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Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jules Boykoff teaches political science at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. His research and writing appears in scholarly journals such as New Political Science, Global Environmental Change, and Journal of Politics, and popular publications like Common Dreams, Extra! and NACLA: Report on the Americas. He is also a poet and former professional soccer player.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904859593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904859598
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Generic on May 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
The history of the United States is filled with stories of government repression of dissenters. While we know about the violent means of suppressing dissent, the more subtle means are harder to get a grasp on. In "Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States", author Jules Boykoff lays out theory on how dissent is suppressed and backs it up with historical and current examples, mostly from 20th century United States. In many places in the world--and even here in the US--the crushing of dissent by the state is the pure violence we imagine, but overall, in "rich" countries like the US, the suppression of dissent requires a lot more cooperation from the larger population, the media, and such. There are no tanks rolling through neighborhoods enforcing subjugation in most places in the US, but the near universal media and an omni-present police force, coupled with all sorts of extra legal rules for dissidents that are not enforced for others, does the job.

How does it work? Boykoff describes the methods and gives examples. He starts with the obvious one: Direct Violence, most often used against people of color in groups like the Black Panthers, AIM, the Young Lords, and others. This involves direct assassinations and attacks, like the killing of Fred Hampton in Chicago by the Chicago police or the attack by FBI agents at Pine Ridge that Leonard Peltier was framed for. The next method he examines is Public Hearings and Prosecutions, like those used against dissidents in the 1950s to frame any radicals as "Communists". These hearings mainly targeted labor activists who had just initiated a huge strike involving 2 million people in 1946 and Hollywood intellectuals and workers involved in the film industry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Stamm on May 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
For people that already study domestic suppression there's little new contained in this book. The examples Boykoff uses, such as surveillance and harassment of Dr. King or Cointelpro operations against the Black Panther Party, among many other examples, have been more thoroughly covered elsewhere. What's unique about Boykoff's book is that he utilizes these examples to clear up patterns of governmental suppression, to define them as distinct methods. Ideally this delineation of methods will allow activists to think of and develop betters ways of resisting suppression and creating a more just democracy.
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