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When Kathy Boudin was arrested in 1981 after a botched armed robbery and shootout that left a Brinks guard and two policemen dead, she ended a decade living underground as part of the radical Weathermen underground; she would spend the next 22 years in Bedford Hills prison. In Family Circle, Boudin’s former classmate Susan Braudy vividly re-creates the radicalization of this intelligent, privileged young woman who came from one of the most prominent liberal intellectual families in America. She illuminates Boudin’s relationship with her parents—and particularly with her father Leonard, a famous leftist lawyer—and shows how Kathy, swept up in the ferment of the late 1960s, moved further and further from the Old Left ideals they embodied.
Based on extensive interviews, court documents, and Boudin family papers, Family Circle is both a rich biography of a family and a intimate window into a turbulent and fascinating time.
“A gripping study. . . . A powerful narrative.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Tough-minded, honest, and thoroughly absorbing.” —The New Republic
“The tensions, conflicts, and eventual downfall of a seemingly confident dynasty of radical tinkers and super-achievers . . . give Susan Braudy’s Family Circle its stunning power. . . . As Braudy tells it, the story attains the epic stature of a genuine American tragedy.” —The Women’s Review of Books
“Fascinating . . . Braudy, who knew Kathy growing up, delves deeply into her family’s crippling psychological games.” —People
“Rethinks what makes a radical tick.” —New York Daily News