“Most American readers will harbor a prior, casual familiarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 based on newspaper headlines and events of the times; but for a more in-depth survey of the philosophies, approaches, and concerns of the protests, Portraits from the Revolution is the item of choice, offering unprecedented depth and detail on the history and lasting impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Rob Couteau conducted a series of interviews with movement leaders; and while one might think the contents of these pieces would have been reported by the media - they were not. It's also important to note that Portraits from the Revolution remains the only in-depth text interview of participants that is available: so if readers wish to gain more than a casual news report's insights, Portraits from the Revolution is the item of choice.
Chapters explore not just each individual's actions, but their backgrounds, reasons for participating in Occupy Wall Street, and their experiences, and offers criticism of media reporting of the movement's history, intentions, and approaches.
From how participants decided to react to violent antagonism against the Occupy movement to the social and political ramifications of not just Occupy but the elements it opposed, these interviews capture participants from all walks of life, from teens to full-time workers, and turns the newspaper reports into a series of personal vignettes about Occupy's deeper meaning.
who would better understand the events and the meaning behind news
reports must turn to Portraits from the Revolution for a clearer
vision of the 'why and how' of the times.”
“Good luck trying to pin down Rob Couteau. Name the genre, and Couteau has almost certainly been there and done that. Poet, novelist, essayist, critic, journalist, memoirist, and travel writer, Couteau is not one to be hampered by constraints. He passes easily from one form of literature to another as if the borders between them did not exist for him. Perhaps they don’t … He is an independent scholar in every meaning of the word – unaligned with any institution except for the literary and artistic canon he so loves, and a thinker who comes to his own conclusions …This collection gives the reader a good sampling of Couteau’s literary and scholarly talents, not the least of which are his interviews with writers he admires. Having spent many years as a journalist, I believe I have some ability to recognize and admire an artful interviewer, and Couteau is a master. His preparation is comprehensive, meticulous, and profound. His understanding of the process of writing in so many genres allows him insights into the particular problems faced by the writers he interviews. His style is conversational and relaxed, but deceptively so; he is always in control of the interview. This said, however, when a sudden fact or insight takes the interview down unexpected pathways, Couteau has the aesthetic nimbleness to recognize the opening and to follow it.
collection features interviews with biographers, memoirists, historians,
an inner-city antiviolence activist, and the creator of LSD. You’ll
also find herein Couteau’s writings on literature, which I hesitate
to call criticism since they lack the worst features of much literary
criticism, which can be clogged with so much pretentiousness, cant,
and philosophical obfuscation that it would take a plunger of Brobdingnagian
proportions to restore a healthy flow. Couteau’s essays are often
rhapsodic appreciations and evocations of the work under study, and
are stuffed with both insights and joy.”