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Steal This Book

(Written by Abby Hoffman, 1970)


“I hate Israel and want to see the Palestinians triumph. I am violently anti-Israel, and no longer believe they have the right to exist.” Jerry Rubin, his right-hand man, added; ‘If Moses were alive today he’d be an Arab guerilla.”

Anti-imperialist peace activist, self-described “Yippie”, & member of the Chicago 7 remains one of the few true anti-imperialists of the counter-culture movement, with even Rubin later denouncing his activism & joining businesses like Macintosh in his later years. This was further signified by Hoffman giving up on the left which he proclaimed “dead”, before taking his own life in 1989 at just 52. But his legacy lives on; from his staunch anti-Israel beliefs at a time when it was unfathomable for a Jew in America, his push against the Vietnam War & other imperialist American enterprises, & yes; being whacked off staged by an electric guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival when he rushed the performance of British rock & roll band The Who. But few things cemented his legacy more than one of his few published works; Steal This Book, a satirical, yet undeniably valuable take on how-to & self-help books that both admonished the ruling class, while giving step-by-step techniques to survive on the streets homeless & in poverty. From stealing gasoline, to how to shoplift, Hoffman collected this wisdom from not only his hippie & activist counterparts, but from his own experiences living a nomadic outlaw life during the rise of American fascism. Decrying the American left “dead” (was he wrong), he also remained a strong voice for Palestine till his final days.