly middle-class suburban families—Dunbar-Ortiz grew up poor, female, and part-Indian in rural Oklahoma, and she often found herself at odds not only with the ruling class but also with the Left and with the women's movement.Dunbar-Ortiz's odyssey from dust-bowl poverty to the urban radical fringes of the New Left gives a working-class, feminist perspective on a time and a movement which forever changed American society."Roxanne Dunbar gives the lie to the myth that all New Left activists of the 60s and 70s were spoiled children of the suburban middle classes. Read this book to find out what are the roots of radicalism—anti-racist, pro-worker, feminist—for a child of working-class Okie background."—Mark Rudd, SDS, Columbia University strike leaderRoxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a historian and professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Hayward. She is the author of Red Dirt: Growing up Okie, The Great Sioux Nation, and Roots of Resistance, among other books....

Title : Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975
Author :
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ISBN : 9780872863903
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 411 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975 Reviews

  • Jonathan
    2019-03-07 05:26

    I felt like I was in a fog the whole time I was reading this book. I am not sure but I think that was because Dunbar-Ortiz did a good job of giving enough context for what was happening in her life from 60-75, that I as someone who wasn't alive during those years could get a little lost, lose my bearings, especially when I tried to compare those times to these. The book made 60-75 seem like a very crazy time; and made me wonder why right now does not feel as crazy.The thing that I liked most about the book was how honest the author was about her own uncertainty about positions she took and choices she made. It was helpful to read on the one page that she was completely certain about an idea and then ten pages later that she was critical of it. That the author made decisions that seemed crazy and then would make a very different decision a few pages later. From what I have read and heard of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz today, she is pretty inspiring as a thinker and social change agent. It reminded me that none of us have to have it all figured out at anyone moment, that we get to keep figuring things out the best we can, acting on that understanding to the best of our ability, and learn and re-evaluate, and then act on the that understanding.

  • Jacob Wren
    2019-03-14 22:29

    A few short passages from this amazing book:These are the worst male chauvinists I have ever encountered, and they are supposedly leftist radicals. After being called a “bird” for the hundredth time, I told a fellow to fuck off at a party last week – caused an awful scene, really. I have started calling men “bats” – it has caught on rather well.It took several days for Flo to arrange the meeting with Valerie [Solanas], so T-Grace took me to women’s meetings in New York and introduced me to dozens of women’s liberation activists: some reformists, some radicals, some extremists. One was a young lesbian biologist who avidly supported Valerie, whom she took quite literally. She was researching viruses, hoping to identify a fatal one that would attack males only. She said that once males were eradicated, she planned to introduce chemical reproduction without sperm. Furthermore, women would no longer carry the fetus; rather, the process would take place in the laboratory. She chatted about this idea as if she were discussing the weather. Now I understood what Stokely Carmichael had meant when he said that young black militants in Chicago had called him “Uncle Tom.” When I challenged the young woman, she called me a “daddy’s girl,” Valerie’s term for male-identified women.Police surveillance and infiltration would only grow worse. More than half the fugitive’s on the FBI’s most wanted list were charged with politically motivated crimes. There were so many agent provocateurs and informers that it was thought that half the membership of some organizations were infiltrators. Even the alternative literary presses and moderate antiwar and peace groups were not exempt. The FBI, using provocateurs, was also partly responsible for the violent direction the movement was taking. Inexplicable suicides and accidental deaths were being reported among former participants of the Venceremos Brigades. In the growing atmosphere of surveillance and danger, the necessity to develop a clandestine structure began to seem like the only way to continue our work.

