Revolution, rebellion, resistance: the power of story

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Zed Books, 2009 - History - 257 pages
Why do revolutions happen?  Decades of social science research have brought us little closer to understanding where, when and among whom they occur.   In this groundbreaking book, Eric Selbin argues that we need to look beyond the economic, political and social structural conditions to the thoughts and feelings of the people who make revolutions.  In particular, he argues, we need to understand the stories people relay and rework of past injustices and struggles as they struggle in the present towards a better future. Ranging from the French revolution to the Battle for Seattle, via Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and Nicaragua, Selbin makes the case that it is myth, memory and mimesis which create, maintain and extend such stories.   Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance identifies four kinds of enduring revolutionary story -- Civilizing and Democratizing, The Social Revolution, Freedom and Liberation and The Lost and Forgotten -- which do more than report on events, they catalyse changing the world.

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stories and social change
three Myth memory mimesis
f1ve The story of civilizing and democratizing

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About the author (2009)

Eric Selbin is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Southwestern University and a University Scholar.  His books include Modern Latin American Revolutions and Understanding Revolutions (with John Foran and Jack Goldstone).  He is currently completing Doing International Relations from the Margins with Meghana Nayak. In 2007 he was selected as one of Southwestern's all-time 'Fav Five' Faculty and received an Exemplary Teaching Award in 2001-2002.

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