Cover for WOLFSON: Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Digital Rebellion

The Birth of the Cyber Left

Online organizing and the new era of radical struggle

Digital Rebellion examines the impact of new media and communication technologies on the spatial, strategic, and organizational fabric of social movements.

Todd Wolfson reveals how aspects of the mid-1990s Zapatistas movement--network organizational structure, participatory democratic governance, and the use of communication tools as a binding agent--became essential parts of Indymedia and other Cyber Left organizations. From there he uses oral interviews and other rich ethnographic data to chart the media-based think tanks and experiments that continued the Cyber Left's evolution through the Independent Media Center's birth around the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.

Melding virtual and traditional ethnographic practice to explore the Cyber Left's cultural logic, Wolfson maps the social, spatial and communicative structure of the Indymedia network and details its operations on the local, national and global level. He looks at the participatory democracy that governs global social movements and the ways democracy and decentralization have come into tension, and how "the switchboard of struggle" conducts stories from the hyper-local and disperses them worldwide. As he shows, understanding the intersection of Indymedia and the Global Social Justice Movement illuminates their foundational role in the Occupy struggle and other emergent movements that have re-energized radical politics.

"A major contribution. . . . Eminently readable, Digital Rebellion is a mixture of reporting and theory all designed to move beyond the horizontal-vertical duality and achieve a synthesis that draws from the best of both worlds."--Counterpunch

"The first book to chart the intellectual and technological history of the Indymedia network and to place that history within the theoretical debate about social movement organization and politics. This is an important chapter in contemporary social movement activism and Todd Wolfson does an excellent job charting the rise of the Independent Media Center and the theoretical implications of this model for left political organizing."--Andy Opel, author of Preempting Dissent: The Politics of an Inevitable Future

"Combining the passion of an activist and the reasoned arguments of a scholar, Wolfson wonderfully details the emergence of the Cyber Left. In Digital Rebellion he not only celebrates its political potential but also, and more importantly, provides a lucid critique of the forms it has taken thus far."--Michael Hardt, co-author of Declaration and Empire

"Makes an original contribution through the depth of the empirical case studies of Cyber Left organization. . . . I cannot think of another book that puts so much of the story of the U.S. left's experiments with the creation of an 'electronic fabric of struggle' within a single volume. . . . The author's knowledge, thoughtfulness, and political passion is evident." --Nick Dyer-Witheford, author of Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games

A trained socio-cultural anthropologist, Todd Wolfson is currently an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. He is also a community organizer and in 2006 cofounded the Media Mobilizing Project in Philadelphia.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Making the News Popular

Mobilizing U.S. News Audiences

Anthony M. Nadler

Indians Illustrated

The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press

John M. Coward

Taking the Risk Out of Democracy

Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty

Alex Carey

Of G-Men and Eggheads

The FBI and the New York Intellectuals

John Rodden

On the Picket Line

Strategies of Working-Class Women during the Depression

Mary E. Triece

Waves of Opposition

Labor and the Struggle for Democratic Radio

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

The Brass Check

A Study of American Journalism

Upton Sinclair

Media in New Turkey

The Origins of an Authoritarian Neoliberal State

Bilge Yesil

Six Minutes in Berlin

Broadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics

Michael J. Socolow

Goodbye iSlave

A Manifesto for Digital Abolition

Jack Linchuan Qiu

Mister Pulitzer and the Spider

Modern News from Realism to the Digital

Kevin G. Barnhurst

New Korean Wave

Transnational Cultural Power in the Age of Social Media

Dal Yong Jin

Interactive Journalism

Hackers, Data, and Code

Nikki Usher

Feminist Literacies, 1968-75

Kathryn Thoms Flannery

Digital Rebellion ebook is available for immediate download from the following vendors:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play