Historian and civil rights activist proves how progressive movements can flourish even in conservative times.
Product Code: 6737
ISBN: 9780807005460
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published Date: 03/13/2018
Availability:In stock
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Price: $26.95

Despair and mourning after the election of a hostile president are part of the push-pull of American politics. But resistance to presidential administrations has historically led to positive change and the defeat of outrageous proposals, even in perilous times. And though conservative presidents require massive public protest to enact policy decisions, the same can be true of progressive ones. For instance, Barack Obama and the Indigenous protests against the Dakota pipeline is one modern example of resistance built on earlier actions. Resistance sometimes fails, but it has usually been successful, even if it does not achieve all of a movement's goals.

Scholar Mary Frances Berry examines the following instances of resistance during the times of various presidential administrations: .Franklin D. Roosevelt and the March on Washington movement

.The movement against the Vietnam War*
.Reagan, civil rights, and the AIDS epidemic*
.The Free South Africa movement*
.The pro-choice protests during George H. W. Bush's presidency**
.Bill Clinton and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy**
.The Patriot Act and the War in Iraq

Dr. Berry herself participated in these movements, either as an activist (*) or by serving in that administration (**).


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INTRODUCTION History Lessons CHAPTER 1 Franklin D. Roosevelt and the March on Washington Movement
CHAPTER 2 The Movement Against the Vietnam War
CHAPTER 3 Winning While Losing: Fighting the Reagan Administration
CHAPTER 4 The Free South Africa Movement
CHAPTER 5 A "Kinder and Gentler" Presidency: George Herbert Walker Bush
CHAPTER 6 The Adaptable President: William Jefferson Clinton
CHAPTER 7 Unnatural Disasters: The Presidency of George W. Bush
CONCLUSION Lessons Learned
Acknowledgments Notes Index

"A well-informed handbook of effective resistance." -Kirkus Reviews

"Berry effectively combines her roles as historian and activist to show how previous achievements of social justice were won and to encourage future activists." -Publishers Weekly

"Mary Frances Berry's History Teaches Us to Resist could not have arrived at a better moment . . . . Berry reminds us that in learning from the past and building on it, we should not hold our breaths but always hold out hope." -Black Perspectives

"This is a superb essay on the role of activism during times that the political climate did not favor reform . . . written with flair and immediacy." -CHOICE

"Dr. Mary Frances Berry provides an essential book for our troubled times and reminds us that 'past is prologue.' Every progressive activist and lawyer will want to pore over the engrossing behind-the-scenes details of the accounts in this book to learn how activists navigated reactionary periods in American political life. History Teaches Us to Resist is an encouraging reminder that, with strategic discipline, progressives have always found creative ways to advance the work of justice and equality-even in the worst of times." -Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

"As every day brings more news of the Trump administration's unprecedented assaults on democracy, millions of Americans veer between the horror of utter defeat and magical thinking that our institutions will save us. In her characteristic no-nonsense style, Mary Frances Berry teaches us that power is never absolute and that democracy is not self-correcting. With a historian's field of vision and a veteran activist's understanding of tactics and strategy, Berry excavates how resistance to some of the most powerful men in modern America shaped the freedom struggles that have benefited us all-and in so doing provides a crucial road map for the work that lies ahead." -Kimberl? Williams Crenshaw

"At this excruciating moment of crisis and looming catastrophe, Mary Frances Berry reminds us that our most powerful weapon in the struggle ahead is simply us. This is a book of hard-won lessons and real inspiration, something to read and then keep in your backpack for ready reference as we take to the streets and mobilize to storm the heavens." -William Ayers, author of "You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!" and 18 Other Myths About Teachers, Teachers' Unions, and Public Education

"A powerful, timely, and necessary read about resistance during hostile times." -Dante Barry, cofounder and executive director, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

"I can imagine no one more qualified than Dr. Mary Frances Berry to write this crucially needed and powerful book. As an award-winning historian, as someone with firsthand experience serving in multiple presidential administrations, and as an activist for over fifty years in movements ranging from civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protest to Free South Africa and LGBTQ rights, to name a few, Berry has exceptional experience and vital knowledge about creating resistance movements. We need to listen, learn, and act." -Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union

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