The Revolution is Not in Bernie’s Hands: Review/Interview at The New Republic

I can’t say enough good things about David Dayen–he’s generous with his time, knows more than any human should about the inner workings and scams of finance capital, he wrote an incredible book (buy it now, seriously, you will not regret it) and now he’s written a lovely piece on my book at TNR, connecting it to the launch of Bernie Sanders’s “Our Revolution” and the question of where the energy goes next. We had a great phone chat about it all last week and some of those thoughts make it in here, too.

The point that Jaffe’s book underscores, ultimately, is that “politics” as practiced in America has never been confined to Election Day or a single vote in Congress. Turnout cratered in the 2014 midterms, Jaffe notes, at the same time protest movements expanded nationwide. The activists Jaffe profiles are not bound by the realities of counting votes on Capitol Hill or maximizing donations. They see their goal as envisioning the world they want, and making those in power uncomfortable until they get it. The vehicle for that will not be “Our Revolution” delivered in 30-second ad bites, but a sustained movement, 24 hours a day.

Read the rest at The New Republic.


One Nation, Under Stress: Review at the New York Times(!!!!)

Well, wow! Vann Newkirk II reviewed my book for the New York Times, alongside Zachary Roth’s The Great Suppression. It’s an honor.

Necessary Trouble depicts the country as a pot set above the flames of economic discontent, ready to boil over. Jaffe, a journalist and a fellow at the Nation Institute, posits that what agitates these groups is economic injustice, and the book does well to set up the financial collapse of 2008 as the beginning of the great conflagration that set them all in motion. … Necessary Troubleshines in its assessment of why these fault lines exist in the first place. Capitalism, Jaffe argues, promotes instability and class divisions… and her book finds the thread of economic injustice in every tapestry it weaves.


Review at In These Times!

Thanks, Shaun Richman, for the lovely review at my old workplace (CWA represent). In These Times was where I worked out a lot of the ideas in this book, so excellent to see it reviewed there. They’ll also be co-sponsoring my Chicago appearance next month–stay tuned for details, it’s gonna be so good.

Something is happening. Socialism is no longer a dirty word (the “S-word”), but something a sizeable portion of Americans tell pollsters is their preferred vision for society. It’s no longer an anachronism to speak of “the Left.” A brave and quickly organized movement for black lives has not only sparked a new civil rights movement but has gotten many of us to see the criminal justice system for what it is: the evolution of Jim Crow. Oh, and a hell of a lot more workers are striking than before.

There have been attempts to describe this emerging movement for social justice in book form before. The latest, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt by Sarah Jaffe, is the best so far. The Nation Books publication was released Tuesday.

Jaffe, a freelance writer whose work has appeared everywhere from In These Times to The Guardian and The Atlantic, is a leading light in the new generation of labor and social justice reporters.


10 New Books to Read This August — Plus One Surprise Release

Flavorwire recommends Necessary Trouble as a book to read this August.

Tying together threads from different recent mass movements, Jaffe explores the wave of populist organizing that ranges from the Tea Party to the fight for fair wages for fast food workers to Black Lives Matter and Occupy. Want to understand why so many are Feeling the Bern? This book will give fuller context that goes beyond the popularity of any given candidate. Indeed, Kirkus says the book is “an essential guide to forces shaping our nation and the 2016 presidential election.”


“The left’s new revolutionary masterpiece” Review at Patheos!

This review was so good it made me blush. Thanks, Dan!

It isn’t often a book comes along that has the ability to forever change the narrative when we talk about what a political revolution is and what it means for Americans. When you have two very loud groups fighting for control of what the future of the country should look like, this book comes along and lays out what the fight is really about. It blows that media hyperbole; it doesn’t rely on flashy headlines to villainize one group over another. It takes a real and honest look at the revolutionary movements taking place in our country and Jaffe masterfully explains the movements like no author or journalist has done before.

Read the rest at Patheos.