Revolutionary Suicide (Newton)

This is an amazing book, one that I’m sorry I did not find earlier in life. The evolution and clarity of Newton’s vision, taken together with his accounts of his legal struggles and political acts, is both coherent and persuasive (and, perhaps, self-serving). I know just a little about the Black Panthers and want to continue to investigate, but there seems to have been much that was good about their work.

Newton’s sexism (which he seems to have inherited from his father) and his homophobia are not to be cast aside or minimized, but I think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of ideological purity. People,  famous people, leaders have flaws. None of us is perfect. I cannot find the origin of the idea (perhaps Voltaire?), but the notion of not letting perfect be the enemy of better seems to apply here (and in more current situations).

I found this book to be riveting and inspiring. And anyone who inspires me to read Nietzche gets a tip of the hat from me.


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