Review by Choice Review
Many people regard the present as a lull in political activism, certainly from the Left, although the Tea Party movement suggests that right-wing social movements are alive and well. This book challenges that assumption and suggests that the focus for organization has shifted to the Internet. Mass rallies and marches will still occur, but organizers will recruit through the Web. Sociologist Carty (Niagara Univ.) gives four examples: opposition to sweatshops, which forced Nike to rely less on exploited labor; worldwide protest against George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq; MoveOn.org, a Web-based organization that pushed the American Democratic Party leftward; and the Obama presidential campaign. Carty suggests the Internet offers opportunities for spontaneous grassroots initiatives, but she also suggests the Web can become a way for powerful centralized interests to manipulate the public. The danger is that the Internet may provide a disguise through which closely orchestrated movements can be presented as expressions of popular will. The Obama campaign and the Tea Party successfully used the Internet for that purpose. The US is experiencing a major transformation, but whether this will create a more centralized or democratic society remains to be seen. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. Y. R. Magrass University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.