Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left's Resistance to the Vietnam War

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by Ted Glick, forward by Frida Berrigan

PM Press

7/15/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781629637860


Burglar for Peace is the incredible story of the Catholic Left—also known as the Ultra Resistance—from the late 1960s to the early ‘70s. Led by the Catholic priests Phil and Dan Berrigan, the Catholic Left quickly became one of the most important sectors of the Vietnam War–era peace movement after a nonviolent raid on a draft board in Catonsville, MD, in May 1968.

With an overview of the broader draft resistance movement, Burglar for Peace is an exploration of the sweeping landscape of the American Left during the Vietnam War era as we accompany Ted Glick on a journey through his personal evolution from typical, white, middle-class, American teenager to an antiwar, nonviolent draft resister. Glick vividly recounts the development of the Catholic Left as it organized scores of nonviolently disruptive, effective actions inside draft boards, FBI offices, war corporation offices, and other sites. Burglar for Peace is the first in-depth, inside look at one of the major political trials of Catholic Left activists, in Rochester, NY, in 1970, as well as a second one in 1972 in Harrisburg, PA. With great humility, Glick recalls how his selfless devotion to ending the war in Vietnam resulted in his eleven months of imprisonment, which included a thirty-four-day hunger strike, and he tells the remarkable story of a Catholic Left-organized, forty-day hunger strike against the war. Concluding the story is a reflective account of Glick’s open resignation from the Catholic Left in 1974, his eighteen-year estrangement from Phil and Dan Berrigan, and the eventual healing of that relationship. The final chapter relates timeless lessons learned by the author that will find deep resonance among activists today.

Burglar for Peace will serve as both an inspiration and an invaluable resource for those committed to transformational, revolutionary change.


“Ted Glick’s story of his experiences taking risks to end the Vietnam War, his political trials and his time in prison 50 years ago make compelling reading. Prison was a turning point in my life, and Glick’s story reveals something similar. His story and commitment that resonate throughout it is only another witness to a piece of the American soul we as Americans all share—and that is—that we love democracy, we honor truth, we despise lies and dictatorship, but we call upon ourselves to dig deep into our hearts for that courage to take the first step from our comfort zone, then another step out the door, to greet the world and fight for it, open-armed, embracing all that is good about our humanity and lives and fighting, with every ounce of faith we can endure, for our right to be happy and just and fair and for our right to call each other, regardless of skin color or ethnicity or religion, brothers and sisters!”
—Jimmy Santiago Baca, award-winning American poet and author of A Place to Stand

“Ted Glick’s Burglar for Peace tells a remarkable story of one man’s lifelong commitment to peace and social justice. His story is revealing, honest and self-critical, as he has obviously thought deeply about his actions and the movements of which he was a prominent member. Burglar for Peace is an engaging and most welcome addition to the literature on the war in Vietnam and the movement that tried to stop it.” —Bruce Dancis, author of Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War

About the Contributors:

Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer, and writer since 1968. He was imprisoned for eleven months for his draft resistance activities during the Vietnam War. He has been active in the independent progressive politics movement since 1975 and since 2003 has been a national leader in the climate justice movement.

Frida Berrigan is a contributor to TomDispatch.Com and writes the Little Insurrections blog for WagingNonviolence.org. She helped to found the group Witness Against Torture and long served on the National Committee of the War Resisters League. She grew up at Jonah House, the Christian resistance community founded by Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister in Baltimore. She lives in New London, Connecticut with her husband and three children, where she works in community gardens and a community land trust. She is the author of It Runs in the Family.