Resistance: Reclaiming an American Tradition


Product Details

Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.5 X 0.6 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Jeff Biggers is an award-winning historian, journalist, and playwright. He is the author of several books, has been long-listed for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award, and is the recipient of the Delta Prize for Literature and David Brower Award for environmental reporting. He is the founder of the Climate Narrative Project, an arts and advocacy initiative for schools and communities.


"Journalist Jeff Biggers's handy reader . . . An intellectually honest and valuable read." --The Progressive

In divisive times, things can seem quite hopeless, but in Resistance, Biggers proves in compelling prose that, if anything, history does repeat itself--not only in its hardships and misfortunes, but its times of human connection, understanding and positive change. --Asheville Citizen-Times

Biggers offers much to reflect upon as he traces the path of resistance movements through time. Many of the stops along the way will give pause to all but the most fervent of believers in American virtue . . . He reveals the dynamic, complicated nature of our shared history and the people and movements that have overcome--or still struggle against--injustice and prejudice in America. --The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)

[Jeff Biggers's] latest book may be his best yet . . . With fresh insights from the American Revolution to Standing Rock, Biggers argues that resistance is a quintessential American tradition and the most patriotic act we can undertake to sustain democracy. --Blue Ridge Outdoors

[Biggers] provides a wealth of historical detail in this celebration of past American resistance and call for continued dissent. --Booklist

A widely ranging history of intellectual and moral resistance within American politics . . . The author writes clearly and with a firm grasp of historical comparison, intimately focused on compelling figures. --Kirkus Reviews

Well-informed and often witty . . . Biggers succeeds in showing how the long tradition of resistance movements continues today. --Publishers Weekly

Resist we must, resist we will--and as this volume powerfully reminds us, in so doing we are acting on the deepest American instincts. --Bill McKibben, author of Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance

Reading this book, I saw history vanquish amnesia, David slay Goliath, and tenacity take down tyrants. I saw a long, unbroken chain of resistance extending back through centuries. I saw the world saved over and over. I saw heroes and declared them my ancestors. I heard stories to inspire bold action. I found traditions I want to pass on." --Sandra Steingraber, activist and author of Living Downstream and Raising Elijah

"These times are tumultuous and divisive. But Jeff Biggers, a gifted writer who approaches history as expansively as Zinn and as passionately as Galeano, finds resistance everywhere. He shows us how freedom movements--led by people of color, women, and commoners, from revolutionary-era rebels to today's loud majority--have pulled American democracy away from tyranny and toward humanity time and again. These powerful, urgent essays remind us that everywhere there is resistance there is hope." --Jeff Chang, author of We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

With compelling and engaging prose, Jeff Biggers lays out the case for Resistance in the age of Trump. Using Common Sense, Thomas Paine's incendiary call to overthrow the British, as the thread that binds his narrative, Biggers interweaves stories from before the American Revolution to the present to offer the reader a view of history not found in most high school textbooks. From the armed resistance of the Powhatan in 1622 to the protests of the Water Protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline; from the speeches and essays of Maria Stewart, 'the first Black feminist-abolitionist in America, ' to the words of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, he entreats us to remember that the constitution of our country is founded on the premise of 'We the People.' There are so many lessons to learn from Resistance: Reclaiming an American Tradition. Our turbulent times, Biggers shows us, have eerie and chilling parallels to the birth pangs of our nation and to the continuing struggles of 'We the People' to define and claim our voices. At this moment in history, when even the act of listening to the news can cause despair, Biggers gives us hope. In response to our darkness, he reaffirms the light that resistance offers. He shows us that the free expression of resistance, whether with the pen, our marching feet, the taking of a knee before a football game, the words to a song--to name a few--remains a cornerstone of what it means to be American. --Naomi Benaron, author of the Bellwether Prize-winning Running the Rift