No one was better at genius pranks than Abbie Hoffman. He's appreciated for stunts like bringing the New York Stock Exchange to a halt when he led a band of hippies onto the balcony there, where they rained dollar bills down upon the floor of amazed Wall Street suits, who famously knocked one another to the ground as they dived rapaciously for the free cash. Others may remember Abbie for the levitation of the Pentagon during a 1967 march against the Vietnam War (witnesses insist that it really did happen). But the event that made Hoffman a household name was the Chicago 8 trial, the subject of the new documentary "Chicago 10." For months the news was filled with his brilliant, often hilarious, defense maneuvers against government charges that he and his co-defendants conspired to disrupt the 1968 Democratic national convention. Abbie transformed the trial into a true theatrical event, a platform for broadcasting the alternative values and politics of the counterculture onto every TV screen in America. In the process, while never wavering from his radical beliefs, Hoffman became one of the country's most famous celebrities.
As this interview shows, he was also a sober, serious strategist who grounded his antics in theory. Few appreciated the subtle ties between cultural gesture and political action as deeply as Hoffman. This converstion took place in New York City a few months before his untimely death in 1989. It appeared in 2007 in the Australian journal Into-Gal.
Read the interview here at Reality Sandwich