Burning Down the House: Move and the Tragedy of Philadelphia

John Anderson, Author, Hilary Hevenor, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (409p) ISBN 978-0-393-02460-9
Two Quaker City journalists here draw on interviews, eyewitness accounts, police records and trial transcripts to recreate the neighborhood tragedy that shocked Philadelphia and the nation on May 13, 1985. They present that day as the climax of clashes between MOVE, a small group of black ""revolutionaries'' quartered in a West Philadelphia rowhouse and the police they'd taunted as representative of the white establishment. The meaning of the acronym MOVE, according to the authors, never has been clarified. They maintain that an aborted 1978 confrontation led to the 1985 shootout, when a police helicopter dropped a military-type bomb on MOVE's fortified rooftop, and the resulting fire destroyed some 60 neighborhood houses, killing 11 MOVE members, including babies. The authors also cover the 1986 trial of the sole MOVE survivor, Ramon Africa, in a book that underscores the racism that shook a city's political foundations. Photos. (June 1)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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