A world dominated by America and driven by cheap oil, easy credit, and conspicuous consumption is unraveling before our eyes. In this powerful, deeply humanistic book, Grace Lee Boggs, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America, shrewdly assesses the current crisis—political, economical, and environmental—and shows how to create the radical social change we need to confront new realities. A vibrant, inspirational force, Boggs has participated in all of the twentieth century’s major social movements—for civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, and more. She draws from seven decades of activist experience, and a rigorous commitment to critical thinking, to redefine “revolution” for our times. From her home in Detroit, she reveals how hope and creativity are overcoming despair and decay within the most devastated urban communities. Her book is a manifesto for creating alternative modes of work, politics, and human interaction that will collectively constitute the next American Revolution.
Foreword by Danny Glover
Preface to the 2012 Edition
Introduction by Scott Kurashige
1. These Are the Times to Grow Our Souls
2. Revolution as a New Beginning
3. Let’s Talk about Malcolm and Martin
4. Detroit, Place and Space to Begin Anew
5. A Paradigm Shift in Our Concept of Education
6. We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For
Afterword: In Conversation with Immanuel Wallerstein
Grace Lee Boggs, the recipient of many human rights and lifetime achievement awards, is an activist, writer, and speaker. She is celebrated in the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Boggs is the coauthor, with James Boggs, of Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century and the author of Living for Change: An Autobiography. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is 95 years old.
Scott Kurashige is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and author of The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles.
“The book is a revolutionary retrospective to Boggs’s participation in some of the twentieth century’s greatest struggles, from anti-capitalist labor movements of the 1940s and 1950s to the Black Power Movement to contemporary urban environmental activism, as well as a radical blueprint for how to carry each of them forward. . . . Grace Lee Boggs is something of a miracle in modern America: a lifelong revolutionary whose circles of influence have grown ever wider. There are so few grassroots activists who have spoken so presciently to the academy’s quest to make itself relevant and heard. The Next American Revolution may not be the last word we hear from Grace Boggs, but it is already a stirring coda to one of the greatest chapters in the history of US radicalism.”—Bill V. Mullen American Book Review
“There are lessons here for activists that make this slim volume a handbook for personal, and therefore, social transformation.”—Larry Gabriel Yes! Mag
“A radical start-up kit for combatting neoliberal capitalism.”—Bill V. Mullen American Book Review
“A masterful weaving of history, philosophy, social justice, and activism. The author's poignant political analysis and synthesis provide the loom that gathers otherwise interesting singular fibers to create a vibrant, revolutionary cloth, one that is purposefully left with space for continued work and growth.”—Foreword
"Reading Grace Lee Boggs helps you glimpse a United States that is better and more beautiful than you thought it was. As she analyzes some of the inspiring theories and practices that have emerged from the struggles for equality and freedom in Detroit and beyond, she also shows us that in this country, a future revolution is not only necessary but possible."
—Michael Hardt, co-author of Commonwealth
"This groundbreaking book not only represents the best of Grace Lee Boggs, but the best of any radical, visionary thinking in the United States. She reminds us why revolution is not only possible and necessary, but in some places already in the making. The conditions we face under neoliberalism and war do, indeed, mark the end of an era in which the old ideological positions of protest are not really relevant or effective—and this book offers a new way forward."—Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
“Grace Boggs has long been a major voice of hope and action for transformation of the United States and the world. Here is her testimony of hope and program for action. It must be taken seriously.”
—Immanuel Wallerstein, author of Utopistics: or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century
"One of the most accomplished radicals of our time, the Detroit-based visionary Grace Lee Boggs has become one of our most influential and inspiring public intellectuals. The Next American Revolution
is her powerful reflection on a lifetime of urban revolutionary work, an ode to the courage and brilliance of her late partner James Boggs, and a plain-spoken call for us to address the troubled times we face with a sense of history, a strong set of values, and an unwavering faith in our own creative, restorative powers."
—Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop