@ is For Activism examines the transformation of politics through digital media, including digital television, online social networking and mobile computing.
Joss Hands maps out how political relationships have been reconfigured and new modes of cooperation, deliberation and representation have emerged. This analysis is applied to the organisation and practice of alternative politics, showing how they have developed and embraced the new political and technological environment.
Hands offers a comprehensive critical survey of existing literature, as well as an original perspective on networks and political change. He includes many case studies including the anti-war and global justice movements, peer production, user created TV and 'Twitter' activism. @ is For Activism is essential for activists and students of politics and media.
Before the Civil War, slaveholders made themselves into the most powerful, most deeply rooted, and best organized private interest group within the United States. Not only did slavery represent the national economy's second largest capital investment, exceeded only by investment in real estate, but guarantees of its perpetuation were studded throughout the U.S. Constitution. The vast majority of white Americans, in North and South, accepted the institution, and pro-slavery presidents and congressmen consistently promoted its interests. In Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War, James Brewer Stewart explains how a small group of radical activists, the abolitionist movement, played a pivotal role in turning American politics against this formidable system. He examines what influence the movement had in creating the political crises that led to civil war and evaluates the extent to which a small number of zealous reformers made a truly significant political difference when demanding that their nation face up to its most excruciating moral problem. In making these assessments, Stewart addresses a series of more specific questions: What were the abolitionists actually up against when seeking the overthrow of slavery and white supremacy? What motivated and sustained them during their long and difficult struggles? What larger historical contexts (religious, social, economic, cultural, and political) influenced their choices and determined their behavior? What roles did extraordinary leaders play in shaping the movement, and what were the contributions of abolitionism's unheralded "foot soldiers"? What factors ultimately determined, for better or worse, the abolitionists' impact on American politics and the realization of their equalitarian goals?
When a ten-year-old boy befriends a mysterious hobo in his southern Colorado hometown in the early 1940s, he learns about evil in his community and takes his first steps toward manhood by attempting to protect his new friend from corrupt officials. Though a fictional story, Alex and the Hobo is written out of the life experiences of its author, José Inez (Joe) Taylor, and it realistically portrays a boy’s coming-of-age as a Spanish-speaking man who must carve out an honorable place for himself in a class-stratified and Anglo-dominated society. In this innovative ethnography, anthropologist James Taggart collaborates with Joe Taylor to explore how Alex and the Hobo sprang from Taylor’s life experiences and how it presents an insider’s view of Mexicano culture and its constructions of manhood. They frame the story (included in its entirety) with chapters that discuss how it encapsulates notions that Taylor learned from the Chicano movement, the farmworkers’ union, his community, his father, his mother, and his religion. Taggart gives the ethnography a solid theoretical underpinning by discussing how the story and Taylor’s account of how he created it represent an act of resistance to the class system that Taylor perceives as destroying his native culture.
In 1993, white American Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl was killed in a racially motivated attack near Cape Town, after spending months working to promote democracy and women’s rights in South Africa. The ironic circumstances of her death generated enormous international publicity and yielded one of South Africa’s most heralded stories of postapartheid reconciliation. Amy’s parents not only established a humanitarian foundation to serve the black township where she was killed, but supported amnesty for her killers and hired two of the young men to work for the Amy Biehl Foundation. The Biehls were hailed as heroes by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and many others in South Africa and the United States—but their path toward healing was neither quick nor easy.
Granted unrestricted access to the Biehl family’s papers, Steven Gish brings Amy and the Foundation to life in ways that have eluded previous authors. He is the first to place Biehl’s story in its full historical context, while also presenting a gripping portrait of this remarkable young woman and the aftermath of her death across two continents.
Could archaeologists benefit contemporary cultures and be a factor in solving world problems? Can archaeologists help individuals? Can archaeologists change the world? These questions form the root of “archaeology activism” or “activist archaeology”: using archaeology to advocate for and affect change in contemporary communities.
Archaeologists currently change the world through the products of their archaeological research that contribute to our collective historical and cultural knowledge. Their work helps to shape and reshape our perceptions of the past and our understanding of written history. Archaeologists affect contemporary communities through the consequences of their work as they become embroiled in controversies over negotiating the past and the present with native peoples. Beyond the obvious economic contributions to local communities caused by heritage tourism established on the research of archaeologists at cultural sites, archaeologists have begun to use the process of their work as a means to benefit the public and even advocate for communities.
In this volume, Stottman and his colleagues examine the various ways in which archaeologists can and do use their research to forge a partnership with the past and guide the ongoing dialogue between the archaeological record and the various contemporary stakeholders. They draw inspiration and guidance from applied anthropology, social history, public history, heritage studies, museum studies, historic preservation, philosophy, and education to develop an activist approach to archaeology—theoretically, methodologically, and ethically.
The protestors that comprised the Occupy Wall Street movement came from diverse backgrounds. But how were these activists—who sought radical social change through many ideologies—able to break down oppressions and obstacles within the movement? And in what ways did the movement perpetuate status-quo structures of inequality?
Are We the 99%? is the first comprehensive feminist and intersectional analysis of the Occupy movement. Heather McKee Hurwitz considers how women, people of color, and genderqueer activists struggled to be heard and understood. Despite cries of “We are the 99%,” signaling solidarity, certain groups were unwelcome or unable to participate. Moreover, problems with racism, sexism, and discrimination due to sexuality and class persisted within the movement.
Using immersive first-hand accounts of activists’ experiences, online communications, and media coverage of the movement, Hurwitz reveals lessons gleaned from the conflicts within the Occupy movement. She compares her findings to those of other contemporary protest movements—nationally and globally—so that future movements can avoid infighting and deploy an “intersectional imperative” to embrace both diversity and inclusivity.
An important story of one man’s life, lived with courage and principle
During the decades of Bourbon ascendancy after 1874, Alabama institutions like those in other southern states were dominated by whites. Former slave and sharecropper Jack Turner refused to accept a society so structured. Highly intelligent, physically imposing, and an orator of persuasive talents, Turner was fearless before whites and emerged as a leader of his race. He helped to forge a political alliance between blacks and whites that defeated and humiliated the Bourbons in Choctaw County, the heart of the Black Belt, in the election of 1882. That summer, after a series of bogus charges and arrests, Turner was accused of planning to lead his private army of blacks in a general slaughter of the county whites. Justice was forgotten in the resultant fear and hysteria.
The story of Ava Helen Pauling—her rich career as an activist first for civil rights and liberties, then against nuclear testing, and finally for peace, feminism, and environmental stewardship—is best told in the context of her enduring partnership with her famous husband, Linus Pauling. In this long-awaited first biography of Ava Helen Pauling, Mina Carson reveals the complex and fascinating history behind one of the great love stories of the twentieth century.
Though she began her public career in the shadow of her spouse, Ava Helen soon found herself tugged between her ardor to support Linus in his career and her desire that he embrace the social and political causes she felt passionate about. She believed it was her destiny to accept duties as a mother and homemaker, but neither of those roles was fully satisfying. Her more complete identity emerged over decades, as she evolved as an influential activist.
Ava Helen Pauling’s story is significant because so many aspects of it were shared with countless American women of her generation and the generations surrounding her. They had new educational opportunities but were expected to conform to the same limited social roles dictated by the gender ideology of the nineteenth century. When second wave feminism erupted in the 1960s, its force did not come solely from the young women rebelling against their elders’ rules and limitations, but also from the frustrated dreams of those elders themselves.
Ava Helen did not experience overt oppression by her husband or community; she even asserted some very non-feminist positions as a young woman. This, combined with a structural lack of opportunity, contributed to the strength and persistence of role expectations in her life. At the same time, she was feisty and willful. Her personality both created her marital loyalty and eventually took her down an openly feminist path.
Ava Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary is an important complement to writings about Linus Pauling and a welcome addition to the literature on women’s and family history. It will also appeal to students and scholars of peace and reform movements and the social history of science.
The first-ever graphic biography of Paul Robeson, Ballad of an American, charts Robeson’s career as a singer, actor, scholar, athlete, and activist who achieved global fame. Through his films, concerts, and records, he became a potent symbol representing the promise of a multicultural, multiracial American democracy at a time when, despite his stardom, he was denied personal access to his many audiences.
Robeson was a major figure in the rise of anti-colonialism in Africa and elsewhere, and a tireless campaigner for internationalism, peace, and human rights. Later in life, he embraced the civil rights and antiwar movements with the hope that new generations would attain his ideals of a peaceful and abundant world. Ballad of an American features beautifully drawn chapters by artist Sharon Rudahl, a compelling narrative about his life, and an afterword on the lasting impact of Robeson’s work in both the arts and politics. This graphic biography will enable all kinds of readers—especially newer generations who may be unfamiliar with him—to understand his life’s story and everlasting global significance.
Ballad of an American: A Graphic Biography of Paul Robeson is published in conjunction with Rutgers University’s centennial commemoration of Robeson’s 1919 graduation from the university.
The contributors to Beyond Civil Society argue that the conventional distinction between civic and uncivic protest, and between activism in institutions and in the streets, does not accurately describe the complex interactions of forms and locations of activism characteristic of twenty-first-century Latin America. They show that most contemporary political activism in the region relies upon both confrontational collective action and civic participation at different moments. Operating within fluid, dynamic, and heterogeneous fields of contestation, activists have not been contained by governments or conventional political categories, but rather have overflowed their boundaries, opening new democratic spaces or extending existing ones in the process. These essays offer fresh insight into how the politics of activism, participation, and protest are manifest in Latin America today while providing a new conceptual language and an interpretive framework for examining issues that are critical for the future of the region and beyond.
