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On February 11, 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced he would strip collective bargaining rights from public employees and teachers. In response, people rose up in mass protest, and Wisconsin became a reference point for a renewal of labor militancy and radical politics. These protests elicited extensive national media coverage, and drew more attention from the general public than any American labor struggle in decades.
John Nichols's Uprising traces the roots of this struggle--which has faced legislative disappointments, legal challenges, and dramatic electoral twists and turns--and in the process reveals how Scott Walker rose to national prominence and went on to become a frontrunner in the Republican race for the nomination in 2016. At a time when public services are under assault from corporate privatizers and billionaire political donors, the public repudiation of Walker's efforts (and the shadowy interests like the Koch Brothers behind them) has translated into a broader challenge to corporate America, Wall Street, the far Right, and its media echo chamber.
About the Author
John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written The Nation's Online Beat since 1999, is their Washington DC correspondent, and contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the co-author of The Death and Life of American Journalism and Dollarocracy. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers, and he is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. Nichols lives in Madison, WI and Washington DC.
“An engrossing, informative take on the mass demonstrations that broke out in Wisconsin in early 2011…. [T]his book is well researched and full of keen insights about the state of organized labor and the power of protest…. Nichols is a capable and energetic narrator with a reporter’s knack for getting to the heart of the matter….Richly detailed and inspiring—worth reading for anyone interested in organized labor, civil disobedience or the spirit of Wisconsin.”
"John Nichols recognized right away that the fight in Wisconsin was about a lot more than one state. It was the fight we had all been waiting for, the one where people say 'We have had it!' John didn't just tell us what was happening in Wisconsin. He told us that what was happening in Wisconsin could happen anywhere."
Rev. Jesse Jackson
“I have such respect for the way John Nichols gets into a story, with his sense of history, his broad perspective and his passion for telling the stories of real people involved in real struggles. That’s what he has brought to the story of the Wisconsin struggle, and of the renewal of labor and social justice movements in America.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers“We will look back at 2011 as the moment we started the march to a more perfect union—a resurgence of the labor and social justice movements fighting for economic dignity and fairness for all. No one recounts this with as much insight and passion as John Nichols.”
Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)
“One of the most inspiring aspects of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street (Nation Books) is the reporting from Ground Zero of last year’s protests. Author John Nichols…gives a more positive, exuberant and truthful picture of what happened than the view through the slanted lens of the mainstream media….Uprising is a strong antidote to local TV newscasters who painted the protesters as an unruly mob rather than citizens united against policies that might leave us in a poorer country than the one we thought was our birthright.”