Synopses & Reviews
An All-Access Pass to the Populist.
Insurrection Brewing Across the Country. Job outsourcing. Perpetual busy signals at government agencies. Slashed paychecks. Stolen elections. A war without end, fatally mismanaged. Ordinary Americans on both the Right and Left are tired of being disenfranchised by corrupt politicians of both parties and are organizing to change the status quo. In his invigorating new book, David Sirota investigates whether this uprising can be transformed into a unified, lasting political movement.
Throughout the course of American history, uprisings like the one we are seeing now have given birth to powerful movements to end wars, protect workers, and expand civil rights, so the prospect of today's uprising turning into a full-fledged populist movement terrifies Wall Street and Washington. In The Uprising, Sirota takes us far from the national media spotlight into the trenches where real change is happening from the headquarters of the most powerful third party in America to the bowels of the U.S. Senate; from the auditorium of an ExxonMobil shareholder meeting to the quasi-military staging area of a vigilante force on the Mexican border. This is vital, on-the-ground reporting that immerses us in the tumultuous give-and-take of politics at its most personal.
Sirota also offers a biting critique of our politics. He shows how the uprising is, at its core, a reaction to faux "bipartisanship" in the nation's capital the "bipartisanship" whereby Republican and Democratic lawmakers join together in putting the agenda of corporate interests above all those of ordinary citizens.
Ultimately, Sirota reminds us that the Declaration of Independence, "America's original uprising manifesto," says that governments "derive their powers from the consent of the governed." Irreverent and insightful, The Uprising shows how the governed have stopped consenting and have started taking action.
"Sirota (Hostile Takeover) chronicles how ordinary citizens on the right and the left are marshaling their frustrations with the government into uprisings across the country and analyzes the effectiveness and longevity of their efforts. Citing developments as disparate as progressive political victories in the Montana state senate and the rise of the California Minutemen militia, the author weaves entertaining case studies, keeping his tone conversational, the narrative fast-paced and the content accessible. Sirota hits numerous high notes, including a fine elucidation of continuing Democratic support for the Iraq War, a breakdown of the 'echo chamber' qualities of beltway television shows like Hardball and salient observations of how and why the Democratic Party severed ties with the liberal uprising of the '60s era. According to Sirota, 'The activism and energy frothing today is disconnected and atomized. The only commonality between it all is rage.' It remains to be seen whether this rage will snowball into something large enough to upset entrenched political systems, but for the time being, this book presents a rousing account of the local uprisings already in effect. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sirota has insider access to major players and has fun critiquing politicians' genuflecting to populist sentiment to garner votes." Rocky Mountain News
"After so many decades of fake populism of revolts by the wealthy, red-state fantasies, and stock-picking grandmas could we finally be looking at the real thing? In this compelling book, rooted in history but as contemporary as this morning's newspaper, David Sirota gives us reason to hope." Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and The Wrecking Crew
"David Sirota is honest, uncompromising, passionate, and a brilliant communicator. He is the most important progressive voice we have in this country. The Uprising should be read by anyone who wants to understand exactly how the ordinary person has been sold out by the political system." Matt Taibbi, national political correspondent for Rolling Stone and author of The Great Derangement
"This book engages in the nearly lost art of reporting to tell us what's going on in the many places that the elite media can't be bothered to look. It chronicles just how fed up Americans have become, and nominates a few heroes for them to turn to: that great senator Bernie Sanders, or the activist nun Pat Daly, for instance. It cheered me a good deal to read how many Americans are finally starting to fight back against the rule of greed that has been our lot for too many years." Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The Bill McKibben Reader
"With a historian's and a journalist's storytelling gifts, David Sirota describes the populist tide that so many elites fear and ignore at all our peril: multinational corporations that rip off local communities as if they were resource colonies, a national security state that manipulates our young to bleed for that same empire, and a political elite more concerned with preserving its power than empowering citizens to become self-governing. Since leaving the Beltway behind, David Sirota has become a must-read chronicler in the populist tradition." Tom Hayden, author of The Tom Hayden Reader and Ending the War in Iraq
"A disparate collection of tales about Americans fighting against the economic and political tide that Sirota never succeeds in drawing together to make a compelling case that the populist uprising is upon us." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
David Sirota is a political organizer and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who has worked in state and national politics all over America. His first book, Hostile Takeover (2006), was a New York Times bestseller, and his column runs weekly in the Denver Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Seattle Times, as well as in other newspapers. Sirota blogs at credoaction.com/sirota. He is a senior fellow at the Campaign for America's Future and the founder of the Progressive States Network both nonpartisan research institutions. He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Emily, and their dog, Monty. Visit DavidSirota.com