The Occupy Handbook

Janet Byrne, Editor, Robin Wells, Editor
Edited by Janet Byrne. Little, Brown, $15.99 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-0-316-22021-7
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Open Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-316-22020-0
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Assembled in an astonishing three months by editor and author Byrne (A Genius for Living: The Life of Frieda Lawrence), this hefty tome tackles the mercurial Occupy movement that has spread from Wall Street across the world via 55 essays from writers of all stripes and backgrounds. Smartly organized into three sections—what led to the Occupy movement, where it is today, and potential paths for the future—Byrne's contributors let loose with volley after volley of analysis, figures, and suggestions. Hard statistics on the current state of economic inequality rest comfortably with and compliment historical accounts of similar protests, sociological examinations of wealth distribution, essays on Occupy's shared principles with anarchy, ruminations on the efficacy of democracy, and the failed experiment that was communism. Many approaches are offered toward remedying the gross disparity of the distribution of wealth, ranging from various tax reforms to rethinking student loans and Medicare. Neither Byrne nor her essayists are glib enough to offer a roadmap; many authors suggest that the movement's lack of a defined leader or list of demands is critical to its widespread appeal and endurance. Those curious about the momentum behind the movement and the economic, societal, and cultural trends that have enraged so many will find plenty of illumination here. It's enough to make even a one percenter rethink the way wealth is shared. (Apr.)
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