"Sirota reports cleverly and in pleasing detail about a complex world of political conflict"
“Audacious. . . . Sirota has a true gift for phrase-making and the pithy comment.”
"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."
"After so many decades of fake populismof revolts by the wealthy, red-state fantasies, and stock-picking grandmascould 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 democracyand 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
David Sirota, a 32-year-old progressive activist and journalist, spent a year on the road chronicling what he thinks are the stirrings of a mass revolt against the wealthy and the powerful. He may not have the Establishment quaking in its Guccis, but his always energetic, often ironic reporting certainly made the quest worthwhile…The Uprising is a hard book to dislike or dismiss. Sirota reports cleverly and in pleasing detail about a complex world of political conflict that the journalistic throng obsessed with presidential candidates and their handlers seldom notices.
The Washington Post
The signs are out there and Sirota believes they imply a forthcoming wide-ranging insurrection. From shifting politics in Montana's state government to the influence of a third political party in New York to the role and positioning of socialist senator Bernie Sanders, to the rise of a militia guarding the Mexican border; moments of dissent, resistance, and change are registering all over the United States. Sirota is quick to point out the more problematic and contradictory issues with these blips on the radar, but he also ably explains the significance of these events in relation to the larger picture. Lloyd James delivers a solid rendering of the text with a consistent tone that provides nuance and subtlety, especially in Sirota's more reflective moments. He provides some personality to characters but not much more than the text dictates, even when dealing with more well-known public figures. A Crown hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 28).
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The time to reclaim America has come, declares blogger and political columnist Sirota (Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government-and How We Take It Back, 2006). He starts at the 2006 YearlyKos convention in Las Vegas, then moves on to a dozen other places where people are "mad as hell" about the monied elite's domination of government. In Albany, Sirota zeroes in on the Working Families Party, which has exerted clout over Democratic politicians through a quirk in New York State's electoral system known as "fusion voting" (cross-endorsing another party's candidate), enabling disgruntled progressives to pull the WFP lever without throwing an election to a Republican. In Southern California, he spends an evening with the Minutemen who patrol the Mexican border looking for undocumented immigrants. This right-wing militia group, Sirota argues, shares the economic anxiety that motivates left-wing activism against corporate consolidation, outsourcing and tax cuts for the wealthy. In Washington, the author checks on two branches of antiwar activism: the anti-establishment "Protest Industry," a ragtag group largely outside the political system; and a bunch of insiders he calls The Players, who try to change that system from within. Sirota hopes to demonstrate that the ingredients for a cohesive populist movement are all around us, if only those who would benefit from the demise of the American political establishment would join forces and make it happen. He damages his case with too many wide-eyed, faux-naive asides-it's especially unconvincing when Sirota, a former Senate employee, is shocked to "discover" that lobbyists have massive influence over the Montana statelegislature. Winking bad-boy references (a hangover-induced vomiting spell halted by an epiphany that "it's all connected") don't enhance his credibility either. A disparate collection of tales about Americans fighting against the economic and political tide that Sirota never succeeds in drawing together to make a compelling case that the populist uprising is upon us. Agent: Will Lippincott/Lippincott Massie McQuilkin