Direct Action: An Ethnography

Direct Action An Ethnography Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement The case study at the center of Direct Action is the organizing and events that led to the

  • Title: Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • Author: David Graeber
  • ISBN: 9781904859796
  • Page: 130
  • Format: Paperback
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography

    Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement The case study at the center of Direct Action is the organizing and events that led to the one of the most dramatic and militant mass protests in recent years against the Summit of the Americas in Qu bec City Written in a clear, accessible style with a minimum ofAnthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement The case study at the center of Direct Action is the organizing and events that led to the one of the most dramatic and militant mass protests in recent years against the Summit of the Americas in Qu bec City Written in a clear, accessible style with a minimum of academic jargon , this study brings readers behind the scenes of a movement that has changed the terms of debate about world power relations From informal conversations in coffee shops to large spokescouncil planning meetings and tear gas drenched street actions, Graeber paints a vivid and fascinating picture.Along the way, he addresses matters of deep interest to anthropologists meeting structure and process, language, symbolism and representation, the specific rituals of activist culture, and much Starting from the assumption that, when dealing with possibilities of global transformation and emerging political forms, a disinterested, objective perspective is impossible, Graeber writes as both scholar and activist At the same time, his experiment in the application of ethnographic methods to important ongoing political events is a serious and unique contribution to the field of anthropology, as well as an inquiry into anthropology s political implications.David Graeber is an anthropologist and activist who teaches at the University of London Active in numerous direct action political organizations, he has written for Harper s Magazine and is the author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value, and Possibilities.In Oakland, California on March 24, 2015 a fire destroyed the AK Press warehouse along with several other businesses Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn about the fundraiser to help them and their neighbors.

    • Free Read [History Book] ☆ Direct Action: An Ethnography - by David Graeber ✓
      130 David Graeber
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [History Book] ☆ Direct Action: An Ethnography - by David Graeber ✓
      Posted by:David Graeber
      Published :2019-01-20T18:49:53+00:00

    One thought on “Direct Action: An Ethnography

    1. Tinea

      I'm gonna go ahead and call this a great book. Graeber set out to do something huge and he totally did it. So like, first of all, mad props. There is craft, care, and handiwork evident throughout the book; Graeber really attempted to fashion an anarchist ethnography, a story and interpretation for outsiders of a culture to which he belongs, positing theory and conclusions without ever resorting to sweeping generalizations, simplification, or dismissals of diversity. The book itself can be viewed [...]

    2. Stevphen Shukaitis

      With "Direct Action" David Graeber has written an important and timely book. If, as he argues, the ideology of the global justice movement, is embodied in its practices, then it really doesn't make sense to try and understand it by some generic or superficial description of its stated ideologies. Rather, it would have to begin from an analysis of movement building practices and organizing, and what kinds of collective compositions they create and sustain. In other words, it would necessarily inv [...]

    3. Dan Prisk

      This was one of the books I was least excited about in my to read pile, but ended up being one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time. It's a physically daunting book to pick up, perhaps more so than many similar length books I've read lately. Yet that is full dispelled within the first few pages. The first section is highly conversational, and easy to follow. Dropping the reader straight into an activist group, Graeber does a great job of immersing you in the world of the acti [...]

    4. Michelle

      If I didn't read this book, I probably would have dropped out of my master's program, completely disillusioned with anthropology and the state of many current ethnographies which reinforce oppressive hegemonic, racist and oppressive structures. Graeber sets out to achieve a super lofty goal, and I think for the most part he achieved it! which in itself is pretty incredible. The book was captivating and I learned a lot, particularly stylistically how to write a successful auto-ethnography. From m [...]

    5. Michael Kilman

      This is a seriously profound book for understanding the relationships between activism and culture. Graeber's ability to shed light on the power dynamics involved in various elements of civil disobedience and in things like "why do police hate puppets" is absolutely brilliant. This may be one of my favorite anthropology books of the last decade. I very much recommend this book. And I will read it several more times.

    6. Dylan

      First of all, I read this book with theory in mind, despite the fact that Graeber sees theory in ethnography as largely irrelevant. Nevertheless, Graeber's main theoretical objective seems to be to reintroduce the idea of alienation, an important idea associated with Marxism that was seemingly banished from social discourse in the wake of the widely ramifying disillusionments of 1968. His argument hinges on what he calls the "politics of imagination" to which he juxtaposes the modern hegemony of [...]

    7. Rob

      (8/10) In Direct Action, David Graeber sets out on what is ostensibly an anthropological ethnography of anarchist politics and the anti-globalization movement. As an active participant in these movements, Graeber offers a lot of insight into both the nuts-and-bolts preparation for major protests and the larger understanding of the world that shapes anarchist praxis. For those interested in the movement, this is almost too much detail -- but, as Graeber argues, meaningful action and understanding [...]

    8. Luke

      Very readable account of Black Bloc / anarchist protest actions in the early 2000s, primarily leading to the Quebec G20 summit of 2000. Consists of Graeber's personal involvement, notes, minutes, and summaries of many public meetings in preparing for the summit; analysis of the nature of non-violence and civil disobedience in America post-1990s (in light of the Zapatistas, Earth First!, and Seattle WTO 1999); detailed thoughts on the consensus decision process as exercised particularly by the Di [...]

