Direct Action

Direct Action

Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism

Book - 2017
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As Americans take to the streets in record numbers to resist the presidency of Donald Trump, L.A. Kauffman's history of protest offers insights into how past movements have won victories in times of crisis and backlash and how they can be most effective today. This account, twenty-five years in the making, traces the evolution of disruptive protest since the Sixties to tell a larger story about the reshaping of the American left. Kauffman, a longtime grassroots organizer, examines how movements from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have used disruptive tactics to catalyze change despite long odds. Kauffman's history is propelled by hundreds of interviews conducted over a span of decades. Direct Action showcases the voices of key players in an array of movements -- environmentalist, anti-nuclear, anti-apartheid, feminist, LGBTQ, anti-globalization, racial-justice, anti-war, and more -- across an era when American politics shifted to the right, and a constellation of decentralized issue- and identity-based movements supplanted the older ideal of a single, unified left. Now, as protest movements again take on a central and urgent political role, Kauffman's history offers both lessons for the current moment and an overview of the landscape of recent activism.
Publisher: London ; New York : Verso, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781784784096
Call Number: 306.0973 K211d 2017
Characteristics: xiv, 236 pages : illustrations, maps ; 19 cm


From Library Staff

Describes activism since the 1960s, including groups like Act Up, Occupy Wallstreet and Black Lives Matter.

Describes activism since the 1960s, including groups like Act Up, Occupy Wallstreet and Black Lives Matter.

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Dec 26, 2017

Ms Kaufmann's survey of movements and coalitions utilizing direct action is an excellent reference.

Mar 05, 2017

Don't like Trump, never voted for him [nor have I ever voted for a Bush or Clinton], but unlike the 1960s, when they marched against the hegemons, today they march on behalf of, and to the tune of, the hegemons! ! !
A well conceived program of identity politics has thoroughly confused far too many quasi-educated people today, and they are easily indoctrinated to accept that which is incorrect!
See the power of TV/movies/games, et cetera: e.g., in Seattle, before the Frazier TV show, one never say a Jack Russell Terrier, then after the show aired, one couldn't walk two blocks without tripping over one of them! We read an interview with Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky in the NY Times Sunday Book Review, where she extols the fight agains all the 'isms, including for economic rights, while her mother promised the bankers of Wall Street to destroy workers' rights!
Anytime a possible drift towards the workers' plight in America, the various isms are equated to instead: racism, sexism, et cetera! Anytime a drift towards talks on inequality occur, the dialogue is veered towards one of the 'isms! [Black Lives Matter treated the candidates equally, lending equivalence to each of them, which reflected poorly on them: Bernie accorded them respect, HRC sniped at them, and Trump shut them out completely! Although the rush onto the stage at the SS talk in Seattle, when it was Bernie's turn to speak simply made him appear somewhat ineffectual!]


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