  • Alice
    2019-03-25 01:38

    A follow-up to Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, Outlaw Woman covers Dunbar-Ortiz's life as a radical. I loved reading this so much - I often feel lonely in Oklahoma, without a lot of political shared reality. This memoir is hauntingly honest, and makes me want to return to read more of her work. When I first moved to Norman in 2007 she was speaking on campus, and she said something very smart about the question of "legality" when it comes to immigrants. That is to say, let's talk about the legality of United States rule of stolen lands, and the ignored treaties of the 1880s. Perhaps ironically, I stumbled onto this book in the biography section of the OU library, where I was looking up "Composing a Life" by Mary Catherine Bateson, a decidedly different kind of "women's" memoir that I had been assigned to me at a professional conference. Reading Bateson's text is like sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a seminar table of driven, ambitious academic feminists. Reading Dunbar-Ortiz is like sitting on a milk crate in a circle of driven, ambitious materialist feminists. I am neither driven nor ambitious, and I prefer cozy couches to the struggle. But I do like to read.

  • Jim
    2019-02-22 06:39

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz makes history come alive while telling her story of left activism embued with a strong working class orientation, feminism, and commitment to internationalism.I found this book in the bibliography at the end of Dan Berger's book "Outlaws of America."Dunbar-Ortiz writes on page 251:I clearly stated what I thought then, and still think:I am a Marxist and a revolutionary and I don't believe that has to be contradictory to women's liberation. It is a given that women will not be liberated under capitalism. No one will.

  • Sezín Koehler
    2019-03-01 02:43

    A sort of sequel to "Red Dirt," that then delves into Roxanne's history as a women's liberation activist and revolutionary. I never knew that Roxanne and I share a love for Valerie Solanas, founder of the Society for Cutting Up Men and author of the brilliantly irreverant "SCUM Manifesto." Yet, once again, I was so reminded of my own mother's history as an activist and I really hope that one day she'll write out her experience of these war years and beyond.

