Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions

Incisive grassroots account of the new global revolutions by acclaimed BBC journalist and author of Meltdown

The world is facing a wave of uprisings, protests and revolutions: Arab dictators swept away, public spaces occupied, slum-dwellers in revolt, cyberspace buzzing with utopian dreams. Events we were told were consigned to history—democratic revolt and social revolution—are being lived by millions of people.

In this compelling new book, Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of this great unrest. From Cairo to Athens, Wall Street and Westminster to Manila, Mason goes in search of the changes in society, technology and human behaviour that have propelled a generation onto the streets in search of social justice. In a narrative that blends historical insight with first-person reportage, Mason shines a light on these new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement. The events, says Mason, reflect the expanding power of the individual and call for new political alternatives to elite rule and global poverty.


  • “The writing style of this reportage is compact, urgent, present-tense, declarative, and addictive.”
  • “He’s lively, funny and engaging, trading in the energy derived from the thrill and significance of what he’s witnessing.”
  • “Superb overview of the global protest movements of 2011.”
  • “This book not only reads as an in-depth consideration of global politics today, but offers a personal memoir from a man who has had a ringside seat. We are blessed that the BBC, for all the criticisms, still employs journalists whose logic and unfailing inquisitiveness brings us such analysis.”
  • “You will learn something new and challenging on every page of this book.”
  • “The mix of wide-ranging reportage and historical analysis is lively and insightful.”
  • “A cogent, accessible analysis of the ongoing forces of global upheaval….[a] lively collection of essays and reportage.”
  • “Testament to his instincts as a veteran journalist, Mason managed to be everywhere right as things were kicking off—traversing the globe from the Middle East to Europe to America to Asia. [T]he book combines a feel for the breathlessness of events as they unfold with a historian's eye for patterns and precedents...Mason's prose beautifully captures the almost surreal mood that often accompanies mass shifts in consciousness.”
  • “These reports are good journalism. One feels as if they are present at the rallies, occupations and riots that Mason describes. The anecdotal tales he provides should remind anyone who participated in any kind of popular resistance in the past decades of the energy and hope one finds and feels at such events. These are the stuff that makes one join such movements. Worthwhile and provocative.”


  • Stathis Kouvelakis on HARDtalk

    Stathis Kouvelakis, Syriza central committee member and Verso author, spoke to Zeinab Badawi yesterday on HARDtalk. Re-posted from BBC World News (watch the full interview here).

    Greece and its creditors have started negotiating a third rescue package worth up to eighty-six billion Euros but the prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a rebellion from the hard left in his party, Syriza, who accuse him of going back on his promise to reject austerity. However, it's not just economics that's at the heart of the disagreements; it is a struggle for what kind of country Greece wants to be in the 21st century. Zeinab Badawi talks to Stathis Kouvelakis - a Syriza central committee member - so who's winning the argument in Greece?

    - For more on Greece and the Eurozone crisis, see our Greece Reading List.

  • No currency without democracy

    The euro will fail long before the financial markets and Germany allow for its progressive reform. If we are to create a new euro, we need to accept that the EU as it stands "is actually a huge system of political larceny", writes Frédéric Lordon for Le Monde Diplomatique.

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  • Costas Lapavitsas: Exit is the only strategy for the Greek people

    In a talk in Athens on Friday, Costas Lapavitsas, Syriza MP and Professor of Economics at SOAS, appealed to Syriza and the Greek people to recognise the impossibility of achieving change from within the Eurozone. The EMU, he argued, is not a moral or ideological union but "an institutional mechanism ... a hierarchical body that works in the interests of big business and of a few countries within it." He continued:

    That's what the left has failed to recognize in Europe and in Greece. The mechanisms of the European monetary union are a reified class practice. That's what they are. You can't change them because you've won a vote in Greece. It's impossible to do. You can't change them because you'll get Podemos in Spain. It's not possible to do. Either you break the whole thing or you accept it as it is.

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Other books by Paul Mason