Ulrike Meinhof’s fall from journalistic prominence, high-profile disappearance into the terrorist underground, and role in the formation of the Red Army Faction were at once a tragic footnote to the waning student movement of the late 1960s and a preamble to the bloodiest decade in the postwar history of the Federal Republic. She played a central part in a period that continues to both fascinate and haunt Germany. With a communicative approach to the phenomenon of terrorism and new archival sources, the proposed monograph unpacks Meinhof’s journalism and terrorism (1959-1976) as a matrix of words, images, and physical violence. The simple and unique assumption that underpins the analysis is that the real and historically important Ulrike Meinhof is not the pugnacious schoolgirl, orphaned teen, long-suffering wife, or single mother, but the public figure: the high-profile journalist, condemned terrorist, and self-styled revolutionary. The result challenges many of the established narratives that have calcified around the story of Meinhof and the history of Germany’s most infamous terrorist group.
'Passmore has produced a lively, thought-provoking, and accessible work that uses the life of Ulrike Meinhof and her role as chief writer and propagandist of the Red Army Faction (RAF) to fruitfully explore the concept of terrorism as a theatrical, communicative act. Recommended.' CHOICE
"Passmore's study contributes to a nuanced understanding of the communicative strategies deployed by the RAF in its discursive struggle against the Federal Republic." - German History