Challenging Authority argues that ordinary people exercise real power in American politics mainly at those extraordinary moments when they rise up in anger and hope; defy the rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives; and, by doing so, disrupt the workings of the institutions in which they are enmeshed. These are the conditions that produce the democratic moments in American political development.
Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School at the City University of New York and past president of the American Sociological Association. She is the author of several books, including The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush's Militarism (2004) and Why Americans Still Don't Vote: And Why Politicians Want It That Way (2000).
Chapter 1 1 Challenging Authority Chapter 2 2 The Nature of Disruptive Power Chapter 3 3 The Mob and the State: Disruptive Power and the Construction of American Electoral-Representative Arrangements Chapter 4 4 Dissensus Politics, or the Interaction of Disruptive Challenges with Electoral Politics: The Case of the Abolitionist Movement Chapter 5 5 Movements and Reform in the American Twentieth Century Chapter 6 6. The Times-In-Between Chapter 7 Epilogue