T. V. Reed is Buchanan Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Washington State University. His recent books include Digitized Lives: Culture, Power, and Social Change in the Internet Era and Robert Cantwell and the Literary Left. Reed edits the website culturalpolitics.net.
This impressive study demonstrates that culture matters to social movements and that social movements affect cultural and aesthetic practices. From the transmission of southern spirituals into freedom songs during the civil rights era to political theater in antiracist struggles, from poetry as a site of feminist consciousness-raising to mural painting within the Chicano movement, from rock music and the 1980s anti-apartheid student movement to performance art in ACT UP, T. V. Reed vividly demonstrates that cultural work has been a vital medium for imagining and acting for social change. -Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics The Art of Protest is a great introduction to the history of social movements, but it is also an important book about art and culture, about the infinitely lively, complex, and contradictory roles assigned to performances and cultural expressions by social movements. -George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger As a veteran teacher and practitioner of artistic activism, there are a few resources I have found to be invaluable: T. V. Reed's The Art of Protest is one of them. Knowledgeable, lucid, comprehensive, and creative, it is simply the best book out there for understanding how activists in the United States have used cultural strategies and artistic tactics to effectively-and affectively-challenge existing power and envision radical alternatives. I have taught the first edition of this book every year since it was first published, and the release of this new edition means I'll be teaching it for years to come. -Stephen Duncombe, co-director, Center for Artistic Activism T. V. Reed's fully renovated version of this landmark study is even more relevant than the original publication. In the past fifteen years, the energy and creativity of artists and cultural workers has become increasingly central to the political work of movements. An indispensable overview! -Andrew Ross, New York University