• In Defense of Looting

  • A Riotous History of Uncivil Action
  • By: Vicky Osterweil
  • Narrated by: Caroline Hewitt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A fresh argument for rioting and looting as our most powerful tools for dismantling white supremacy.

Looting - a crowd of people publicly, openly, and directly seizing goods - is one of the more extreme actions that can take place in the midst of social unrest. Even self-identified radicals distance themselves from looters, fearing that violent tactics reflect badly on the broader movement.

But Vicky Osterweil argues that stealing goods and destroying property are direct, pragmatic strategies of wealth redistribution and improving life for the working class - not to mention the brazen messages these methods send to the police and the state. All our beliefs about the innate righteousness of property and ownership, Osterweil explains, are built on the history of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous oppression.

From slave revolts to labor strikes to the modern-day movements for climate change, Black lives, and police abolition, Osterweil makes a convincing case for rioting and looting as weapons that bludgeon the status quo while uplifting the poor and marginalized. In Defense of Looting is a history of violent protest sparking social change, a compelling reframing of revolutionary activism, and a practical vision for a dramatically restructured society.

©2020 Vicky Osterweil (P)2020 PublicAffairs
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about In Defense of Looting

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Less theory more history

If you are so triggered by the title that you feel your pulse increase after reading it then this book isn’t for you. If you aren’t and your willing to look at the world through a different lens then this book is for you. It was well researched and very informative.

8 people found this helpful

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A must read!

I recommend anyone who is serious about developing a coherent understanding of the world we inherited and how to best understand the necessary struggles to redeem it, read this book with an open mind.

4 people found this helpful

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the author fails in his goal of defending looting.

The thrust of the book recommends listening and returning as a political statement. The author will understand.

4 people found this helpful

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Every activist should read this

I’ve been a white activist for 25 years, and was always against looting. I disagreed from the first word of this book, but was convinced halfway through the first chapter. Very compelling arguments and well-researched historical connections. This book is honestly one of the best political books I’ve ever read. It will be very difficult for most white people to read, but with discomfort comes learning. Sit with your discomfort, even if the author doesn’t change your mind, you will learn something new.

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required reading for any informed citizen

this book will change the way ypu think about so many things. if you're an American (or not) read it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-24-20

In my opinion

It reads as a communist manifesto, clearly baked into a history of black suppression in America to appeal to more people.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-20

Excellent.

A brilliant read, informative, educational, and poignant. Well worth multiple listens it contains so many insights and accounts of the ongoing struggle for justice around the world.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-24-20

Utter rubbish

To summarise: this book argues the moral case for a societal return to tribalistic barbarism & savagery. You raise the standard of living of individuals by walking away from such primitive practices -- not embracing them.