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Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1844679409
ISBN-10: 1844679403
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Editorial Reviews


Occupy! abounds with insights on how the occupiers have dealt with internal challenges to their experiment in direct democracy.”—Andrew Ross, Guardian

“Both analytical and full of vivid experience ... These blog-style pieces are interspersed with more substantive writings, which are the true strength of the collection ... but most interesting are those by lesser-known writers who bring us vivid historical analyses of various aspects of the occupations.”—Michael Sayeau, Observer

“Unlike most quickie publications, the book is gorgeous, a testament to beautiful book design ... the essays are thoughtful pieces of first-person reportage. [A] clear-eyed and sober examination of the dream world that we created this fall, along with a few brief, tentative explorations of what it will become in the future. It’s also an excellent proof-of-concept for speedily published book-length journalism that does work blogs and newspapers simply can’t do. This is not some dashed-off smear of a money-making scheme; I recommend it heartily.”—Paul Constant, The Stranger

“A heart warming anthology of the voices involved in this surprising grass roots movement.”—Robert Birnbaum, Our Man in Boston

Occupy!, an anthology from the occasional Occupy Gazette published by n+1, includes ... a lovely piece on the difficulties of organising an occupation’s laundry, which works as a handy metaphor for some of the movement’s larger challenges.”—The Economist

About the Author

Carla Blumenkranz is the managing editor of <a href="http://nplusonemag.com/">n+1</a>.

Keith Gessen is a founding editor of <a href="http://nplusonemag.com/">n+1</a>.

Mark Greif is a founding editor of <a href="http://nplusonemag.com/">n+1</a>.

Sarah Leonard is an editor at Dissent magazine and The New Inquiry.

Sarah Resnick is a senior editor at Triple Canopy.

Nikil Saval is an associate editor of <a href="http://nplusonemag.com/">n+1</a>.

Eli Schmitt is a writer living in New York.

Astra Taylor is the director of the documentary films Zizek! and Examined Life.

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Frames of War, Precarious Life, The Psychic Life of Power, Excitable Speech, Bodies that Matter, Gender Trouble, and with Slavoj Žižek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.

Angela Davis is a teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer.

Jodi Dean teaches political and media theory in Geneva, New York. She has written or edited eleven books, including The Communist Horizon and Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies.

Celeste Dupuy-Spencer is an artist who lives and works in New York City.

Zoltán Glu?ck is pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Elizabeth Gumport is an associate editor of n+1.

Doug Henwood is editor of the Left Business Observer.

Christopher Herring is pursuing a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley.

Svetlana Kitto is a writer, teacher, and oral historian living in New York City.

L.A. Kauffman is an activist and organizer.

Kung Li is the former executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.

Audrea Lim is an associate editor at Verso Books.

Manissa Maharawal is a graduate student at the CUNY Graduate Center, a writer and an activist.

Thomas Paine was a writer and revolutionary.

Marco Roth is a founding editor of n+1.

Marina Sitrin is a writer, activist, lawyer, and dreamer, as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Rebecca Solnit is author of, among other books, Wanderlust, A Book of Migrations, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, the NBCC award-winning River of Shadows and A Paradise Built In Hell. A contributing editor to Harper’s, she writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Los Angeles Times. She lives in San Francisco.

Stephen Squibb is pursuing a doctorate in English at Harvard University.

Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer, and activist living in Oakland, CA.

Alex Vitale is an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College.

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (December 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844679403
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844679409
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Mertes on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent selection of texts covering eye-witness accounts of Occupy Wall Street in several cities but especially New York. Moreover, it also offers fascinating and contradictory reflections from political commentators and philosophers. It has powerful descriptions of people disrupting an order that has systematically ratcheted up political, social and economic inequalities. It is moving on a personal as well as political level. Get this book and hit the streets.
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The editors of this 2011 book wrote in the Preface, "The genesis of this book is that we were lucky enough to be in New York... at the start of the occupations of public ground that began in September 2011... Something was unfolding, which was becoming one of the most significant and hopeful events of our lifetimes... We wrote, we got our friends to write, we edited, and we compiled. Soon we had a broadsheet newspaper... Our first two OWS-inspired 'Gazettes' formed the basis of this book."

A writer acknowledges the complaint that "the occupiers don't have a clear agenda," but contends, "Economic justice is the point. Doesn't their presence on Wall Street say that?" (Pg. 20) Another writer took down a "list of potential demands," including debt cancellation (e.g., for student loans); taxes on small financial transactions; full employment; universal child care centers; paid sick leave for all, etc. (Pg. 4-5). Another essayist says, "There's something wrong in the world where you are promised to be immortal but cannot spend a little bit more for healthcare... We don't want a higher standard of living. We want a better standard of living." (Pg. 69)

Another writer states that "Occupy Wall Street rejects the fantasy that 'what's good for Wall Street is good for Main Street' ... and name this division a fundamental wrong, the wrong of inequality, exploitation, and theft." (Pg. 88)

This book---along with others such as TIME What is Occupy?: Inside the Global Movement,
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By CJWHEELER on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America, provides a heartening anthology penned by those involved in the grassroots movement. Compiled by progressive journalists Astra Taylor and Keith Gessen (along with other editors from `N+1'), this pastiche of personal insight offers eclectic reflections from the frontlines of the movement. Presented in chronological order, each entry deciphers what it means to occupy, organize, and change the plethora of issues facing America's foundation.

Each is an experience of its own. One tells the history of the iconic drum-circles and their discrepancies in the park. Others analyze issues like the "breaking windows theory", a tactic deployed by the NYPD, which illustrates why brutality often comes from personal premise, not official order. Explained elegantly, many also provide the historical background necessary to attest viewpoints and suggestions. Occupy! is a testament to the movement.

More sophisticated writings, such as those by Slavoj Zizek and L.A. Kauffman, provide philosophical critiques and advice to ensure the movement's longevity and status. Zizek, a Slovenian philosopher, inspires in his speech from Oct. 6, "They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are the awakening from a dream that is turning into a nightmare".

Unlike the criticism tied directly to the phrase "occupy", most issues presented are quickly and adequately followed by objective solutions. The most obvious criticism would be a lack of insight from the movement's opposition. Another may be that many contributors show patterns of the same privilege the movement combats against.
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