Abbie Hoffman

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Abbott Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a social and political activist in the United States, co-founder of the Youth International Party ("Yippies"), and later, a fugitive from the law, who lived under an alias following a conviction for dealing cocaine.


  • All you kiddies remember to lay off the needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
    • From "God Bless America - Shoot Nixon", on the spoken word album Wake Up America! (1970)
  • In this state, dig it, you get twenty years for sale of dope to a minor. You only get five to ten for manslaughter. So like, the thing is, if you're selling to a kid and cops come, shoot the kid real quick!
    • From "Chicago", on the spoken word album Wake Up America! (1970)
  • I feel like a famous Indian Chief of the Fagowee nations, who led his tribe for 40 years in the desert amidst starvation, hunger, famine, strife, plague -- finally staggered up to the top of this mountain, drug crazed, looked out and pounded his chest and said, 'Where the fuck are we? Where the fuck are we?
    • From his album Wake Up, America!
  • I only regret that I have but one shirt to give for my country.
    • Post-trial statement after being declared guilty for flag desecration (wearing a shirt that resembled an American flag) [1] (1968) (modeled after a quote by American revolutionary Nathan Hale.)
  • If this guy is God, then this is the God that the United States of America deserves.
  • Free speech is the right to shout 'Theatre!' in a crowded fire.
  • A modern revolutionary group heads for the television station.
    • From his autobiography, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture (1980)
  • I see Judaism as a way of life. Sticking up for the underdog. Being an outsider. A critic of society. The kid on the corner who says the emperor has no clothes on. The Prophet.
    • From "Tikun" July-August 1989
  • the nineteen-sixties, apartheid was driven out of America. Legal segregation - Jim Crow - ended. We didn't end racism, but we ended legal segregation. We ended the idea that you can send a million soldiers ten thousand miles away to fight in a war that people do not support. We ended the idea that women are second-class citizens. Now, it doesn't matter who sits in the Oval Office. But the big battles that were won in that period of civil war and strife you cannot reverse. We were young, we were reckless, arrogant, silly, headstrong...and we were right! I regret nothing!
    • Closing words from his last speech, Vanderbilt University, April 1989
  • The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it. The second duty is to eat breakfast. I ain't going.
    • Spoken to police immediately prior to his arrest in Chicago; quoted in Marty Jezer's biography of him, "Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel"

Steal This Book (1971)

  • It's perhaps fitting that I write this introduction in jail.
    • Introduction
  • To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
    • Introduction
  • Usually when you ask somebody in college why they are there, they'll tell you it's to get an education. The truth of it is, they are there to get the degree so that they can get ahead in the rat race. Too many college radicals are two-timing punks.
    • "Free Education" chapter


  • Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them.

  • It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List.
    • On the success of his book, Steal This Book
  • Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
  • Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information.
  • The key to organizing an alternative society is to organize people around what they can do, and more importantly, what they want to do.
  • The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.
  • There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning!
  • You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
  • I believe in compulsory cannibalism...if people were forced to eat what they kill, we would have no more wars.
  • I was probably the only revolutionary referred to as cute.

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