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The Opposition
Guernica Editions (Guernica World Editions), Spring 2022
334 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771837361
ISBN10: 1771837365
English, French, Italian, Spanish
Translated from the English
$25.00 Canada, $21.95 US, £14.95 UK

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Set during America's 1960s New Left movement, The Opposition tells the story of twenty-something young men and women linked by a fierce desire to change the world who become involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements, when under the pressure of Vietnam, and America, unraveling, their web of passion and pain reaches a breaking point. Four women and four men meet in a Midwestern college town in 1963. As racist violence surges in the Deep South, they are seized by the civil rights movement. They all take part in demonstrations; Melissa, who is black, leaves to help voter registration in Mississippi, and several decide to organize in a poor white community in Cleveland. One of the women, Sally, has an illegal abortion. As the Vietnam war accelerates and things go awry with community organizing, some of the group get involved in antiwar projects, and another of the women, Valerie, goes to Mexico to study art. Matt, the son of a pro-war minister, is summoned by his draft board, and has a powerful drug experience on his way into draft resistance. The group rendezvous in Chicago during the Democratic Convention of August 1968 and the police do not take kindly to them. Passions flair and arguments erupt amid street fights. One of the activists, Kurt, reconsiders confrontations and decides to work with a liberal Congressman to lobby for legislation to end the war. Ronnie, a radical filmmaker, and his lover, Marcia, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, get close to the just-founded Weathermen. The novel moves through these eight lives to a tragic conclusion.

Books by Todd Gitlin

The Opposition