  • Calvin
    2019-03-16 05:51

    Cool way to learn history of the Women's movement, Black Power movement, Civil Rights, American Indian Movement, above ground and underground organizing, violent and non-violent revolution, International movement organizing, etc. written from a political, ideological and personal perspective of a an anti-war activist and organizer of the 1960s and 70s. From the back cover, "Dunbar-Ortiz's odyssey from dust-bowl poverty to the urban radical fringes of the New Left gives a working-class feminist perspective on" the times and movements of the 60s and 70s.Btw, if you're interested in anti-psychiatry and/or radical psychotherapy, check out R.D. Laing and David Cooper (mentioned on p. 93)Some quotes for reference:Stokely Carmichael, quoted on p. 93:And the resistance to doing anything meaningful about institutionalized racism stems from the fact that western society enjoys its luxury from institutionalized racism, and therefore, were it to end institutionalized racism, it would in fact destroy itself, destroy itself, destroy itself, destroy itself.In a meeting, "I stressed the importance of individuality and my fear of 'group-thinking.' I believed that individuality would be the source of our energy and power. I strongly believed that only when each one of us felt autonomous and powerful could we multiply that power by joining together, but that our separate selves should never be submerged, not for any cause, ever."A musician, Blind Lemon, mentioned on p. 148 is a Carribean street musician Dunbar learns about in 1968. Is this the origins of the band Blind Melon's name?p. 179"I wanted to know everything... about Vietnam from [my friend's] visit there, especially about Nguyen Thi Binh, the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) woman who was now their negotiator in Paris. He said he had met her, that she headed the women's organization. Then he told me a story he had heard from her about the thousands of Vietnamese girls forced into prostitution under French occupation. When Madame Binh set up the National Liberation Front's women's organization, she established a priority for caring for prostitutes. The way in which Madame Binh went about it was to develop a program to take the women to the countryside. Cadre from the women's organization catered to the prostitutes. They cooked, washed, cleaned, bathed them, washed their hair and combed it, as if they were children. They even gave the prostitutes dolls to play with. Madame Bihn's theory was that those women had been so mistreated and bore such scars that they were dead inside. They had to be born again, to go through the childhood they had never enjoyed. Then the women's organization arranged for them to be trained as nurses, secretaries, soldiers, mechanics--whatever they chose to do--and found jobs and homes for them and their children." p. 183"When we first arrived [at an early April 1969 anti-war rally] and I observed the small turnout, I assumed the rally would be canceled and we would all go someplace warm to talk. But that option seemed not to have occurred to anyone. When I suggested it--partly having 'cold feet' from more than the weather--Dave Dellinger said something I never forgot:'Never cancel a rally or a meeting. That's the golden rule of the movement. If even 1 person has troubled to come, carry on as if there are 1,000. Every individual counts and bearing witness counts.'"At this same rally, Dunbar speaks for the first time as a movement speaker p. 183-4:"The Vietnam War is our generation's Indian war. There's an Indian war every generation to validate and confirm the twin original sins of this country--genocide against the Indians and African slavery. It's a pattern buttressed by entrenched patriarchy in which every white man can feel he is a participant and a beneficiary. Patriotism is the public expression of patriarchy--the control of women, peasants, and nature. Women's Liberation is the most important, the most revolutionary social force to appear in the long history of resistance to oppression, exploitation, colonialism, racism, and imperialism. Always before, well-meaning, angry and dedicated males have risen up to slay the fathers, but always they have merely replaced them. This time the chain of patriarchy will be broken. The Vietnamese resistance occurs within this new consciousness of the female principle of life. It is no accident. A Vietnamese victory against the temple of patriarchy, U.S. imperialism, will make of the empire a Humpty-Dumpty. Women's Liberation will determine the structures of the new society and the character of the new human being."p. 223:Rita Mae Brown, known for Rubyfruit Jungle, snatches a clip of women cutting their hair during an ABC segment. She ran "three blocks to the Hudson River to throw it in. Women's liberation, it was thought, would have an 'image' problem if the hair-cutting exercise appeared on national television."p. 244: NO MORE FUN AND GAMES, the journal Dunbar-Ortiz founded with others, released "the fourth issue of the journal--the first one I had not been involved with. The theme of the issue was 'the Female State: We Choose Personhood." Later, after all was quiet, I read the new journal and realized that there was no mention of capitalism and imperialism, of racism and class, of the Vietnam War. I reread the first three issues of the journal: Only my articles and those of Patricia Robinson and Mary Ann--both black women--had mentioned the role of the United States in the world, the Vietnam War, other national liberation movements, racism, and the working class."At dawn, when I had finished reading, I tried to sleep but couldn't. I had always assumed that the women's liberation movement would automatically trigger connections and create female revolutionaries who would be actively antiracist, anticapitalist, and anti-imperialist. It seemed I was mistaken. For a moment, I considered walking away, simply leaving the conference and the women's liberation movement. I felt trapped. I think it was then that I realized I couldn't disconnect women's liberation from the class and anti-imperialist, anti-racist struggle, and that many women would consider me a traitor for taking that stand."p. 249While visiting the Berkeley Theological Institute, "My host was an African-American theologian who was well known in the civil rights movement and who enthusiastically supported women's liberation. He and the other participants had been inspired and influenced by Gandhi and Thomas Merton, by liberation theology, by Martin Luther King. They quoted and spoke positively of Ho Chi Minh, Nkrumah, Ché, even of Marx and Lenin, but never uttered the word 'God.' Instead, they used Jesus as an example of a human being who cared for the poor. They considered him the first revolutionary socialist; they recognized him as the first to condemn the family as an institution."p. 263In 1970... "we all had clearly fallen under the spell of guns, as had many other radicals. Our relationship to them had become a kind of passion that was inappropriate to our political objectives, and it ended up distorting and determining them."p. 276On a visit to Cuba, speaking to a member of PAIGG, who quoted Dr. Amilcar Caral who founded PAIGG (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands):"Cabral says that we are fighting to reclaim our history, that history stops for people when they are colonized. Part of the process of decolonization, more important than the fighting itself, is to pick up history where it left off."p. 288The day before leaving Cuba, at the plaza for the tenth anniversary of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution..."Fidel appeared... We had earphones attached to small cordless radios for translation, but after a few minutes I stopped using mine. Fidel's Spanish was simple and clear. He spoke slowly and didn't use Cuban idioms or slang that I couldn't understand. First, he made a few political remarks, paying lukewarm tribute to Egyptian president Nasser who had died that day, and passionately noted the recent Vietnamese victories over U.S. forces. Then he launched into a lecture on hydroelectric power--explaining how hydroelectric dams killed fish and how electrical energy came at a great cost to the environment."The message was to turn off the lights and accept that cities should not be lit up at night as Havana and Santiago used to be. I had never considered the waste involved in lighting U.S. cities at night."