Michael Gould-Wartofsky Presents: The Occupiers
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Occupy Wall Street burst onto the stage of history in the fall of 2011. First by the tens, then by the tens of thousands, protesters filled the streets and laid claim to the squares of nearly 1,500 towns and cities, until, one by one, the occupations were forcibly evicted. In The Occupiers, Michael Gould-Wartofsky offers a front-seat view of the action in the streets of New York City and beyond. Through the use of material gathered in the course of eighty interviews and two years of on-the-ground investigation, Gould-Wartofsky traces the occupation of Zuccotti Park—and some of its counterparts across the United States and around the world—from inception to eviction. He takes up the challenges the occupiers faced and explores the ways in which occupied squares became focal points for an emerging opposition to the politics of austerity, restricted democracy, and the power of corporate America. Much of the discussion of the Occupy phenomenon has treated it as if it lived and died in Zuccotti Park, but Gould-Wartofsky follows the evicted occupiers into exile and charts their evolving strategies, tactics, and tensions as they seek to resist, regroup, and reoccupy. Displaced from public spaces and news headlines, the 99 Percent movement has spread out from the financial centers and across an America still struggling to recover in the aftermath of the economic crisis. Even if the movement fails to achieve radical reform, Gould-Wartofsky maintains, its offshoots may well accelerate the pace of change in the United States in the years to come. Advance Praise for The Occupiers: “An action-packed, highly readable, sophisticated analysis of the multi-layered origins, the complicated inner workings, and the both sad and hopeful outcomes of the Occupy movement. I couldn’t put it down.” —Jane Mansbridge Harvard University “Michael Gould-Wartofsky's thorough, level-headed and fair-minded account of Occupy Wall Street pulls together evidence from many quarters, including his own on-the-ground experience, and should prove clarifying for all past and future Occupiers.” —Todd Gitlin, author of Occupy Nation “Beautifully written, carefully researched, Gould-Wartofsky presents a blow-by-blow insider account of the origins, trajectory, and dispersion of the Occupy movement. In dissecting Occupy’s internal divisions and the mighty forces arrayed against it, Gould-Wartofsky shows the resilience as well as the destructiveness of capitalism. A must-read for anyone interested in contemporary social movements.” ​ ​— Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley “Michael Gould-Wartofsky gives us a brilliant exploration of the Occupy movement. He positions the thick micro-worlds that constituted the movement in a larger historical process – not lineal but transversally crossed by triumphs and evictions, harmonies and disagreements. He signals a possibility, and I would agree with it, that just because the occupations have ceased the larger politico-social project has not necessarily ended.” ​ ​ —Saskia Sassen