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Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions [Paperback]

by Paul Mason
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 9, 2012 9781844678518 978-1844678518 1
The world is facing a wave of uprisings, protests and revolutions: Arab dictators swept away, public spaces occupied, slum-dwellers in revolt, cyberspace buzzing with utopian dreams. Events we were told were consigned to history—democratic revolt and social revolution—are being lived by millions of people.

In this compelling new book, Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of this great unrest. From Cairo to Athens, Wall Street and Westminster to Manila, Mason goes in search of the changes in society, technology and human behaviour that have propelled a generation onto the streets in search of social justice. In a narrative that blends historical insight with first-person reportage, Mason shines a light on these new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement. The events, says Mason, reflect the expanding power of the individual and call for new political alternatives to elite rule and global poverty.

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Editorial Reviews


“The writing style of this reportage is compact, urgent, present-tense, declarative, and addictive.”—Andy Beckett, Guardian

“He’s lively, funny and engaging, trading in the energy derived from the thrill and significance of what he’s witnessing.”—Phil Harrison, Time Out

“Superb overview of the global protest movements of 2011.”—New Internationalist

“This book not only reads as an in-depth consideration of global politics today, but offers a personal memoir from a man who has had a ringside seat. We are blessed that the BBC, for all the criticisms, still employs journalists whose logic and unfailing inquisitiveness brings us such analysis.”—Dan Carrier, Camden New Journal

“You will learn something new and challenging on every page of this book.”—Kenny Farquharson, Scotland on Sunday

“The mix of wide-ranging reportage and historical analysis is lively and insightful.”—Claire Allfree, Metro

“A cogent, accessible analysis of the ongoing forces of global upheaval....[a] lively collection of essays and reportage.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Testament to his instincts as a veteran journalist, Mason managed to be everywhere right as things were kicking off—traversing the globe from the Middle East to Europe to America to Asia. [T]he book combines a feel for the breathlessness of events as they unfold with a historian’s eye for patterns and precedents ... Mason’s prose beautifully captures the almost surreal mood that often accompanies mass shifts in consciousness.”—Leela Yellesetty, Socialist Worker

“These reports are good journalism. One feels as if they are present at the rallies, occupations and riots that Mason describes. The anecdotal tales he provides should remind anyone who participated in any kind of popular resistance in the past decades of the energy and hope one finds and feels at such events. These are the stuff that makes one join such movements. Worthwhile and provocative.”—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

About the Author

Paul Mason is the economics editor of the BBC’s flagship current affairsprogram Newsnight and appears frequently on BBC World News America.He has covered globalization and social justice stories from locations aroundthe world, including Latin America, Africa and China. His book Live Working,Die Fighting was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (January 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781844678518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844678518
  • ASIN: 1844678512
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas from the Global Village February 16, 2012
In this book, Mason provides incredible insights into the origins of the popular uprisings. And what's most important, he shows us how it's happening. By understanding the how and why of revolution in so many different cultures, we can gain valuable ideas for making positive change right here in the U.S. This is a fast-paced read that will make you want to get off your ass and join your brothers and sisters around the world! Highly recommended.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay . . . But Not Sterling. February 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Paul Mason turns in a good work here. Good. But not great.

Good because he offers compelling descriptions of the events of Arab Spring 2011. As a journalist, his recount of these incidents should be good.

But this is not a great work because of his insistence on using economic theory, sometimes inaccurately, and history to explain the foundations and future direction of the worldwide protest movements of 2011. His economics "takes a walk" periodically by offering various monetary policy theories as the reasons behind the Arab Spring uprisings. Specifically he cites the American quantitative easing (QE2) policy of 2011 as a direct cause. He neglects to mention, however, that the U.S. has had other periods of quantitative easing when no such rebellions have occurred.

His use of 19th-century European revolutions as a parallel and therefore predictor of the 2011 movement outcomes is interesting, but not entirely applicable as even he himself admits in various parts of the book.

Much of the book is good, objective reporting; yet some of it comes across as dreary Marxian polemic.

The book for me, however, was interesting in the sense that it provides food for thought, and although I don't agree with Mr. Mason's outlook, his opinions do serve to stimulate intellectual curiosity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ball in Many Courts? April 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a clever book with a good description of how revolution and social media expose truth and fuel revolution globally, and the ball of change is at the feet of many sportsperson seeking a new game to play, a game of fairness, of choice, or a better future. The technological toys of today kick information around perhaps so the world can witness whom has possession of what, and whom deserves a red card for their acts.

If the current revolutions are of interest of you, and of you are interested in the future of our wonderful world you should be, this book may offer a unique spin and deserves to be corner kicked right into your bookshelf.

A fresh view
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating study of global demonstrations. August 29, 2013
By Val
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Paul Mason offers an interesting study of how demonstrations all over the world are linked by their common themes: jobs, economic downturns and the decimation of the middle class. This book is for the 99% who feel like they have been left behind in the global economy.
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