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Black Bloc, White Riot: Antiglobalization and the Genealogy of Dissent Paperback – Oct 12 2010
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"An intriguing exploration of the legacy and potential of the anti-globalization movement."—Matt Wasserman for The Indypendent
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Several reasons come to mind. Some of which is what appears to be Thompson's insistence on using every word in the dictionary, which which makes Black Bloc White Riot so dense and difficult to read it's hard to follow what Thompson is getting at most of the time.
Another reason is that when Thompson does write in a way that is understandable to the laymen she (?) seems to take the intellectual and theoretical approach and quotes authors (who have nothing to do with activist in the first place) to explain. In other words, this book doesn't really answer any questions and doesn't make analysis worth considering. It just takes an existential "what does it all mean" approach and uses writers of the past to answer her questions. Why are people prone to violence? Walter Benjamin would know. Is it appropriate to have protesters be mostly men (she doesn't really make a compelling case for this in the first place)? Feminists have argued that we need to strip the world o female and female. Maybe Thoreau can answer the question for us. What a joke!
Honestly, this kind of an analysis gets us nowhere and is a complete waste of time. We need a book that asks hard questions and isn't afraid to actually do the work to answer them. Did anyone bother asking non-white people why they don't protest as much? Does education have anything to do with it? Income? Allegiance to political parties? Aren't these questions more worthwhile?
Black Bloc White Riot reads like someone's long boring thesis. Want to know why the protest movement is mostly white and educated? Because the self-indulgent books about it can only be understood by the white and educated.
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