The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution

Micah White. Knopf Canada, $25 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-81004-5
High-profile activist White, former editor of Adbusters and co-creator of the original Occupy Wall Street proposal, believes revolution is around the corner. But anyone looking to break their shackles of oppression will find little help in this hodgepodge of academic theorizing, first­person heroics, new age shibboleths, and back­to­the­land romanticism. Some would agree that North American protest movements are in a rut, but White's rejection of past approaches to social change is contradictory. His futuristic scenarios rely on tired tactics—electoral politics, social media memes, the Internet as revolutionary force multiplier—that he dismisses elsewhere as limited or unworkable. His rallying cry to form a singular social organism—"the people"— could well be used by totalitarians of the left and right. White's style, an earnest combination of PhD thesis, didactic megaphone rant, and revolutionary cheerleading, is reminiscent of Yippie Abbie Hoffman (sans humor), especially his focus on the medium helping to create the message. White's cherry-picked history and theory of revolution lacks insightful analysis of significant grassroots movements of the past half century and is missing the evidentiary foundation to support his thesis. The book may appeal to armchair activists but won't help those on the front lines of dangerous actions, such as Latin American peasants on the front line resisting mining multinationals. Agent: Suzanne Brandreth, Cooke Agency International. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016
Release date: 03/15/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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