I just received my copy of The Occupy Handbook, edited by Janet Byrne.
Needless to say, I haven’t had the time to read it through (my plan is to post a review once I have had the time) but here are a few quick comments. . .
Robin Wells is listed as a the guest editor but why doesn’t she get front-cover billing?
The list of “big names”—from Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini to Ariel Dorfman and Barbara Ehrenreich—certainly lends a certain kind of prestige to the movement.
Some of the authors put the Occupy Wall Street movement into a larger context, examining the links to such historical events as the pan-European uprisings of 1848, the Great Rail Strike of 1877, and the lunch-counter sit-ins by black students in Greensboro, N.C., in 1960 as well as contemporary movements, like the student movement in Chile.
The authors seem to be mostly outsiders. I didn’t see any essays by or interviews with actual participants in the movement (with the exception, perhaps, of David Graeber).
There are, of course, many names missing. But I don’t understand why essays by Suresh Naidu and Maliha Safri, who have been involved in the day-to-day activities of Occupy Wall Street, are not included.
That I know of, the only piece in the book currently available on-line is by Krugman and Wells. Unfortunately, while the essay is focused on inequality, it is still the case (as I argued back in 2010) that they can only make the link between inequality and the current crises via the political process and not as a direct cause of the crises.
Those are just some quick reflections. I look forward to writing more about The Occupy Handbook after I’ve had a chance to read it from cover to cover.