What People Are Saying About Bob Avakian

from an “angry slave” in a California prison:

Greetings Comrades! It has been 12 years for me [in prison]. I’m pleased that my thoughts are so welcome here! And thanks for the recent reading material…

I believe it is important to get BA into the prisons as well as into the hands of the public. Not only are the prisoners oppressed but the public (or damn near all of it) is just a ½ a heartbeat away from oppression and most are in denial about that fact… BA helped me come to the terms that my “systematic oppression” was not a mere happenstance of “luck.” That there is a system in place, mostly directed against Black and Latino males (among others), which essentially criminalizes Life, and creates a “slave labor force” and that me and other Blacks like me never really escaped slavery. We just had a choice of who “master” would be and a selection of “scraps which fall from the master’s table.” I mean the dynamics of slavery changed, not the slave, not the master.

I no longer have those choices. But I got B.A. which gives me vision. I got Bob Avakian teaching me that I am not what makes this system bad, it’s this system that makes me and everybody else who’s Black, Latino, poor or female a “criminal” for its financial gain. BA is a masterpiece. Spread it everywhere. I will help, until we overcome.

An Angry Slave, seeking guidance
May 8, 2014


from Dongping Han, political scientist, author of The Unknown Cultural Revolution:

Bob Avakian’s book [BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian] is soul searching. It is powerful and courageous. If we want to have a better world in the future, we have to face our past, and we have to understand what we are doing in the world today cannot be sustained.

“I had to wake up and deal with cold reality when I met up with BA and the Revolutionary Communist Party. I also learned that there is a way out of this madness.”

My grandson was fourteen years old when he entered the most dangerous prison in Texas. My grandson was put into prison with adult men. He was scared and put up a brave front. He was often involved in fights and one time he was cut from his ear to his throat. He received no visitors because his family resides across the country. We, his family reacted like most families when he went to prison. We thought if he did the crime he must serve the time. How wrong we were.  Read more…

from a BAsics Bus Tour Volunteer:

I was once ignorant of the society that has surrounded me. Not long after getting out of the service, I became an Occupier. I had the experience of having many of the world’s problems laid out in front of me, and for the first time having a voice to speak out against them. This was very exciting and uplifting. I was also out looking for so many answers to why the world is the way it is. Then I met the revolution. Listening to Bob Avakian for the first time in the midst of sleeping in a park, and spending my days searching for answers… Read more…

from Matthew Shipp, musician:

I come at it from a little different angle, but what impressed me about Bob’s work was an openness and a non-doctrinaire attitude. He always talks about a firm center and elasticity, and the fact that he talks about how revolutionaries have to have a poetic spirit. So I think freeing imagination is one reason we go into music, poetry, dance or whatever, and I really feel that the way he approaches things leaves a lot of things open for all kinds of possible syntheses and things to happen that you can’t maybe pinpoint, but if we have a situation where people’s imaginations can be unleashed, lord knows how things can evolve and come into being….So basically all that is to say that what I really liked about his work is that he approaches things in a non-dogmatic way. And at the same time he recognizes all the failures that have happened in revolution in the past. We have to learn from all the mistakes in the past but that should not close your mind to the fact that something better can emerge in the future.

from Warrior Woman for the Revolution:

When I first was introduced to BA’s teachings, I was very shocked that this white boy was very real and knew a lot about Black life. Listening to BA, I felt that he knew just what I was going through and up against day after day. Read more…

from Richard Brown: “We Have to Have a Revolution”:

I want to say to the young people, please get this book [BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian]. Get it. Young people, you have to get it… When I was in the Black Panther Party, we used the Red Book as a means of uniting a whole community, and uniting each other. We read that book every night in the Black Panther office, we took it to the street corners and some nights we would go into the communities to people in our community, we’d go in their living room, and we’d have block parties to bring the community together and read from the Red Book. It united us, it gave us principles, it taught us how to work together and we did everything we could in order to bring about a revolution. That’s what this country needs and that’s what we have to do. We have to have a revolution.

from a University student: “You start reading it and it’s like ‘the emperor has no clothes.’”

I bought it [BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian] expecting to disagree with a lot of it, but even the opening chapters have really been very lucid and provocative, with glaring parallels to the driving ideas behind veganism which I’m much more familiar with…You start reading it and it’s like “the emperor has no clothes.”

from Erin Aubry Kaplan, journalist and author:

I hope he gets number one Amazon.com. We need to get this kind of word, this kind of conversation out into—it needs to be disseminated, it needs to be in the mainstream more. We got to stop thinking that this kind of stuff just belongs at the very, very fringe of society… Everyone should hear it, you don’t have to necessarily agree with it but, my god, it needs a place at the media table…  Read more…