Taking Back the Streets: Women, Youth, and Direct Democracy

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9780520226715: Taking Back the Streets: Women, Youth, and Direct Democracy

Toward the end of the twentieth century in places ranging from Latin America and the Caribbean to Europe, the United States, South Africa, Nigeria, Iran, Japan, China, and South Asia, women and young people took to the streets to fight injustices they believed they could not confront in any other way. In the hope of changing the way politics is done, they called officials to account for atrocities they had committed and unjust laws they had upheld. They attempted to drive authoritarian governments from power by publicizing the activities these officials tried to hide. This powerful book takes us into the midst of these movements to give us a close-up look at how a new generation bore witness to human rights violations, resisted the efforts of regimes to shame and silence young idealists, and created a vibrant public life that remains a vital part of ongoing struggles for democracy and justice today.

Through personal interviews, newspaper accounts, family letters, and research in the archives of human rights groups, this book portrays women and young people from Argentina, Chile, and Spain as emblematic of others around the world in their public appeals for direct democracy. An activist herself, author Temma Kaplan gives readers a deep and immediate sense of the sacrifices and accomplishments, the suffering and the power of these uncommon common people. By showing that mobilizations, sometimes accompanied by shaming rituals, were more than episodic—more than ways for societies to protect themselves against government abuses and even state terrorism—her book envisions a creative political sphere, a fifth estate in which ordinary citizens can reorient the political practices of democracy in our time.

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From the Inside Flap:

"This is a strong, lively, deeply felt, and wonderfully informed account of the power of women struggling to reverse tyranny in many of the most distressed countries in the world."—Vivian Gornick, author of The End of the Novel of Love

"With her habitual passion and intellectual courage, Temma Kaplan once again has written a mesmerizing study on the nature of resistance, political engagement, and the transformative power that ordinary human beings in extraordinary times create in order to bring about social justice and accountability. This is a powerful and stunning book that will captivate both the general reader and the scholar and undoubtedly will inspire."—Marjorie Agosin, author of A Map of Hope

"Scholar and activist Temma Kaplan is singularly positioned to write this history of women and youth, who risked lives and reputations in pursuit of democracy against state terror. Focusing on often-unheralded public demonstrations, Kaplan shows how public spectacles and street protests against tyranny and atrocity have helped bring down regimes. This account of steadfast resistance and its long reverberating aftermath will fascinate and inspire."—Alix Kates Shulman, author of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen

About the Author:

Temma Kaplan is Professor of History at Rutgers University. She is the author of Crazy for Democracy: Women in Grassroots Movements (1997), Red City, Blue Period: Social Movements in Picasso's Barcelona (California, 1992), and Anarchists of Andalusia, 1868-1903 (1977).

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Kaplan, Temma
Published by University of California Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0520226712 ISBN 13: 9780520226715
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Book Description Univ of California Pr, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 288 pages. 9.00x6.00x1.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0520226712

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