    9. Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea

      Jesus Fucking Christ! This was a marathon book for me. Took over a year to read with a 6 month break. BUT what wonder--what treasures--what gold!! I love graeber's writing--detailed, to the point, great analysis, interesting perspectivesh. And here--direct action and anarchism! With his own experiences to highlight both. AND there's some theory at the end! I liked the end and the beginning. The middle gets mushy but that might be because i took a 6 month break and because I recall him talking a [...]

    10. Andre

      An insightful and invigorating glance at activist culture. I read it before it was even done and I couldn't wait for it to come out. I recommended it to many people before it was even published!!!!

    11. Adam

      Extremely dense but great to have such a detailed description of the inner workings of direct action an radical organizing.

    12. firesandwords

      politicalmediareview/2To many anarchists, the idea of an “ethnographic study of the global justice movement” may seem problematic. Whether it be matters of security culture or the question of an outsider coming into a culture and telling the rest of the world about them, people I’ve talked to, without knowing Graeber’s work, often seemed skeptical. In Direct Action: an Ethnography, however, David Graeber blurs the false dichotomy between theory and practice by writing both as a sincere p [...]

    13. Benjamin

      Having borrowed this door-stopper from a public library, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish it before the last allowed renewal but then I got into it. The first half of the book is the "ethnography," which I put in quotes because it didn't feel like the ethnographies I normally read, you know, about indigenous cultures. There is obviously going to be a lot more understanding between Graeber and the members of the direct action tribe than there would be between the anthropologist and the c [...]

    14. Sebastián

      Graeber, an anarchist anthropologist, attempts to create an ethnographic study of the global justice movement. He details the participatory democratic process used by anarchists and radicals in the organization of protests against the Summit of the Americas in Quebec in 2001, and then describes radical culture, examining its arguments, ideas, symbolism, and meeting structure.While a fascinating read, keep in mind that Graeber's intended audience are people who are relatively new to the movement. [...]

    15. Josiah Miller

      This book is a timeless and relevant piece with detailed looks inside meetings and communications that all lead up to and include direct actions. Not only is this informative, but it builds a desire to want to start, support and/or be a part of activist actions. A reaffirmation of the police state and power built on fear. The last chapter on Imagination divulges less from encounters and wages heavily on social theory which really rounds of this engaging book that is open for those interested for [...]

    16. Andreas

      A massive book at 550+ pages. It is a very worthwhile ethnography of 21st century anarchist movements, direct action, and consensus democracy. Fascinating reading full of insights on how these practices of democracy come about in everyday practice rather than through some grand theoretical vision.My only gripe with the book is that it is too long. It could have been edited a lot tighter, losing perhaps a 100 pages in the process and making the argument a little less repetitive and a little more [...]

    17. David

      I was thinking of doing an abridged edition of this book for a university press - that way it could be assigned for classes. (I felt it was important to publish the long version first, if only for documentary purposes, because so much history would otherwise be lost. But obviously it cuts down on the book's appeal, even though it was designed so you can skip around in it and don't have to read the whole thing.)So what do people think: which parts would definitely have to stay, and which are disp [...]

    18. Jan

      "What is it like being an (anarchist) activist today?"it all might look a bit (no very) silly to some, but the fun and clumziness testify to the hope and real potential of what these people are doing. In my (very limited) experience, now in Europe, his description is spot on.A bit of theory here and there (problematic structure for this though), including many things refreshing and with remarkable simplicity/clarity, although it can get a bit tedious at times. Perfect inbetweener when you're rea [...]

    19. jess b

      Another DNF! womp womp. I'm sure this book is very good (she said, with stout devotion to David Graeber, her current academic crush); it just wasn't quite what I was jonesing for. What I wanted was basically more of what's in Debt and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology; what this is, instead, is kind of a trip diary of some of Graeber's activist activities. It seems pretty interesting, and I may return to it in the future, just, again, not really what I want to be reading at the moment.

    20. Megan

      Update: This was one of the main books we recommended at Skylight for folks coming looking for a way to think about and understand the Occupy movement. How awesome was it to be able to hand people something with a blow-by-blow account of consensus process in a direct action context? So awesome that I guess the publisher's out of stock and now we're waiting for a reprint.[From 2008] It's actually finally out! For real! (year and a half late, I think?) Now I just need to find a copy.

    21. Marshall Scott

      The first part of the book tells the story of the action against the FTAA summit in Quebec. Told mostly through field notes that David took as he participated. Then there is a good amount of theory that will probably resonate with most (anarchist) activists.

    22. Shawn Cassiman

      Read this book as OWS was taking off-timely! Wonderful discussion of tactics and the anti/alter globalization movement.

    23. Joy

      David Graebers background in anthropology makes everything he writes fascinating. If you are interested in the process of grassroots activism and organizing this is a mandatory read.

    24. Ryan Hickey

      A necessary read for any activist who believes direct action with a diversity of tactics is the only way to build a movement.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *