I knew Abbie Hoffman--whom I think of as the quintessential spirit of the sixties--for almost twenty years, and for much of that time I wasn't sure when he was acting, when he was for real, and when he was acting for real. I suppose that's why I have such contradictory feelings about him. Looking back at Abbie from the vantage point of the nineties, it seems to me that he was the first American cultural revolutionary in the age of television. He was a very funny and a very sad character who saw his life and times as a story that he could tell and retell again and again as he went along. The point, of course, was to inflate himself and deflate the established order. What most of us think of as "objective reality" didn't exist for him; while he managed to outwit it time and again, it finally caught up with him. In the end, Abbie the comedian became a tragic figure.
--From the introduction of For the Hell Of It
Abbie Hoffman in Lincoln Park, Chicago, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.