The Most Revolutionary Act

Memoir of an American Refugee

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
336 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2011
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

From the time she graduated, Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall knew she would migrate to Canada, Australia, UK or New Zealand. Bramahall is a nonviolent leftist. She migrated to England for a while in 1973 but found she could not handle the 36 hour shifts. She returned to the US, completed her degree and set up a private practice. She supports Socialism and Marxist values. She disagrees with the way the Americans have handled many situations such as Abu Ghraib. Part of her disenchantment with the US comes from the citizens embracing a materialistic lifestyle. She feels she was singled out and labeled a dissident. “Our government comes down hard on dissidents, as ruthlessly as the former Soviet Union or any Third World country.”

After becoming associated with two members of the Black Panthers, Bramhall states she was harassed by some agency of the government. She received harassing phone calls, her telephone was wiretapped, her home was burglarized, and her life was endangered. She has no proof to support these claims. Colleagues questioned her sanity. They labeled her psychotic. She was hospitalized for a week in a mental institution. Bramhall is now a psychiatrist in New Zealand.

The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of a US Refugee is well written. The author offers a look into her life as a nonviolent radical. I have not lived Dr. Bramhall’s life. I cannot honestly say whether she was singled out for harassment or if it was paranoia on her part. I wish her well in her new life. She makes valid points concerning consumerism. I found this book interesting. While I do not agree with a lot of Dr. Bramhall’s assessment of the US, I honor her right to express her opinion. I feel blessed to live in the US. There are many issues that Bramhall and I would disagree on such as free health care (there is no such thing) and her observation that Bush lied. I do not see the US as merciless. Bramhall makes a lot of accusations with no evidence to back it up.

This is an interesting read and I suggest readers keep an open mind.