Contributors. Sonia E. Alvarez, Kiran Asher, Leonardo Avritzer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Andrea Cornwall, Graciela DiMarco, Arturo Escobar, Raphael Hoetmer, Benjamin Junge, Luis E. Lander, Agustín Laó-Montes, Margarita López Maya, José Antonio Lucero, Graciela Monteagudo, Amalia Pallares, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Ana Claudia Teixeira, Millie Thayer
<i>Winner of the SECOLAS Alfred B. Thomas Book Award</i>
<i>Named Best Social Science Book, LASA Southern Cone Studies Section</i>
In Santiago, Chile, poverty and state violence have often led to grassroots resistance movements among the poor and working class. Alison J. Bruey offers a compelling history of the struggle for social justice and democracy during the Pinochet dictatorship. Deeply grounded by both extensive oral history interviews and archival research, Bread, Justice, and Liberty provides innovative contributions to scholarship on Chilean history, social movements, popular protest and democratization, neoliberal economics, and the Cold War in Latin America.
This timely book brings together activist scholars from a number of disciplines (political science, geography, sociology, anthropology, and communications) to provide new insights into a growing trend in publicly engaged research and scholarship. Bridging Scholarship and Activism creatively redefines what constitutes activism without limiting it to a narrow range of practices. Acknowledging that the current conjuncture of neoliberal globalization has created constraints on as well as possibilities for activist scholarly engagement, the book argues that racism and its intersections with gender and class oppression are salient forces to be interrogated and confronted in the predicaments and struggles activist scholarship targets. The book’s ultimate goal is to create a decolonized and democratized forum in which activist scholars from the Global South converse and cross-fertilize ideas and projects with their counterparts from the United States and other North Atlantic metropolitan-based academy. The coeditors and contributors attempt to decenter hegemonic knowledge and to create some of the necessary (if not sufficient) conditions for a more pluriversal (rather than orthodox “universal”) context for producing enabling knowledge, without the naiveté and romanticism that has characterized earlier projects in critical and radical social science.
Introduction, Ulrich Oslender and Bernd Reiter Part One. The Promises and Pitfalls of Collaborative Research
Of Academic Embeddedness: Communities of Choice and How to Make Sense of Activism and Research Abroad, Bernd Reiter
New Shapes of Revolution, Gustavo Esteva
The Accidental Activist Scholar: A Memoir on Reactive Boundary and Identity Work for Social Change within the Academy, Rob Benford
Leaving the Field: How to Write about Disappointment and Frustration in Collaborative Research, Ulrich Oslender
Invisible Heroes, Eshe Lewis
Part Two. Negotiating Racialized and Gendered Positionalities
El Muntuen America, Manuel Zapata Olivella
Activism as History Making: The Collective and the Personal in Collaborative Research with the Process of Black Communities in Colombia, Arturo Escobar
Out of Bounds: Negotiating Researcher Positionality in Brazil, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman
Between Soapboxes and Shadows: Activism, Theory, and the Politics of Life and Death in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Christen A. Smith
State Violence and the Ethnographic Encounter: Feminist Research and Racial Embodiment, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry
The Challenges Resulting from Combining Scientific Production and Social-Political Activism in the Brazilian Academy, Fernando Conceição
The Challenge of Doing Applied/Activist Anti-Racist Anthropology in Revolutionary Cuba, Gayle L. McGarrity
If the Mandelas were the generals in the fight for black liberation, the Mashininis were the foot soldiers. Theirs is a story of exile, imprisonment, torture, and loss, but also of dignity, courage, and strength in the face of appalling adversity. Originally published in Great Britain to critical acclaim, A Burning Hunger: One Family’s Struggle Against Apartheid tells a deeply moving human story and is one of the seminal books about the struggle against apartheid.
This family, Joseph and Nomkhitha Mashinini and their thirteen children, became immersed in almost every facet of the liberation struggle—from guerrilla warfare to urban insurrection. Although Joseph and Nomkhitha were peaceful citizens who had never been involved in politics, five of their sons became leaders in the antiapartheid movement. When the students of Soweto rose up in 1976 to protest a new rule making Afrikaans the language of instruction, they were led by charismatic young Tsietsi Mashinini. Scores of students were shot down and hundreds were injured. Tsietsi’s actions on that day set in motion a chain of events that would forever change South Africa, define his family, and transform their lives.
A Burning Hunger shows the human catastrophe that plagued generations of black Africans in the powerful story of one religious and law-abiding Soweto family. Basing her narrative on extensive research and interviews, Lynda Schuster richly portrays this remarkable family and in so doing reveals black South Africa during a time of momentous change.
From the author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Calamities of Exile combines three gripping narratives that afford a sort of double CAT scan into the natures of both modern totalitarianism and timeless exile.
"Beautiful but harrowing chronicles of three exiles that probe the moral and personal risks of their encounters with totalitarianism. . . . Piercing and timely."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Weschler . . . combines a novelist's gift for drama with the objectivity and research skills of a journalist. . . . The result is three gripping profiles of very human but also extraordinary men."—Publishers Weekly
"[Weschler's] thorough accounting of the men's covert operations, assumed identities and strained relationships with fathers, wives, and colleagues creates a disturbing triptych of the perils of totalitarianism."—Lance Gould, New York Times Book Review
"Weschler tells these three tragic tales with an admirable combination of psychological penetration, intellectual thrust, concision and compassion."—Francis King, Spectator
"Endlessly absorbing. . . . Breathtaking."—Jeri Laber, Los Angeles Times Book Review
In Chains of Babylon, Daryl J. Maeda presents a cultural history of Asian American activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, showing how the movement created the category of "Asian American" to join Asians of many ethnicities in racial solidarity. Drawing on the Black Power and antiwar movements, Asian American radicals argued that all Asians in the United States should resist assimilation and band together to oppose racism within the country and imperialism abroad.
As revealed in Maeda's in-depth work, the Asian American movement contended that people of all Asian ethnicities in the United States shared a common relationship to oppression and exploitation with each other and with other nonwhite peoples. In the early stages of the civil rights era, the possibility of assimilation was held out to Asian Americans under a model minority myth. Maeda insists that it was only in the disruption of that myth for both African Americans and Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that the full Asian American culture and movement he describes could emerge. Maeda challenges accounts of the post-1968 era as hopelessly divisive by examining how racial and cultural identity enabled Asian Americans to see eye-to-eye with and support other groups of color in their campaigns for social justice.
Asian American opposition to the war in Vietnam, unlike that of the broader antiwar movement, was predicated on understanding it as a racial, specifically anti-Asian genocide. Throughout he argues that cultural critiques of racism and imperialism, the twin "chains of Babylon" of the title, informed the construction of a multiethnic Asian American identity committed to interracial and transnational solidarity.
Civic movements are essential to Americans’ freedom and quality of life. Active citizens have led the way from the American Revolution to urban renewal. But fiery emotions and good intentions without skillful organization can lead to frustrated civic involvement. How can individual concerns be transformed into effective community action?
Jan Barry provides a pragmatic, common-sense handbook to civic action. Using case studies from his home state of New Jersey, Barry has crafted what he calls a “guidebook for creative improvement on the American dream.” He dissects civic actions such as environmental campaigns, mutual-help groups, neighborhood improvement projects, and a grassroots peace mission to Russia. Looking for patterns to explain successes and failures, Barry includes his own experiences as a Vietnam veteran peace activist to inspire and coach fledgling activists. The result is a wealth of practical, non-partisan information on membership recruitment, organizational skills, public speaking, lobbying, publicity, conflict resolution, and more. Rising above any particular political, social, or religious beliefs, Barry shows would-be activists how to confront one enduring truth —“Democracy is a lot harder to do than it is to talk about or fight over.”
Labor studies scholars and working-class historians have long worked at the crossroads of academia and activism. The essays in this collection examine the challenges and opportunities for engaged scholarship in the United States and abroad. A diverse roster of contributors discuss how participation in current labor and social struggles guides their campus and community organizing, public history initiatives, teaching, mentoring, and other activities. They also explore the role of research and scholarship in social change, while acknowledging that intellectual labor complements but never replaces collective action and movement building. Contributors: Kristen Anderson, Daniel E. Atkinson, James R. Barrett, Susan Roth Breitzer, Susan Chandler, Sam Davies, Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, Colin Gordon, Michael Innis-Jiménez, Stephanie Luce, Joseph A. McCartin, John W. McKerley, Matthew M. Mettler, Stephen Meyer, David Montgomery, Kim E. Nielsen, Peter Rachleff, Ralph Scharnau, Jennifer Sherer, Shelton Stromquist, Emily E. LB. Twarog, and John Williams-Searle.
Ed Garvey (1940–2017) was one of the most influential and colorful progressive politicians in Wisconsin's history. Growing up in what was a conservative rural town, he got his first taste of liberal activism at the University of Wisconsin in the 1960s, became the first executive director of the National Football League Players' Union, led two spirited campaigns against Bob Kasten and Tommy Thompson, and eventually cofounded the Fighting Bob Fest.
Shortly before he died, Garvey expressed his views on everything in a series of detailed, no-holds-barred interviews with journalist Rob Zaleski. In his trademark witty, blunt, and often abrasive style, he offered his impressions of the political climate, worries about the environment, and Act 10 protests on Capitol Square. Garvey's candor during these conversations provides deeper insight into the personal highs and lows he experienced over his rich life. Diehard followers will fondly remember his energetic campaigns, but they may be surprised to learn of his long-simmering disappointment after those losses. Ever timely and meaningful, Garvey's words offer a path for how the Democratic Party, both within Wisconsin and nationally, can regain its soul.
Everyday Revolutionaries provides a longitudinal and rigorous analysis of the legacies of war in a community racked by political violence. By exploring political processes in one of El Salvador's former war zones-a region known for its peasant revolutionary participation-Irina Carlota Silber offers a searing portrait of the entangled aftermaths of confrontation and displacement, aftermaths that have produced continued deception and marginalization.
