Friday, October 13, 2017

NEW BOOK - Confronting Political Intimidation & Public Bullying: A Citizen's Handbook for the Trump Era & Beyond


 Just released as an on-demand print and e-book available on Amazon Kindle



Net proceeds from sales will go to Indivisible National of IndivisibleGuide.com.

To download the Preface click here.



Description

Since the kick-off in 2015 of the last presidential campaign, a climate of fear and intimidation has dominated national life in the United States to a degree rarely seen before, poisoning our politics and reaching into our very relationships with friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
    Confronting Political Intimidation is about how this came to be, how we can see ourselves through it, but also why it is not likely to go away anytime soon.
    At the core of this political history is a larger U.S. public culture of intimidation and bullying in the workplace, media, and political arena that has been building for 30 years. It is not by chance that in 2017 the U.S. inaugurated Donald Trump, an openly authoritarian president who is an abusive CEO, capitalist folk hero, and Internet troll.
    The current harsh environment is a direct challenge to citizens and residents, especially those seeking to engage in progressive activism and party politics now and in the years to come.
    This short book offers a unique guide to the strategies and dynamics of contemporary political intimidation and public bullying: the dangers they present, the snares and traps that envelop their targets, and the lessons to be learned.
    In the end, it’s about shedding light on the dark side of contemporary national life in order to see beyond it.


 
Praise for Confronting Political Intimidation

“Donald Trump is a bully. His political power, his popularity with one segment of the American people and the dread he inspires in the rest, and his ascent from sleazeball entrepreneur to President of the United States, are all fruits of a concerted campaign of intimidation and threat. Today, bullying is less a phenomenon of the schoolyard than of the corporate boardroom and workplace; and Donald Trump, the CEO folk hero, has taken it from there and made it into the central principle of American politics, society, and culture. In this book, Roddey Reid brings us the crucial missing piece of the puzzle of Trump: the way that his fear tactics have created a poisonous structure of feeling that is more deadly than any mere ideology.” 
       -- Steve Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

"Deeply researched, conceptually sophisticated, and engagingly written, Roddey Reid's excellent new book makes an indispensable contribution. If you want to understand the current moment of Trump in historical perspective--and if, indeed, you care about the future of the USA--you will find Reid's work of great value. His outlook is always realistic, and often grimly so, but never without hope."
      -- Carl Freedman, author of The Age of Nixon

"Roddey Reid's Confronting Political Intimidation is an insightful diagnosis of how we got here, and a potent toolkit to secure a more hopeful future. Reid pulls together a wide range of under-examined material from corporate culture and popular media to source the dark currents now surging through American politics, and finds a fresh vocabulary for democratic renewal."
      -- Christopher Brown, World Fantasy Award nominee and author of Tropic of Kansas: A Novel

"Roddey Reid shows that Trump mastered, but did not originate, the hyper-tough entrepreneurial bully we see today. His book offers a convincing and important study of bullying as the link between austerity, hyper-wealth, and reactionary populism, and forces us to look again at the fabric of our everyday social relations and political choices. To begin to imagine a different kind of politics, to conceive of a more compassionate and knowledgeable society, and to put these goals into practice before it is too late, we need this book."
      -- Jody Berland, author of North of Empire: Essays on the Cultural Technologies of Space

"Reid highlights in this slim volume the ways in which Trump's behavior, and more importantly its resonance with American voters, is less the product of a personality disorder that an expression of the culture of bullying that has become prevalent in business, politics, and the media since the days of the Carter stagflation. His nuanced but incisive analysis brings home the dangers posed by the sharp right-wing term to American institutions and the need to confront it not with better electoral politicking but a deeper participatory democratic and more egalitarian socio-economic vision."
      -- Gershon Shafir, author of A Half-Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World's Most Intractable Conflict

“Donald Trump has withered himself into an orbit of four basic cravings: maniacal lying (its gravitational influences infect the orbits of the other three), greed, revenge, and his hatching of apparitions, which lure society into feckless vintages of disintegration yet to be named: Roddey Reid, like a 21st century Kepler, traces the sources of these orbits and their vapors, which have already wobbled into the resetting of the Doomsday Clock.”
      -- David Matlin, novelist & essayist; author of Prisons inside the New America: From Vernooykill Creek to Abu Ghraib

