The Years of Grief and Laughter

A "Biography" of Ammon Hennacy

By Joan Thomas

The Years of Grief and Laughter

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  • ISBN: 9781620323526
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication Date: 8/6/2012
  • Retail Price: $41.00
Web Price: $32.80
Web Price: $32.80

The Years of Grief and Laughter

A "Biography" of Ammon Hennacy

By Joan Thomas

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781620323526
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication Date: 8/6/2012
  • Retail Price: $41.00
Web Price: $32.80

About-

In January of 1970, when he was in the hospital following a severe heart attack, the late Ammon Hennacy (1893-1970), one of the principal fathers of the present-day radical movement, made three requests of his second wife, Joan Thomas, should he die: (1) she was to finish with the publishing of the book he had written, The One-Man Revolution in America; (2) she was to scatter his ashes on the graves of the Haymarket martyrs at Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago; and (3) she was to write his biography.

The result of her fulfilling her husband's third request is not so much a biography (although it is that, too), but rather an intimate and delightful, albeit at times painful, memoir of an offbeat marriage where the husband was forty-one years older than his wife. The book is, as Ms. Thomas puts its, a "continuation of the fun-thing we had going between us, whatever that means." Well, whatever Ms. Thomas means, the reader will discover along with the "fun-thing" a deep psychological insight into a man who, with complete fearlessness, was dedicated to pacifism and Christian anarchy to the point of laying down his life for his friends without equivocation .

And who were Ammon's friends? Everyone. To be a Christian pacifist, it is not enough to merely refuse to fire a gun at another human being. There are many ways of "killing" a person--with slanderous or cruel words, for example, or by provoking another to a needless act of violence through the use of one's own--no, not nonviolent protest, but what is a kind of nonviolent violence. Ammon was not of this kind. In his heart lay a genuine love for those who should have been, but were not his enemies, that is, those who are responsible for the wars of this immature and barbaric century.

How does one acquire such love? That is the secret of this book, although it may be too deep a secret for many to understand. In our present-day chaos, we have yet to understand that dedicated groups are made up of individuals; that one must learn first to get along with one's self; that, indeed, the only war that is fruitful is the one within a person, who--if the "victory" is genuine, as it was with Ammon Hennacy--is then fit as a whole human being to take his or her place in what hopefully will someday be a sane society.

Contributors-

Joan Thomas

Bio(s)-

Joan Thomas was born in California in 1934. A writer from the age of five, she is the author of numerous works, both fiction and nonfiction. She writes--so she explains it--to have something fun to do to wile away her time earthside.

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