Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today's burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into the all-too-familiar radical tendency toward self-defeating insularity and paralyzing purism. At the same time, he offers tools to bridge the divide between anti-authoritarian values and hegemonic strategies, tools that might just help today's movements to navigate their obstacles--and change the world.
Jonathan Smucker has worked as an organizer, consultant, and trainer for two decades within a breadth of organizations and social movements. He is co-founder of Beyond the Choir, an organization providing strategic support and organizational development to social justice organizations. Jonathan has been published in Berkeley Journal of Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, and contributed chapters to We Are Many (AK Press, 2012) and Beautiful Trouble (O/R Books, 2012).
"Smucker brings hard-won wisdom, theoretical heft, and a welcoming style to this book, helping us think through the most important question of our time: how do we build enough collective power to not only demand a better world, but actually create one?" Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine
"Drawing on twenty years of grassroots organizing experience, Smucker has written a modern version of Saul Alinsky's classic, Rules for Radicals. By bypassing the vapid debate over who to vote for in a system that offers only two choices, Smucker focuses on the need for a dedicated commitment to social change that begins in each of our own backyards. He deftly weaves together ideas for tactical organizing with personal stories of their real life application." Jeremy Scahill, author of the international bestsellers Blackwater and Dirty Wars
"If Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign showed anything, it's a broad appetite for deep change. But turning that hope into effective action will require thinking about social movements and how they work (and don't). There's much grist for the organizer's mill in these pages." Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy