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Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street by [Gitlin, Todd]
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Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In this much needed book, Todd Gitlin, a veteran of the 1960s and an astute commentator on social movements offers a compelling portrait of the Occupy movement that captures the spirit of the people involved, the crisis that gave Occupy birth, and the possibility of genuine change it represents.” (Eric Foner, author of THE FIERY TRIAL: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery)

“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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1139 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (May 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VE1GBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,615 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are a lot of Occupy books out there, and I haven't read any of them, so I have no idea how this compares to others. I will say I enjoyed this book and found it very informative. It's a little weird for me to read a book about something so recent, that's still happening. Usually books take much longer to get out, to me at least, and reading this as very of the moment was new for me. Not being part of the movement myself, I was a bit confused as to what's been going on and Occupy Nation provides a great foundation for understanding why it started and continues, as well as giving an inside look at how the movement functions, or doesn't, and the potential it has to change things, or not.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
May Day 2012 marked the beginning of the next political season. Last winter, the innovative phenomenon of Occupy was forcibly removed from public view by coordinated police actions across the country. With the warmer season, the question is whether Occupy will reappear, in what form and to what ends. In particular, how will it relate--or not--to the presidential campaign? For instance, will Obama be able to co-opt the anti-establishment movement to garner the disaffected youth vote that he may need to win, as he did last time.
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.
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Format: Paperback
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 because they have an anti-Occupy bias and wanted a different book reflecting their point of view. This is an excellent, even-handed account.

Gitlin is well-placed on account of his long history of activist experiences both to observe and report, with insight, and to surface important questions about Occupy. In particular, he clearly, to this reader, appears to be of the view that Occupy might have had greater nearer-term impact on important policy decisions and non-decisions, had it opted to articulate specific demands and act on those. This reflects a basic divergence in point of view among those generally sympathetic to the concerns that appeared to animate Occupy, between those who supported its decision to refrain from direct attempts to influence current policy decisions and election outcomes and instead focus on modeling alternative forms of social organization and changing public consciousness at broader levels, and those who, like Gitlin among others, had hoped for a different direction.

Agree or disagree with Gitlin's stance on this issue in particular. But anyone who writes that this book is somehow a one-sided account by an uncritical supporter of Occupy, as some reviewers have here, simply did not read the book, or is writing a highly misleading account. Gitlin's observations are consistent with other accounts of what was going on on the inside of Occupy written by those in agreement with directions Occupy chose to move in.
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