Reading the Resistance

Ruth Graham in Slate:

BookReading groups have long served as spaces for kindred spirits to gather and talk their way through weighty issues; they also skew female, older, and educated—a prime “resistance” cohort. It is hard to overstate how thoroughly the anti-Trump movement is driven by the energy of women in general. The Women’s March in January was the biggest single-day protest in American history, and women made up the majority of the crowds at the March for Science and the People’s Climate March in April. Women also seem to make up the vast majority of those calling their representatives: A recent poll by the popular service Daily Action, which sends texts to users nudging them to call their legislators, found 86 percent of active users were women, and fully half were aged 46 to 65. As a Slate headline put it in January, “The Trump Resistance Will Be Led by Angry Women.”

Some independent bookstores, progressive media outlets, and activist groups have launched new clubs to meet the moment. In Seattle there’s “Reading Through It: A Post-Election Book Club.” (First selection: J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir of growing up in a poor white family in what is now Trump country.) Daily Action launched its own club in March, “drawing on America’s heritage of resistance.” (Latest up: Historian Timothy Snyder’s 21st century–minded survey of 20th-century Europe, On Tyranny.) “No longer can book club be the latest vampire YA novel (or at least, no longer can that be the ONLY book club we do),” the online magazine Argot wrote in announcing its Trump-era book club. “And for those of us who aren’t book club people, we can no longer read our radical texts, relevant novels and pertinent essays in silence.” Its first assignment: the Melville House collection What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump’s America.

More here.