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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth, 28 July 2008
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Pablo (Co. Down/ Navarra) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Televisionaries: Red Army Faction Story (Paperback)
If you want a (very) basic outline of who the Red Army Faction were and what they did, then this is the book for you: it is a chronological list of events stretching to 105 pages. There is no biographical, psychological or even ideological detail here, nor any attempt at analysis. The writing style is tabloidish - present tense virtually throughout - and often comes across as glib. I feel that the development of student activism into urban terrorism in Germany at this time was a complex phenomenon which deserves more thoughtful treatment.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive, shocking and certainly to the point., 16 Nov 2007
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This review is from: Televisionaries: Red Army Faction Story (Paperback)
Tom Vague's book is journalistic in style and relates the events, month by month, as they happened. Although Vague's book is brief at least its not full of endless moralizing and opinion that has dogged other works on the same subject. It appears that books on the Baader-Meinhof gang (Red Army Faction, RAF) are a bit thin on the ground almost as if it were a slightly taboo subject. I wonder why?
However reading Vague's book makes it quite clear, if you join student protests against Vietnam in 1960's West Berlin (which at the time was an island surrounded by communist East Germany), drop acid and pick fights with the police, you are likely to become a Baader-Meinhof gang member. I find it interesting that the PLO played a role in forming this Marxist-Leninist/anarchist group but it also seems that government agents/agent provocateurs weren't very far away either. Indeed certain authorities, such as Webster Griffin Tarpley an expert on international terrorism, have alleged that at times the Baader-Meinhof gang were actually working for NATO and were systematically bumping anyone off who happened to get in the way of the status quo just as the Red Brigades had been caught doing in Italy. Indeed the Red Brigades and the RAF at times were in direct contact and even carried out joint missions.
There are other peculiarities as well however. The suicide of Ulrike Meinhof during her trial was suspicious as she did not leave a suicide note although at other times she was an avid recorder of her personal thoughts. Also the fact that Andreas Baader shot himself in the back of the head under maximum security is highly suspect. You don't need a gun to take your own life and you usually shoot yourself in the mouth or the side of the head, not in the back.
But if the Baader-Meinhof gang wasn't crazy enough what about the Socialist Patients' Collective, or SPK, who really were crazy, literally.......! Founded by Dr. Wolfgang Huber, a professor of psychiatry at Heidelberg University, he taught his group therapy patients how to make bombs and to take surveillance photographs of potential targets. Ultimately the SPK armed themselves and joined forces with the Baader-Meinhof gang. This proves a lot of them really were nuts but were they mind controlled as well?
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Televisionaries: Red Army Faction Story
Televisionaries: Red Army Faction Story by Tom Vague (Paperback - 9 Jun 1994)
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