“Of the individuals connected with the anti-war movement . . . the subject JUDY GUMBO is considered to be the most vicious, the most anti-American, the most anti-establishment, and the most dangerous to the internal security of the United States. ” —from FBI Surveillance Files on Judy Gumbo
In 1968, a 24-year-old woman moved to Berkeley, California and immediately became enmeshed in the Youth International Party, aka The Yippies, a recently-formed satirical protest group. In the next few years, Judy Gumbo (a nickname given her by Eldridge Cleaver), was soon at the center of counter-cultural activity—from protests in People’s Park, to meetings at Black Panther headquarters, to running a pig for President at the raucous Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a protest that devolved into violent attacks by the police and arrests that led to the notorious Chicago Conspiracy Trial. In this insider feminist memoir, Gumbo reveals intimate details of her fellow radicals Jerry Rubin, Anita & Abbie Hoffman, Eldridge Cleaver, Paul Krassner, Stew Albert, and more, detailing their experiences in radical anti-war protests and her own skirmishes with and victory over illegal FBI surveillance. Yippie Girl explores Gumbo’s life as a protester to show that, while circumstances always change, protesters can stay loyal to the causes they believe in and remain true to themselves. She also reveals how dogmatism, authoritarianism, and interpersonal conflict can damage those same just causes, offering a timeless and strategic guide for activists today protesting against injustice in all its forms.
ISBN: 978-1953103185; Trade Paper Original; 360 pages; $18; May 3, 2022
High Praise for Yippie Girl
“In Judy Gumbo’s Yippie Girl, she shares her adventures as one of very few Yippie girls with her fellow travelers including my father Phil Ochs. The Yippies’ unending creativity and courage provided the sardonic wit, wisdom, insight, and brutal honesty in the form of political music and theater needed for the revolution of the 60s. Judy’s stories effortlessly dance between playful and profound and always deeply personal. With the world fractured by orchestrated divisiveness, Yippie Girl is a healing balm.” —Meegan Lee Ochs, Artist Relations Manager, ACLU of Southern California
“Yippie Girl is one hell of a good read. Serious, but never sanctimonious, Judy Gumbo takes us into her Sixties world, and what a world it was! A Canadian red-diaper baby, she joined up with the politicized hippies who formed Yippie, was an ally of the Black Panther Party, became a women’s liberationist, and, through her antiwar work, had a clandestine affair with a high-ranking North Vietnamese official. Throughout, she was relentlessly surveilled by the FBI, whose role in subverting the Sixties she usefully highlights.” —Alice Echols, Professor of History, The University of Southern California, author Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin.
“No one has told Judy Gumbo’s story before. No one has recreated the Sixties more vividly, more compassionately or with a more delicious sense of humor. Yippie Girl traces Gumbo’s marriages, her lovers and her friends and does it without blowing anyone’s cover. Gumbo includes portions from FBI documents that describe her adventures in the counterculture and the movement. Abbie Hoffman would say ‘Steal This Book.’ Jerry Rubin would say ‘Do It!’ I say buy Yippie Girl, read it and let it blow your mind the way it did mine.” —Jonah Raskin, Author, Beat Blues: San Francsco, 1955
“A marvelous achievement and a wonderful read. Important, crucial and entertaining.” —Arthur M. Eckstein, author, Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution
“A panorama of the 60s, possibly one of the most memorable decades in American history.” —William M. Kunstler, Civil Rights Attorney
About the Author
Judy Gumbo is one of the few female members of the original Yippies, a satirical protest group founded in the 1960s and involved in organizing Chicago 1968 protests that led to arrests, and the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. As part of her activism, Judy was invovled in notorious feminist organizations, radical environmentalism, visited North Vietnam during the war, and traveled the globe agitating against the war and for the liberation of women. Her activism led to illegal surveillance by the FBI; she later successfully sued to obtain copies of their extensive records on her. Judy has a Ph.D. in Sociology and spent the majority of her professional career as an award-winning fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. She currently lives in a co-housing community in Berkeley, CA.