...some of [the members of the group I was with] were disappointed that Fidel didn't talk about revolution."'I think he was talking about revolution,' I said."p. 402"I had not expected to live to be thirty-six years old, my age in April 1975, when the television news broadcast scenes of U.S. personnel huddling on top of teh U.S. embassy in Saigon, praying for their lives and waiting to be evacuated. But there I was, still alive, and determined to find a way to keep fighting. The way I chose was Native American liberation, soon expanding to international indigenous issues. In my research on the background of the Wounded Knee siege and on the colonization of New Mexico, I had concluded that every promising social revolution in U.S. history had lacked a historically based theory, and they had led only to reforms because none of them ever addressed the U.S. origin story. Finally, with the American Indian Movement and the Wounded Knee siege, the very scaffolding of the legitimacy of the United States had been challenged. Theft, genocide, greed, and white supremacy formed the foundation stone for that pyramid found on the U.S. dollar bill. Beneath the official story lurked the secrets..."p. 406-7In South Africa in 1999 at a conference called "Not Telling: Secrecy and Lies in History," "Coming from the United States, where lying is normalized and history is distorted while collective historical guilt lies buried and useless in the individual mind, a month of being surrounded by 'un-forgetting' was exhilarating and instructional. But it was also disturbing. I tried to comprehend the urge to reconcile with such an undeserving enemy as the perpetrators of apartheid."Hundreds of South African--and some foreign--scholars, librarians, teachers, and archivists presented papers and discussed the haunted past and the lies that had been told all around--lies told by the apartheid regime in order to rule, lies the masses told themselves in order to survive, lies told by the liberation movements in order to fight, and lies institutionalized by the apartheid regime in the history texts, in the museums and libraries."Following the conference, I rented a car and drove, alone, nearly 2,000 miles visiting universities, libraries, museums, and monuments. At first, I was surprised to see that the mammoth Voortrekker Monument outside Preoria remained untouched. It is a unique monument to settler colonialism, rather like all the Washington, D.C., monuments and Mount Rushmore combined, complete with the founding fathers and frescos of pioneers fighting off 'invading savages.' The effect, however, given the sea change that had taken place in the country, was jarring. Once the white supremacist regime was toppled in South Africa, the official history and the origin story disintegrated, so that the museums and monuments and history texts now appear ludicrous and even quaint. One could make a good argument for maintaining those monuments as a reminder of the lies that were told before the truth was confronted."In the United States, however, similar monuments and histories that proudly tell the story of white settlement and the land they 'conquered' remain the scaffolding of the official national origin story, which although contested, remains intact. Despite the fissures provoked by the sixties' movements, the ideological hegemony of American exceptionalism reigns."U.S. historians are trained to be the keepers of the secrets and protectors of the myth, so we can't count on them to un-forget... Ever since the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and subsequent demands for some kind of re-telling of the story, mainstream historians have countered with calls for 'objectivity,' 'fairness,' and 'balance' in revising interpretations of U.S. history. They warn against 'moralizing,' calling for a dispassionate and culturally relative approach. However, explaining stolen land and genocide as a period of 'cultural conflict and change' avoids the truth about the formation of the United States. Furthermore, responsibility toward that past can be rejected."Most U.S. citizens don't think of their country at its founding as thirteen small colonies clinging to a small part of the North Atlantic shore, but rather the continental expanse from ocean to ocean--'from sea to shining sea'--and from Canada to what was until the 1840s the middle of Mexico, the Rio Grande. We must un-forget how that transition happened. In fact, the elimination of the Native occupants of the land and African slavery were crucial for the accumulation of capital and for the U.S. 'republic for empire,' as Thomas Jefferson put it. Genocide is the subtext of the Constitution and its implementation. And a by-product of both the genocide, land theft, and the maintenance of African slavery was the integration of white supremacy (and patriarchal Christianity) into the republican project."p. 408-9"As I write this in January 2002, we face the same problems that confronted us during the Vietnam period: war, imperial domination, suppression of civil liberties, COINTELPRO-type revival in a far more draconian form, and a huge patriarchal backlash, with rampant growth of Islamist, Christianist, and Zionist movements. Now more than ever, we must un-forget the past as the very survival of ourselves and humanity depends on it--from an honest un-forgetting of the long history that has led us to this point, to a re-evaluation of our immediate past. That's the least we can do--tell ourselves the truth. But as Salvadoran revolutionary and poet Roque Dalton observed: 'To denounce the infinite generality of evil / while proposing solutions the size of an ant' is a dodge. Our project as socially conscious beings must be, as it was during the war years, nothing less than the total transformation of human societies."During the 'American War,' as the Vietnamese call it, National Liberation Front representatives used to tell us that the struggle for freedom is precious and that it would take as long as it took. They said that they regarded the American Was as only a marker in their long struggle for freedom and independence. I've heard the Mayans from Guatemala and Chiapas express the same sentiment. And the U.S. civil rights movement hymn, 'Freedom is a constant struggle,' can be embraced only if it is unlinked from the false history of freedom that is still used as a point of departure."It is essential that we 'un-forget' these things as we engage in present and future struggles. We must all tell ourselves and our children and our children's children our stories of the war years, just as Native Americans retell their stories of struggle, keeping the warrior heart beating, taking pride in our outlaw status from an illegal system."This is our struggle, and therein lies our future."