Silber provides one of the first rubrics for understanding and contextualizing postwar disillusionment, drawing on her ethnographic fieldwork and research on immigration to the United States by former insurgents. With an eye for gendered experiences, she unmasks how community members are asked, contradictorily and in different contexts, to relinquish their identities as "revolutionaries" and to develop a new sense of themselves as productive yet marginal postwar citizens via the same "participation" that fueled their revolutionary action. Beautifully written and offering rich stories of hope and despair, Everyday Revolutionaries contributes to important debates in public anthropology and the ethics of engaged research practices.
The indigenous population of the Ecuadorian Andes made substantial political gains during the 1990s in the wake of a dynamic wave of local activism. The movement renegotiated land development laws, elected indigenous candidates to national office, and successfully fought for the constitutional redefinition of Ecuador as a nation of many cultures. Fighting Like a Community argues that these remarkable achievements paradoxically grew out of the deep differences—in language, class, education, and location—that began to divide native society in the 1960s.
Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld explores these differences and the conflicts they engendered in a variety of communities. From protestors confronting the military during a national strike to a migrant family fighting to get a relative released from prison, Colloredo-Mansfeld recounts dramatic events and private struggles alike to demonstrate how indigenous power in Ecuador is energized by disagreements over values and priorities, eloquently contending that the plurality of Andean communities, not their unity, has been the key to their political success.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian activist who fought for suffrage and equal rights for her countrywomen long before the second wave of the women's movement in the United States. Her involvement in international women's organizations led her to travel the world in the period following World War II. She championed the causes of the poor and downtrodden of both sexes as she joined the anticolonial movement struggling for Nigeria's independence.
For Women and the Nation is the story of this courageous woman. One of a handful of full-length biographies of African women, let alone of African women activists, it will be welcomed by students of women's studies, African history, and biography, as well as by those interested in exploring the historical background of Nigeria.
In one case a local judge declared a five-year-old sexual assault victim
a "particularly promiscuous young lady." In another, an innocent
black man died in police custody. In these cases and two others, outraged
citizens banded together to protest and seek redress for the injustices.
Through in-depth interviews with activists, Laura Woliver examines these
community actions, studying the groups involved and linking her conclusions
to larger questions of political power and the impact of social movements.
Her findings will make fascinating reading for those interested in the
rise and fall of grass-roots interest groups, the nature of dissent, and
the reasons why people volunteer countless hours, sometimes in the face
of community opposition and isolation, to dedicate themselves to a cause.
The ad hoc interest groups studied are the Committee to Recall Judge
Archie Simonson (Madison), the Coalition for Justice for Ernest Lacy (Milwaukee),
Concerned Citizens for Children (Grant County, Wisconsin), and Citizens
Taking Action (Madison). Woliver relates the community responses in these
cases to those in the Jeffrey Dahmer mass murder case and the beating
by Los Angeles police of Rodney King.
"A pioneering investigation of local, ad hoc interest groups that
are launched by a blatant injustice. . . . Explores the impressive defensive
capabilities against change of established social groups and portrays
the complex consequences of 'sputtering interests' for attitudes (such
as consciousness raising), for action, and for future policy. An important
and innovative contribution."
-- Mary Edelman, author of The Symbolic Uses of Politics
"A truly humanistic piece of social science research, offering fascinating
insights on grassroots participants, their feelings, and their fates."
-- Janet K. Boles, author of American Feminism: New Issues for a Mature Movement
Global Activism, Global Media
Edited by Wilma de Jong, Martin Shaw, and Neil Stammers Pluto Press, 2005 Library of Congress HM1206.G56 2005 | Dewey Decimal 322.4
Colin Bundy Ohio University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DT1972.M34A3 2013 | Dewey Decimal 968.05
Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner. Sentenced to life in prison in 1964 along with Nelson Mandela and others, he was sent to the notorious Robben Island prison, where he continued to write even as tension grew between himself, Mandela, and other leaders over the future of the national liberation movement. As one of the greatest leaders of the antiapartheid movement, and the father of Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa from 1999 to 2008, the elder Mbeki holds a unique position in South African politics and history.
This biography by noted historian Colin Bundy goes beyond the narrative details of his long life: it analyzes his thinking, expressed in his writings over fifty years. Bundy helps establish what is distinctive about Mbeki: as African nationalist and as committed Marxist—and more than any other leader of the liberation movement—he sought to link theory and practice, ideas and action.
Drawing on exclusive interviews Bundy did with Mbeki, careful analysis of his writings, and the range of scholarship about his life, this biography is personal, reflective, thoroughly researched, and eminently readable.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann Northwestern University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PZ7.M6392Gri 2009
Daniel’s papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi—all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile’s military regime.
After papá’s arrest in 1980, Daniel’s family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister’s daughter. He hopes to become a US citizen as soon as he turns eighteen.
When Daniel’s father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to “Gringolandia.” Daniel worries that Courtney’s scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá’s past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá’s life.
This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen’s struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.
Half-Life of a Zealot
Swanee Hunt Duke University Press, 2006 Library of Congress E840.8.H87A3 2006 | Dewey Decimal 327.730092
Swanee Hunt’s life has lived up to her Texas-size childhood. Daughter of legendary oil magnate H. L. Hunt, she grew up in a household dominated by an arch-conservative patriarch who spawned a brood of colorful offspring. Her family was nothing if not zealous, and that zeal—albeit for more compassionate causes—propelled her into a mission that reaches around the world.
Half-Life of a Zealot tells how the girl who spoke against “Reds” alongside her father became a fierce advocate for progressive change in America and abroad, an innovative philanthropist, and Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Austria. In captivating prose, Hunt describes the warmth and wear of Southern Baptist culture, which instilled in her a calling to help those who are vulnerable. The reader is drawn into her full-throttle professional life as it competes with critical family needs.
Hunt gives a remarkably frank account of her triumphs and shortcomings; her sorrows, including a miscarriage and the failure of a marriage; the joys and struggles of her second marriage; and her angst over the life-threatening illness of one of her three children. She is candid about the opportunities her fortune has created, as well as the challenge of life as an heiress.
Much of Swanee Hunt’s professional life is devoted to expanding women’s roles in making and shaping public policy. She is the founding director of Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, chair of the Initiative for Inclusive Security, and president of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.
Swanee Hunt’s autobiography brims over with strong women: her mother, whose religious faith and optimism were an inspiration; her daughter, who fights the social stigma of mental disorders; the women of war-torn Bosnia, who transformed their grief into action; and friends like Hillary Clinton, who used her position as First Lady to strengthen the voices of others.
Hunt is one more strong woman. Half-Life of a Zealot is her story—so far.
Examining the Mexican American civil rights movement through the public rhetoric of a veteran activist
Héctor P. García: Everyday Rhetoric and Mexican American Civil Rights examines the transition of Mexican Americans from political and social marginalization to civic inclusion after World War II. Focusing on the public rhetoric of veteran rights activist and physician Dr. Héctor P. García, a Mexican immigrant who achieved unprecedented influence within the U.S. political system, author Michelle Hall Kells provides an important case study in the exercise of influence, the formation of civic identity, and the acquisition of social power among this underrepresented group.
As a major influence in national twentieth-century civil rights reform, García effectively operated between Anglo and Mexican American sociopolitical structures. The volume illustrates how García, a decorated World War II veteran and founder of the American GI Forum in Texas in 1948, successfully engendered a discourse that crossed geographical, political, and cultural borders, forming associations with the working poor as well as with prominent national figures such as John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Through his rhetoric and action, García publicly revealed the plight of Mexican Americans, crossing class, regional, and racial lines to improve socioeconomic conditions for his people.
Héctor P. García, which is enhanced by sixteen illustrations, contributes to rhetorical, cultural, and historical studies and offers new scholarship establishing García’s role on the national front, effectively tracing Garcia’s legacy of resistance, the process of achieving enfranchisement, and the role of racism in the evolution from social marginalization to national influence.
"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Like all of Steve Biko's writings, those words testify to the passion, courage, and keen insight that made him one of the most powerful figures in South Africa's struggle against apartheid. They also reflect his conviction that black people in South Africa could not be liberated until they united to break their chains of servitude, a key tenet of the Black Consciousness movement that he helped found.
I Write What I Like contains a selection of Biko's writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Students' Organization, to 1972, when he was prohibited from publishing. The collection also includes a preface by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; an introduction by Malusi and Thoko Mpumlwana, who were both involved with Biko in the Black Consciousness movement; a memoir of Biko by Father Aelred Stubbs, his longtime pastor and friend; and a new foreword by Professor Lewis Gordon.
Biko's writings will inspire and educate anyone concerned with issues of racism, postcolonialism, and black nationalism.
Insurgent Encounters illuminates the dynamics of contemporary transnational social movements, including those advocating for women and indigenous groups, environmental justice, and alternative—cooperative rather than exploitative—forms of globalization. The contributors are politically engaged scholars working within the social movements they analyze. Their essays are both models of and arguments for activist ethnography. They demonstrate that such a methodology has the potential to reveal empirical issues and generate theoretical insights beyond the reach of traditional social-movement research methods. Activist ethnographers not only produce new understandings of contemporary forms of collective action, but also seek to contribute to struggles for social change. The editors suggest networks and spaces of encounter as the most useful conceptual rubrics for understanding shape-shifting social movements using digital and online technologies to produce innovative forms of political organization across local, regional, national, and transnational scales. A major rethinking of the practice and purpose of ethnography, Insurgent Encounters challenges dominant understandings of social transformation, political possibility, knowledge production, and the relation between intellectual labor and sociopolitical activism. Contributors. Giuseppe Caruso, Maribel Casas-Cortés, Janet Conway, Stéphane Couture, Vinci Daro, Manisha Desai, Sylvia Escárcega, David Hess, Jeffrey S. Juris, Alex Khasnabish, Lorenzo Mosca, Michal Osterweil, Geoffrey Pleyers, Dana E. Powell, Paul Routledge, M. K. Sterpka, Tish Stringer
Roy Doron Ohio University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PR9387.9.S27Z64 2016 | Dewey Decimal 823.914
Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and human rights activists, and a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation. Though he is rightly known for his human rights and environmental activism, he wore many hats: writer, television producer, businessman, and civil servant, among others. While the book sheds light on his many legacies, it is above all about Saro-Wiwa the man, not just Saro-Wiwa the symbol.
