In his graphic memoir, March, Representative John Lewis documents the struggle and heartbreak, as well as the victories, of the civil-rights movement. The historian Emily E. LB. Twarog writes of the female-driven consumer activism that, throughout the 20th century, shaped the American food industry. Antonia Malchik’s A Walking Life describes how the community networks that sustain movements are formed in public spaces where assemblies that demand leaders’ attention can also take place.
As important as organizing and protesting for a cause can be, individuals often find other creative ways of making their views heard. Dorian Lynskey’s history of protest music, 33 Revolutions per Minute, discusses the sometimes underestimated political power of pop songs. And a collection of photographs by Yoav Litvin captures the quietly arresting statements that some New York City street artists make through their work.
Every Friday, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.
How “citizen housewives” made food cheaper and safer
“Without grassroots organizing by women throughout the 20th century against rotting ingredients, high food prices, and indecipherable freshness codes, buying food in America would look very different than it does.”
📚 Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth-Century America, by Emily E. LB. Twarog
📚 March, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
The golden era of protest music
“Protest songs make people feel not alone … This is where I think preaching to the converted is underrated. It’s fine to cement beliefs to inspire people to act on them.”
📚 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, by Dorian Lynskey
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