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An Historical Novel by Luke Hauser

Review by Andrea Prichett

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Direct Action captures the spirit of possibility that ignited a generation of activism, presenting the very human heart that lives in the center of activist culture.

Far from depicting superheros, this is the story of real people whose greatest act of courage is refusing to accept things the way they are. The characters are lofty and gritty, idealistic and practical, complex and striving. Hauser has provided a work that is historical, yet uniquely relevant to all who search for a better world.

Direct Action is a delightful excursion through time, raising the heady possibility that humans could live in a world without war. Like a drink of pure, clean water, Hauser's novel will refresh those who work for social change, yet rarely see their lives or values reflected in mainstream culture.

For people who have never crossed the line, this story is especially relevant as current events compel people of conscience to examine the price they would pay for freedom.

A School for Activists

Livermore Action Group (LAG) was a school for activists. The graduates of this "school without walls" went on to influence and shape the major movements from the 1980s to the present. From the anti-apartheid, Central America, and police accountability movements to those challenging globalization and war, LAG veterans' strategies, tactics, and values have been used effectively in all of these struggles.

I first encountered LAG in 1985 at an anti-apartheid sit-in, shortly after the events described in this novel. Now, every time I participate in an affinity group, go to "spokescouncil," do a "vibes check" or hear in the news that Colin Powell will be "facilitating" a meeting, I am reminded of the courage and kindness of those LAG folks who passed on their wealth of knowledge and experience with us.

For those of us who inherited this culture of resistance, Hauser's novel is a welcome reminder of how groups like LAGkept hope alive during the Reagan years.

With a Foreword by Starhawk. 768 pages. 300 illustrations. $9.95. Ages 16-up. Available from GroundWork. Contact

Andrea Prichett works with Berkeley Copwatch and sang with Rebecca Riots.

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