“If you have found yourself wondering how the President suddenly morphed from the commander-in-chief to the bully-in-chief, this is the book for you. The short answer: it wasn't so sudden. Reid expertly shows how the Trump phenomenon is the culmination of a decades-long history of transformations affecting not only national political discourse but rooted as well in arenas as diverse and pervasive as workplace culture, the neoliberal spirit of capitalism, and the culture of insecurity in the age of limitless war. Trump did not invent this "culture of fear and intimidation." His innovation is to have personified it, channeling its violence toward ever balder and harsher expressions. Confronting Political Intimidation is a wake-up call and a call to action in the name of a livable – and shareable – future."
      -- Brian Massumi, author of Ontopower: War Powers and the State of Exception and The Power at the End of the Economy




Table of Contents


PREFACE Our Transformed National Life

CHAPTER ONE Political Violence, or They Meant What They Said

    Traumatic Lessons: CEO Trump’s Hostile Takeover

    Looking Back: They Meant It

    9/11, the Iraq Invasion, and the War on Terror

    New York City as Laboratory of Intimidation and Fear


CHAPTER TWO Intimidation and Bullying in the Wider Culture: The Workplace and the Media

    Harsh Climate

    Ground Zero: Financial and Managerial Revolution in the Workplace

    The Bullying Boss

    Short-Term Greed, Long-Term Insecurity

    The Media Sphere

    Reality TV and Social Media


CHAPTER THREE Enter Trump: The Tyrannical CEO and White Entrepreneur as Capitalist Folk Hero

    The Question

    Trump the Entrepreneur

    Trump’s Negative Identity Politics: From Cold War Smearing to Entrepreneurial Bullying

    The Defiant White Man: The Method is the Message

    Government as Family Business

    The Political Synergy of Trump’s Multiple Identities

    After Trump: Entrepreneurialism and Authoritarian Political Rule


CHAPTER FOUR Political Thuggery and Party Identities

    A Restructured Democratic Party and Its Cautious Strategies

    The Advent of Obama and the Rise of the Tea Party

    2010: Demobilizing Democrats

    Party Loyalty, Social Identity, and Cultures of Governing

    Donald Trump’s Identity and Aggression: He Meant What He Said


CHAPTER FIVE Playing for Keeps: The 2016 Elections

    The Abusive Entrepreneur Enters Politics

    Hillary Clinton’s Unflinching Campaign

CHAPTER SIX Learning from the Dynamics of Political Intimidation and Bullying

    Preemptive Strike: Creating Public Facts on the Ground

    Public Bullying

    The Politics of Destruction

    Snares and Traps: Denial

    Snares and Traps: Blind Revenge

    Snares and Traps: Nostalgia for the Theater of Moral Shaming

    Snares and Traps: Media Frenzies

CONCLUSION Renewing Politics

    On Our Own

    Rewriting the Political Script



Roddey Reid is Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Diego, where he taught classes on the modern cultures and societies of the U.S., France, and Japan. He is the author of Families in Jeopardy: Regulating the Social Body in France, 1750-1910; co-editor of Doing Science + Culture; and author of Globalizing Tobacco Control: Anti-Smoking Campaigns in California, France, and Japan. His latest writing has been on trauma, daily life, and the culture of intimidation and bullying in the U.S. and Europe. He hosts a personal blog called “UnSafe Thoughts” on bullying and the fluidity of politics in dangerous times. He is a member of Indivisible San Francisco.
 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review of "Tropic of Kansas: A Novel" by Christopher Brown

Tropic of Kansas is a great read. It both stirs up our worst nightmares of the present and calms them down by accelerating current social and political trends into a fantasy of our near-future. In Christopher Brown’s brave new world, drones now patrol land, water, and sky, a savior CEO rules from the White House, the gas and oil industry and agribusiness dominate the economy deepening environmental ruin, entrepreneurs profit from political strife, and local militias coordinate with police forces and national security agencies to suppress political opposition.

