Rachel Aspden

City Lights welcomes Rachel Aspden! She discusses her new book, Generation Revolution:  On the Front Line
Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East,
from Other Press.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100257410/Images/87286100257410L.jpgIn 2011 during the Arab Spring, the government of Egypt transformed from a dictatorship to a democratic presidency. The chaos that resulted during this time erupted from a decade of social and political unrest among the Egyptian people. GENERATION REVOLUTION is the story of the millennial generation in Egypt during the Arab Spring, from the perspective of several different young men and women whose different views explore the way Egypt has been shaped before, during, and after the 2011 end of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency.

Aspden spent years in Egypt during the beginning of unrest in 2003 and moved back again during the years following post-revolution in 2011. Aspden offers a window into the world of the Middle East during the Arab Spring, before, during, and after Egypt’s chaotic overthrow of their President Mubarak and his successor, the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Through Aspden’s curious and unbiased gaze, readers hear the Egyptian voices of Amr, an atheist university-educated software engineer, Amal, a fiercely independent young woman who lives on her own in Cairo which is practically unheard of, Ayman, a devout Muslim teenager who chooses to follow ultraconservative Salafi Islam to the surprise of his middle-class parents, and Mazen, a fan of TV preacher Amr Khaled who finds himself on the front lines during the revolution. With these perspectives along with others’, readers learn that from atheists to ultra-religious, from conservative young men to liberal young women, the growing generation of Egypt is vastly different, struggling to find a place for various voices during chaotic government upheaval. Aspden writes from the front lines of this new generation, sharing their stories and harbouring their own doubts, resentments, and hope for what is to come.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/RachelAspden.jpegRachel Aspden became literary editor of the New Statesman in 2006, at the age of 26. She now works at the Guardian, and also writes on a freelance basis for the New Statesman, Observer, Prospect and Think magazine (Qatar). She lived in Cairo in 2003-4 and worked as an editor and reporter on the English-language Cairo Times. Since then, from her UK base, she has travelled to and reported from across the region and the wider Muslim world: Yemen, the UAE, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan and north India. In 2010, she was awarded a year-long travelling fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research activists working to fight extremism within Islam. Following the Arab spring uprisings in 2011, she moved back to Egypt to research this book. She is currently based in London and reports for the Guardian.

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe in conversation with Suzie Cagle at City Lights Bookstore celebrating the release of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt from Nation Books.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100046260/Images/87286100046260L.jpgNecessary Trouble is the definitive book on the movements that are poised to permanently remake American politics. We are witnessing a moment of unprecedented political turmoil and social activism. Over the last few years we’ve seen the growth of the Tea Party, a twenty-first-century black freedom struggle with BlackLivesMatter, Occupy Wall Street, and the grassroots networks supporting presidential candidates in defiance of the traditional party elites.

In Necessary Trouble, journalist Sarah Jaffe leads readers into the heart of these movements, explaining what has made ordinary Americans become activists. As Jaffe argues, the financial crisis in 2008 was the spark, the moment that crystallized that something was wrong. For years, Jaffe crisscrossed the country, asking people what they were angry about, and what they were doing to take power back. She attended a people’s assembly in a church gymnasium in Ferguson, Missouri; walked a picket line at an Atlanta Burger King; rode a bus from New York to Ohio with student organizers; and went door-to-door in Queens days after Hurricane Sandy.

From the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle and New York to the halting of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Program, Americans are discovering the effectiveness of making good, necessary trouble. Regardless of political alignment, they are boldly challenging who wields power in this country.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/jaffe,%20sarah%20(cr%20julieta%20salgado)(1).jpg

Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the Week, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book. Jaffe was formerly a staff writer at In These Times and the labor editor at AlterNet. She was a contributing editor on The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America, from AlterNet books, as well as a contributor to the anthologies At the Tea Party and Tales of Two Cities, both from OR Books. She was also the web director at GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She was one of the first reporters to cover Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for $15, has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss topics ranging from electoral politics to Superstorm Sandy, from punk rock to public-sector unions.

Suzie Cagle is  an independent journalist and illustrator, and a frequent contributor to ProPublica, the New York Times, the Guardian, and many others. She was previously a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford, and a technology columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. She is currently working on an illustrated book about boom and bust economics in California.

Susie’s work has been featured on NPR, in Wiredthe Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, and has been honored with awards from the Online Journalism Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susie has a masters in journalism from Columbia, which still doesn’t offer a cartooning class.