OCCUPY NATION

THE ROOTS, THE SPIRIT, AND THE PROMISE OF OCCUPY WALL STREET

A fine introduction to a nascent movement in progress, characterized as one with great potential but an undetermined future.

Longtime politics and culture writer Gitlin (Journalism and Sociology/Columbia Univ.; Undying, 2011, etc.) looks at the insurgent Occupy protest movement in the United States.

The ongoing Occupy movement effectively began on Sept. 17, 2011, when a small group of protesters, calling themselves Occupy Wall Street, set up camp at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. The protesters supported a wide array of left-leaning political causes, mostly addressing economic inequality. They soon received media attention, and their numbers grew quickly, as Occupy protests proliferated in cities around the country and world. As Gitlin points out in this relatively brief “initial report on something very much in progress,” the movement has been a huge media success, spreading discussion on economic issues and injecting the term “occupy” and the phrase “the 99 percent” into the national conversation. A veteran of New Left protests in the 1960s and a former president of Students for a Democratic Society, Gitlin effectively places Occupy in context in the history of American progressivism. At times, he seems ambivalent about how the movement is run. Though he approvingly writes about how its lack of leaders and vague goals have helped to make it more appealing and inclusive, he also laments the interminable meetings of fractious and dogmatic Occupiers accomplishing little or nothing concrete. While Gitlin champions Occupy’s “incandescent compound of indignation, joy, outrage, hope, ingenuity, and resolve,” as well as its nonviolence, he has little insight as to what exactly the movement will accomplish going forward (“Prediction is for fools and the jaded”), an uncertainty apparently shared by many inside the movement.

A fine introduction to a nascent movement in progress, characterized as one with great potential but an undetermined future.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-230093-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: It Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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