Fountain, Philip M. (November 29, ). “Rev. of Direct Action: An Ethnography by David Graeber”. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. 12 (5): – Direct Action*a thorough analysis of the ‘invisible architecture’ (p. ) of the At the start of this weighty ethnographic tome, David Graeber is in the early years. Direct action: an ethnography. Graeber, David () Direct action: an ethnography. AK Press, Oakland, California, USA ; Edinburgh, Scotland.

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The implication, I think, is that any revolution worth having must begin, not after the strategy and tactics and aspirations are worked out presumably by the “smart” people, but instead revolution begins in that very process of imagining revolution.

Aug 02, Koen Crolla rated it really liked it Shelves: Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement. Rather, grxeber would have to begin from an analysis of movement building practices and organizing, and what actiom of collective compositions they create and sustain. The book itself can be viewed I’m gonna go ahead and call this a great book. Written in a clear, accessible style with a minimum of academic jargonthis study brings readers behind the scenes of a movement that has changed the terms of debate about world power relations.

It ethnogtaphy make me angry, though, at police especially but also at the whole system that makes everything such crap. The case study at the center of Direct Action is the organizing and events that led to the one of the most dramatic and militant mass protests in recent years, against the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. I would rather be able to say, hey, we won a wage hike or we won paid sick leave, then be able to say, as Graeber often does, hey, we changed the conversation.

I ethnograpgy it to many people before it was even published!!!! Told mostly through field notes that David took as he participated. Graeber sets out to achieve a super lofty goal, and I think for the most part he achieved it!

He was an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University, ethnograpyh Yale controversially declined to rehire him, and ethnogtaphy te David Rolfe Graeber is an American anthropologist and anarchist. Moreover, it was feminism that made the crucial leap beyond passive ’68 situationism, waiting for the revolutionary moment to happen, to today’s continual insurrection, the understanding that revolutionary moments much be actively created by the participants: This book has opened a bunch of new avenues of drect I need to follow up on.


I felt it was ethnogdaphy to publish the long version first, if only for documentary purposes, because so much history would otherwise be lost. I’m glad i got through it–wonderful yet extremely long.

What I wanted was basically more of what’s in Debt and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology; what this is, instead, is kind of a trip diary of some of Graeber’s activist activities. Huge book, but it is very readable with a good mix of different styles of writing.

The next 3 chapters are also great, although requiring progressively more brain power. From m If I didn’t read this book, I probably would have dropped out of my master’s program, completely disillusioned with anthropology and the state of many current ethnographies which reinforce oppressive hegemonic, racist and oppressive structures. Along the way, he addresses grweber of deep interest to anthropologists: In other words, it would necessarily inv With “Direct Action” David Graeber has written an important and timely book.

Jan 03, firesandwords rated it liked it Shelves: It’s a fascinating process, and leaves me curious how such processes can be applied in an environment where the participants are not so united in purpose.

Dec 22, Benjamin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Potshots at post-structuralism aside, Graeber makes a number of important interventions ethngoraphy should be taken up by writers and theorists everywhere. Apr 21, Marshall Scott rated it it was amazing.

I think the “Meetings” chapter would make a great booklet and I like the idea of having all these facilitators and “vibes watchers,” at least for those meetings where the process is as likely to lead to a split as it is to consensus. Tea rated it it was amazing Shelves: Along the way, he addresses matters of deep interest to anthropologists: JavaScript seem to be disabled in your browser. AK Press Collectively-owned, worker-run.

Active in numerous direct-action political organizations, he is the author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology ; Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value ; and Possibilities: Get updates from AK Press Sign up!

Direct Action e-book

On June 15,Graeber accepted the offer of a lectureship in the anthropology department at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he currently holds the title of Reader in Social Anthropology.

One of my favourites, it’s not short, but for me at least it had quite an impact on my life. His argument hinges on what he calls the “politics of imagination” to which he juxtaposes the modern hegemony of a “politics of violence.


Paperbackpages. And it is precisely this kind of detailed and imaginative analysis that is valuable now at the point where these movements have been dispersed and it is time to take a step back and learn from these experiences, precisely to appreciate what they made possible and what was inadequate to the situation. Radical publishing and distribution since With candid descriptions of carnivalesque atmospheres during direct actions and in depth description of “why police hate puppets”.

BUT what wonder–what treasures–what gold!! Aug 18, Jonathan rated it did not like it.

At the same time, his experiment in the application of ethnographic methods to important ongoing political events is a serious and unique contribution to the field of anthropology, as well as an inquiry into anthropology’s political implications. Written in a clear, accessible style with a minimum of academic jargonthis study brings readers behind the scenes of a movement that has changed the terms of debate about world power relations.

Written in a clear, accessible style with a minimum of academic jargonthis study brings eyhnography behind the scenes of a movement that has changed the terms of debate about world power relations. From informal conversations in coffee shops to large “spokescouncil” planning meetings and teargas-drenched street actions, Graeber paints a vivid and fascinating picture.

Direct action: an ethnography

Yet that is full dispelled within the first few pages. Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn more about the fundraiser to help them and actioon neighbors.

It’s fascinating and inspired a lot of conversations with friends as it inevitably became a huge part of my life for a few weeks, generating questions, disagreements, insights. It’s a social scene, not a revolution. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the stupidity of violence and the politics of imagination.

Direct Action: An Ethnography – Wikipedia

David Graebers background in anthropology makes everything he writes fascinating. The book was captivating and I learned a lot, particularly stylistically ethnogrphy to write a successful auto-ethnography. His description and analysis of the interactions between activists, police and the media is revealing and complex while still having a strong moral urgency.