Roy Doron and Toyin Falola portray a man who not only was formed by the complex forces of ethnicity, race, class, and politics in Nigeria, but who drove change in those same processes. Like others in the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Ken Saro-Wiwa is written to be accessible to the casual reader and student, yet indispensable to scholars.
Leaders of the Mexican American Generation explores the lives of a wide range of influential members of the US Mexican American community between 1920 and 1965 who paved the way for major changes in their social, political, and economic status within the United States.
Including feminist Alice Dickerson Montemayor, to San Antonio attorney Gus García, and labor activist and scholar Ernesto Galarza, the subjects of these biographies include some of the most prominent idealists and actors of the time. Whether debating in a court of law, writing for a major newspaper, producing reports for governmental agencies, organizing workers, holding public office, or otherwise shaping space for the Mexican American identity in the United States, these subjects embody the core values and diversity of their generation.
More than a chronicle of personalities who left their mark on Mexican American history, Leaders of the Mexican American Generation cements these individuals as major players in the history of activism and civil rights in the United States. It is a rich collection of historical biographies that will enlighten and enliven our understanding of Mexican American history.
"Grace Lee Boggs has made a fundamental difference in keeping alive the traditions of the struggles for freedom and democracy." Cornel West
"More than a deeply moving memoir, this is a book of revelation. Grace Lee Boggs, Chinese American, middle class, highly educated, discovers through her encounters with remarkable rebels, blue collars as well as philosophers, where the body is buried: who is doing what to whom in our society. It is an adventure that is truly liberating." Studs Terkel
"It seems to me that the life of Grace Lee Boggs has been an exercise of will. Through sheer will, without waiting for social conditions to come around and without waiting to explore her identity, she turned her back on who she was and barged into new territories. She was a woman who barged into men's territory; she was a Chinese who barged into black territory; she was an intellectual who barged into workers territory." from a letter from Louis Tsen
"Throught these pages walk causes, gatherings, confrontations, movements, and the men and women who made them: workers, and students, and committees of the People; Christians, Black Muslims, Black Panthers, Labor Unions; C.L.R. James. Rev. Cleage, Rev. Cleveland, Coleman Young, Malcolm and Martin; artists, musicians, poets, actors, strikers, and seekers of revolution." from the foreword by Ossie Davis
Living for Change is a sweeping account of the life of an untraditional radical from the end of the thirties, through the cold war, the civil rights era, and the rise of Black Power, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panthers to the present efforts to rebuild our crumbling urban communities. This fascinating autobiography traces the story of a woman who transcended class and racial boundaries to pursue her passionate belief in a better society.
Grace Lee Boggs was raised in New York City during a time when her father was not allowed to buy land for their home because he was Chinese. Educated at Barnard and Bryn Mawr, Boggs was in her twenties when radical politics beckoned, and she was inspired to become a revolutionary focusing on the black community.
During her early years as an activist in New York, Boggs began a twenty-year friendship and collaboration with C. L. R. James, the brilliant and influential West Indian Marxist to whom she devotes a revelatory chapter of this book. In 1953, she moved to Detroit where, she writes, "radical history had been made and could be made again." It was also the home of James Boggs, an African American auto worker (and later author and revolutionary theoretician) who would become one of the movement's freshest and most persuasive voices, as well as Grace's husband. Beginning with their work together on the newsletter Correspondence, Grace and James formed the core of a network that over the years would include Malcolm X, Lyman Paine, Ping Ferry, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Kwame Nkrumah, Stokely Carmichael, and inner-city youth.
Rich in the personalities and anecdotes of twentieth-century progressive activism, Living for Change is an involving and inspiring look at a remarkable woman who continues to dedicate her life to social justice.
Grace Lee Boggs is a first-generation Chinese American who has been a speaker, writer, and movement activist in the African American community for fifty-five years.
While much has been written on post-apartheid social movements in South Africa, most discussion centers on ideal forms of movements, disregarding the reality and agency of the activists themselves. In Living Politics, Kerry Ryan Chance radically flips the conversation by focusing on the actual language and humanity of post-apartheid activists rather than the external, idealistic commentary of old.
Tracking everyday practices and interactions between poor residents and state agents in South Africa’s shack settlements, Chance investigates the rise of nationwide protests since the late 1990s. Based on ethnography in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, the book analyzes the criminalization of popular forms of politics that were foundational to South Africa’s celebrated democratic transition. Chance argues that we can best grasp the increasingly murky line between “the criminal” and “the political” with a “politics of living” that casts slum and state in opposition to one another. Living Politics shows us how legitimate domains of politics are redefined, how state sovereignty is forcibly enacted, and how the production of new citizen identities crystallize at the intersections of race, gender, and class.
Long Live Atahualpa is an innovative ethnographic study of indigenous political movements against discrimination in modern Ecuador. Exploring the politicizing of Indianness—the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and political agency—Emma Cervone analyzes how the Quichuas mobilized in the country's central Andean province of Chimborazo and formed their own grassroots organization, Inca Atahualpa. She illuminates the complex process that led indigenous activists to forge new alliances with the Catholic Church, NGOs, and regional indigenous organizations as she traces the region's social history since the emergence of a rural unionist movement in the 1950s.
Cervone describes how the Inca Atahualpa contested racial subordination by intervening in matters of resource distribution, justice, and cultural politics. Considering local indigenous politics and indigenous mobilization at the national and international levels, she explains how, beginning in the 1960s, state-led modernization created political openings by generating new economic formations and social categories. Long Live Atahualpa sheds new light on indigenous peoples operating at the crossroads of global capitalism and neoliberal reforms as they redefine historically rooted relationships of subordination.
Remembered as an era of peace and prosperity, turn-of-the-millennium America was also a time of mass protest. But the political demands of the marchers seemed secondary to an urgent desire for renewal and restoration felt by people from all walks of life. Drawing on thousands of personal testimonies, Deborah Gray White explores how Americans sought better ways of living in, and dealing with, a rapidly changing world. From the Million Man, Million Woman, and Million Mom Marches to the Promise Keepers and LGBT protests, White reveals a people lost in their own country. Mass gatherings offered a chance to bond with like-minded others against a relentless tide of loneliness and isolation. By participating, individuals opened a door to self-discovery that energized their quests for order, autonomy, personal meaning, and fellowship in a society that seemed hostile to such deeper human needs. Moving forward in time, White also shows what marchers found out about themselves and those gathered around them. The result is an eye-opening reconsideration of a defining time in contemporary America.
During the years leading up to World War I, America experienced a crisis of civic identity. How could a country founded on liberal principles and composed of increasingly diverse cultures unite to safeguard individuals and promote social justice? In this book, Jonathan Hansen tells the story of a group of American intellectuals who believed the solution to this crisis lay in rethinking the meaning of liberalism.
Intellectuals such as William James, John Dewey, Jane Addams, Eugene V. Debs, and W. E. B. Du Bois repudiated liberalism's association with acquisitive individualism and laissez-faire economics, advocating a model of liberal citizenship whose virtues and commitments amount to what Hansen calls cosmopolitan patriotism. Rooted not in war but in dedication to social equity, cosmopolitan patriotism favored the fight against sexism, racism, and political corruption in the United States over battles against foreign foes. Its adherents held the domestic and foreign policy of the United States to its own democratic ideals and maintained that promoting democracy universally constituted the ultimate form of self-defense. Perhaps most important, the cosmopolitan patriots regarded critical engagement with one's country as the essence of patriotism, thereby justifying scrutiny of American militarism in wartime.
What makes a social movement a movement? Where do the contagious energy, vision, and sense of infinite possibility come from? Students of progressive social movements know a good deal about what works and what doesn't and about the constituencies that are conducive to political activism, but what are the personal and emotional dynamics that turn ordinary people into activists? And, what are the visions and practices of democracy that foster such transformations?
This book seeks to answer these questions through conversations and interviews with a generation of activists who came of political age in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Politically schooled in the city's vibrant immigrant worker and youth-led campaigns against xenophobic and racist voter initiatives, these young activists created a new political cohort with its own signature of democratic practice and vision. Combining analytical depth, engaging oral history, and rich description, this absorbing and accessible book will appeal to all those interested in social movements, racial justice, the political activism of women and men of color, and the labor movement today.
In 1969, Jon Beckwith and his colleagues succeeded in isolating a gene from the chromosome of a living organism. Announcing this startling achievement at a press conference, Beckwith took the opportunity to issue a public warning about the dangers of genetic engineering. Jon Beckwith's book, the story of a scientific life on the front line, traces one remarkable man's dual commitment to scientific research and social responsibility over the course of a career spanning most of the postwar history of genetics and molecular biology.
