A meticulous investigation into the various protests of the 2010s that aimed to upend standing governments and restructure society but ultimately fell short
According to a recent report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the number of mass protests has increased each year by over ten per cent. But we are not living in a world that is more just and democratic as a result. In If We Burn, acclaimed journalist and author of The Jakarta Method, Vincent Bevins sets out to answer a pivotal question: How did mass protest backfire in the 2010s?
From the Arab Spring, to the Gezi Park protests in Turkey, to the "V for Vinegar" explosion in Brazil, to Ukraine's Euromaidan revolution, to the civil war in Syria, and the student uprisings in Hong Kong in 2019, Bevins aims to understand and present the factors that worked against these democratic protests across the world. In doing so, he shows the ways in which the conventional wisdom in 2010 was wrong but more importantly, what protestors at the time wish they had done differently. Through first person testimony coupled with a fresh analysis of the past, Bevins takes us back to the protests that defined a decade, adding needed clarity and understanding to how such fervent displays of political angst and calls for change were eventually lost
If We Burn is a unique and telling exploration of how a time of upheaval and change was met with vastly different outcomes than the idealism that produced it.