  • Ciara
    2019-03-06 06:33

    of dunbar-ortiz's three sequential memoirs, i liked this one the best. probably because it felt the most like she was just writing about everything that happened & not trying quite so hard to prove a point. there is a bit of point-proving in here (like the way she builds up her opposition to the vietnam war--why can't she just give it a rest & let her books speak for themselves?), but it's fairly minimal. the book opens with her youthful marriage disintegrating in california & roxanne deciding she wants to be free of it & pursue a college degree. she starts attending university of california in berkeley & gets divorced right around the same time that the free speech movement stuff was happening on the berkeley campus, which leads her into anti-war activism, which leads her into feminism (due to the anti-war movement & the new left in general being pretty macho & uncool on the lady front). a good chunk of this book is about her realizing the huge impact that sexism has played in her life, how a burgeoning feminist consciousness helped her leave her marriage & finish school, etc etc. she kind of wastes a lot of time chastising other political movements for their lack of a feminist consciousness. dude, we know. that's why the second wave got going. i mean, it's not that she's not making a valid point. it just has this beating-a-dead-horse air to it, you know? & then when she gets into the petty (& occasionally not-so-petty) in-fighting among various feminists & radical women...for pete's sake. no wonder the ERA didn't pass. okay, maybe that's not fair. it's just that i get sick of every dunbar-ortiz memoir having an axe to gring against some other prominent political peer. it really just comes across as a bunch of petty jealousy that you'd thing she would have gotten over in the last thirty years. in this one, she lays into cathy wilkerson & accuses her of threatening members of roxanne's feminist collective. cathy wilkerson addresses this in her own memoir & says that she did no such thing & thinks it was an FBI trick. which, it probably was. roxanne was just so quick to point fingers. it bugged me. nonetheless, i'm glad i read it. very interesting stuff.

