Political activism is a sensitive topic in any discussion. One that’s examples vary from organized groups of protesters with signs, to zealots with firebombs and other arsonist-like tendencies. Cory Doctorow’s book Little Brother, with its tech savvy hacker main character, Michael, briefly touched on the power and importance of activism, in all forms. It took you from the streets of San Francisco in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack, to the depths of the Internet and the hacker sub-culture. It showed us how the Internet has revolutionized not only surveillance and warfare, but also activism and the battle to make a better world.
Now in Homeland, Little Brother’s much awaited sequel, Marcus returns. California’s economy has collapsed in the years since the terrorist attack that sparked Marcus’s rise to fame as an activist. Unemployment has risen exponentially, and the people of San Francisco are one spark away from an inferno of anger. This climate will lead to one of the greatest and most inspirational political activism books I have ever read. At the yearly Burningman festival Marcus runs into an old nemesis, and receives the password to and encrypted file containing 800,000 files filled with evidence of corruption and misuse of power in the US government. The adventure that ensues takes us through the incredibly powerful (and yes sometimes extremely paranoid) cyberspace that can be described as epic in all ways except for distance. Marcus takes to all levels of the fight to change our world for the better.
From the campaign floor, as an independent’s webmaster, Marcus fights to elect a man who he believes can change California. Inventing new ways to draw in voters, and check the power of the opponents being only a few problems. Fortunately Marcus’s tech skills are up for the challenge. Next, Marcus takes us to the Twitter sphere and the beloved Facebook as he fights to release the documents in his care. All the while looking over his back, in fear of a return of his tormentors. Finally, he takes us to the font lines, as an enormous protest fills the city with its cries for change within our government. It would be hard to read this book and not want to change the world for the better. Even as you read the last page, Marcus’s story will not end because it is no longer just story. It is a reflection of us and our world. Of who we are. And who we fight to become.
~Post by Hayden
About the Book
Author: Cory Doctorow
Release Date: 2/5/2013
Join us Friday, February 22 at 7PM when Cory Doctorow will be in store speaking and signing Homeland.