About the Author
Robert Pardun was born in Kansas and raised on the edge of the prairie in Pueblo, Colorado. As a graduate student, he was a founder of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at the University of Texas in 1964, became a regional SDS organizer, and then an SDS national officer in 1967-68, which put him in the SDS national office at the height of the antiwar movement. After the collapse of SDS, he spent 1971-76 on a commune in the Ozarks. Robert recently served as associate producer of the critically acclaimed documentary film on SDS, Rebels with a Cause, and is one of the people interviewed in the film. Robert now lives in the mountains near Santa Cruz, California.
Pardun, Robert, Prairie Radical : A Journey Through the Sixties (Los Gatos, California : Shire Press, 2001)
Prairie Radical is a highly regarded memoir of the sixties. From Amazon.
From the Author
I decided to write Prairie Radical because I found that most histories of the sixties say very little about the day-to-day activities on the local level or about the lives of the individuals involved. The movement was, after all, the combination of thousands of local movements each made up of individuals who were willing to risk their lives and careers to end injustice, racism, and the Vietnam War. It was on the local level that the strategy and tactics for reaching new people were developed and where the connections between the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the women’s and other liberation movements, and the counter-culture were forged. I hope that this “history with a human face” helps people experience the passion of that decade rather than just learning what happened.
No Apologies: Texas Radicals Celebrate the ‘60s (Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1992), edited by Daryl Janes, “It Wasn’t Hard to Be a Communist in Texas,” by Robert Pardun, pp, 49-61.
Rebels With a Cause, documentary film on SDS, Produced, directed, and edited by Helen Garvy; associate producer, Robert Pardun.
Rebels with a Cause chronicles the movements for social change of the Sixties that began with the civil rights movement and culminated with the angry protests against the US war in Vietnam. Told through the eyes of SDS members, the film is about far more than SDS. It’s about the values, motivations, and actions of a generation that lost its innocence but gained a sense of power and purpose. It’s about a decade that changed America.
This American Life: Review of Prairie Radical, Dick J. Reavis, September 14, 2001