Extraordinary Politics: How Protest and Dissent Are Changing American Democracy

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Overview


When dissidents and activists toppled powerful regimes across the globe in the 1980s and 1990s—from the Soviet Union to South Africa, from Nicaragua to the Philippines—how did Americans respond to challenges in their own country? The conventional wisdom is that Americans sullenly withdrew from all manner of political action. But in fact, activists of all backgrounds took to the streets to challenge ordinary structures of politics.These movements—their history; their cyclical development; their organization, strategies, and tactics—constitute what the author calls “extraordinary politics.” Activists have set the pace on every conceivable issue, including the environment, gay rights, feminism, abortion, states’ rights, religion, and multiculturalism. The president and Congress can barely keep up, but extraordinary politics keeps evolving.With style and grace, Charles Euchner weaves together hundreds of examples drawn from movements spanning the ideological spectrum to offer both a practical and intellectual guidebook to political activism in a reputedly apathetic age, embracing with abandon the art of making a difference.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
As DeFronzo points out in the introduction to this new edition, the 20th century has been one of revolution, yet how much do Americans really understand about the revolutionary principles and dynamics that have shaped modern history? Based on a course he teaches at the University of Connecticut, the author contextualizes revolutionary movements and theories, explaining the ignition points, failures, and successes in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, and South Africa. Each section contains its own references and summaries, maps, and illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Charles C. Euchner is assistant professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross and the author of, among other works, Playing the Field: Why Sports Teams Move and Cities Fight to Keep Them (1993).
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Beyond Ordinary Politics 1
2 Life Cycles of Protest 29
3 Spurs and Limits to Action 65
4 Organization Matters 107
5 Dimensions of Strategy 147
6 Tactics of Activists 179
7 Consequences of Dissent 209
8 Beyond Extraordinary Politics 235
Notes 251
About the Book and Author 283
Index 285
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