A thoroughly engrossing memoir that recounts Beckwith's halting steps toward scientific triumphs--among them, the discovery of the genetic element that turns genes on--as well as his emergence as a world-class political activist, Making Genes, Making Waves is also a compelling history of the major controversies in genetics over the last thirty years. Presenting the science in easily understandable terms, Beckwith describes the dramatic changes that transformed biology between the late 1950s and our day, the growth of the radical science movement in the 1970s, and the personalities involved throughout. He brings to light the differing styles of scientists as well as the different ways in which science is presented within the scientific community and to the public at large. Ranging from the travails of Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb to the Human Genome Project and recent "Science Wars," Beckwith's book provides a sweeping view of science and its social context in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents:
1. The Quail Farmer and the Scientist 2. Becoming a Scientist 3. Becoming an Activist 4. On Which Side Are the Angels? 5. The Tarantella of the Living 6. Does Science Take a Back Seat to Politics? 7. Their Own Atomic History 8. The Myth of the Criminal Chromosome 9. It's the Devil in Your DNA 10. I'm Not Very Scary Anymore 11. Story-Telling in Science 12. Geneticists and the Two Cultures 13. The Scientist and the Quail Farmer
Bibliography Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: In 1969, a Harvard Medical School group headed by Jon Beckwith accomplished a first in molecular biology--the isolation of a gene...When their paper appeared in Nature, they held an extraordinary press conference in which they described their work and warned of the danger that it might lead to...The press conference received international media coverage, and Beckwith found himself embarked on a double career--a continuing one in research and a new one of social activism in science. His Making Genes, Making Waves is an absorbing account of how these two strands in his life were woven into a durable braid. The prose is straightforward, and Beckwith is refreshingly frank, revealing the divagations and doubts that marked his course in research. --Daniel J. Kevles, American Scientist
Reviews of this book: In this beautifully written autobiography, Beckwith...vividly describes aspects of the 'cultural revolution in science that molecular biology brought with it,' epitomized by...major public controversies about genetics in the United States from the 1960s...Beckwith has portrayed a fascinating period in the history of modern biology and of the interaction of science and society in the Western world. Thanks to him and other activists, social injustices resulting from the application of genetics are now widely discussed and, in democracies, meet with legal measures and regulation. In this book Beckwith, a committed scientist...calls for greater humility about what science can and cannot accomplish. This is a call that scientists would do well to take seriously. --Ute Deichmann, Nature
Reviews of this book: Jon Beckwith in Making Genes, Making Waves reminds us that he first warned about the social impact of genetic engineering back in 1969. His autobiography shows what hard work it is to combine science and politics, to keep different networks of interests alive. --New Scientist
Reviews of this book: Making Genes, Making Waves consists of a generally chronological series of vignettes detailing Beckwith's role in raising the consciousness of the genetics community and the public ("making waves") interspersed with brief descriptions of his laboratory research problems at various times ("making genes"). The prose is crisp, the episodes engaging and, as a heuristic of a successful modern American scientist with a social conscience, the book is probably without peer. --Jonathan Marks, The Nation
Reviews of this book: This autobiography charts [Beckwith's] journey through both aspects of his life in the second half of the 20th century: the research of his professional career, and his personal crusade to inform society of biological developments and involve us all in deciding how the new knowledge should be applied. Since he has made a significant contribution in both areas, the book is a fascinating read. He provides a frank but kindly description of his collaborators and other researchers, and an insightful account of science as practiced in several very different laboratories...Society is very much the better for the efforts of those such as Beckwith who clearly enjoy the challenge of describing complex issues to non-specialists and participating in debates as to how new knowledge should be used. --Ian Wilmut, Times Higher Education Supplement
Reviews of this book: Making Genes, Making Waves is a compelling history of the controversies in genetics over the last half century. --Carmen Chica, International Microbiology
This is a strikingly honest and sensitive self-appraisal of trying to integrate a life in science with an equally committed life of social activism. It has special credibility coming from one of America's most distinguished microbiologists. It is a must read for any young scientist who is concerned by the tension between the beautiful rationality of science and the sometimes ugly outcomes of its application. In particular, Beckwith grapples with the harmful fallout that genetic studies might generate. --David Baltimore, President, California Institute of Technology, and Alice S. Huang, Senior Councilor for External Relations, California Institute of Technology
In this book, Beckwith produces a fine parallel to what he has accomplished in his life -- a balance between science and humanism that is both extraordinary and exemplary. --Troy Duster, Professor of Sociology, New York University
The renowned scientist Jon Beckwith wrote Making Genes, Making Waves so that students could learn an oft-hidden truth: it is possible to become a successful scientist and still be a social activist within science. Now more than ever the doing of science is intricately connected to its social applications. It is imperative that we prepare the next generation of scientists not only to understand these connections but to be willing and able to act on these understandings. This book, a compelling personal account of how one scientist-activist learned these lessons on his own, over a life time of work and activism, should be used in every introductory biology and genetics course in the country. Let's give our students a chance to learn biology and think about the social responsibilities of their future careers at the same time. --Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology and Women's Studies, Brown University, and author of Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
In Making Genes, Making Waves, Jon Beckwith lucidly describes the essence of his scientific research and social activism. There was not a dull chapter, and I hated to put the book down. It will provide inspiration and encouragement to any aspiring scientist who worries about giving up other interests and commitments in order to advance. And to those who pursue research single-mindedly, it will be a reminder that their accomplishments can seldom be taken out of social or political context. Beckwith's compelling message is that making advances only in science, no matter how prestigious the awards (of which he received several), cannot be fulfilling as long as social injustice persists. --Neil A. Holtzman, M.D.,M.P.H., Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Health Policy, Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University
Jon Beckwith presents a candid and compelling story of his career-long attempt to integrate two roles, that of the research scientist and that of the social activist. Scientists and citizens alike should be grateful to him for his contributions in both aspects of his work and for a book that demonstrates the importance of attending to the sociopolitical consequences of science. With luck, his lucid narrative will inspire others to follow his example. --Philip Kitcher, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
At a time when many academic scientists have turned their attention to private, self-serving commercial interests, it is refreshing to read Jon Beckwith's ssensitive and candid memoir that defines a role model of a biologist who combined his passion for research with public-interest science. His book provides valuable insights into the career of a politically and socially-conscious scientist and of the influential Science for the People during the gestation period of genetic technologies in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas most scientists spend their entire lives oblivious to the socio-political aspects of their work, Beckwith emerged as a leading voice for exposing the myths of behavioral genetics and for alerting society of the perils of eugenics and genetic discrimination. His book is infused with the moral ideal that those with the specialized knowledge have a unique responsibility to warn society of the potential misuse of that knowledge. --Sheldon Krimsky, Profess of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
In this extraordinary memoir, Jon Beckwith shows us a species we thought was all but extinct - the engaged citizen-scholar. He has fought the good fights, at some considerable professional risk, but he has survived and flourished, his ideals unsullied; and in these cynical days he is a reason to take some honest pride in the Academy. It should be on every graduate student's reading list! --Jonathan Marks, Deptartment of Sociology and Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Can one at the same time produce excellent science and be a social activist who questions aspects of science? Jon Beckwith describes in his autobiography his attempt to combine these two activities. Making Genes, Making Waves should be read by graduate students, postdocs and collegues: it is a revealing story. --Prof. Benno M'ller-Hill, Institut f'r Genetik, Universit't zu K'ln
Jon Beckwith's Making Genes, Making Waves is a thoughtful autobiographical essay on his experiences as a social activist in science in the face of resentment--even hostility--from many of his colleagues. But more than a personal memoir, this book shows that the commitment to social responsibility is entirely compatible with commitment to science; that love of science can co-exist with serious qualms about its social consequences. Above all, Beckwith's experiences as an activist, in a context where "social responsibility" has often been looked upon as a threat, suggests that scientists must consider and communicate the social meaning of their work if they are to maintain the public trust. --Dorothy Nelkin, Professor of Law and Sociology, New York University
It is rare to find a young and honest man describing how he became a first rate scientist while his hesitations and mixed feelings about the role and function of science turned him into an effective social activist. This book is an excellent account, by a participant, of the debates about science and society that occurred in the last 30 or 40 years. The special point is that the same man was producing the best of the science that raised so much passion. --Fran'ois Jacob
Making History/Making Blintzes is a chronicle of the political and personal lives of progressive activists Richard (Dick) and Miriam (Mickey) Flacks, two of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As active members of the Civil Rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s, and leaders in today’s social movements, their stories are a first-hand account of progressive American activism from the 1960s to the present.
Throughout this memoir, the couple demonstrates that their lifelong commitment to making history through social activism cannot be understood without returning to the deeply personal context of their family history—of growing up “Red Diaper babies” in 1950s New York City, using folk music as self-expression as adolescents in the 1960s, and of making blintzes for their own family through the 1970s and 1980s. As the children of immigrants and first generation Jews, Dick and Mickey crafted their own religious identity as secular Jews, created a critical space for American progressive activism through SDS, and ultimately, found themselves raising an “American” family.
Texas, for years, was a one-party state controlled by white democrats. In 1962, a young eighteen-year-old heard the first rumblings of Chicano community organization in the barrios of Cristal. The rumor in the town was that five Mexican Americans were going to run for all five seats on the city council. But first, poor citizens had to find a way to pay the $1.75 poll tax. Money had to be raised—through bake sales of tamales, cake walks, and dances. So began the political activism of José Angel Gutiérrez.
Gutiérrez's autobiography, The Making of a Chicano Militant, is the first insider's view of the important political and social events within the Mexican American communities in South Texas during the 1960s and 1970s. A controversial and dynamic political figure during the height of the Chicano movement, Gutiérrez offers an absorbing personal account of his life at the forefront of the Mexican-American civil rights movement—first as a Chicano and then as a militant.
Gutiérrez traces the racial, ethnic, economic, and social prejudices facing Chicanos with powerful scenes from his own life: his first summer job as a tortilla maker at the age of eleven, his racially motivated kidnapping as a teenager, and his coming of age in the face of discrimination as a radical organizer in college and graduate school. When Gutiérrez finally returned to Cristal, he helped form the Mexican American Youth Organization and, subsequently the Raza Unida Party to confront issues of ethnic intolerance in his community. His story is soon to be a classic in the developing literature of Mexican American leaders.
The provocative debate about Malcolm X’s legacy that emerged after the publication of Manning Marable’s 2011 biography raised critical questions about the revolutionary Black Nationalist’s importance to American and world affairs: What was Malcolm’s association with the Nation of Islam? How should we interpret Malcolm’s discourses? Was Malcolm antifeminist? What is Malcolm’s legacy in contemporary public affairs? How do Malcolm’s early childhood experiences in Michigan shape and inform his worldview? Was Malcolm trending toward socialism during his final year? Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview responds to these questions by presenting Malcolm’s subject as an iconography used to deepen understanding of African descendent peoples’ experiences through advanced research and disciplinary study. A Black studies reader that uses the biography of Malcolm X both to interrogate key aspects of the Black world experience and to contribute to the intellectual expansion of the discipline, the book presents Malcolm as a Black subject who represents, symbolizes, and associates meaning with the Black/Africana studies discipline. Through a range of multidisciplinary prisms and themes including discourse, race, culture, religion, gender, politics, and community, this rich volume elicits insights about the Malcolm iconography that contribute to the continuous formulation, deepening, and strengthening of the Black studies discipline.
A Mind of Her Own: Helen Connor Laird and Family 1888–1982 captures the public achievement and private pain of a remarkable Wisconsin woman and her family, whose interests and influence extended well beyond the borders of the state. Spanning almost a century, the history speaks to the way we were and are: a stridently materialistic nation with a deep and persistent spiritual component.
When J. Edgar Hoover declared Herbert Aptheker "the most dangerous Communist in the United States," the notorious FBI director misconstrued his true significance. In this first book-length biography of Aptheker (1915–2003), Gary Murrell provides a balanced yet unflinching assessment of the controversial figure who was at once a leading historian of African America, radical political activist, literary executor of W. E. B. Du Bois, and lifelong member of the American Communist Party. Although blacklisted at U.S. universities, Aptheker published dozens of books, including the groundbreaking American Negro Slave Revolts (1943) and the monumental seven-volume Documentary History of the Negro People (1951–1994). He also edited four volumes of the correspondence and unpublished writings of Du Bois, an achievement that Eric Foner, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called "a milestone in the coming of age of Afro-American history."
As Murrell shows, Aptheker the historian was inseparable from Aptheker the leading Communist Party intellectual, polemicist, and agitator. During the 1960s, his ability to rouse and inspire both black and white student radicals made him one of the few Old Leftists accepted by the New Left. Aptheker had joined the CPUSA during its heyday in the 1930s, convinced that only through the party's leadership could fascism be defeated and true liberation be achieved: he ended his affiliation five decades later in 1991 after the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In an afterword, Bettina Aptheker adds to Murrell's narrative by illuminating her mother Fay's vital contributions to her father's work and by affirming the particularly devastating challenges of life in a family dedicated to radical political and social change.
Across Africa, mature women have for decades mobilized the power of their nakedness in political protest to shame and punish male adversaries. This insurrectionary nakedness, often called genital cursing, owes its cultural potency to the religious belief that spirits residing in women's bodies can be unleashed to cause misfortune in their targets, including impotence, disease, and death. In Naked Agency, Naminata Diabate analyzes these collective female naked protests in Africa and beyond to broaden understandings of agency and vulnerability. Drawing on myriad cultural texts from social media and film to journalism and fiction, Diabate uncovers how women create spaces of resistance during socio-political duress, including such events as the 2011 protests by Ivoirian women in Côte d’Ivoire and Paris as well as women's disrobing in Soweto to prevent the destruction of their homes. Through the concept of naked agency, Diabate explores fluctuating narratives of power and victimhood to challenge simplistic accounts of African women's helplessness and to show how they exercise political power in the biopolitical era.
The Nature Way
Corbin Harney University of Nevada Press, 2009 Library of Congress E99.S4H269 2009 | Dewey Decimal 978.004974574
Corbin Harney’s long life encompassed remarkable changes in the lives of Native Americans and in the technological and political development of the world. Born into an impoverished Western Shoshone family on the Nevada-Idaho border and orphaned as a newborn, he was brought up by grandparents who taught him the traditional ways of their people and the ancient spiritual beliefs that sustained their culture. As an adult, Harney found his calling as a traditional healer and spiritual leader. Soon he became involved in the Shoshone struggle for civil rights, including their efforts to protect and heal their traditional lands in what became the Nevada Test Site. This involvement led Harney to his eventual role as a leader of the international antinuclear movement.The Nature Way is a rich compendium of Corbin Harney’s experience and wisdom. His account of his life incorporates the tragic history of Native Americans in the Great Basin after the arrival of Euro-Americans, his realization of his own identity as a Native American, and his long study of his people’s traditions and spiritual practices. His summary of the Shoshone and Paiute use of indigenous plants for food and healing highlights their understanding that the Earth and her denizens and products must be respected and protected in order to preserve the connection that all creatures have with sacred Mother Earth. Finally, his account of his role as an antinuclear activist expands on his awareness of the human responsibility to protect the Earth, especially from the extreme danger posed by nuclear technology and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Corbin Harney’s voice is one of the clearest expressions yet of the values, concerns, and spirituality of contemporary Native America. He offers all of us an eloquent plea that we respect and cooperate with Nature to ensure the survival of the planet.
Born in 1921, Manuel Llamojha Mitma became one of Peru's most creative and inspiring indigenous political activists. Now Peru Is Mine combines extensive oral history interviews with archival research to chronicle his struggles for indigenous land rights and political inclusion as well as his fight against anti-Indian racism. His compelling story—framed by Jaymie Patricia Heilman's historical contextualization—covers nearly eight decades, from the poverty of his youth and teaching himself to read, to becoming an internationally known activist. Llamojha also recounts his life's tragedies, such as being forced to flee his home and the disappearance of his son during the war between the Shining Path and the government. His life gives insight into many key developments in Peru's tumultuous twentieth-century history, among them urbanization, poverty, racism, agrarian reform, political organizing, the demise of the hacienda system, and the Shining Path. The centrality of his embrace of his campesino identity forces a rethinking of how indigenous identity works inside Peru, while the implications of his activism broaden our understanding of political mobilization in Cold War Latin America.
One of the most important stories in Latin American studies today is the emergence of left-leaning social movements sweeping across Latin America includes the mobilization of militant indigenous politics. Formed in 1995 in Ecuador to advance the interests of a variety of people’s organizations and to serve as an alternative to the country’s traditional political parties, Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement (Pachakutik) is an indigenist-based movement and political party.
In this critical work, Kenneth J. Mijeski and Scott H. Beck evaluate the successes and failures experienced by Ecuador’s Indians in their quest to transform the state into a participative democracy that would address the needs of the country’s long-ignored and impoverished majority, both indigenous and nonindigenous. Using a powerful statistical technique and in-depth interviews with political activists, the authors show that the political election game failed to advance the cause of either Ecuador’s poor majority or the movement’s own indigenous base.
Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement is an extraordinarily valuable case study that examines the birth, development, and in this case, waning of Ecuador’s indigenous movement.
The mobilization of militant indigenous politics is one of the most important stories in Latin American studies today. In this critical work, Kenneth J. Mijeski and Scott H. Beck examine the rise and decline of Ecuador’s leading indigenous party, Pachakutik, as it tried to transform the state into a participative democracy.
Using in-depth interviews with political activists, as well as a powerful statistical analysis of election results, the authors show that the political election game failed to advance the causes of Ecuador’s poor or the movement’s own indigenous supporters. Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement is an extraordinarily valuable case study of Ecuador’s indigenous movement and the challenges it still faces.
From the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to the 1960s, Mexican American Catholics experienced racism and discrimination within the U.S. Catholic church, as white priests and bishops maintained a racial divide in all areas of the church’s ministry. To oppose this religious apartheid and challenge the church to minister fairly to all of its faithful, a group of Chicano priests formed PADRES (Padres Asociados para Derechos Religiosos, Educativos y Sociales, or Priests Associated for Religious, Educational, and Social Rights) in 1969. Over the next twenty years of its existence, PADRES became a powerful force for change within the Catholic church and for social justice within American society. This book offers the first history of the founding, activism, victories, and defeats of PADRES. At the heart of the book are oral history interviews with the founders of PADRES, who describe how their ministries in poor Mexican American parishes, as well as their own experiences of racism and discrimination within and outside the church, galvanized them into starting and sustaining the movement. Richard Martínez traces the ways in which PADRES was inspired by the Chicano movement and other civil rights struggles of the 1960s and also probes its linkages with liberation theology in Latin America. He uses a combination of social movement theory and organizational theory to explain why the group emerged, flourished, and eventually disbanded in 1989.
Paul Lafargue, the disciple and son-in-law of Karl Marx, helped to found the first French Marxist party in 1882. Over the next three decades, he served as the chief theoretician and propagandist for Marxism in France. During these years, which ended with the dramatic suicides of Lafargue and his wife, French socialism, and the Marxist party within it, became a significant political force.
In an earlier volume, Paul Lafargue and the Founding of French Marxism, 1842-1882, Leslie Derfler emphasized family identity and the origin of French Marxism. Here, he explores Lafargue's political strategies, specifically his break with party co-founder Jules Guesde in the Boulanger and Dreyfus episodes and over the question of socialist-syndicalist relations. Derfler shows Lafargue's importance as both political activist and theorist. He describes Lafargue's role in the formulation of such strategies as the promotion of a Second Workingmen's International, the pursuit of reform within the framework of the existent state but opposition to any socialist participation in nonsocialist governments, and the subordination of trade unionism to political action. He emphasizes Lafargue's pioneering efforts to apply Marxist methods of analysis to questions of anthropology, aesthetics, and literary criticism.
Despite the crucial part they played in the social and political changes of the past century and the heritage they left, the first French Marxists are not widely known, especially in the English-speaking world. This important critical biography of Lafargue, the most audacious of their much maligned theorists, enables us to trace the options open to Marxist socialism as well as its development during a critical period of transition.
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
In 1968, ten thousand students marched in protest over the terrible conditions prevalent in the high schools of East Los Angeles, the largest Mexican community in the United States. Chanting "Chicano Power," the young insurgents not only demanded change but heralded a new racial politics. Frustrated with the previous generation's efforts to win equal treatment by portraying themselves as racially white, the Chicano protesters demanded justice as proud members of a brown race. The legacy of this fundamental shift continues to this day.
Ian Haney López tells the compelling story of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles by following two criminal trials, including one arising from the student walkouts. He demonstrates how racial prejudice led to police brutality and judicial discrimination that in turn spurred Chicano militancy. He also shows that legal violence helped to convince Chicano activists that they were nonwhite, thereby encouraging their use of racial ideas to redefine their aspirations, culture, and selves. In a groundbreaking advance that further connects legal racism and racial politics, Haney López describes how race functions as "common sense," a set of ideas that we take for granted in our daily lives. This racial common sense, Haney López argues, largely explains why racism and racial affiliation persist today.
By tracing the fluid position of Mexican Americans on the divide between white and nonwhite, describing the role of legal violence in producing racial identities, and detailing the commonsense nature of race, Haney López offers a much needed, potentially liberating way to rethink race in the United States.
Public opinion is one of the most elusive and complex concepts in democratic theory, and we do not fully understand its role in the political process. Reading Public Opinion offers one provocative approach for understanding how public opinion fits into the empirical world of politics. In fact, Susan Herbst finds that public opinion, surprisingly, has little to do with the mass public in many instances.
Herbst draws on ideas from political science, sociology, and psychology to explore how three sets of political participants—legislative staffers, political activists, and journalists—actually evaluate and assess public opinion. She concludes that many political actors reject "the voice of the people" as uninformed and nebulous, relying instead on interest groups and the media for representations of public opinion. Her important and original book forces us to rethink our assumptions about the meaning and place of public opinion in the realm of contemporary democratic politics.
Between the world wars, several labor colleges sprouted up across the U.S. These schools, funded by unions, sought to provide members with adult education while also indoctrinating them into the cause. As Mary McAvoy reveals, a big part of that learning experience centered on the schools’ drama programs. For the first time, Rehearsing Revolutions shows how these left-leaning drama programs prepared American workers for the “on-the-ground” activism emerging across the country. In fact, McAvoy argues, these amateur stages served as training grounds for radical social activism in early twentieth-century America.
Using a wealth of previously unpublished material such as director’s reports, course materials, playscripts, and reviews, McAvoy traces the programs’ evolution from experimental teaching tool to radically politicized training that inspired overt—even militant—labor activism by the late 1930s. All the while, she keeps an eye on larger trends in public life, connecting interwar labor drama to post-war arts-based activism in response to McCarthyism, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights movement. Ultimately, McAvoy asks: What did labor drama do for the workers’ colleges and why did they pursue it? She finds her answer through several different case studies in places like the Portland Labor College and the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.
Oregon entered a new era in 1964 with the election of Tom McCall as Secretary of State and Bob Straub as State Treasurer. Their political rivalry formed the backdrop for two of Oregon’s most transformative decades, as they successively fought for, lost, and won the governorship. Veteran Oregon journalist Floyd McKay had a front-row seat.
As a political reporter for The Oregon Statesman in Salem, and then as news analyst for KGW-TV in Portland, McKay was known for asking tough questions and pulling no punches. His reporting and commentaries ranged from analysis of the “Tom and Bob” rivalry, to the Vietnam War’s impact on Senators Wayne Morse and Mark Hatfield and the emergence of a new generation of Portland activists in the 1970s.
McKay and his colleagues were on the beaches as Oregon crafted its landmark Beach Bill, ensuring the protection of beaches for public use. They watched as activists turned back efforts to build a highway on the sand at Pacific City. Pitched battles over Oregon’s Bottle Bill, and the panic-inducing excitement of “Vortex”—the nation’s only state-sponsored rock festival—characterized the period. Covering the period from 1964-1986, McKay remembers the action, the players and the consequences, in this compelling and personal account.
As major actors fade from the scene and new leaders emerge, McKay casts a backwards glance at enduring Oregon legends. Half a century later, amid today’s cynicism and disillusionment with media, politics, and politicians, Reporting the Oregon Story serves as a timely reminder that charged politics and bitter rivalries can also come hand-in-hand with lasting social progress.
Reporting the Oregon Story will be relished by those who lived the history, and it will serve as a worthy introduction to Oregonians young and old who want a first-hand account of Oregon’s mid- twentieth-century political history and legislative legacy.
On one side are the policy makers, on the other, the movements and organizations that challenge public policy. Where and how the two meet is a critical juncture in the democratic process. Bringing together a distinguished group of scholars from several different disciplines in the social sciences, Routing the Opposition connects the substance and content of policies with the movements that create and respond to them. Local antidrug coalitions, the organic agriculture movement, worker's compensation reforms, veterans' programs, prison reform, immigrants' rights campaigns: these are some of the diverse areas in which the contributors to this volume examine the linkages between the practices, organization, and institutional logic of public policy and social movements. The authors engage such topics as the process of involving multiple stakeholders in policy making, the impact of overlapping social networks on policy and social movement development, and the influence of policy design on the increase or decline of civic involvement. Capturing both successes and failures, Routing the Opposition focuses on strategies and outcomes that both transform social movements and guide the development of public policy, revealing as well what happens when the very different organizational cultures of activists and public policy makers interact.
The exposure of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy in the eco-activist movement revealed how the state monitors and undermines political activism. This book shows the other grave threat to our political freedoms - undercover activities by corporations.
Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark documents how corporations are halting legitimate action and investigation by activists. Using exclusive access to previously confidential sources, Eveline Lubbers shows how companies such as Nestlé, Shell and McDonalds use covert methods to evade accountability. She argues that corporate intelligence gathering has shifted from being reactive to pro-active, with important implications for democracy itself.
Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark will be vital reading for activists, investigative and citizen journalists, and all who care about freedom and democracy in the 21st century.
The period between the 1960s and 1970s is easily one of the most controversial in American history. Examining the liberal movements of the era as well as those that opposed them, this volume offers analyses of the rhetoric of leaders, including those of the civil rights movement, the Chicano movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and conservative resistance groups. It also features an introduction that summarizes much of the significant research done by communication scholars on dissent in the 1960s and 1970s. This time period is still a fertile area of study, and this book provides insights into the era that are both provocative and illuminating, making it an essential read for anyone looking to learn more about this time in America.
Sol Plaatje is one of South Africa’s most important political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress, a leading spokesman for black opinion throughout his life, and the author of three well-known books: Mafeking Diary, Native Life in South Africa, and his historical novel, Mhudi.
These books are not Plaatje’s only claim to fame. In the course of a prolific career he wrote letters to the press, newspaper articles and editorials, pamphlets, political speeches, evidence to government commissions of enquiry, unpublished autobiographical writings, and many personal letters. Together they provide both an engaging personal record and a very readable – and revealing – commentary on South African social and political affairs during the era of segregation, from 1899 through to Plaatje’s tragically early death in 1932.
What he wrote has a unique historical importance, all the more meaningful from the perspective of the 1990s.
Transnational solidarity movements often play an important role in reshaping structures of global power. However, there remains a significant gap in the historical literature on collaboration between parties located in the Global South. Facing increasing repression, the Latin American left in the 1960s and 1970s found connection in transnational exchange, organizing with distant activists in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. By exploring the particularities of South-South solidarity, this volume begins new conversations about what makes these movements unique, how they shaped political identities, and their lasting influence.
Jessica Stites Mor looks at four in-depth case studies: the use of legal reform to accomplish the goals of solidarity embedded in Mexico's revolutionary constitution, visual and print media circulated by Cuba and its influence on the agenda of the Afro-Asian block at the United Nations, organizing on behalf of Palestinian nationalism in reshaping Argentina's socialist left, and the role of Latin American Catholic activists in challenging the South African apartheid state. These examples serve as a much-needed road map to navigate our current political climate and show us how solidarity movements might approach future struggles.
The Squatters' Movement in Europe is the first definitive guide to squatting as an alternative to capitalism. It offers a unique insider's view on the movement – its ideals, actions and ways of life. At a time of growing crisis in Europe with high unemployment, dwindling social housing and declining living standards, squatting has become an increasingly popular option.
The book is written by an activist-scholar collective, whose members have direct experience of squatting: many are still squatters today. There are contributions from the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
In an age of austerity and precarity this book shows what has been achieved by this resilient social movement, which holds lessons for policy-makers, activists and academics alike.
Lindy Wilson Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DT779.8.B48W55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 968.06092
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.
This short biography of Biko shows how fundamental he was to the reawakening and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century—and just how relevant he remains. Biko’s understanding of black consciousness as a weapon of change could not be more relevant today to “restore people to their full humanity.”
As an important historical study, this book’s main sources were unique interviews done in 1989—before the end of apartheid—by the author with Biko’s acquaintances, many of whom have since died.
From covering the massacre of students at Tlatelolco in 1968 and the 1985 earthquake to the Zapatista rebellion in 1994 and the disappearance of forty-three students in 2014, Elena Poniatowska has been one of the most important chroniclers of Mexican social, cultural, and political life. In Stories That Make History, Lynn Stephen examines Poniatowska's writing, activism, and political participation, using them as a lens through which to understand critical moments in contemporary Mexican history. In her crónicas—narrative journalism written in a literary style featuring firsthand testimonies—Poniatowska told the stories of Mexico's most marginalized people. Throughout, Stephen shows how Poniatowska helped shape Mexican politics and forge a multigenerational political community committed to social justice. In so doing, she presents a biographical and intellectual history of one of Mexico's most cherished writers and a unique history of modern Mexico.
“I think we have to get to the real, to catch the facts we have, to hold on to what we see. . . .in this time where lies are currency,” Sonya Huber writes in her book-length essay Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day. On the theory that naming the truths of quotidian experience can counter the dangerous power of lies, she carefully recounts two anxiety-fueled days one fall. On the first, she is arrested as part of a climate protest in Times Square. On the other, she must make it to her court appearance while also finding time to take her son to get his learner's permit. Paying equal attention to minor details, passing thoughts, and larger political concerns around activism and parenting in the Trump-era United States, Huber asks: How can one simultaneously be a good mother, a good worker, and a good citizen? As she reflects on the meaning of protest and on whiteness and other forms of privilege within political activism, Huber offers a wry, self-aware, and stirring testament to the everyday as a seedbed for meaningful change.
This remarkable biography features a white American pacifist minister whose tireless work for justice and human rights helped reshape Black civil rights in the U.S. and Africa.
George M. Houser (1916–2015) was one of the most important civil rights and antiwar activists of the twentieth century. A conscientious objector during World War II, in 1942 Houser cofounded and led the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), whose embrace of nonviolent protest strategies and tactics characterized the modern American Civil Rights Movement. Beginning in the 1950s, Houser played a critical role in pan-Africanist anticolonial movements, and his more than thirty-year dedication to the cause of human rights and self-determination helped prepare the ground for the toppling of the South African apartheid regime.
Throughout his life, Houser shunned publicity, preferring to let his actions speak his faith. Sheila Collins’s well-researched biography recounts the events that informed Houser’s life of activism—from his childhood experiences as the son of missionaries in the Philippines to his early grounding in the Social Gospel and the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi. In light of the corruption the U.S. and the world face today, Houser’s story of faith and decisive action for human rights and social justice is one for our time.
Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of “us versus them” tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment.
With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious, and cultural lines, which have recently come to divide neatly between the two major political parties. She argues that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents. Even when Democrats and Republicans can agree on policy outcomes, they tend to view one other with distrust and to work for party victory over all else. Although the polarizing effects of social divisions have simplified our electoral choices and increased political engagement, they have not been a force that is, on balance, helpful for American democracy. Bringing together theory from political science and social psychology, Uncivil Agreement clearly describes this increasingly “social” type of polarization in American politics and will add much to our understanding of contemporary politics.
In Unruly Immigrants, Monisha Das Gupta explores the innovative strategies that South Asian feminist, queer, and labor organizations in the United States have developed to assert claims to rights for immigrants without the privileges or security of citizenship. Since the 1980s many South Asian immigrants have found the India-centered “model minority” politics of previous generations inadequate to the task of redressing problems such as violence against women, homophobia, racism, and poverty. Thus they have devised new models of immigrant advocacy, seeking rights that are mobile rather than rooted in national membership, and advancing their claims as migrants rather than as citizens-to-be. Creating social justice organizations, they have inventively constructed a transnational complex of rights by drawing on local, national, and international laws to seek entitlements for their constituencies.
Das Gupta offers an ethnography of seven South Asian organizations in the northeastern United States, looking at their development and politics as well as the conflicts that have emerged within the groups over questions of sexual, class, and political identities. She examines the ways that women’s organizations have defined and responded to questions of domestic violence as they relate to women’s immigration status; she describes the construction of a transnational South Asian queer identity and culture by people often marginalized by both mainstream South Asian and queer communities in the United States; and she draws attention to the efforts of labor groups who have sought economic justice for taxi drivers and domestic workers by confronting local policies that exploit cheap immigrant labor. Responding to the shortcomings of the state, their communities, and the larger social movements of which they are a part, these groups challenge the assumption that citizenship is the necessary basis of rights claims.
Beginning as a grassroots organizer in the 1950s, Vicente Ximenes was at the forefront of the movement for Mexican American civil rights through three presidential administrations, joining Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and later emerging as one of the highest-ranking appointees in Johnson’s administration. Ximenes succeeded largely because he could adapt his rhetoric for different audiences in his speeches and writings. Michelle Hall Kells elucidates Ximenes’s achievements through a rhetorical history of his career as an activist.
Kells draws on Ximenes’s extensive archive of speeches, reports, articles, and oral interviews to present the activist’s rhetorical history. After a discussion of Ximenes’s early life, the author focuses on his career as an activist, examining Ximenes’s leadership in several key civil rights events, including the historic 1967 White House Cabinet Committee Hearings on Mexican American Affairs. Also highlighted is his role in advancing Mexican Americans and Latinos from social marginalization to greater representation in national politics.
This book shows us a remarkable man who dedicated the majority of his life to public service, using rhetoric to mobilize activists for change to secure civil rights advances for his fellow Mexican Americans.
This book confirms Alexis de Tocqueville’s idea, dating back a century and a half, that American democracy is rooted in civil society. Citizens’ involvement in family, school, work, voluntary associations, and religion has a significant impact on their participation as voters, campaigners, donors, community activists, and protesters.
The authors focus on the central issues of involvement: how people come to be active and the issues they raise when they do. They find fascinating differences along cultural lines, among African-Americans, Latinos, and Anglo-Whites, as well as between the religiously observant and the secular. They observe family activism moving from generation to generation, and they look into the special role of issues that elicit involvement, including abortion rights and social welfare.
This far-reaching analysis, based on an original survey of 15,000 individuals, including 2,500 long personal interviews, shows that some individuals have a greater voice in politics than others, and that this inequality results not just from varying inclinations toward activity, but also from unequal access to vital resources such as education. Citizens’ voices are especially unequal when participation depends on contributions of money rather than contributions of time. This deeply researched study brilliantly illuminates the many facets of civic consciousness and action and confirms their quintessential role in American democracy.
White Men Challenging Racism is a collection of first-person narratives chronicling the compelling experiences of thirty-five white men whose efforts to combat racism and fight for social justice are central to their lives. Based on interviews conducted by Cooper Thompson, Emmett Schaefer, and Harry Brod, these engaging oral histories tell the stories of the men’s antiracist work. While these men discuss their accomplishments with pride, they also talk about their mistakes and regrets, their shortcomings and strategic blunders. A foreword by James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, provides historical context, describing antiracist efforts undertaken by white men in America during past centuries.
Ranging in age from twenty-six to eighty-six, the men whose stories are presented here include some of the elder statesmen of antiracism work as well as members of the newest generation of activists. They come from across the United States—from Denver, Nashville, and San Jose; rural North Carolina, Detroit, and Seattle. Some are straight; some are gay. A few—such as historian Herbert Aptheker, singer/songwriter Si Kahn, Stetson Kennedy (a Klan infiltrator in the 1940s), and Richard Lapchick (active in organizing the sports community against apartheid)—are relatively well known; most are not. Among them are academics, ministers, police officers, firefighters, teachers, journalists, union leaders, and full-time community organizers. They work with Latinos and African-, Asian-, and Native-Americans. Many ground their work in spiritual commitments. Their inspiring personal narratives—whether about researching right-wing groups, organizing Central American immigrants, or serving as pastor of an interracial congregation—connect these men with one another and with their allies in the fight against racism in the United States.
All authors’ royalties go directly to fund antiracist work. To read excerpts from the book, please visit http://www.whitemenchallengingracism.com/
A longtime agitator against war and social injustice, Lawrence Wittner has been tear-gassed, threatened by police with drawn guns, charged by soldiers with fixed bayonets, spied upon by the U.S. government, arrested, and purged from his job for political -reasons. To say that this teacher-historian-activist has led an interesting life is a considerable understatement.
In this absorbing memoir, Wittner traces the dramatic course of a life and career that took him from a Brooklyn boyhood in the 1940s and ’50s to an education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to the front lines of peace activism, the fight for racial equality, and the struggles of the labor movement. He details his family background, which included the bloody anti-Semitic pogroms of late-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and chronicles his long teaching career, which comprised positions at a small black college in Virginia, an elite women’s liberal arts college north of New York City, and finally a permanent home at the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Throughout, he packs the narrative with colorful vignettes describing such activities as fighting racism in Louisiana and Mississippi during the early 1960s, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, and leading thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima. As the book also reveals, Wittner’s work as an activist was matched by scholarly achievements that made him one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the peace and nuclear disarmament movements—a research specialty that led to revealing encounters with such diverse figures as Norman Thomas, the Unabomber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Caspar Weinberger, and David Horowitz.
A tenured professor and renowned author who has nevertheless lived in tension with the broader currents of his society, Lawrence Wittner tells an engaging personal story that includes some of the most turbulent and significant events of recent history.
Lawrence S. Wittner, emeritus professor of history at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including the award-winning three-volume Struggle Against the Bomb. Among other awards and honors, he has received major grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Aspen Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Retrospectives of the 1960s routinely include the face of youth rebellion: long-haired students occupying campus buildings, young men burning draft cards, hippies dancing at Woodstock. In Younger Than That Now, Holly V. Scott explores how the idea of "youth" served as a tactic in the political and social activism of these years. In the early part of that decade, young white activists began to learn from the civil rights movement's defiance of racism. They examined their own lives and concluded that campus rules and the draft were repression as well. As a group, they were ripe for revolution, and their age gave them a unique perspective for understanding and protesting against injustice. In short, young people began to use their youth as a political strategy.
Some in the New Left were dubious of this strategy and asked how it might damage long-term progress. Young feminists and people of color were particularly quick to question the idea that age alone was enough to sustain a movement. And the media often presented young people as impulsive and naive, undermining their political legitimacy. In tracing how "youth" took on multiple meanings as the 1960s progressed, Scott demonstrates the power of this idea to both promote and hinder social change.