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The Uprising

The Uprising Cover

The Uprising

An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington

By David Sirota

Crown, Hardcover, 9780307395634, 400pp.

Publication Date: May 27, 2008


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.

Praise For The Uprising

"Sirota reports cleverly and in pleasing detail about a complex world of political conflict"
Washington Post

“Audacious. . . . Sirota has a true gift for phrase-making and the pithy comment.”
Providence Journal

"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."
Publishers Weekly

"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
"David Sirota details with clarity the sharp knife of corporate greed pointed at the throat of our democracy--and the populist uprising that may thwart the threat if enough Americans heed his call. If you love your country, buy The Uprising, read it, and act."
—Joe Trippi, chief presidential campaign strategist for Howard Dean and John Edwards and author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

"David Sirota is a clear-headed and principled hell-raiser for economic justice. More like him and we'll have a real uprising on our hands. "
—Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine