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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Dec 08, Apemaskin rated it it was amazing. The point is, the first nearly pages is an exciting first hand account of insurrectionist anarchists doing their thing. Get updates from AK Press Sign up! Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar.

JavaScript seem to be disabled in your browser. So awesome that I guess the publisher’s out of stock and now we’re waiting for a reprint.

A necessary read for any activist who believes direct action with a diversity of tactics is the only way to build a movement. Open Preview See a Problem?

The book itself can be viewed ation a direct action, a conscious process of redefining ethnography from patronizing colonial narratives and empty post-colonial relativism to an example of a people’s ability to critically define their culture for themselves.

In other words, it would necessarily inv With “Direct Action” David Graeber has written an important and timely book.

Direct Action e-book

For those interested in the movement, this is almost too much detail — but, as Graeber argues, meaningful action and understanding arises from even the most tedious meetings. The second section of the book walks through further analysis of different sections of this story.

If you’ve read other of Graeber’s work a lot of this will be familiar, and explored from a different angle. AK Press- Social Science – pages. This touches on aspects from consensus based decision making, to the role of the police, the wider application of bureaucracy, and feminist theory via the notion of interpretive labour. Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement. 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.


Huge book, but it is very readable with a good mix of different styles of writing. First they plan actions to disrupt the FTAA meeting in Quebec City, they plan how to get there, then the inevitable ‘best-laid-plans’ stuff, and then three days of direct action in a cloud of tear gas.

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.

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 I also enjoyed the descriptions of the stupidity of violence and the politics of imagination.

I believe in this project, and its clear Graeber does too. His description and analysis of the interactions between activists, police and the media is revealing and complex while still having a strong moral urgency.

This was a marathon book for me.

Took over a year to read with a 6 month break. Apr 02, Joy rated it really liked it. A reaffirmation of the police state and power built on fear. And here–direct action and anarchism! Jan 02, Ryan Hickey rated it it was amazing.

Direct Action: An Ethnography

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. Apr 21, Marshall Scott rated it it was amazing. Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire. Dropping the reader straight into an activist group, Graeber does a great job of immersing you in the world of the acti This was one of the books I was least excited about in my to read pile, but ended up being one of the most aan books I have read in a long time.

Direct Action: An Ethnography by David Graeber

Refresh and try again. Anarchism is a kind of revolutionary ethics, a moral structure through which to interpret the world. But obviously it cuts down on the book’s appeal, even though it was designed so you can skip around graebrr it and don’t have to read the whole thing. I’ve spent a lot of time narrowing down what this book is and isn’t about.


If, as he argues, the ideology of the global justice movement, is embodied in its practices, then it really doesn’t make sense to try and understand it by some generic or superficial description of its stated ethnogrxphy. Aug 02, Koen Crolla rated it really liked it Shelves: Still, there are a lot of meaningful lessons to be drawn from a book like this, and if nothing else, it will at least disabuse you of any lingering notion that cops are human. Apr 08, Jan rated it really liked it Shelves: His argument hinges on what he calls the “politics of imagination” to which he juxtaposes the modern hegemony of a “politics of violence.

Direct Action e-book | AK Press

Thus, seasoned activists may find Graeber’s analysis and description of radical culture and ideas to already be common knowledge. As an active participant in these movements, Graeber offers a lot of insight into both the nuts-and-bolts preparation for major protests and the larger understanding of the world that shapes anarchist praxis.

Oct 26, Luke rated it it was amazing. View all 5 comments. 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.

An Ethnography David Graeber Limited preview – From informal conversations in coffee shops to large “spokescouncil” planning meetings and tear gas-drenched street actions, Graeber paints a vivid and fascinating picture.

BUT what wonder–what treasures–what gold!! Jul 02, Rob rated it really liked it Shelves: The first section is highly conversational, and easy to follow.

Jan 03, firesandwords rated it liked it Shelves: These chapters are titled “Meetings,” “Actions,” and “Representation,” and are the bits where in a ‘normal’ anthropology book the writer would begin to make generalizations or maybe attack someone else’s generalizations.