Synopses & Reviews
In January 2015, Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, became the largest party in the Hellenic Parliament, winning 149 out of 300 seats and badly defeating the then-ruling conservative New Democracy party. In Syriza
, Kevin Ovenden presents an in-depth analysis of the political events leading up to this seemingly sudden reversal of political power in Greece, exploring the origins of the turbulent Greek political climate, from the beginnings of the Communist Party of Greece and the Greek workers movement following the First World War, to the brutal civil war that shook the country in the aftermath of the Second World War; the rise and fall of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and the growth of radical politics in the 1970s; and finally the crushing austerity demands following the debt crisis of the 2010s.
Ovenden also examines the far-right movements in Greece as well, focusing in particular on the negative impact that the xenophobic and nationalistic Golden Dawn party has had and continues to have to this day.
Syrizas victory in Greece is a central event of the twenty-first century, whose ramifications are sure to be felt for decades. Though their victory took place in a time of crisis, for Greece and for Europe, Overdens analysis is nevertheless full of hope. Syriza, he argues, represents new possibilities for workers across Europe, and perhaps a fascinating rebirth for the political left.
"A first-hand witness to the protests in Cairo, Mason (Live Working or Die Fighting) dissects the revolutionary events of 2011 in Egypt, Britain, Greece, and America, before moving on to discuss the history, sociology, economics, and politics of unrest. From the 1848 'wave of revolutions' across Europe, to the French, Czechoslovakian, and American protests of 1968, Mason posits a common cause: the disconnect between the masses and the political systems and power structures. At the forefront of these modern uprisings are unemployed youth, the urban underclass, and organized labor. Armed with technology and social media cell phone video cameras, Twitter, YouTube, etc. protestors are able to mobilize sans central leadership, broadcast without Big Media mitigating their message, and perhaps most importantly use digital space to take to the physical streets. Mason gets bogged down in discussing the sociology of poverty and enumerating individual cases of the poor struggling to succeed, but overall his study stands as a good primer on a young revolution and its predecessors, and where we might go from here. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Incisive grassroots account of the new global revolutions by acclaimed BBC journalist.
The world is facing a wave of uprisings, protests and revolutions: Arab dictators swept away, public spaces occupied, slum-dwellers in revolt, cyberspace buzzing with utopian dreams. Events we were told were consigned to history—democratic revolt and social revolution—are being lived by millions of people.
In this compelling new book, Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of this great unrest. From Cairo to Athens, Wall Street and Westminster to Manila, Mason goes in search of the changes in society, technology and human behaviour that have propelled a generation onto the streets in search of social justice. In a narrative that blends historical insight with first-person reportage, Mason shines a light on these new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement. The events, says Mason, reflect the expanding power of the individual and call for new political alternatives to elite rule and global poverty.
About the Author
Paul Mason is the economics editor of the BBC's flagship current affairs program Newsnight and has been nominated for an Emmy for his work with BBC World News America. Twice shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for his BBC blog (bbc.co.uk/paulmason), he is the acclaimed author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, Live Working or Die Fighting, and the novel Rare Earth. He has covered globalization and social justice stories from locations around the world, including Latin America, Africa and China. Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmasonnews.