Lessons from Columbia

In “Days of Rage Recalled,” Stefan Kanfer reviews Mark Rudd’s “Undergound” — an autobiography by the leader of the 1968 takeover of the buildings at Columbia University, which convulsed the campus and served as the prelude to a decade of bombings, armed robbery and incitement to murder, all in pursuit of a better Amerika.  Kanfer calls the book a series of rationales for Rudd’s toxic behavior, followed by “one of the most unconvincing mea culpas since Bernie Madoff turned himself in.”

In 1977, Mr. Rudd finally surfaced in a well-hyped, thoroughly lawyered surrender to federal authorities. He gloats that at his arraignment he was “treated more or less as a V.I.P. rather than a bail jumper and an accused felon revolutionary.” Another delight: Most of the charges against him were dropped, and he got off with two years’ probation and a $2,000 fine.

Guilty as hell, free as a bird.