Discussion: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Rory Martorana's picture
May 6, 2021
Connecticut, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Law and Legal History, Political History / Studies

Books Sandwiched In: Virtual Author Talks at Noon

Mark Levine - The Trial of the Chicago 7

Following the success of the acclaimed Netflix film of the same title, author Mark Levine joins us to discuss his new book, The Trial of the Chicago 7: The Official Transcript. We'll discuss the similarities and differences between the Netflix film and the infamous real-life trial before opening it up to participant questions.


Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/92310465674

Mark L. Levine, a lawyer, is co-editor of The Trial of the Chicago 7: The Official Transcript. In 1968, the year of the Chicago demonstrations, he worked in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as a volunteer in Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential primary campaign against President Lyndon Johnson. He has done voter protection work in more than a dozen states. Mark's books include The Complete Book of Bible Quotations--a “Bartlett’s of the Bible,” still in print after 34 years--and Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers.  He is a graduate of Columbia College, NYU School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.



Republished fifty years later to coincide with the release of the Academy Award–nominated film of the same title written and directed by Aaron Sorkin with an all-star cast, this is the classic account of perhaps the most infamous, and definitely the most entertaining, trial in recent American history.

In the fall of 1969 eight prominent anti-Vietnam War activists were put on trial for conspiring to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. One of the eight, Black Panther cofounder Bobby Seale, was literally bound and gagged in court by order of the judge, Julius Hoffman, and his case was separated from that of the others.

The activists, who included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden, and their attorneys, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass, insisted that the First Amendment was on trial. Their witnesses were a virtual who’s who of the 1960s counterculture: Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Norman Mailer, among them.

The defendants constantly interrupted to protest what they felt were unfair rulings by the judge. The trial became a circus, all the while receiving intense media coverage. The convictions that resulted were subsequently overturned on appeal, but the trial remained a political and cultural touchstone, a mirror of the deep divisions in the country. The Trial of the Chicago 7 consists of the highlights from trial testimony with a brief epilogue describing what later happened to the principal figures.

No registration necessary. Join us on Zoom using this link: https://zoom.us/j/92310465674

This event will also stream live on our Facebook page.

For more information contact Isaac Shub at ishub@nhfpl.org or 203-946-8130, ext. 200.

Contact Info: 

Isaac Shub at the New Haven Free Public Library: 203-946-8130, ext. 200

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