Jones, Thai 1977-
JONES, Thai 1977-
PERSONAL: Born 1977; son of Jeff Jones and Eleanor Stein. Education: Attended Vassar College and Columbia University School of Journalism.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Free Press, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
CAREER: Writer. Has worked as a reporter for Newsday.
A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience (nonfiction), Free Press (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: In his book A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience, journalist Thai Jones looks at a long tradition within his family of resistance to government authority. Much of the book focuses on Jones's parents, who were members of 1960s radical groups including the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Weather Underground. Due to violent protests held by organizations they were associated with, Jones' parents were pursued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for years. Because of that, Jones and his parents spent much of his childhood in hiding. In the book, the author also delves into the philosophies and radicalism of his maternal grandparents, who were part of the "Old Left," members of the Jewish Communist Party and active fighters for integration in schools and throughout American society. In addition, Jones's paternal grandparents were Quakers and pacifists, leading Jones's paternal grandfather to become a conscientious objector during World War II. In an interview that appears on the Democracy Now! Web site, Jones, who had numerous aliases while growing up, noted: "I think it's really the first examination of the 1960's from the next generation in sort of a historical way because I went at it as sort of a reporter. But the other difference is that I go back another generation to the 1930's."
Writing on the Media Mouse Web site, a reviewer noted that "A Radical Line confronts the common myth that the radicals of the 1960s were acting in a vacuum without tradition and were merely selfish youth—putting the activism of two SDS and Weather Underground members into the context of their families mutual struggles for social justice." The reviewer went on to note that the book "is not a history of the Weather Underground and readers looking for such a book should look elsewhere. However, it is an entertaining and well-written history." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the effort "a pensive tale of the Old Left and the New," and "one of the best forays into the Days of Rage—event, prequel, and sequel—to have appeared in years." Stephen L. Hupp, writing in the Library Journal, commented that, "drawing on interviews with family members and secondary sources, Jones gives us rich insight into the world of the American Left." Booklist contributor Vanessa Bush called A Radical Line "part family memoir and part historical record of the metamorphosis of radical movements in America." As for Jones's parents, a Publishers Weekly contributor commented, the author "infuses their politics with a crucial humanity that makes their path a little more understandable, perhaps even sympathetic."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jones, Thai, A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience, Free Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Booklist, October 15, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of A Radical Line, p. 368.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2004, review of A Radical Line, p. 727.
Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Stephen L. Hupp, review of A Radical Line, p. 168.
Publishers Weekly, August 9, 2004, review of A Radical Line, p. 239.
Democracy Now! Web site, http://www.democracynow.org/ (December 3, 2004), "Growing up in the Weather Underground: A Father and Son Tell Their Story" (interview).
Media Mouse Web site, http://www.mediamouse.org/ (May 30, 2005), review of A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience.