Occupy Wall Street is the most dynamic phenomenon in progressive politics in over forty years. Its followers across the country transformed the national debate, galvanizing millions with its clarion call for economic justice: "We are the 99 percent." Nearly overnight, Occupy whipped up a groundswell of excitement, anger, hope, and resolve. Now, with the 2012 election looming on the horizon, Occupy finds itself at a decisive moment: can it use its momentum to convert its principles into lasting change?
In "Occupy Nation," bestselling social historian Todd Gitlin offers the first narrative survey of the story and spirit of the movement--from its historic inspirations, to its inner tensions, to its prospects in the months and years to come. Despite its widespread appeal and global ramifications, Gitlin argues, Occupy Wall Street has been poorly understood by journalists, pundits, politicians, and everyday Americans alike. In "Occupy Nation," he offers a fresh and fascinating account of this unique and remarkable phenomenon while casting an informed look at its continuing evolution--and how it needs to proceed to truly make an impact. Informed by Gitlin's own history in the 60s protest movement--but written with both eyes aimed at the future--"Occupy Nation" is the key book for anyone looking to understand the revolution playing out before our eyes.
"A balanced yet biting critique . . . Gitlin is a savvy guide to our increasingly kinetic times." "San Francisco Chronicle"
In this original look at our electronically glutted, speed-addicted world, Todd Gitlin evokes a reality of relentless sensation, instant transition, and nonstop stimulus, which he argues is anything but progress. He shows how all media, all the time fuels celebrity worship, paranoia, and irony, and how attempts to ward off the onrush become occasion for yet more media. Far from bringing about a "new information age," Gitlin argues, the digital torrent has fostered a society of disposable emotions and casual commitments, and threatens to make democracy a sideshow. In a new afterword, Gitlin takes measure of the most recent wave of inundation in the form of iPods, blogs, and YouTube.
Both a startling analysis and a charged polemic, "Media Unlimited" reveals the unending stream of manufactured images and sounds as a defining feature of our civilization and a perverse culmination of Western hopes for freedom."
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