  • Sharmeen
    2019-03-18 02:51

    4I read this book while I was traveling in Cuba this year, so it was the perfect companion of an autobiography of a feminist and revolutionary who went on the 3rd Venceremos brigade in Cuba and went through various struggles to make revolutionary work forefront in her life. My main problem with the book is that while she writes quite objectively about her failures, the mistakes she has made, there is very little writing on real critical analysis of these mistakes. One disturbing trend is her involvement in radical feminist work and yet, her constant return to abusive controlling men. She writes of the irony, but little detail as to what was going on for her politically. I sometimes felt that perhaps she was jumping from issue to issue based on the romantic image of the movements rather than an articulation of what they meant to her. She glossed over some important contradictions such as how the women's movement did not include women of colour and how she dealth with these contradictions. But with these contradictions and her honesty with her various journeys, this book was incredibly moving and inspiring for the reason that she does situate herself as a martyr or a hero. Although I was left more with questions. This is an accessible and engaging political autobiography with a lot of history and perspective. What I really appreciated was her writing on mass movement mobilizations with an internationalist perspective and how she dealt with the contradictions with various organizations, including some good pokes at the Weather Underground. Plus, it was an alternative read of the radical socialist organizing during the 60s and 70s that does not romanticize the tactics nor gloss over the failures. Probably most helpful were her excerpts of various revolutionary documents to contextualize her organizing. I look forward to reading her other books.

  • Craig Werner
    2019-03-06 00:44

    Fierce and uncompromising, Dunbar-Ortiz tracks her personal and political journeys through the "long sixties." It's a story of awakening, breaking free, exploring options, making mistakes, self-criticism and, above all, unwavering commitment to the liberation of women, working class people, and the vast number of communities--domestic and international--struggling to live with dignity under the capitalist system. There are times--quite a few of them--when I was irritated with Dunbar-Ortiz's self-righteous tone, but I usually backed away from the initial response, putting it in the context of her own struggle--she *had* to be fierce to survive, and of the politics of a time when ideological correctness was seen not just as a necessity but as a virtue. It's not particularly well written--too many abstractions and jump cuts (which to some degree mirror her life). But it's useful, which I'm sure was her primary intent; she cites Marge Piercy's great poem "To Be of Use" as one of her inspirations. For those who didn't live through the time, Outlaw Woman gets the *feel* of radical politics right; in retrospect, mistakes were made, but they stemmed from impulses that remain legitimate. If you don't know the difference between the Revolutionary Union, the Socialist Labor Party, the Weathermen, or "political" and "cultural" feminists, this is an excellent place to start.

  • blue-collar mind
    2019-03-25 06:27

    I have passed this name in more than a few 60s history, but not much detail except passages like " this seemed to be the outlook of radical feminists like Roxane Dunbar" etc etc. So, when I saw this on the shelf in Iron Rail in our excellent biography section, I was delighted to find it.Read it in a day, thought she got the high points-her evolution to Cell 16, her move to a more serious anti-establishment outlook and life lived among those historical events.I had no idea that she stationed herself in New Orleans for the most radical period (and I am sure it seemed where better to amass caches of guns than in a third world city forgotten by America, even then?) The New Orleans stuff rings very true, so I am willing to buy the rest as a practical retelling of a activist's time in history, and one that I hope more newer versions of her take the time to read.

  • Megan Straughan
    2019-03-08 04:28

    This was an absolutely eye-opening book. I especially appreciated how straightforward the author was about her memories, she rarely provided analysis or explained how her thoughts had changed past the years the memoir covered. This allowed me to feel more immersed in the history and place this story in my own context. I'm embarrassed to say I was surprised over and over reading this book. I think my privileged millennial mind glossed over this era with a "activists in this time were heroes, leaders, etc." and never understood the complexities or specifics of organizing these movement. This was a thought-provoking read and will certainly cause me to consider history more thoroughly when crafting my own beliefs and actions as they relate to justice and activism.

