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Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street Paperback – February 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews



“An engrossing, informative take on the mass demonstrations that broke out in Wisconsin in early 2011…. [T]his book is well researched and full of keen insights about the state of organized labor and the power of protest…. Nichols is a capable and energetic narrator with a reporter’s knack for getting to the heart of the matter….Richly detailed and inspiring—worth reading for anyone interested in organized labor, civil disobedience or the spirit of Wisconsin.”

Michael Moore

"John Nichols recognized right away that the fight in Wisconsin was about a lot more than one state. It was the fight we had all been waiting for, the one where people say 'We have had it!' John didn't just tell us what was happening in Wisconsin. He told us that what was happening in Wisconsin could happen anywhere."

Rev. Jesse Jackson

“I have such respect for the way John Nichols gets into a story, with his sense of history, his broad perspective and his passion for telling the stories of real people involved in real struggles. That’s what he has brought to the story of the Wisconsin struggle, and of the renewal of labor and social justice movements in America.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers
“We will look back at 2011 as the moment we started the march to a more perfect union—a resurgence of the labor and social justice movements fighting for economic dignity and fairness for all. No one recounts this with as much insight and passion as John Nichols.”

Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)

“One of the most inspiring aspects of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street (Nation Books) is the reporting from Ground Zero of last year’s protests. Author John Nichols…gives a more positive, exuberant and truthful picture of what happened than the view through the slanted lens of the mainstream media….Uprising is a strong antidote to local TV newscasters who painted the protesters as an unruly mob rather than citizens united against policies that might leave us in a poorer country than the one we thought was our birthright.”

About the Author

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written The Nation's Online Beat since 1999, is their Washington DC correspondent, and contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the co-author of The Death and Life of American Journalism and Dollarocracy. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers, and he is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. Nichols lives in Madison, WI and Washington DC.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568587031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568587035
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Michael Colby on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Nichols "Uprising" is a must read for all progressives and grass roots activists. "Uprising" snap shots the ongoing war on the middle class citizens in Wisconsin standing up for their rights to be heard against well funded radical, extreme, Republican Politicians. A story of oppression of rights and democracy by corporations that desire to impose their will over the working class of Wisconsin who want none of this! A story that only John Nichols can write with such keen knowledge of Wisconsin history and politics. A story well told that captures the spirit of Wisconsin's motto "Forward".
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By R geist on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
A great American story. I am very glad John Nichols wrote this book. I've been following the Wisconsin movement from Jersey and have come to think it is the most inspiring community-oriented political movement I have seen in the United States in my lifetime. The occupation of the statehouse and protests that took place last winter and spring had a clear sense of purpose and a total lack of senseless melodrama, plus a great sense of humor (the prank phone call to Walker?) This movement has consistently demonstrated an ability to transcend differences and draw working Wisconsin-ites of diverse ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds together (to sing America the Beautiful inside the statehouse and wrap themselves in the American flag!) It is what this country is about. The retaliation against the movement by the governor was surreal (hiring a crew to bolt the statehouse windows shut?) Wisconsin - lead the way for everyone who is worried about big money in politics, and the future of this country.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lynch on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this highly emotional and polemical account of the Wisconsin Act 10 controversy/crisis/uprising, the reader would never know that the "movement" Nichols writes about -- LOST! Not only did they lose, but they made the outcome worse (from their point of view) than it would have been had there not been any protests at all. Republican Assemblymen and Senators were prepared to drop the collective bargaining provisions of Act 10, until those elected officials were screamed at, threatened, spat upon, and compelled to walk through urine and feces in the Capitol building. The Senate majority leader was extremely leery of Gov. Walker's plan to separate the different provisions of the bill, until his house was picketed and stoned, with his family inside.

In addition, Nichols relies heavily on his own re-interpretation of Madison and Jefferson, but completely misreads Madison's point in Federalist 10 (Madison warned of MAJORITY faction, not special interest faction), and even gets the date of Jefferson's death wrong (p. 28).

What Nichols has written is a repetitive pep talk, in which phrases like "but Walker forgot to ask the working people of Wisconsin" appear again and again (and again). The book has the aroma of a student's late term paper, written by someone who counted the words at the end of each paragraph to see if s/he had written enough.

For those genuinely interested in the Wisconsin showdown, read More Than They Bargained For.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Halston on April 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
The entire idea of the founding fathers of the American government was to be a government that governed by the consent of the governed. This is "we the people," not we the rich, not we the Koch brothers.
Those brave and intrepid souls of Occupy Wall Street, and other such grassroots movements know that the Republican agenda of limited government, means in reality a government limited to the pleasure of wealthy businessmen, mega-rich corporations and a perpetual and exponential influx of tax dollars given to excessive military spending.
We the Democrats are in a noble fight against the Birchian regime of a society ruled by corporate elites, where market is king, govenment interference is unheard of, and private philanthropy is tolerated. We do not want to return to the Victorian age where such transgressions against the poor prevailed; where the poor were thrown into debtor's prison; when the worship-worthy titans of industry were granted an ethical carte blanche so they could trample with impunity over the down-trodden poor.
It's always interesting to note that these Republicans seated so comfortably at their lavish well-fed tables believe that their cast-off crumbs are more than sufficient for the wroking poor. Why else should they demand nothing less than the elimination of unions; the complete elimination of every redress for grievances? All this is nothing less than a demand to balance the budget on the backs of the working class.
The Koch brothers -- who spent millions getting Walker into office -- claim to self-made wealth is interesting. Let us consider that when their father passed away in 1967, they inherited $300 million. Fred Koch spent the 30s growing rich under the Stalin regime. Check this out for yourselves.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arizona EAGLEtarian on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
John Nichols has been called by some, the Thomas Paine of our time. This book represents "Common Sense" to our generation.

On page 19, Nichols writes, "It is certainly true that nothing so horrifies today's false constitutionalists as the actual exercise of civil liberties."

In my mind, one word most aptly describes public policy debate in today's American mass media: confusion. John Nichols cuts through the confusion like NOBODY has been able for years. Corporate elitists and propagandists who promote them sell their wares to uneducated people as that government and taxes are the cause for economic pain that has engulfed our great country. NOTHING could be farther from the truth.

Yes, government has played a role. But that role has been powerfully, yet subtly co-opted in what is known as Regulatory Capture.

Nichols' UPRISING cuts through the BS and will inspire intelligent populist activists (many of whom are already active in the Occupy movement) to revive the American Middle Class.

This book is an easy, compelling read. Be ready to organize your community because you will be unable to keep from speaking out.
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