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Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street Paperback – August 21, 2012
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“Balancing lyrical wit and eloquent analysis, Gitlin captures the compelling story of OWS . . . and provides a gift of clear-headed, balanced thinking about [its] future.” (The Rumpus)
From the Back Cover
Occupy Wall Street is the most dynamic phenomenon in progressive politics in more than forty years. Its followers across the country transformed the national debate, galvanizing millions with its clarion call for economic justice: "We are the 99 percent." In Occupy Nation, bestselling social historian Todd Gitlin offers the first narrative survey of the movement—from its historic inspirations, to its inner tensions, to its prospects in the months and years to come. He offers a fascinating account of this remarkable phenomenon while casting an informed look at its continuing evolution—and how it needs to proceed to truly make an impact. Informed by Gitlin's own history in the 60s protest movement—but written with both eyes aimed at the future—Occupy Nation is the key book for anyone looking to understand the revolution playing out before our eyes.
More About the Author
I've contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Wilson Quarterly, Harper's, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, New York Observer, The American Prospect, et al.), online magazines (salon.com, tnr.com, prospect.org, openDemocracy.net, foreignpolicy.com), as well as scholarly journals. I'm on the editorial board of Dissent.
In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes. The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
I hold degrees from Harvard University (B. A., mathematics), the University of Michigan (M. S., political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph. D., sociology). I was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, I was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press. In 2003-06, I was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.
I'm a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, I was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, I held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. I've been a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a Bosch Fellow at the American Academy of Berlin, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia, and the Université de Neuchatel in Switzerland.
I lecture frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Switzerland). I've appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. I lives in New York City with my wife, Laurel Cook.
Top Customer Reviews
On May Day, Todd Gitlin released his e-book, "Occupy Nation", to address these important and confusing questions. The book is a sound and thoughtful analysis of last year's Occupy Wall Street movement and of the complex of issues it faces if it is to reappear as an effective force. Gitlin has been a perceptive analyst of radical American politics for 50 years, since he helped to form the New Left in the early 1960s. It is from this deeply relevant perspective that he describes the innovative nature of Occupy, its roots, its spirit and its potential.
Respectful of the Occupy movement's right to continue to define itself, Gitlin refrains from proscribing to it, except to warn clearly about the temptations to detour from nonviolence--a major lesson of the 60s. In the end, Gitlin returns to the New Left mantra, the political is personal. The point is not to ask what Occupy should do now, but to question what I should do, what we should do, to make the coming season the beginning of a new beginning.
"Occupy Nation" is available from Amazon in Kindle format, which can be read on any computer from the Cloud Reader. It is a great read, full of insights and never bogs down. I read it carefully in about a day.
This isn't a romantic book, it very clearly defines, I think, the challenges the movement faces - both internal and external. Gitlin remains objective in portraying the movement. He clearly acknowledges the problems that exist that have motivated or inspired the Occupy movement, but reading the book I never got the impression that I was being preached to or anything like that. The focus stays on the movement: how it happened, why it happened, and where it might go, while providing a historical context for it and comparing it to other movements of the past.
My only criticisms are that the asides and explanations that break up a lot of the sentences tend to disrupt the flow and I found myself going back and rereading certain bits several times. Also, I bought the Kindle edition of this book (as it's only in ebook form right now), and I would have liked for there to have been in-text links to the notes at the end of the book.
It is awe-inspiring that millions of Americans are willing to protest the 1% plutocracy that is economically terrorizing us, but now is the time for the movement to engage unions and to lobby congress. The movement has to embrace leadership. The bottom line is benevolent anarchy isn't a viable solution at this time. It will only result in the movement being ignored even further, or result in more vitriolic media attacks from the extreme right.
If the Occupy Wall Street movement is going to remain relevant it has to somehow infiltrate and assimilate itself into the Democratic Party in the same fashion the Heritage Foundation's fascist Tea Party movement usurped the Republican Party.
Furthermore, Occupy views unions, Move On.org and politicians such as Elizabeth Warren (who support their positions) as enemies, demonstrating that the Occupy Movement are trying to be purist, which is a destructive stance to take. They need to learn how to maneuver through the system in the hopes of effecting change.
Gitlin also points out how local, state and federal governments are ignoring the Occupier's First Amendment rights to assemble and their right to a redress of grievances, while making comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam protests.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was a great value and it arrived in great condition, even better than I expected it to be.Published 21 months ago by Jacqueline
The negative reviews here are off base, unsustainable judgments about the book from reviewers whose comments strongly suggest they either did not read the book, or are upset... Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by AmericanDreamer
I was engaging in an on-line debate recently on the issue of gun control legislation. When I raised the issue of whether it might be possible to test would be gun owners to see if... Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Aussiescribbler
This is a valuable book for anyone who is wondering if anything has or can be achieved through the movement.Published on June 28, 2013 by Philippa
Let's see, now. "We are the 98%" Which means we encompass an income span extending from $0 to $250,000. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by NS
Another hopeful and optimistic examination of the Occupy Movement that fails to deliver on meaningful criticism and analysis of what occurred.Published on December 19, 2012 by Amazon Customer