“A deeply-researched and well-written account of” (Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad) M19—the first and only domestic terrorist group founded and led by women—as they waged a violent war against racism, sexism, and imperialism in Ronald Reagan’s America.
1981: Ronald Reagan declared that it is “morning in America” but a small band of well-educated women were planning to combat the status quo at any cost.
Having spent their entire adult lives embroiled in political struggles—Vietnam War protests, Hispanic, Native American, and Black liberation, and more—these women had determined that it was time for a final stand. They might not be able to overthrow the government, but they could certainly disrupt it.
Together, they formed the May 19th Communist Organization, or “M19,” a name derived from the birthday shared by Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, two of their revolutionary idols. Together, these six women carried out some of the most shocking operations in the history of domestic terrorism—from prison breakouts and murderous armed robberies to a bombing campaign that wreaked havoc on the nation’s capital, its military installations, and New York City.
For the first time, the full, fascinating, and terrifying story of M19 is explored by Cold War historian and counterterrorism expert William Rosenau in this “gripping account of this hitherto forgotten terrorist campaign” (Bruce Hoffman, author of Inside Terrorism). Three decades may have passed since these women fought what they saw as an essential battle for self-determination and dignity, but we’re still struggling to decipher which side of history their actions fall on and what we should learn from their motivations.