Then, like now, far from Washington movements in the heartland make and break the political system. But as the story moves forward, some courageously mount an alternate grid with abandoned analog technologies and work to fashion a progressive political future: from the Canadian border and Minneapolis down to Saint Louis and Texas to, finally, the  devastated city of New Orleans, the last stronghold of the resistance. As we follow the fates of the central characters towards the climax, the writing simply gets better and better; here is a view of the landscape seen from a vehicle heading east along Interstate 10 towards the Big Easy through the Louisiana bayous transformed by oil the fossil fuel industry: “At dusk you could see the alligators out there, and the big wild birds that looked like dinosaurs. Old houses with legs and boats for cars. And the petrochemical extraction machines shoved into the biome like giant robot mosquitos” (307). Enjoy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

NEW BOOK - Confronting Political Intimidation & Public Bullying: A Citizen's Handbook for the Trump Era & Beyond


 Just released as an on-demand print and e-book available on Amazon Kindle



Net proceeds from sales will go to Indivisible National of IndivisibleGuide.com.

To download the Preface click here.



Description

Since the kick-off in 2015 of the last presidential campaign, a climate of fear and intimidation has dominated national life in the United States to a degree rarely seen before, poisoning our politics and reaching into our very relationships with friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
    Confronting Political Intimidation is about how this came to be, how we can see ourselves through it, but also why it is not likely to go away anytime soon.
    At the core of this political history is a larger U.S. public culture of intimidation and bullying in the workplace, media, and political arena that has been building for 30 years. It is not by chance that in 2017 the U.S. inaugurated Donald Trump, an openly authoritarian president who is an abusive CEO, capitalist folk hero, and Internet troll.
    The current harsh environment is a direct challenge to citizens and residents, especially those seeking to engage in progressive activism and party politics now and in the years to come.
    This short book offers a unique guide to the strategies and dynamics of contemporary political intimidation and public bullying: the dangers they present, the snares and traps that envelop their targets, and the lessons to be learned.
    In the end, it’s about shedding light on the dark side of contemporary national life in order to see beyond it.


 
Praise for Confronting Political Intimidation

“Donald Trump is a bully. His political power, his popularity with one segment of the American people and the dread he inspires in the rest, and his ascent from sleazeball entrepreneur to President of the United States, are all fruits of a concerted campaign of intimidation and threat. Today, bullying is less a phenomenon of the schoolyard than of the corporate boardroom and workplace; and Donald Trump, the CEO folk hero, has taken it from there and made it into the central principle of American politics, society, and culture. In this book, Roddey Reid brings us the crucial missing piece of the puzzle of Trump: the way that his fear tactics have created a poisonous structure of feeling that is more deadly than any mere ideology.” 
       -- Steve Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

"Deeply researched, conceptually sophisticated, and engagingly written, Roddey Reid's excellent new book makes an indispensable contribution. If you want to understand the current moment of Trump in historical perspective--and if, indeed, you care about the future of the USA--you will find Reid's work of great value. His outlook is always realistic, and often grimly so, but never without hope."
      -- Carl Freedman, author of The Age of Nixon

"Roddey Reid's Confronting Political Intimidation is an insightful diagnosis of how we got here, and a potent toolkit to secure a more hopeful future. Reid pulls together a wide range of under-examined material from corporate culture and popular media to source the dark currents now surging through American politics, and finds a fresh vocabulary for democratic renewal."
      -- Christopher Brown, World Fantasy Award nominee and author of Tropic of Kansas: A Novel

"Roddey Reid shows that Trump mastered, but did not originate, the hyper-tough entrepreneurial bully we see today. His book offers a convincing and important study of bullying as the link between austerity, hyper-wealth, and reactionary populism, and forces us to look again at the fabric of our everyday social relations and political choices. To begin to imagine a different kind of politics, to conceive of a more compassionate and knowledgeable society, and to put these goals into practice before it is too late, we need this book."
      -- Jody Berland, author of North of Empire: Essays on the Cultural Technologies of Space

"Reid highlights in this slim volume the ways in which Trump's behavior, and more importantly its resonance with American voters, is less the product of a personality disorder that an expression of the culture of bullying that has become prevalent in business, politics, and the media since the days of the Carter stagflation. His nuanced but incisive analysis brings home the dangers posed by the sharp right-wing term to American institutions and the need to confront it not with better electoral politicking but a deeper participatory democratic and more egalitarian socio-economic vision."
      -- Gershon Shafir, author of A Half-Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World's Most Intractable Conflict

