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From Ike to Mao… and Beyond Comes Out on Audio, Read By Bob Avakian

We are proud and happy to announce to our readers that this Monday, April 17, we will begin posting an audio recording of Bob Avakian reading his memoir— From Ike to Mao… and Beyond —on our website, REVCOM.US. This recording will also be available on BOBAVAKIAN.NET. This week we will be posting Chapters 1 and 2, and we will post a new chapter every Monday, for the next four weeks after this.

There is a feel for the book, and the author, that comes through in a special way in these recordings. You get the funny stories and the poignant ones… the moments both life-defining and quirky… the passages that reflect (and reflect on) history and the deeply personal ones and the ones that combine the two, all in Bob Avakian’s own voice. There’s a whole universe of people today who are restlessly questioning the present and agonizing over the future, grappling with what kind of life they should live in these times; this voice, this way of looking at things, and this story—this unique and irreplaceable leader—need to be circulating all through that universe and connecting to a huge range of people in a whole host of ways. The new audio recording is a big new doorway into the book for many of the people in that universe, and a whole different dimension for people who’ve already gotten into it.

These recordings can and should be aired on radio shows, linked to other sites on the internet, e-mailed to friends far and wide, played in classrooms, used as parts of programs in bookstores, played on boom boxes in parks and barber shops and projects, made a part of literacy and ESL classes, and so on. They should be downloaded onto CDs and passed along. There should be a flowering of this in these next weeks that goes along with a concerted effort to get this extraordinary—and extraordinarily important—book way way out there.

Who is this for? To paraphrase the jacket of the memoir, it’s for people who think about the past or urgently care about the future… who want to hear a unique voice of utter realism and deep humanity… and who dare to have their assumptions challenged and their stereotypes overturned. And different people have responded in different ways to this book—from responding to it as a gripping story of personal transformation in a time of political upheaval, to finding it a spur (in one reviewer’s words) to “rethink the unthinkable”—to look at communism in a new light, off of Bob Avakian’s re-envisioning of it.

We’ll be printing excerpts of the chapters as they go up on the web in each of our next four issues. This issue features sections of Chapter One and Two, “Mom and Dad” and “One Nation Under God—a ’50s Boyhood.” Our special May 1 issue will feature a selection from “The World Begins to Open.” The May 14, May 21, and May 28 issues will carry excerpts respectively from “High School,” “Life Interrupted,” and “‘Your Sons and Your Daughters’”—which takes the reader up through 1965.

Have fun!