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The new book American Time Bomb: Attica, Sam Melville, and a Son’s Search for Answers (Chicago Review Press, 2021) by Joshua Melville tells the true story of a successful engineer turned bomber during the country’s biggest period of social unrest in modern history, likewise uncovering its parallels for today’s generation.
The story takes the reader inside the mind of radical genius Sam Melville, retold by his son, who pulled off dozens of bombings in the summer of 1969. Sam Melville’s resistance work was so dangerous to the government of New York that he was killed as a part of an assassination plot during the infamous Attica Uprising.
All of this unfolds before author Joshua Melville’s eyes after he discovers in the 1980s that his father wasn’t a successful engineer but a renowned political bomber of the 1960s. This book follows Joshua’s journey to discover what motivated his father and what happened to his life and legacy, becoming transformed through the process of reading his father’s prison letters.
Sam Melville’s importance in the 1960s is widely recognized by historians and scholars as epitomizing the controversies, the promise, and the problems of the New Left. Joshua’s memoir opens a window into the personal life of a legend, revealing the universal and all-too-human foibles motivating those driven to make change through violence.
Joshua Melville is the author of five books, including Confessions of a Record Producer and Million Dollar Mistakes, under the pseudonym Moses Avalon. His titles have become recommended reading in over fifty music business programs, including the music and entertainment law programs at UCLA, Loyola, NYU, Harvard, and Loyola Law Schools. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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