Praise and Reviews
From Ike to Mao and Beyond
My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist
a memoir by Bob Avakian
"Bob Avakian is a long distance runner in the freedom struggle against imperialism, racism and capitalism. His voice and witness are indispensable in our efforts to enhance the wretched of the earth. And his powerful story of commitment is timely."
— Cornel West
"A truly interesting account of Bob Avakian’s life, a humanizing portrait of someone who is often seen only as a hard-line revolutionary. I can understand why Bob Avakian has drawn so many ardent supporters. He speaks to people’s alienation from a warlike and capitalist society, and holds out the possibility for radical change." — Howard Zinn
"…leaves a breathtaking impression. Having deepened and purified his convictions over 40 years of personal and political struggle, Avakian sounds a high, sustained cry for complete social transformation almost as if he were the trumpet of Lenin himself." Read More
— San Francisco Chronicle
"Bob Avakian brings candor and sometimes retrospective insight into what it means to grow up white and male in our patriarchal, capitalistic culture and still to emerge as a leader of the fight against social injustice. His memoir is fascinating and inspirational."
— Carol Downer, co-founder, Feminist Women’s Health Centers
"Beyond the compelling ideological and philosophical ruminations from the book’s early chapters, when all the fun of football vanishes and he struggles with a dreadful sickness, rests the evidence of Avakian’s fortitude and resilience that are hallmarks of his character and integrity." from Malcolm X, Mao and a Radical's Memoir
— Herb Boyd
"What do you want to be when you grow up? Such is the perennial question posed to each generation. In a child's world the answers are usually simple and predictable: fireman, bus driver, movie star, doctor, sports hero, revolutionary communist. Huh?!? Well, it is unlikely that being a revolutionary when he grew up was the first thing that sprang to Marx's mind. And it certainly did not for Bob Avakian, Chair of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Avakian's fascinating autobiography From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist reveals the complexity of a human being seeking to change the world while interpreting life's deepest meanings and contradictions in revolutionary terms." Read more
— Revolution newspaper
"…this book is an insider's view of what life is like inside a revolutionary organization in the world's most imperial nation. It is a fast-paced yet detailed description of radical organizing during one of the US's most rebellious periods." Read More
"The reader gets information about the Black Power struggle and black nationalist organizations that is available nowhere else. Avakian's recollections speak volumes about contemporary race relations and recount the important events of several eras... entertaining and honest... screams out to the rap generation." Read the entire review
— Elemental Magazine
"In addition to recounting a life lived during very interesting and important times; in addition to recounting his involvement with significant historical figures and events; beyond sharing his personal story; in From Ike to Mao and Beyond, Bob Avakian offers a fresh, new look at a system of thought that has, by some, been consigned to the 'ash heap of history.'… Bob Avakian's new and innovative conception of 'Communism' deserves consideration."
— The Free Press
"I thought of storytelling, and the way that Native Americans talk about the importance and positive power of storytelling. What I see is a very powerful updating of storytelling of our times… Bob Avakian travels a journey from a certain yesterday to a possible tomorrow in From Ike to Mao and Beyond. This diary of hopes and journal of lessons narrates how some youth went from troubling days to challenging actions to sharing dreams. Bob Avakian imagines and knows he is not the only one and he is ready to share dreams, his and ours. His shared experiences, with unflinching candor and generous warmth, are his respects for those of strong heart and clear mind, those ready to do the work of getting to the other side of history." More
— Dr. Juan Gomez-Quiñones, historian and writer, UCLA
"The importance of critical thinking is an important theme of Ike to Mao and Beyond. This approach influenced Bob Avakian's development in the transformation he went through as an individual… As a professor, I and other professors want their students to be critical thinkers. This book can open people up to an approach of how to look at things with a critical eye... The students need to read this." More
— Robert Keith Collins, Ph.D., Homalusa: Center for African and Native American Research
"This book comes with my highest recommendations to aspiring activists or anyone who, like Avakian, holds no respect for unearned and unwarranted authority. It's also a wonderful memoir for anyone who enjoys reading diverse perspectives of history."
— Laney College, Oakland, California
"I recommend this book to the high school student interested in joining the fight against human oppression and for anyone hoping to enlighten themselves with the life of one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time."
— Oakland High School
"The most fascinating section of his book is the first section, in which Avakian describes his experiences with racism at BHS in the 1960s. His insights and perspectives on Berkeley are thought provoking. Many of his opinions and views are considered radical, but they are intriguing nonetheless."
— Berkeley High Jacket
"He didn't spring from high school a full-fledged Marxist revolutionary. He slowly evolved from the son of a liberal Democratic judge who dreamed of becoming a basketball coach into a full fledged communist activist. Indeed, there's something rather true to life about this." Entire Review
— Review by Stanley Rogouski
— Inside Higher Ed, Intellectual Affairs