When Randys father takes a poor city boy, Steve, for the summer, the boys become fast friends destined for great adventures. From persuading a Marine Corps recruiter to enlist them at the age of thirteen, to surviving a wild storm under sail, the boys move on to college with a commitment to change the world.
For Steve, this means playing by the rules and working within the system.
For Randy, this means studying Chinese to read the words of Chairman Mao and joining a group committed to overthrowing the international yoke of capitalism in underprivileged countries, preferably by violence.
As men, Steve and Randys choices lead in opposite directions, but when Randy becomes a wanted fugitive, Steve is there to help him. As much as Acts of Defiance is about different approaches to combating injustice, it is, at its heart, a story about the enduring bonds of friendship in a tumultuous era.