  • ryan bears
    2019-03-23 01:37

    this was my first read during my first month/winter in pdx. i enjoyed reading this book. and it reads really fast. but a memoir offers the ability to reflect and i don't see alot of that in this book. two examples:first, when rita mae brown challenges dunbar as non inclusive of lesbians, dunbar doesnt really know what to say. which, when it happened, could be understandable. she was on the spot. but this is after the fact, why not acknowledge or engage rita mae brown's critiques. dunbar never does.second, if it was so important for dunbar to 'go underground.' why not take some time to explain what you saw in the underground and how that change significantly. lots of good cali history from the 60's to 70's

  • Jim
    2019-03-23 22:35

    Very candid and honest. This autobiography is "part 2" of a three book series by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This installment follows her awakening to feminism, involvement with militant organizations in the 60's and 70's and work up until the end of the U.S. occupation in Vietnam in 1975. An excellent and well documented work highlighting the activities of revolutionary organizations by a participant. The author has a very descriptive and honest retelling and recounts her own mistakes without shame or self judgement. Excellent!

  • Allee
    2019-03-05 05:36

    Really enjoyed this, devoured it in a couple days. Memoir traces Dunbar-Ortiz getting 'woke', as the kids would call it these days, and increasingly radicalized throughout the 60s and 70s. It felt very pertinent to where I'm at right now. Kind of depressing in the way that a lot of the shit they were figuring out then is still being figured out now (how to make mainstream feminism actually inclusive of all womens concerns rather than a province of white women, for example), and I felt like I recognized a lot of the issues she was struggling through. Recommend to my fellow awakening women.

  • World Literature Today
    2019-03-09 01:39

    "Dunbar-Ortiz’s Outlaw Woman is an essential read for anyone on the periphery of society who yearns to resist the status quo. It is an even more crucial read for the privileged who may wonder what a commitment to a pluralist feminist politics entails." - Danielle Harden, University of OklahomaThis book was reviewed in the March 2015 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website:

  • Sarah Shourd
    2019-03-17 01:50

    Roxanne is a powerful example of the 60s-70s radical feminist movement in this country. This autobiography reads like a novel and makes me hungry for more of this obscured history. Interesting to examine how the women's movement has changed, then it was brave and sensational act to cut one's hair on television, it was almost too easy to be revolutionary. Now, the face of femininity has changed but women choose to sell-out to get political power.

  • Bart
    2019-03-23 01:38

    Though a memoir, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz' Outlaw Woman roots autobiography in political context, widening the frame and scope of the book. Not only does Dunbar-Ortiz engage in some pretty cool actions (and other ones in which she later is not happy she participated), she exposes inner workings of radical activist movements with great insights that are relevant to dynamics in current activist scenes.

  • Muna
    2019-03-17 22:46

    In Greek the word for truth, "alethia", is not the opposite of "lie" as one would expect, but of "lethe", which means forgetting. So truth is unforgetting."It is essential that we 'un-forget' these things as we engage in present in future struggles. We must tell ourselves and our children and our children's children our stories of the war years...."

  • HeavyReader
    2019-03-19 04:29

    This book takes up where Red Dirt left off. This story is more radical and political, all about Roxanne's work in the women's liberation movement and the time she spent underground. Also an excellent, engaging read.

  • James Tracy
    2019-03-04 05:34

    Start with Personal Politics and then read this book.

  • Melanie
    2019-03-19 22:55

    This gave me a whole new insight into the history of women's liberation and radical politics.

  • Daniel Burton-Rose
    2019-03-11 05:46

    One of my favorite memoirs of the '70s. I particularly appreciate the perspective of a militant who considered the guerrilla option but pulled back just in time.

  • wheels
    2019-03-11 00:30

    i am grateful to learn from our elders about resisitance, repression, and long haul struggle.