“Donald Trump has withered himself into an orbit of four basic cravings: maniacal lying (its gravitational influences infect the orbits of the other three), greed, revenge, and his hatching of apparitions, which lure society into feckless vintages of disintegration yet to be named: Roddey Reid, like a 21st century Kepler, traces the sources of these orbits and their vapors, which have already wobbled into the resetting of the Doomsday Clock.”
      -- David Matlin, novelist & essayist; author of Prisons inside the New America: From Vernooykill Creek to Abu Ghraib

“If you have found yourself wondering how the President suddenly morphed from the commander-in-chief to the bully-in-chief, this is the book for you. The short answer: it wasn't so sudden. Reid expertly shows how the Trump phenomenon is the culmination of a decades-long history of transformations affecting not only national political discourse but rooted as well in arenas as diverse and pervasive as workplace culture, the neoliberal spirit of capitalism, and the culture of insecurity in the age of limitless war. Trump did not invent this "culture of fear and intimidation." His innovation is to have personified it, channeling its violence toward ever balder and harsher expressions. Confronting Political Intimidation is a wake-up call and a call to action in the name of a livable – and shareable – future."
      -- Brian Massumi, author of Ontopower: War Powers and the State of Exception and The Power at the End of the Economy




Table of Contents


PREFACE Our Transformed National Life

CHAPTER ONE Political Violence, or They Meant What They Said

    Traumatic Lessons: CEO Trump’s Hostile Takeover

    Looking Back: They Meant It

    9/11, the Iraq Invasion, and the War on Terror

    New York City as Laboratory of Intimidation and Fear


CHAPTER TWO Intimidation and Bullying in the Wider Culture: The Workplace and the Media

    Harsh Climate

    Ground Zero: Financial and Managerial Revolution in the Workplace

    The Bullying Boss

    Short-Term Greed, Long-Term Insecurity

    The Media Sphere

    Reality TV and Social Media


CHAPTER THREE Enter Trump: The Tyrannical CEO and White Entrepreneur as Capitalist Folk Hero

    The Question

    Trump the Entrepreneur

    Trump’s Negative Identity Politics: From Cold War Smearing to Entrepreneurial Bullying

    The Defiant White Man: The Method is the Message

    Government as Family Business

    The Political Synergy of Trump’s Multiple Identities

    After Trump: Entrepreneurialism and Authoritarian Political Rule


CHAPTER FOUR Political Thuggery and Party Identities

    A Restructured Democratic Party and Its Cautious Strategies

    The Advent of Obama and the Rise of the Tea Party

    2010: Demobilizing Democrats

    Party Loyalty, Social Identity, and Cultures of Governing

    Donald Trump’s Identity and Aggression: He Meant What He Said


CHAPTER FIVE Playing for Keeps: The 2016 Elections

    The Abusive Entrepreneur Enters Politics

    Hillary Clinton’s Unflinching Campaign

CHAPTER SIX Learning from the Dynamics of Political Intimidation and Bullying

    Preemptive Strike: Creating Public Facts on the Ground

    Public Bullying

    The Politics of Destruction

    Snares and Traps: Denial

    Snares and Traps: Blind Revenge

    Snares and Traps: Nostalgia for the Theater of Moral Shaming

    Snares and Traps: Media Frenzies

CONCLUSION Renewing Politics

    On Our Own

    Rewriting the Political Script



Roddey Reid is Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Diego, where he taught classes on the modern cultures and societies of the U.S., France, and Japan. He is the author of Families in Jeopardy: Regulating the Social Body in France, 1750-1910; co-editor of Doing Science + Culture; and author of Globalizing Tobacco Control: Anti-Smoking Campaigns in California, France, and Japan. His latest writing has been on trauma, daily life, and the culture of intimidation and bullying in the U.S. and Europe. He hosts a personal blog called “UnSafe Thoughts” on bullying and the fluidity of politics in dangerous times. He is a member of Indivisible San Francisco.