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on 3 April 2010
After having seen the film The Baader Meinhof Complex and then reading the excellent book by Stefan Aust I still felt that I needed to know more about the Red Army Faction. This book is an excellent read and throws light on the mysterious deaths of Meinhof, Baader, Enslin and Raspe in Stammheim. Suicide - or murder?

The book delves deeply into the politics of the organization and much of the material is of correspondence from members of the RAF to the authorities.

I can't wait for volume 2.
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on 7 June 2010
This is a must-read for English-speaking readers interested in this subject and with being over 700 pages long the amount of information presented in the book is just immense. The layout is well presented and very clearly described making it a fantastic source book. I congratulate the authors on a fantastic read and can't wait for the release of Volume 2!
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on 6 April 2015
This a history of the early years of far-left groups in what was then West Germany (not all of them violent) up to the German Autumn of 1977,which led to the death of most of the RAF leadership in Stammheim jail.
The documentary material is fascinating and it has been either re-translated or is in English for the first time.Illustrations are great too.
It is written from an anarchist perspective,and is far too uncritical of the violent actions of the various groups documented here.
Worth a read, but also read Stefan Aust's "Baader Meinhof Complex" for a critical review of the same historical period
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on 1 March 2013
The authors must be commended for putting together this very comprehensive collection of material on the RAF, as well as for wearing their bias on their sleeves, as this allows the collection to serve as invaluable source material for any historian of the period.

While not strictly speaking a review matter, I do however wish to address one very specific issue in the book. In Appendix 1 the authors reproduce an extract in German from an article in the FAZ newspaper which was read by one English speaking commentator, George Watson, as demonstrating Ulrike Meinhof's (suppossed) anti-semitism. The authors try to address this issue by quoting both Watson's translation of Meinhof's statement and providing their own translation, so as to demonstrate that Meinhof was mis-translated. Unfortunately, their own translation falls way short and doesn't resolve the issue at all, something I'd like to correct.

Original quote from the FAZ: "Ausschwitz heißt, daß sechs Millionen Juden ermordet und auf die Müllkippen Europas gekarrt wurden als das, als was man sie ausgab - als Geldjuden."
Watson's translation: "Ausschwitz means that six million Jews were killed, and thrown on the waste-heaps of Europe, for what they were: money-Jews."
Smith and Moncourt's translation: "Ausschwitz means that six million Jews were murdered and carted off to Europe's garbage heap, dispensed with as money Jews."

The key phrase is "als das, als was man sie ausgab", which Watson translates as "for what they were", and which Smith and Moncourt turn into "dispensed with as" (I have no idea where they got 'dispensed with' from). The meaning of the infinitive "ausgeben" in this context is "to pretend to be" or "to make out to be"! That means, Meinhof's statement should be translated as:

"Ausschwitz means that six million Jews were murdered and carted onto Europe's garbage heaps as what they had been made out to be - money Jews."

As Meinhof goes on to say, by portraying the Jews as 'money Jews', the system was able to turn people's (latent) anti-capitalist feelings against the Jews. With a little bit more effort, the authors could have helped their own attempt to correct Watson's misrepresentation of Meinhof's views.
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on 3 December 2012
For many years Stefan Aust's 'The Baader Meinhof Complex' has been the only in-depth English language study of the history of the Red Army Faction. While I enjoyed Aust's book to a point, I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the information presented as fact appeared to have little or no references to back it up. Furthermore I couldn't help feeling that Aust's friendship with Ulrike Meinhof resulted in a very subjective view of the group, his dislike for Baader being particularly apparant throughout it's pages.

Projectiles For The People paints a very different picture of the RAF. Beginning with a deep analysis of the socio-political conditions that had developed since the end of WWII, the book moves on to document the history of the RAF in great detail, but as has been mentioned in a previous review, looks at the group from a more left-wing viewpoint and puts the main protagonists in a more sympathetic light.

Where does the truth lie? It is impossible to know, but I think it's fairly safe to say that it would be somewhere between the two accounts. However, Projectiles For The People does a much better job of referencing it's source material and remaining objective. In areas where it is impossible to avoid making a value judgement in it's narrative, then efforts are made to justify the opinion.

This is a much more scholarly book on the history of the Red Army Faction than Aust's, which reads like crime fiction, and although it might be harder reading, I would advise anybody with more than a passing interest in the subject to read it first.
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on 6 August 2013
This book, and I assume its companion volume, is unreadable on my Kindle. Sidebars fail to carry over to a second page. Clicking on next page in some instances takes you directly to the notes at the end of the book. Clicking on chapters in the table of contents likewise can take you straight to the notes at the end of the book. This book should never have been released until such problems were identified and ironed out.
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on 22 June 2012
What the other reviewers don't mention, and which I think may be relevant to potential buyers of this book, is that it is written very much from the 'far-left' perspective. The 'anti-imperialist' propaganda comes thick & fast throughout (eg- all the deaths of r.a.f. members become police/state 'murders', regardless of the conflicting accounts of each case) but it is possible to separate fact from possible fiction and gain much useful info from this highly detailed reference book. Readers who want to gain a more balanced perspective on this subject may wish to cross-reference this work with others, such as Stefan Aust's which takes a much more liberal-conservative line.
"Projectiles" scores well over the other books on the R.A.F. by 'setting the scene' in some detail for political/social unrest in 60's/70's W. Germany. Also, the choice of illustrations (many are left-wing posters/fliers/publication images) is unusual & interesting.
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on 9 May 2011
Without getting into the politics that are the subject of the book, I just want to say that I found this very interesting and enjoyable. A lot of the history and political context is filled in by the chronological presentation of the book. I found the more narrative chapters the most interesting as I had little prior knowledge of the subject, some of the longer RAF statements are rather hard work owing to their turgid writing style.
looking forward to volume 2.
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on 29 June 2016
Excellent. Delighted with this.
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