HOFFMAN, ABBIE Manuscript notebook of interview responses. Bergen, New Jersey: circa 24 November 1987. Spiral notebook...
Bergen, New Jersey: circa 24 November 1987. Spiral notebook containing 14 manuscript leaves in Hoffman's hand being answers to eighteen interview questions (only a few of which were published in the newspaper mentioned below), the final leaf with Hoffman's signature and address in New Hope, the cover of the notebook dated "October '86." 7 3/4 x 5 inches (20 x 12 cm). The covers bearing other ink notations, the first leaf with pen trials and the first lines in a differing ink, light wear; Together with the interview as printed in the Bergen Monitor and a signed copy of Steal this Urine Test, the newspaper dated as above, the book in original wrappers, Penguin, 1987, inscribed "To Laura/and dancing in the streets/Abbie Hoffman."
A rare and long series of responses in the hand of Abbie Hoffman, who describes himself on the first page as "A) an American dissident B) a community organizer C) the kid who yells 'the emperor has no clothes' D) none of the above." In late 1987, Hoffman spoke at Bergen Community College and afterwards joined Bergen Monitor reporter Laura Huhn for an interview at a local hotel bar but, in finding the place excruciatingly loud, Hoffman hand wrote his responses in this notebook. The content here is diverse and offers much of Hoffman's political mantra. As Hoffman was promoting his new book Steal this Urine Test, he rallies against the Just Say No anti-drug campaign as "a complete hoax ... just saying no to an addict is like saying 'cheer up' to a chronic depressive. What the Reagans know about the brain and drugs you could fill a roach motel." On the topic of drugs the interview takes an interesting turn as Hoffman discusses Timothy Leary, "I never told people to turn on, tune in and drop out, I told them to stand up and fight racism, the war, and social injustice. I think Tim's sort a philosopher, a mind tripper and experimenter. I organize people to resist tyranny. I live on the streets and he lives in Beverly Hills."
Hoffman takes time to report on his children, comments on his environmental work and other matters ("TV is the worst brain damager in America today"). There are also poignant comments on mortality which bear weight as Hoffman would commit suicide in early 1989. He reports that in his life he has "No regrets - life's a river I'm just trying to swim to the other side. Any heavy regrets and I'll sink like a stone." Meaningful and largely unpublished manuscript material such as this by Hoffman is rarely offered at auction and given the resurgence of American activism is worthy of both collector interest and institutional research.
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