by Jonathan Matthew Smucker
Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today's burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into the all-too-familiar radical tendency toward self-defeating insularity and paralyzing purism. At the same time, he offers tools to bridge the divide between anti-authoritarian values and hegemonic strategies, tools that might just help today's movements to navigate their obstacles--and change the world.
"As the world faces the horrors of a Trump presidency, many good people are asking, 'What can I do?' Jonathan Smucker's book provides an urgent field manual for answering that question. Drawing on twenty years of grassroots organizing experience, Smucker has written a modern version of Saul Alinsky's classic, Rules for Radicals. By bypassing the vapid debate over who to vote for in a system that offers only two choices, Smucker focuses on the need for a dedicated commitment to social change that begins in each of our own backyards. He deftly weaves together ideas for tactical organizing with personal stories of their real life application. We live in a time of endless wars and a government rigged to serve only the few fueled by both Democrats and Republicans. Smucker challenges us to think big and to carefully embrace a form of collectivism that, if taken seriously, could well change the world." --Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars
"Jonathan Smucker asks the important question: How can the movements on which we rely in our pursuit of a more just and democratic world be sustained and enlarged over time? And he engages us because he writes so well, and because he draws in part on his own fascinating biography in his search for answers. Most valuable to me, Smucker insists on regarding movements not only as expressions of collective anguish or desire, but as strategic interventions aimed at changing the world." --Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority and Poor People's Movements
"One of the most creative organizers in the country has eloquently articulated the next generation's Rules for Radicals. A must read!" --Sally Kohn, political commentator at CNN
About the Author:
Jonathan Smucker has worked as an organizer, consultant, and trainer for two decades within a breadth of organizations and social movements. He is co-founder of Beyond the Choir, an organization providing strategic support and organizational development to social justice organizations. Jonathan has been published in Berkeley Journal of Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, and contributed chapters to We Are Many and Beautiful Trouble.