History, Politics and Current Events, Reviews, Sociology

Review: Goldfarb, The Politics of Small Things

jacket imagePopMatters recently reviewed Jeffrey C. Goldfarb’s The Politics of Small Things: The Power of the Powerless in Dark Times. From the review by Vince Carducci: "The Politics of Small Things is a modest book— the main text runs less than 150 pages. But it’s long enough to make the case that the phrase ‘reach out and touch someone’ is more than some derelict advertising slogan. Not a revolutionary idea perhaps, but certainly the place to start in terms of living in truth."
In The Politics of Small Things, Jeffrey Goldfarb provides an innovative way for understanding politics, a way of appreciating the significance of politics at the micro level by comparatively analyzing key turning points and institutions in recent history. He presents a sociology of human interactions that lead from small to large: dissent around the old Soviet bloc; life on the streets in Warsaw, Prague, and Bucharest in 1989; the network of terror that spawned 9/11; and the religious and Internet mobilizations that transformed the 2004 presidential election, to name a few. In such pivotal moments, he masterfully shows, political autonomy can be generated, presenting alternatives to the big politics of the global stage and the dominant narratives of terrorism, antiterrorism, and globalization.
Read an excerpt.