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Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder: The Crimes and Transformation of Katherine Ann Power

Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder: The Crimes and Transformation of Katherine Ann Power
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Index , Notes
$19.95 (19.95)

Katherine Power, while a college senior, drove the getaway car in a violent bank robbery committed in the name of revolution. One of Power's accomplices shot and killed Boston police officer and father of nine, Walter Schroeder. Power went underground. She was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list longer than any other woman in history. Her surrender 23 years later was national news. Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder explores how Power came to do grave harm and how she went about a moral reckoning. Janet Landman traces how Power transformed herself from idealistic antiwar activist, to armed revolutionary, to long-term fugitive, to voluntary but defiant convict. It took years in prison doing what Power called "conscience work" before she took full responsibility for the ruin she had wrought. Landman lays out with precision, depth, and nuance Katherine Power's rocky pilgrimage toward moral reckoning. Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder reveals how criminals, sinners, and wrong-doers—all of us—can re-make ourselves as decent human beings—flawed and worthy, scarred and repaired. And something like redeemed.

"I spent much of the decade of the 1970s with a foot, and a big part of my brain, in one underground or another, whether it was connected to the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, or Timothy Leary’s clandestine network. Since then I’ve read much about underground groups. I have also written on the subject of fugitives, outlaws and prisoners. Janet Landman’s book, Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder, is the most cogent account of the radical underground of the 1970s that I have ever read. It is thoughtful, profound and thought-provoking. Call it 'a meditation on the American fascination with violence' and an 'exploration of the nature of redemption.' By looking at the underground experience of Katherine Power—a bank robber who was once on the FBI’s most wanted list—Landman maps the journey of one criminal/radical and at the same time illuminates a big chunk of the field of ethics. I hope that fugitives and outlaws from the past and today, too, will read this book, and that anyone who thinks that the underground life is romantic will find in its pages a sober account of what it means to be in hiding, to be hunted down and to spend years in prison and on probation. Landman calls Power 'a walking study in gray.' In Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder she has focused a light on all the shades of gray and suggested that we hold in abeyance notions of absolute evil or absolute good."—Jonah Raskin Professor Emeritus of communication studies at Sonoma State University, and author of For The Hell of It:The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution

"Katherine Ann Power was a pious Catholic schoolgirl who became, over the course of her life, a terrorist, a fugitive from the law, an imprisoned convict, and finally a free woman. But her greatest transformation was an ethical one, as beautifully documented in Janet Landman’s analysis of Power’s twisting path to redemption. Landman draws on philosophy, psychology, and her own fine-tuned moral sensibility to shed light on a riveting life narrative forever framed in tragedy."—Dan P. McAdams, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, and author ofThe Art and Science of Personality Development

"Looking for Revolution is a powerful, well-written story. In this age of moral confusion and mass incarceration, it exposes the dilemmas we face, wherever we stand. It contains, as it says, 'supremely important wisdom about keeping one's dissent constructive, nonviolent, open, and accountable;' and, to quote more, the lesson that 'reprobates, criminals, sinners and scoundrels—that is, all of us—can re-make ourselves as good human beings—flawed,' of course, but redeemable: in other words, that restorative justice is an idea whose time has come. Above all, it is very human. And as such, a story for all of us."—Michael Nagler, Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, Founder and President of the Metta Ctr for Nonviolence, and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future and The Nonviolence Handbook

"Walter Schroeder was husband to Marie and father to nine children, a heroic police officer killed in the line of duty. Katherine Power was complicit in his murder. Some will say that no good can come from a book about her, that it would only glorify the criminal and overshadow the memory of the victim, this great and good man. Looking for Revolution, Finding Murder will prove them wrong, for it is a biography of a conscience, of Power's reckoning with the damage she did and what she owed for it—to the Schroeder family, to society and the state, even, as she herself put it, “to the universe.” It also reflects the conscience of another woman, Janet Landman, who over years of research and hard thinking has scrupulously considered and reconsidered her appraisals of Power. Indeed, this book is a biography of conscience, period—a bracing exploration of what it means to take responsibility, whoever you are, for whatever you’ve done or failed to do."—Chris Walsh, Director, College of Arts & Sciences Writing Program, Boston University, and author of Cowardice: A Brief History (Princeton University Press)

"“Years after Janet Landman’s phenomenal book Regret comes her carefully written and researched book on conscience. It is an in-depth study of one person’s conscience and ethical transformation. This book has arrived at a moment in history when a deeper look at protest, values, and conscience is more than necessary. Her subject, Katherine Power, is complex. Both Landman and Power keep in mind the tragic loss of Officer Schroeder that was the result of Power’s illegal acts. But Landman’s voice, both poetic and grounded in social science, is an honest one and her focus is primarily on Power. It is a book that believes in human development, in taking responsibility and making reparation. A meditation, it is also a thorough analysis of regret, forgiveness, idealism, and foolishness.”—Sharon Lamb, EdD, PhD, Professor and Licensed Psychologist, University of Massachusetts Boston ."—-Sharon Lamb, EdD, PhD, Professor and Licensed Psychologist, University of Massachusetts Boston, and author of Before Forgiving and The Trouble with Blame: Victims, Perpetrators, and Responsibility.

"In her engrossing psycho-biographical immersion into Katherine Power’s remarkable life, Janet Landman shows how a redemptive self comes to be. Through years of what Power called 'conscience work,' she succeeded in integrating crimes, complexities, and pain into a new, deeply attuned level of moral awareness."—Paul Wink, Professor of Psychology, Wellesley College

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