Heavy Radicals: The FBI's Secret War on America's Maoists

Regular price $ 29.95

by Aaron J. Leonard

Zero Books

11/2/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781803413174


Heavy Radicals: The FBI's Secret War on America's Maoists is a history of the Revolutionary Union/Revolutionary Communist Party - the largest Maoist organization to arise in the US - from its origins in the explosive year of 1968, its expansion into a national organization in the early '70s, its extension into major industry throughout the early part of that decade, and the devastating schism in the aftermath of the death of Mao Tse-tung to its ultimate decline as the 1970s turned into the 1980s. From its beginnings the grouping was the focus of J. Edgar Hoover and other top FBI officials for an unrelenting array of operations: Informant penetration, setting organizations against each other, setting up phony communist collectives for infiltration and disruption, planting of phone taps and microphones in apartments, break-ins to steal membership lists, the use of FBI 'friendly journalists' such as Victor Riesel and Ed Montgomery to undermine the group, and much more. It is the story of a sizable section of the radicalized youth whose radicalism did not disappear at the end of the '60s, and of the FBI's largest - and, up to now, untold - campaign against it.


"In this masterfully written and extensively researched book, Aaron Leonard with Conor A. Gallagher offers a no-nonsense critical analysis of one of the most resilient, misunderstood, and controversial anti-capitalist organizations of the last fifty years. This book is a MUST READ for anyone invested in nuancing their understanding of revolutionary political struggle and unrelenting state repression in the United States." -- Robeson Taj Frazier, author of The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination

About the Author:

Aaron Leonard is a writer and historian. He publishes regularly in Truthout.org, Rabble.ca, History News Network, and Physics World. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.