Generation Occupy: Reawakening American Democracy

Counterpoint. Sept. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9781640094499. $27. SOC SCI
Journalist Levitin (co-founding editor of the Occupied Wall Street Journal) uses the two months of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in fall 2011 as a lens to examine what he sees as resurgent popular protests during the past decade. Writing from his particular point of view as a leftist with personal experience in the Occupy movement, he attempts to provide prospective that contemporary observers were unable to when they chronicled those events soon after they occurred. Levitin contends that the supposedly "unsuccessful" Occupy Wall Street movement in fact unleashed an energy that was seen in subsequent protests. Chapters on the economy, politics, climate, labor, technology, and other diverse topics are intended to reveal the breadth of the Occupy movement that extended beyond confronting the wealthy "one percent" on Wall Street. Levitin offers brief profiles of people who inspired, led, or participated in these protests; he also occasionally criticizes wealthy targets of this dissent. However, his collection of topical vignettes creates a scattershot effect that fails to explore the protests' complex origins and interconnections. Above all, the book disappoints in failing to clearly examine how successive events reflected Occupy Wall Street's efforts. 
VERDICT  Levitin's use of "occupy" as the first word of each chapter implies a stronger relationship than he demonstrates. The result is primarily a celebration of protests instead of a useful discussion of their origins and effects.
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