Do It! Scenarios of the Revolution Summary

Summary (American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

Jerry Rubin’s Do It! Scenarios of the Revolution (1970) is a series of forty- three vignettes describing Rubin’s personal evolution and his involvement in events such as the Berkeley Free Speech movement of 1964, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam antiwar demonstration at the Pentagon in 1967, and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A key theme of Do It! is that revolutionary change is accomplished in the theater of everyday life rather than through abstract theorizing. The book embodies some of the tactics it advocates: spectacle as subversion, myth as politics, and parody as critique.

Impact

Journalists for the mainstream and alternative press described Do It! as a collection of vulgar and childish exclamations of a clownish pseudorevolutionary. With total sales of more than 250,000, however, even the most scathing reviews conceded that Do It! tapped into the pulse of American youth and contained some valid critiques of middle- class life. In Do It!, Rubin voiced the sentiments of many disaffected white, middle- class youths who felt alienated by both the right and the left.

Do It! Scenarios of the Revolution Related Work (American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

Rubin’s We Are Everywhere! (1971) is the sequel to Do It!

Do It! Scenarios of the Revolution Additional Information (American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

For a more complete discussion of the Yippie movement of the 1960’s, see The Underground Revolution: Hippies, Yippies, and Others (1970), by Naomi Feigelson.