By Bill Zimmerman
Doubleday, $28.95, 452 pages

Have you ever wondered what kind of person becomes a political activist or whether one person’s actions can make a difference in the complex issues that face our world? Reading Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties by Bill Zimmerman proves that the efforts of a small group can, without a doubt, bring a war to an end, stop oppression and save lives. Zimmerman’s absorbing and passionate story brings history alive as he reveals his work to end the war in Vietnam by organizing political protests, raising money, and even visiting North Vietnam during the height of the conflict. After earning a Ph.D. in psychology, he was on his way to a successful life in academics, but left all that behind to devote himself to the issues that he felt were more important than a steady paycheck and a nine-to-five life.  Two of the most harrowing chapters provide a blow-by-blow account of airlifting food to the starving Indians at the historic village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during a stand-off with the federal government. This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the turbulent sixties or for those who wonder if one voice can make a difference.

Reviewed by Diane Prokop